Throw Away the Process Map, use Status Feedback Instead

For knowledge workers, automating the business process so that the system can “tell them what to do” is the entirely wrong focus for IT system support.  The focus of the system should instead be on presenting to knowledge workers the current status of the project, measured a couple of different ways.  The distinction is subtle, but important. Continue reading

Ancient Wisdom teaches Business Processes

Jared Diamond spoke at the Commonwealth Club last month.  I have always been a huge fan of his Pulitzer prize winning book “Guns, Germs, and Steel” as well as “Collapse” and other works.  This talk introduced his new book “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?”   The answer: more than you think. Continue reading

How Technology causes Fragility

Q: When is it easier to ship a $600 electronic device across the country and back, than it is to change a field in a database?

A: When you are a phone company.

This is a true story, and one that perfectly illustrates how IT systems, when implemented, can actually make a company less flexible and less able to cope with unpredictable things.  Information technology can actually make a company more fragile. Continue reading

Antifragile

At the BPMNext conference in March, I am signed up to give a talk titled “Antifragile Systems for Innovation and Learning Organizations.”  The term “antifragile” comes from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder.”  In this post I review the main concepts of the book. Continue reading

ACM Awards 2013

We are launching the third annual Adaptive Case Management Global Excellence Awards for 2013.  If you have an example of technology to support unpredictable collaboration, it is time NOW to get an abstract filed. You then have 2 months to get the final write up completed.  Don’t delay. Continue reading

Achieving a Stateless Workplace

Richie Etwaru makes a post about Human as a Service about the idea that everything / anything can be made available as a cloud.  To do so, we need to think about organizations that are stateless as opposed to stateful.  There is a parallel between stateless and unpredictable, and how statelessness allows processes to emerge, instead of being defined in advance. Continue reading

Two Languages Divide but don’t Conquer

There is a continual ongoing debate on how best to express how people plan to work together.  Earlier posts make the case that two-dimensional graphical languages are inappropriate for knowledge workers.  Many argued against this saying that these languages are still useful for process specialists.  However, for unpredictable work, the knowledge worker must directly do the process planning.  This post addresses the question of whether we might be able to use two languages in one system: one for the knowledge workers, and one for the business analysts. Continue reading

Yes, it really is about the Knowledge Worker

My position paper for the Adaptive Case Management Workshop was to propose that “BPMN is incompatible with ACM.”  I got a lot of flack from the hard core BPM disciples   In spite of clearly stating that ACM is designed for knowledge workers to create their own process plans, many many still believe that there will be a process professional creating plans for others.  I sometimes feel as if I am having the following conversation: Continue reading