Adaptive Process Defined!

Following discussions in the LinkedIn ACM Group I am presenting here the shortest possible definition of Adaptive Process. I propose that it involves three distinct paradigm shifts:

  1. Adaptive Process is a productive system that deploys not only the organization and process structure but through backend interfaces becomes the system of record for the business data entities and content involved. All processes are completely transparent as per access authorization and fully auditable.
  2. Adaptive Process enables non-technical business users in virtual organizations to seamlessly create/consolidate structured and unstructured processes from basic predefined business entities, content, social interactions, and business rules to achieve verifiable goals.
  3. Adaptive Process moves the process knowledge gathering in the life cycle from the template analysis/modeling/simulation phase into the process execution. The AP system collects actionable knowledge – without intermediate analysis phase – based on process patterns created by business users.

I am distinguishing now between Adaptive Case Management – which is described by most as an enhancement over Case Management – and Adaptive Process.  Adaptive Process software can also be used for ACM, but not vice versa. Additionaly, Adaptive Process requires to enhance business strategy from top-down authority with bottom-up empowerment. It means to accept AND UTILIZE the reality of emerging hierarchies and processes, rather than wasting a lot of energy fighting against it. ACM makes sense as it is non-competitive to BPM concepts and fills the gap between enhanced (human-dynamic-agile) BPM and Case Management. Adaptive Process REPLACES existing BPM software that reduces the adaptability and resilience of a business.

Adaptive Process does not simply enhance BPM with unstructured processes. Case Management enables unstructured collaboration but it does not collect actionable knowledge from the process.  Yes, AP seems to be quite effective for knowledge workers, but there is no reason why it would not provide similar benefits to any business activity by any person inside or outside the organisation. That has to do with a very limited view of business processes from a conceptual preset BPM perspective only. Structured or predictable processes are only those that apparently can’t be improved any further or seem to have no need to change. Projects pick those because BPM methodology, modelling and software are so limited and can only bring cost reductions there. It is not what the business really needs …

What are my requirements for Adaptive Process based on? From a real world perspective all processes are human perception ONLY. They are abstract simplifications that do not exist in reality, because it is impossible to analyse and model all complex relationships and dependencies. In a purely classical physical world (mechanics and electronics) modelling is more realistically possible (up to a point as otherwise chip production would always yield 100% and machines would not break). But lets return from philosophy (and quantum physics, by the way).

In reality everything that happens (any action that is taken by a person), happens because it is caused by a mental match to a knowledge/perception pattern. That we think it is a process is related to the sequential relative memory path of our brain. We do not remember in pictures but in things in sequence, relative and change. Just because things happened in sequence, it is not yet a process and one event does not have to cause another. So far so good. Another step back to BPM.

You can now take BPM as a management concept and say that it has nothing to do with process management as a technology. Correct. Most business consultants sell that aspect of their work and the weaker the management and employees are the more they can benefit from BPM guidance. A great organisation with great people will be destroyed by BPM (as a concept not yet software) because their initiative and intuitive work focus is destroyed. Their perception patterns created successful outcomes and now they can’t do that anymore.

Think about it:  Without BPM, business processes in any organization DO continuously adapt. Maybe not in a desired direction if the management isn’t any good. They will be using whatever means at their disposal to do so. Paper and pencil will work fine. But they will adapt because the individual agents make it a complex adaptive system and not a simplified complicated one. If you now bring in BPM, as a first step you kill that natural ability through the mandatory simplification. That is the destructive danger of BPM I am so outspoken against. Ideally we can bring in a system that will not take away the natural adaptive capability but enhance it and make the outcomes and individual perception patterns transparent for improvement.

I propose that based on a Business Architecture, Adaptive Process technology must expose structured (business data) and unstructured (content) information to the members of structured (business) and unstructured (social) organizations to securely execute towards verifiable goals – using knowledge gathered INTERACTIVELY in previous instances – structured (process) and unstructured (case) work in a transparent and auditable manner.

I am the founder and Chief Technology Officer of ISIS Papyrus Software, a medium size software company specializing in communications and process management. I wrote several books and hold a number of patents. My quest is to bring common sense to IT, mostly by focusing in human quality issues rather than cost saving, outsourcing and automation. I am also Chief Architect at VIPorbit software which provides mobile relationship management.

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21 comments on “Adaptive Process Defined!
  1. […] Posted in Adaptive Process, BPM, SOA | Tags: agility, BPM, innovation, SOA, standards, XML « Adaptive Process Defined! […]

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  2. […] the course of discussions on Adaptive Process someone suggested that BPMN is the genotype of the business process to be executed. It would be the […]

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  3. […] activities with states and rules rather than rigid activity links and decision gateways. In the Adaptive Process model I propose, the various perspectives possible with a swimlane become very valuable. It can […]

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  4. […] Teil eines umfassend fehlgeleiteten Prozessgedankens. Ich propagiere ja deswegen ein Konzept des Adaptive Process, welcher diese Probleme vermeiden kann. Es beginnt damit, dass man Prozesse nicht starr durchplant […]

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  5. […] Gartner Group predicts Adaptive Process Gartner Group has just delivered another set of their famous predictions by the writings of Janelle Hill and acknowledges the need for what I call Adaptive Process. Gartner seems to call them unstructured or dynamic processes, which I propose is a lesser functionality. Unstructured process is case management work and dynamic means that the business user can switch sub-processes in a process instance. Adaptive means that the business user can make a permanent change to the process template during the execution of a process instance. See Adaptive Process Defined. […]

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  6. […] Adaptive Process Defined! « Welcome to the Real (IT) World! Since we're spending so much time this week talking about adaptive, dynamic, ad hoc and agile processes, here's Max Pucher's definition of adaptive processes (which aligns with his company's product functionality). (tags: bpm adaptive) […]

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  7. […] Adaptive Process Defined! « Welcome to the Real (IT) World! (tags: bpm case_management) […]

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  8. […] activities with states and rules rather than rigid activity links and decision gateways. In the Adaptive Process model I propose, the various perspectives possible with a swimlane become very valuable. It can […]

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  9. […] activities with states and rules rather than rigid activity links and decision gateways. In the Adaptive Process model I propose, the various perspectives possible with a swimlane become very valuable. It can […]

    Like

  10. […] Before I start let me present the following graph to illustrate how I see ECM, CRM, BPM and ACM (Adaptive Case Management) in relationship. Adaptive Process is a system that can support all these processes and […]

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  11. […] in ACM as ‘moving the process creation into the execution.’ Here my previous definition of Adaptive Process as also used in an ACM […]

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  12. […] activities with states and rules rather than rigid activity links and decision gateways. In the Adaptive Process model I propose, the various perspectives possible with a swimlane become very valuable. It can […]

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  13. […] Mastering The Unpredictable With Adaptive Case Management Posted by admin on June 26th, 2010 Recently I co-authored a book on ACM Adaptive Case Management. […]

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  14. […] BPM for knowledge work, but we have different ideas of how to solve it. There are only my original three paradigm shifts and my five elements of ACM – data, content (GUI), rules, goals and participants. I think we […]

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  15. […] Recently I co-authored a book on ACM Adaptive Case Management. […]

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  16. […] to solve it. We seem to agree to enable users to adapt tasks, data and messages. I have proposed three paradigm shifts and the five elements of ACM – data, content, rules, goals, and GUI. That lack of definition of […]

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  17. […] to solve it. We seem to agree to enable users to adapt tasks, data and messages. I have proposed three paradigm shifts and the five elements of ACM – data, content, rules, goals, and GUI. That lack of definition of […]

    Like

  18. […] activities with states and rules rather than rigid activity links and decision gateways. In the Adaptive Process model I propose, the various perspectives possible with a swimlane become very valuable. It can […]

    Like

  19. […] market segments or product categories – shortly after the ACM acronym was chosen in a post on Adaptive Processes. But so be it. I rather be Brutus and end this senseless debate to focus on what businesses truly […]

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  20. […] activities with states and rules rather than rigid activity links and decision gateways. In the Adaptive Process model I propose, the various perspectives possible with a swimlane become very valuable. It can […]

    Like

  21. […] Max Pucher simplifies and then expands these ideas (I encourage all to read the full content of all posts referenced here.) He uses three criteria to define an Adaptive Process: […]

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Max J. Pucher
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by Max J. Pucher. All rights reserved.
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