MicroPact Blog

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015: Traditional BPM Is Killing Innovation

Heavy-Handed Process-Driven Models Are Turning Your People Into Robots Right Before Your Eyes

Roger Hughlett's avatar

By: Roger Hughlett

October 6, 2015 | Case Management/BPM

Traditional Business Process Management (BPM) is best described as “doing by design.” A process is created with little concern for how people interact with the data collected along the way or concern for driving to a desired outcome.

Because of this – and the fact traditional BPM is killing the passion many people once had for their jobs – Janelle Hill, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst with Gartner Research, asked people at this year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to move past traditional BPM models and approaches and look toward technologies that facilitate innovation and drive outcomes.

In her presentation titled “The Future of BPM: From Improvement to Improvisation,” Hill encouraged CIOs and other IT leaders to think about technologies differently in order to better drive innovation and collaboration within an enterprise.

Traditional BPM approaches are often unable to adapt to the constantly changing customer expectations. This forces organizations in the private and public sector to look at alternate solutions and approaches.

Technologies such as MicroPact’s entellitrak ® platform for case management empower business applications (and workers) by giving them the ability to effectively deal with the unpredictability and ad-hoc nature of many real world business problems.

Design By Doing

Hill says traditional BPM is the past while “improvisational process” is the future. What exactly does she mean by that? Well, in essence, traditional BPM is described as “doing by design” – the process was created and the work followed the process. Improvisational process is more unpredictable and is best described as “design by doing.”

Instead of being what Gartner analysts call a “digital machinist” or someone who is trying to take automation of processes too far, you would be better off being a “digital humanists” or someone who thinks less about automation and more about what Hill calls “orchestration of resources.”

Front-line workers need to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to most business operations. The best technologies will enable dynamic, ad hoc human interactions that can situationally adapt to the word at hand.

According to Gartner, 70 percent of successful digital business models by 2017 will rely on deliberately unstable processes designed to shift as customer needs shift.

“The future of BPM is processes with process,” Hill said. “Traditional BPM can’t keep up with the speed of the unexpected.”

Solution: Case Management

More and more organizations in both the commercial and public sector are realizing that there are some very real limits to what traditional BPM solutions can do. Businesses and government agencies need to move away from traditional BPM and toward technologies that enable more improvisation. More and more case management solutions are being recognized as platforms that can deliver this level of effectiveness.

Case management systems deal with unstructured data and unstructured processes – at the opposite end of the spectrum from traditional BPM. They are, at their core, data intensive.

Case management systems are used to manage investigations, appeals, claims, correspondence and other matters that affect our daily lives. If the data isn’t correct or comprehensive and the relationships aren’t complete, it doesn’t matter how good the process is, the system won’t help generate appropriate outcomes for the constituents it serves.

For more details on how case management technologies can help your organization better cope with constantly changing demands, request a free prototype.

About the Author

Roger Hughlett was a member of the Marketing Team with MicroPact from 2013 - 2015.