We all know the power has shifted to the consumer and the organizations that are agile enough to take advantage of their emerging needs will be significant today and the foreseeable future. The power to move quickly and easily is one of the major competencies that organizations have to develop to thrive in the digital age. This will require organizations to develop acuity in change and the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly that engender change. Not only will organizations have to be able to change behavior and people, but they must have a software infrastructure that supports agility. This is where smart process / case applications (SPA) come into play. Not only do SPAs provide jump-start benefits of ready business functions, they provide superior agility because of BPM /Case features. SPAs provide agility by one or more of the following features:
Emergent Processes / Cases:
There are several reasons for emergent processes. One is that there is no know solution to solve the process instance /case to satisfactory closure. The other is that something changes in the middle of the processing of an instance / case such as new information that affects the outcome or a new policy or rules is instituted mid completion. SPA handle emergent very well in that they are designed for change, but they can also support tradition sequential tasks.
Explicit Policies and Rules:
Agility not only surrounds the process aspect of the process instance or a case, agility is also available the dynamic changing of rules that guide the knowledge workers, content, information, accepted outcomes or governance tolerances. By being able to change rules or policies rapidly through externalized and changeable rules, SPAs can quickly change their behavior and outcomes.
All the resources in SPAs are given great levels of collaboration through human to human interactions, shared data / content and shared visualization mechanisms. SPAs have many ways of having resources work interactively to completion of a task or process instance / cases such as unstructured communication, enabled conferencing, coordinated activities, communities and better practice guidance.
Goal Seeking Behavior:
SPAs not only have great visualization for shared results improvement, SPAs have many analytic capabilities to measure inflight progress and potential corrective paths and actions. Many SPAs are goal driven my nature and can dynamically shift flows and rules to accommodate goals changes.
Resources are well tracked in SPAs and they can be optimized individually or in combination with other resources. The optimization can be measured and changed context of a process instance / case, an end to end process or across multiple processes for shared resources.
SPAs have many levers for the agility necessary to match business change. These are the five most common agility approaches found in the majority of SPAs, but not all. It is important to know the extent of change and how the combination of change levers work together for the good of the resulting process application.
My top ten key players in Smart Process Applications are Newgen, Pegasystems, IBM, Appian, Lexmark, Tibco, SAG, DST, OpenText and PNMSoft, but this is an emerging area.