Wednesday May 01, 2013

Part I - Manage Processes, the way Octopus does

 

Octopus is one of the smartest beings under the water. After all, it has been picking soccer winning teams better than some pros outside water. That is not the only reason they are smart. They are remarkably adept at adjusting to their surroundings, and that may be one of the reasons that they have been on earth for many thousands of years.

Mimic octopus, for example, can move its arms to take the shape of other sea creatures, can camouflage when sense danger, release ink when threatened and even capable of autotomy – self amputation of tentacle (don’t worry it grows back again). This is one creature that can certainly adapt to its environment and use that skill to thwart threats or to exploit it to capture a prey.

This intelligence and adaptiveness make it a real impressive invertebrate.

Is this not particularly close to what we want in our business processes? We want them to adapt to ever-changing business environment and manage opportunities and threat in an intelligent way.

In this 3 part series, I am going to talk about how adaptive case management ensures success for your business and may be a factor in long term success of your business.

First let’s tackle the word “ADAPTIVE”. Why adapt? How a process adapts? What does adapting provide? Let’s quickly list down each of these.

Why Adapt?

Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST) changes to our business warrant the business and processes that form the backbone of the business, to adapt. This may include new product introduction, new competition or new government regulations. These changes can be long term that reflect the design changes to the processes, others can be more dynamic and need to be done in real time.

Situations where processes need to adapt in real-time, that is where dynamic or adaptive case management helps. The reasons could be:

  • Sequence of steps cannot be pre-defined and process needs to be built as it progresses
  • Too many rules, case types, or decision points to include in a single process design
  • Difference in types of process stakeholders that need different treatment

Like octopus, business needs to detect these variables and adapt accordingly.

How a process adapts?

The adaptation can be at various levels. You may need to change following in the process to adapt to certain business situation:

  • Process flow – add, remove activities in different situations
  • Adjust Business rules or include different set of rules for different instances
  • User Interface that changes dynamically and in context

What does adapting provide?

Dynamically adapting to changing business situation provides:

  • More contextual and personalized customer experience
  • Managing unforeseen activities in the process
  • Flexibility to knowledge worker to work on special-case scenarios
  • Responding to changing regulations quickly to avoid fines, penalties
  • Improving the bottom line by responding to opportunities and threats in changing market

In the next part of the blog, we’ll tackle the “Case” component of adaptive case management.

Oracle BPM Suite added Adaptive Case Management capability in the new release. Check out the webcast to learn more.

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