How Smart is Your Business? Only as Smart as Your Processes
Businesses are not lucky enough to stand pat on predictable operations today, and innovation is the table stakes in today's world. This means that businesses need processes that are smart and growing smarter over time. This will require processes that are intelligent, social/collaborative, agile, and autonomous (ISAA).
Business professionals that are working with processes must be aimed at making them smarter in order to keep pace with business changes. It may be as simple as notification of new conditions, or it could be as savvy as suggesting changes in policy and resource allocations. The idea of intelligent process is in its infancy, but I expect a large demand for more intelligence in processes emerging over time. In fact, many of the new features in processes pursuing changing business outcomes will depend on intelligence. Today intelligence is aimed at reaction, but the future will require proaction and incremental learning likely to deliver alternative success scenarios.
Business professionals that are working with knowledge-intensive processes need to design appropriate collaboration opportunities and capture evolving better practices for future improvements in business outcomes. The level and scope of collaboration will be encouraged by goals and guided by business constraints. Dynamic and extended collaboration patterns will allow for very knowledge-intensive and shifting problems. Today collaboration is growing rapidly as specialization must be leveraged and process participants are being asked to expand their skill bases. People will have to learn new work patterns that also deliver successful outcomes.
Business professionals need agility features built into their processes in order to react to changes. This may mean proactive planning for flexibility points in a fixed process or reactive ways of tweaking goals, flow sequences, resources, tolerances, rules, exceptions, and business services. Making all of these lever points explicit/external for last second change is a great way to deal with the demand for change. Good analysis of change patterns will lead to learning opportunities for future reaction to emerging patterns.
Business professionals need to look to events, agents, constraints, and dynamic goals to allow autonomous process smart snippets to converge, just in time, to accomplish or contribute to desired business outcomes. This means that portions of a process are 'always on', looking for conditions to respond to, in near real time to a dedicated or complex set of programmed outcomes. Snippets are likely to flock to patterns needed to deal with a purposed business outcome. These patterns can be learning experiences for scenario planning.
Combining intelligent, social, agile, and autonomous (ISAA) methods, techniques, and technologies will enable smarter processes for a smarter business. Who can afford to ignore these trends?
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