Today there some large forces that are trying to make us pick process styles rather than solve business problems with processes. There are those who push modeling processes to perfection. There who claim case management is the answer to process problems. Some propose straight through automation and others propose dynamic orchestration of process snippets. Well the truth is we are headed towards processes that have many process styles (hybrid styles). There are many reasons that processes can't really stick to one style, but the ones that I am seeing are as follows:
Super Sized Scopes:
As processes prove themselves their scope of benefit impact are being stretched to larger scopes. Examples would be supply and value chains at the extreme end, but cross organizational unit is where this mixing usually starts. Departments with a high density of knowledge workers would need some kind of unstructured or case management style, but action oriented and heads down production workers would require a more best practice driven structured approach.
Mixture of Work Styles:
Most processes have one major work style. As processes add intelligence and show alternative better practices, work paths and styles will vary. As employees and stringers are enabled to make decisions, they will impact the path that process instances or cases take. Thus processes will have to have multiple styles to deal with the embedded decision points driven by changing desired process outcomes.
As processes become more goal driven in addition to flow driven, complex process styles will become more common. BPM delivers significant dynamic capabilities. As organizations take advantage of these intelligent dynamics, driven by events and analytic behavior, there will be more adaptability that could be human or machine guidance.
Just like cars are employing multiple drive options, processes will be doing the same. I can't wait to see what these hybrid process deliver. This will introduce more complexity that will have to managed, thus implying some new management approaches such as agent oriented.
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