Process management is reaching towards the peak of productivity in a goodly number of organizations. With the shift to business driving the change, even proactively, there are some trends emerging that are worth noting that are playing at the macro level. While there are many micro trends and infusion of new technology, in addition, I have identified seven top trends in and around processes and process management.
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in Revenue Per Hour Worked:
Right now there is a huge emphasis on processes that help in new client capture and account opening on top of typical cross sell and up sell related processes. The C-level executives are looking for more revenue right now and the business folks are leveraging process here. Traditionally process activity was almost purely focused at cost savings. Things are different now.
to Market Responses:
Because process technologies today expose business change levers and tuning features, business professionals are jumping at the opportunity to tweak running processes to optimize business outcomes. With the adaptive nature of process adaptation through case management and dynamic processes, things are speeding up. In fact, I am seeing more real time change implementations of processes than ever before. In addition, BPM technologies have business and IT collaborative development and composition environments that deliver processes in a much faster fashion.
Today processes can appear to know the customer by delivering core behavior with variations by groups and individual kinds of customers. With great data management and leveraging business rule technologies, customers can change their own experience with a process. Today many process participants can customize their process experience, tomorrow the relationship with an organization, product and service can be customized. This keeps customers coming back, partners feeling involved and employees enabled.
Support for Collaborative Knowledge Work:
Processes are ideal for mixing collaborative styles of work with more automated process automation. With that being said, processes are also geared to cross knowledge worlds and get them to work together for a common outcome. While process management can create role based (aka persona based) experiences, they can also support many kinds of collaboration styles up to crowd sourcing. Adaptive case management features are extending this strength over time.
Participants & Resources:
The beauty of process management is that process participants can have a focused and customized experience, but also processes can swap out resources as need for any process instance or case that is in flight. In fact each of the resources can be made stronger with the addition of pattern detection, decision analysis and recommended actions based on processes outcome history. In fact human resources can get an assist from real time event detection and analytic models as needed.
Agility Driven by Dynamic Goals:
Many processes today are process step or data driven, but there is a shift to goal driven going on to take advantage of the agility and speed that processes now offer. Processes can be given new sets of goals that are linked to desired business outcomes and the process can morph to reach these goals. In fact processes, assisted by analytic models, can find the sweet spot between conflicting goals and find a better balanced set of outcomes.
Processes now can find interesting patterns and visualize them for process owners, managers and participants to find better ways to do work. While best practices are great, evolving better practice patterns that differentiate an organization are even better. This is a new and evolving science that will be beneficial in dynamic process situations that leverage knowledge collaboration. I can see a day when a knowledge worker is presented with multiple better practices for a case and select one based on situations at hand.
While there are many emerging positive trends coming out of the process world, these are my macro trends. I suspect more may emerge over time.