Do Workflow-Based Systems Satisfy the Demands of the Agile Enterprise of the Future?
Presentation at ACM 2012 workshop http://acm2012.blogs.dsv.su.se attached to BPM 2012 conference in Tallinn http://bpm2012.ut.ee/
Abstract.Workflow-based systems dominate the theory and practice of Business Process Management (BPM) leaving little space to other directions, including Adaptive Case Management. While there are reasons for such dominance in today’s enterprise environment, it is time the BPM community studied this dominance in the light of the requirements of the enterprises of the future. This paper analyzes whether workflow-based systems will be able to satisfy business needs in the future based on the assumption that the essential property of the enterprise of the future is agility. The paper identifies properties
that a business process should possess in order to be suitable for employing a workflow-based system to support it. Then, it analyzes whether these properties are compatible with the needs of the enterprise of the future and shows why workflow-based systems may become obsolete in the future.
Do workflow-based systems satisfy the demands of the agile enterprise of the future? Ilia Bider – IbisSoft/DSV SU, Paul Johannesson DSV/SU Erik Perjons DSV/SU Preproceedings: http://bit.ly/YlxesC Postproceedings: http://bit.ly/WHAdOC Short presentatiion at ACM 2012 workshop: http://acm2012.blogs.dsv.su.se/ 1st workshop on ACM and other non-workflow approaches to BPM DSV SU/IbisSoft1 Motivation • ACM & non-workflow is relatively small movement • In the sea of mainstream BPM that sees BP as a standardized flow of operations • How to defend the movement against “We can do the same and even better”, “We have all the same features”, etc. DSV SU/IbisSoft2 Why WF is a mainstream • Widespread understanding that BP is about optimizing the usage of enterprise resources, e.g., minimizing the waste – Lean, 6 sigma, etc. • Standards, UML, BPMN that promote operational view • Tool vendors that implements standards DSV SU/IbisSoft3 How to meet the challenge • Expand in some areas: traditionally working in a case-based manner – law (enforcement), healthcare, government • Show examples where the workflow-paradigm has failed • Agree that WF thinking is very good right now, but … it might not be so in the nearest future … DSV SU/IbisSoft4 Plan 1. Investigate what is required to design a workflowable process 2. Investigate : Whether it make sense to do so in the highly dynamic world Whether a process will be “optimal” in such a world Whether making all processes optimized do any good to the enterprise as a whole DSV SU/IbisSoft5 Workflowable process 1. The process can be split into well-defined steps/operations 2. For each step, inputs and outputs are fully formalized 3. It is fully determined what outputs serve as inputs for other steps Test spec RE spec D spec Code Reguirements Design Coding Test Test results Test results DSV SU/IbisSoft6 Workflowable process Test spec RE spec D spec Code Reguirements Design Coding Test Test results Test results 3. Execution of each step requires only its formalized inputs 4. Two steps are not allowed to be executed simultaneously (in parallel) if outputs from one of them serve as inputs for another 5. Each step is executed by a special group or one person specialization DSV SU/IbisSoft7 1. Do we have time to design workflowable processes DSV SU/IbisSoft8 Do we have time to design … We might not have it DSV SU/IbisSoft9 2. Is Workflowable process really optimal? Test spec RE spec D spec Code Reguirements Design Coding Test Test results Test results 3. Execution of each step requires only its formalized inputs 4. Two steps are not allowed to be executed simultaneously (in parallel) if outputs from one of them serve as inputs for another DSV SU/IbisSoft10 3. Is optimization of processes good for the enterprise as a whole ? Is specialization harmless? DSV SU/IbisSoft11 Manning of business processes – traditional style Knowledge on current needs/problems can be obtained by participants of the boundary processes who not normally participate in the development process Shall we arrange additional processes for the to transfer knowledge? DSV SU/IbisSoft12 Manning of business processes – cross-manning Main characteristics Multiple goals Heterogeneous teams DSV SU/IbisSoft13 Additional reading • Process thinking for business agility: http://bit.ly/Nouub3 • Bider I., Perjons E. Preparing for the era of cloud computing: Towards a framework for selecting business process support services. Proceedings of BPMDS 2012.,http://bit.ly/O8KrgQ • Bider I., Bellinger G., Perjons E. Modeling an Agile Enterprise: Reconciling Systems and Process Thinking. Proceedings of PoEM 2011, LNBIP 92, Springer, 2011: http://bit.ly/wZBOwApp. DSV SU/IbisSoft14 Thank you for your attention! Main contact Ilia Bider, DSV SU/IbisSoft Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com DSV SU/IbisSoft15