Links for May 8

It has been a busy week in the process blogspace, and I am just trying to keep up.  Here are some important articles,

  • Adam Deane’s Quotes of the Week is worth following as a quick directory to what is happening.
  • Max Pucher writes about the relationship between Adaptive Process and Goal Orientation.  We desires to achieve goals, but scientific management often breaks the process into sequence of small tasks, and the goal is not explicit.  The process designer attempts to make a process that will achieve the goal without the participants necessarily knowing or understanding the goal.  In a routine process this works, but in an adaptive process, where people make decisions about the course of the process at every step, it is critical that goal be made explicit.  He then questions the ability for a BPMN-style flowchart to represent goals clearly.
  • Jacob Ukelson weighed in with: can a BPMS can really support “Design by Doing”?  Another attempt to make it clear that when you “live in the flow” you don’t make processes happen the same way as those who “design flows for others in advance”.  Email is the tool for those who live in the flow, and his irrefutable conclusions is that use of an Adaptive system will have to be as easy as email.
  • Scott Francis: It isn’t Black and White, Can or Can’t.   He argues that a BPMS is flexible enough to handle all process needs, so why invent a new term for this?  Here he uses the “spectrum” argument, which I hope to respond to in the future.  He also argues that if you have 1000’s of people emailing, some of this could be automated.  He is right, many of those emails are for routine work and could be automated, but Jacob’s article was specifically about non-routine work.  I really do appreciate Scott’s effort to express these sentiments that many in the BPM community are likely to hold, so we can discuss how they might or might not be applicable.
  • Ashish Bhagwat: ” And We Thought BPM v/s SOA Blur Was Already Beaten to Death….  There is considerable backlash from the BPM community to those, like the OMG, who want to equate BPM with SOA.  This is driving many to think that BPMN is a language only useful for SOA.  This ties into my post about the eccentric definitions of BPM.
  • Sandy Kemsley reminds us that “BPM 2010 in North America For The First Time” so start planning now to be in New York.  Lots of things planned.  Maybe even a get-together for people interested in Adaptive Case Management.
  • Tom Shepherd recorded his talk from, and made it available as a slidecast: Adapting To Case Management.  Tom brings some very good illuminations around what it means to master the unpredictable.  Thanks Tom!
  • Max Pucher recorded his talk from, and the slidecast is: Elements of Adaptive Case Management.
  • Frank Michael Kraft in two posts covers Adaptive Case Management Questions, and Adaptive Case Management Questions Continued such as:
    • Why is it such a hot topic right now to discuss alternatives to BPM?
    • What is knowledge work, and why does it require a new approach?
    • How important is knowledge work?
    • What is a specific example of the kind of knowledge work that might be supported?
    • What is an emergent process and what effect is there on the system?
    • How can work be unpredictable? How do you handle that?
  • Frank Michael Kraft follows up with a post on Unexpected Difficulties of the work of a knowledge worker and how one might use ACM to handle them.  What he makes clear here, is that almost everybody who is reading this blog post does NOT use a BPMS to accomplish their daily tasks.  Who of you has a task on your BPM worklist to “read latest post from Thoughts on Collaborative Planning”?   This post reflects on the difficulty of doing that.
  • Craig Reid makes a rare post against standardization of process in “Are Your Processes Too Predictable?”
  • Tom Shepherd writes in again with “What’s your approach?“.
  • Jacob Ukelson: “Rise of the Knowledge Worker“.

Is that enough for one week?   Stay tuned … I have a couple more posts coming.

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4 Responses to Links for May 8

  1. Keith- you’re putting words into my mouth a bit 🙂 I didn’t say “so why invent something new” – but rather, why invent a new three letter acronym 🙂 I don’t feel that there is anything misleading about there being a whole range of problems to address, and tools being gradually a better or worse fit as you move along that spectrum. If you disagree, that’s fine – but I don’t believe I was being misleading or deceitful… characterizing my statements that way might be misleading 🙂

    Also, I’m simply saying that when people say words like “all”, “always”, “none”, “never”, “can’t”, etc. usually it isn’t true. This is old true-false test from high school days. Absolutes are rarely true – especially in software. All of these solutions are turing complete – so we’re not talking can/can’t. We’re talking about fit for purpose – and I’d like to push the conversation that way – to talk about what it is that “ACM” tools do for unpredictable or non-routine work that make them a good fit. Better to just set BPM aside for a moment, and talk about how ACM addresses this kind of unpredictable or non-routine work. (Of course, just from this post I see some good links that I’ll need to follow and read from the gathering).

    (Also, if you’re designing by doing… that implies that once you learn the design (by doing) that there will be some value in “design” at the end – so perhaps the work that is a good fit for design by doing isn’t “unpredictable”, it is just currently not well understood. I think there is a lot of that kind of work in large organizations, where you would arrive at the right answer faster bottom up than top-down. )

    I hope that pushing a bit elicits better understanding of what people are really proposing when they advocate software for case management or unpredictable work.

  2. kswenson says:

    Scott, thanks so much for the corrections. I started to write a longer response about the problem with the spectrum argument. But didn’t have the time and it did not fit this format. I think I will will pull that sentence out until I get a chance to explain what I mean in more detail. I don’t think you are purposefully trying to deceive anyone. I appreciate the honest dialog — really I do.

  3. Pingback: Column 2 : links for 2010-05-25

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