Big Processes are Happening Now
Big Data has made its mark. Now it's time to consider Big Processes. Most of the low-hanging fruit from simple processes was gleaned during the depths of the recent recession. This was a cost-containment-driven approach to BPM. While cost containment continues as a constant undercurrent, efforts are shifting rapidly to revenue generation and customer care. This implies processes that are larger in scope, more heterogeneous in nature, and more complex. Like grouped stars, bigger processes will provide the gravity that holds multiple smaller processes together.
The emphasis on the end-to-end experience for customers is dictating more pervasive processes that touch many people and systems. Instead of asking customers to select and deal with the complexity of business organizations, processes are emerging to deal with all the sub-steps and organizational components necessary to get the desired outcomes. The days of simple and single-function process are receding. Many organizations have been content with their customers needing deal with silos of specialty processes and employees. In the quest for capturing hearts and loyalties, enlightened organizations are now consolidating into larger-scoped processes that are aimed at customer outcomes. This is a revolution that is at its beginning. See the following examples of larger-scoped processes aimed at revenue generation and increased customer satisfaction.
- Telstra is Aiming at the 'Wow Factor' by Leveraging Customer Pleasing Processes
- Jabil Circuit Inc., a Fast Growing Global Manufacturer, Incrementally Transforms Itself with Intelligent Supply Chain Processes
- A Mid-sized Bank Getting To Revenue Faster
Larger processes will require multiple styles of process to work together collaboratively. This means that larger processes are likely to have portions (snippets) of processes that employ various styles of process action. It would seem logical to have portions of straight-through behavior tied to workflow and knowledge-intensive case work. This implies that there will be multiple process engines cooperating with each other as they aim towards blended goals and desired outcomes. This means that the stovepipe governance methods, process techniques, and technologies will have to work together for the good of the larger process and its goals. Here are some supporting articles.
While the outcomes of big processes are desirable, some of the side effects pose problems. The biggest side effect is complexity. There are not only multiple styles, but there are multiple outcomes and multiple interfaces that have to be blended together. This will put a new emphasis on human / process interfacing, process snippet cooperation, increased auto management leveraging big data, and poly-analytic combinations, thereby demanding increased result visibility and audit capabilities. Machine learning and agent behavior are coping mechanisms for increased complexity. See these supporting articles.
- It's Not Just People that Collaborate in Modern Processes
- Harnessing Business Complexity with Agent-Based Processes
- A Wave of Distributed Intelligence is on the Horizon
Big Processes will be emerging quickly in the coming years. It will start with the leading organizations and spread downstream to fast followers and the large pack of reactors. Those who fail to react will pay the price.
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