How Smart is Your Business? Only as Smart as Your Processes

Jim   Sinur
Jim Sinur VP and Research Fellow, Aragon Research Read Author Bio || Read All Articles by Jim Sinur

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.

Net; Net

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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Standard citation for this article:

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Jim Sinur, "How Smart is Your Business? Only as Smart as Your Processes" Business Rules Journal, Vol. 14, No. 8, (Aug. 2013)

About our Contributor:

Jim   Sinur
Jim Sinur VP and Research Fellow, Aragon Research

Jim Sinur is an independent consultant and thought leader in applying business process management (BPM) to innovative and intelligent business operations (IBO). His research and areas of personal experience focus on business process innovation, business modeling, business process management technology (BPMT), processes collaboration for knowledge workers, process intelligence/optimization, business policy/rule management (BRMS), and leveraging business applications in processes. Mr. Sinur was critical in creating the first Hype Cycle and Maturity Model, which have become a hallmark of Gartner analysis, along with the Magic Quadrant. He has been active in the rules, data and computing communities, helping shape direction based on practical experience. Mr. Sinur has vertical industry experience on the investment and operational sides of the insurance and financial services.

Read All Articles by Jim Sinur
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