Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Work Journey Management (WJM) Describes Emerging Processes

For nearly two decades, we have been calling business process management BPM. While it has served us well, it doesn't accurately describe process management. First of all not all processes are related to business, though businesses are rife with processes. Secondly the processes imply a fixed map of activities like roads or train tracks and it takes focused effort to build the paths. Work Journey Management can go any where at any time. Like trekking, it can be on roads, tracks, paths, water, or mountain ridge. It also can go underground or under water or in the air. Processes now can go any where now as well, particularly with the IoT which many call the "Internet of Everything".

Planning Customer Journeys:

Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) is all the rage today as it should be in the coming "Age of the Customer". By studying the behavior of customers, organizations they can plan effective interactions. The customer journey map is a contextually sensitive graph that describes the journey of a user by representing different touch points that characterize his or her interaction with a service or a product. These journeys are point there are deviations that occur because new events, goals and behaviors emerge from the expected paths. Like trekking there is an initial plan, but conditions, elements and the state of the trekkers could cause a change in path and plan. Each trek can be analyzed after the fact to improve future expeditions.

Work Journeys:

While some work journeys will parallel customer journeys, but not always as process activities permeate everywhere for others. Fixed processes only seem to work for a portion of the journey and some of the activity will be made up on the fly based on changing goals, new patterns, new contexts, constraints, emerging scenarios and the state of supporting resources, This is why work journeys seems to better represent the idea of emergent processes that represent where the world is headed fast in the digital organization.

Net; Net:

I'm not convinced we should eject the term BPM, but if we do I would vote for WJM as it seems to represent a world where journeys are started with an initial plan, dynamically adjusted in-flight and studied after the fact for effectiveness.

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