Thursday, February 13, 2014

Business Survival Skill III: Taking Optimal Actions for Better Business Outcomes

In order to take optimal actions for any one situation (transaction, process instance or case) in light of goals that represent the best outcomes for constituents (customer, employee, partner) and the organization with appropriate speed, there has to be some precursor steps. This assumes that even simple transactions have to be performed in the light of constituents goals and context. Organizations of old let you operate within the constraints of what they perceived as best for you within legal constraints. This is no longer acceptable today. The digital organization will be very different in that it will sense changing patterns and decide in real time, how to handle a situation assisted by knowledge workers and more advanced technology. See the following blogs the mention typical precursor steps of finding pertinent patterns and making predictive decisions.

Business Actions:

Simple or Combined Actions:

The actions of organizations carry with them the fulfillment of legal and charter requirements, but more importantly a chance for satisfaction and reputation. These actions must be completed with notifications given to appropriate parties. These actions can singular in action and impact or may mean a series of complex actions metered over time.  

Single Organization or Value/Supply Chain Actions:

Actions contained with a single organization give better control over the results, but more and more actions are being provided by a chain of contributing actions from several separate legal entities. Each could share in the success or failure of expected and appropriate actions, but usually the last or represented organization in the chain bears the burden of the results. More chains are setting up shared processes with blended goals for better results. 

Human, System or Machine Actions:

Actions can be carried out by people, systems or machines in collaboration with themselves or others. This places a premium on great collaboration, thus the new emphasis new supports. We are seeing the rise in importance of collaborative technologies that include employees, partners, stringers and constituents. With the advent of deeper machine augmented human actions and self service, this collaboration will be a key focus for the near future

Technology Assisting Actions:

Intelligent Business Process Management Technology(iBPMS):

The trend for more pattern recognition and analytics being close to process actions has launched the advent of more intelligence in operational processes through the iBPMS. These processes leverage several approaches either used separately or together. These action approaches leverage a combinations of case management (H2H collaboration), machine intelligence (H2M or M2H collaboration). system assists (H2S & S2S) and machine interactions(M2M collaboration). All of these patterns of actions are orchestrated dynamically in the iBPMS in a more centralized way.

H = Human;  S = System; M = machine

Intelligent Agents:

While intelligent agents can assist holistic and centralized processes, they bring more benefits when they bid and dynamically assemble to perform actions. Here, again, the intelligence is close to the actions, but in much more of a distributed and dynamic way most iBPMS approaches. This allows agents to be better at creating goal seeking processes; especially in situations with growing complexity and evolving needs. 

Simple Process Management and Workflow Technologies:

There a plenty of actions that can use a straight forward action sequences where the combination of H2H and S2S are able to be planned ahead of time with lower amounts of change. 

Process Enabled Packaged Templates:

A growing category of packaged best practices that can flex more easily are core package "jump starts" that are built upon more agile iBPMS and Agent technology platforms. This is helpful in environments that are more subject to change or have multiple evolving better practices

Packaged Applications:

This a popular way to buy best practices that can immediately help an organization, though they tend to be rigid on top of rigid platforms.

Legacy Applications:

While legacy applications can be wrapped and leveraged by more modern process technologies for better business differentiation, they tend not to be rigid and highly specialized. There are exceptions where SOA, explicit rules and parameters have been leveraged. 

Integration Technologies:

Quite often systems and data need to be brought together to leverage in larger end to end contexts and this kind of technology is valuable in that case.

Net; Net:

Actions are necessary to get to desirable business outcomes, but keeping the best outcomes coming under the demand of constituents, governing bodies and constant change will require a shift to a more digital and intelligent organization. The day of intelligent actions is here, so be prepared.