Up until recently, work was automated and optimized within very known and comfortable boundaries where business models, decisions, and actions were stable for long periods of time. Now organizations are faced with unpredictable conditions and need assistance with better decisions and actions while sensing emerging patterns in real time. These conditions demand innovative process/application creation and reconfiguration while completing work in the most optimal way considering global and local contexts. Supporting this kind of work requires a digital business platform that continuously improves business operations through constant measurement, signal detection, great visualization, incremental prediction, and appropriate optimization of performing resources—both human and technology.
Processes and applications need various measures to stay on track for desirable business actions and outcomes. This means that businesses need to check against historical performance and try to link to emerging trends, which is accomplished by looking at volumes per day and user, average task cycle times, seasonal behaviors, daily trends, geographical variations, and top performers among other historical measures. These measures are compared to the cumulative operational dashboards and real-time performance to identify opportunities for action to clean work backlogs, resolve skill mismatches, mute resource pool constraints, address outliers, and try alternative actions in experimentation mode.
Signals & Patterns
While constant measurements are crucial to keeping the shifting conditions from outcome disruption, there are local and global signals that may mean shifting market conditions, shifting customer behavior, and negative competitive actions. Individually sensed signals alone may not tell the whole picture, but aggregated signals over a period may create patterns of opportunity or threat to processes, applications, and business outcomes. While there are many signals and patterns occurring, organizations will have to hone skills to pick out the most impactful signals or patterns. The selected signals and patterns of import may mean anything from minor process adjustments to major business model modifications leading to major process and application reconfigurations.
It is apparent that organizations need various ways of visualizing work progress, and visually recognize when decisions and appropriate actions may need to happen. This helps the measurement and pattern recognition, as well as trying alternative actions in an isolated “sandbox” mode. There can’t be enough said about the role of appropriate visualization in dealing with a shifting world. Often when new conditions and anomalies emerge, it is the visualizations that help along with event-based technologies. Visualization is migrating from static views to dynamic views that surround a process, application or sets of conditions even up to animation and gamification to reward optimal behavior and actions.
In today’s world, it is important to intercept conditions before they become an issue, which will require easy to use/visual forecasting and prediction. This could be next best action for task control, resource workload balancing, and outcome optimization. There are two major areas of activity in processes and applications. One is the “as-is” where past metrics, current conditions, and resource availability can project likely success of work completed on time. The other is “what-if” where priority levers and capacity changes can be experimented with and visualized for successful goal attainment.
Even without the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) where signals and patterns emerge in nanosecond timeframes, businesses are speeding up to “near real time” and the winner is generally the first to react with an acceptable reaction or outcome. This is greatly helped by actionable dashboards and analytic-assisted actions that will help reprioritize work, add/borrow resources, add training for select resources, change thresholds, modify explicit rules or add/remove tasks. We are headed to a world where the sense, decide, and respond cycle will be done at accelerated speed. This may tip the man/machine balance to a world where knowledge bots assist or machines perform all or part of this cycle. Strap in for increased speed.
If your digital business platform does not support these five essential business features for the emerging business world, you will miss out on desirable business outcomes at best or threatening conditions that may imply negative consequences at the worst. Organizations can’t ignore the trend towards digitalization and intelligent work for too much longer. It’s time to plan your journey to digital and partner up with a winning digital business platform provider that supports intelligent work.
For more details, read about the brand new release of TIBCO’s digital business platform, ActiveMatrix® BPM 4.0 here.