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Agile development of business processes

- easy to draw a process map
- easy to design WEB forms
- easy to run as a WEB application

ProcessDoctor's blog

What is eGovernment, and how to introduce it?

According to the Wikipedia, eGovernement (electronic government, digital government, etc.) is a vague term referring to use of modern ICT technology to provide and improve government services. Let us analyze this term in more details starting with what ICT means. ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology, and thus has two components Information Technology (the older term IT) and Communication Technology.

The obvious use of the first component (IT) is to structure, store and retrieve information, i.e. to substitute paper-based cabinets, folders and files by the computer-based ones. Using IT translates into better order in internal affairs and more efficient way of saving and searching information. The obvious use of the second component (Communication Technology) is to facilitate communication. Communication can be roughly divided into two parts: internal, i.e. inside the governing bodies, and external, i.e. between providers of government services and their consumers, e.g. citizens, businesses.

New: Handbook of Research on Complex Dynamic Process Management

IGI Global publishing house is launching a new book which includes a Process Doctor's contribution:

"The Handbook of Research on Complex Dynamic Process Management: Techniques for Adaptability in Turbulent Environments" investigates the nature and history of dynamic processes essential to understanding the need for flexibility and adaptability as well as the requirements to improve solutions. This innovative collection covers the development of various strategies, architectures, and techniques for achieving adaptive processes in environments.

My contribution (together with Erik Perjons) consists of Chapter 4:

Chapter IV: Evaluating Adequacy of Business Process Modeling Approaches

Ilia Bider, IbisSoft AB, Sweden
Erik Perjons, Stockholm University/Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

What encourages an investor to invest in a company's share?

This question, a bit strange for the main theme of this site, came through the Ask Process doctor service. My spontaneous answer was

"that somebody else is investing in the same company's share".

For the today’s business climate, I do not know a better answer. Can Business Process theory and practice give a better advice? Yes, if non-financial accounting based on business-process orientation is introduced and legally demanded. Here is a link to my proposal written on the topic in 2002, directly after Enron scandal and DotCom crash. It had been a bit old for some time, but right now it reads as good as new:

Bider I. Accounting for Post Industrial-Age. Internal memo, Ibissoft, 2002.

Are we becoming slaves to computers?

In the middle of 80th of the last century, our group of researchers envisioned a paradigm shift in business software architecture and described it as a transition from human-assisting to human-assisted systems.

In a human-assisting system (see the picture to the left), a computer helps a human being to perform certain tasks, e.g. to write a letter, to print an invoice, to complete a transaction, etc. The relations between these tasks, and the aim of the whole process are beyond the understanding of the computer, but are a prerogative of the human participant.

In a human-assisted system (see the picture to the right), the roles are somewhat reversed, the computer has some knowledge about the process and keeps it running as long as it can. When the system cannot perform a task on its own or figure out what to do next, it will ask the human participant for assistance. The human-assisted system frees human beings from tedious, routing work, like searching for information, bookkeeping, reporting, allowing them to concentrate on thing at which they are best, i.e. decision making.


What is wrong with workflow?

Recently, I have an appointment in a part of Stockholm that I hadn’t known very well. It was important for me to get there in time. I went to one of the Swedish “route planner” sites, and printed a detailed route specification of the kind “turn left after 1000 meters …”. I started having a good margin to arrive in time. I followed the instruction thoroughly, but at some point, I missed a turn and found myself in a place that was outside my route map. Thanks God, I had an old atlas in my car that covered the area. I was I able to find were I was and plan a different route to my destination as there was no time for coming back to the original route.

A workflow definition is similar to a route description. If you follow it exactly, you will arrive to your destination in time. If you miss a turn, or drive into a roadblock, you will be lost unless you have some other kind of a map. Are there other maps for business processes? Yes there are, read an overview in MapGuide/Choosing right approach to describing business processes, and more detailed description in Choosing Approach to Business Process Modeling - Practical Perspective.