Five Styles of Process (Revisited)

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I wrote a post in May 2010 on Redux Online, amidst some debates around case management v/s process management. Yesterday, we had a question on EbizQ – Will case management soon take over BPM? I responded with reference to my Own post about the Case v/s process being a culture thing, and not to treat it like a technological debate. Sandy responded with a quick post that resonates with my thought process perfectly, that It’s Not About BPM vs. ACM, It’s About A Spectrum Of Process Functionality!

With the debates continuing, I thought I’d reproduce this post (and the picture) as another gentle reminder…

It’s becoming a routine for us to wake up and see new labels, new definitions, and increased decibel levels around certain areas in the industry.

Recently, we have had few on Case Management and unstructured processes. Those may have been triggered by an acquisition or two, or certain technological developments that made case management easier to achieve than earlier. But, it is not new and I have been looking for something to bring forth the point – Case Management flavor of process management has existed all along. Some may argue and say Case Management is indeed different from process management, but that’s not the point. The point is that there are different styles of processes, and the techniques to handle those will have to differ. And all will continue to exist.

And I stumbled across this picture that described the “styles” of processes in June 2005. I thought I’d share it and remind all of us that problem space has not changed by much!

And this picture does a good job of basic comparison across various flavors, and is still applicable.

So, one request, can we stick to the known principles and terms as much as possible, unless something drastically changes the problem spaces too (which possibly may be the case with social networking and cloud computing). That will help invest energies in the actual solutioning of the problems (and selling thereof, if you will) and not on explanation of terms and jargons.

I think we need to stop thinking “either…or” based partitioning and start thing “AND” based coexistence and synergy.


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  1. #1 by Hemant on April 12, 2011 - 3:48 am

    Ashish, its an interesting reminder that in spite of alphabet soup in BPM space, the core principles have not changed much since 2005. BPM still is a process approach to achieving tangible business benefits (there would be multiple approaches to the same end results) and software/technology is only a part of it. I don’t think we can expect sticking to known principles and terminologies since consultants as well as vendors need to cook up new stuff every year to keep up momentum or interest.

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