On A Role, Sticky or Otherwise

We talk about something called a “Role”.  We all know what it means — or do we?  There are a number of meanings to this term, and there is a kind of sleight-of-hand which is used to sometimes trick the unwary.  Here I expose some of that trickery.  Continue reading

No Model is a Good Model

During the presentations at the Workshop on Adaptive Case Management (ACM) on Monday, there was a growing question about the models: Not just how models should be constructed, but whether we should be using models at all. These ended up forming a major discussion at the end of the day, and even into the rest of the week, culminating with the final keynote questioning our obsession with models in BPM.  This is my take on the main positions in the debate. Continue reading

Podcast about Robust BPM

Peter Schoof interviewed me last week on the subject of robust BPM. (Thanks Peter!)  This had been the basis of a talk I gave in Montreal at  the Workshop on Methodologies for Robustness Injection into Business Processes.  It is a quick 15 minute summary:

Robust BPM: Keith Swenson Explains How to Build Processes That Last

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When Thinking Matters in the Workplace

In the 4 and 1/2 years since “Mastering the Unpredictable” introduced the idea of Adaptive Case Management to the world, a growing group of people have struggled to define what it really means to make use of this new emerging trend.  This new book “When Thinking Matters in the Workplace” takes it one step further — to outline what a manager needs to know, to lead a team of innovative knowledge workers, and how to put in place a system to best support them. Continue reading

Five Ways ‘Planning Before Doing’ can be Bad

Before you do something, plan it.  Figure out what you are going to do, and then do it.  If you failed to succeed, then you didn’t plan well enough.  Next time, do better planning.  How many times have you heard these saying from traditional scientific management?  They are so ingrained in our working behaviors, they seem beyond questioning.  But there are some times when planning is a bad idea — and this point talks about 5 such situations. Continue reading

Process Mining MOOC on Coursera

Whether you call it Process Mining, or Automated Process Discovery, nobody can deny that this field that combines big data analytics with business process is at the center of an important transformation in the workplace.  Process mining is useful to kickstart the implementation of predefined BPM diagrams, and it is also useful in unpredictable case management to see what has been done and whether it is compliant with all the rules.  What would you give to attend a complete, college level course on process mining?  What if it was free? Continue reading