Big Processes are Happening Now

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

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.

Larger Scopes

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.

Increased Heterogeneity

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.

Increased Complexity

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.

Net; Net

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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Standard citation for this article:

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Jim Sinur, "Big Processes are Happening Now" Business Rules Journal, Vol. 16, No. 9, (Sep. 2015)

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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