Practical process patterns: LifeCycle As A Process (LCAAP)

Practical process pattern LifeCycle As A Process (LCAAP) is a way to handle some Business Objects lifecycle with a BPM suite. It is considered that those BOs are passive, e.g. documents as licenses.

A lifecycle of an BO is a few phases and branches between those phases (see the diagram below).

Each phase is implemented in the same way (see the diagram below).

In addition, the lifecycle of all BOs is controlled by a DISPATCHER process (see the diagram below) which catches some external events, checks them and converts them into events to change the phase of an BO.

Please note, that one instance of DISPATCHER template serves many instances of LIFE-CYCLE template.

This pattern can be used as a basis for Product-As-A-Process (see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2013/06/practical-process-patterns-cxaap.html).



#BPM to reduce IT #complexity

Thanks to the works of Roger Sessions (@RSessions) we know that modern IT systems are very complex and, in general, their complexity should be reduced. Of course, we want to decrease the undesired complexity and better manage the required complexity, as IT systems have to solve more and more complex business problems.

The complexity can be estimated as a function of the number of components (parts of the system) and the number of relationships between them. In the worth case scenario, each component to connected to all others and the complexity has the exponential growth – N x (N-1)/2, where N is the number of components. Often, in a real IT system, it is just impossible to evaluate exactly the number of relationships, because some of them are implicit.

Let us show how BPM (which is a trio of discipline, architecture/practice and BPM suite COTS) reduces the IT complexity. From two detailed blogposts “BPM for developers” http://www.slideshare.net/samarin/bpm-for-developers and “BPM for business analysts” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2013/07/bpm-for-business-analysist-modelling.html we need the following architectural considerations.

1) In BPM, processes are explicit and executable relationships between many other artefacts: events, services, rules, roles, data, documents, audit trails, KPIs, etc.

2) Processes and services are related in recursive way:
  • all our processes are services,
  • some operations of a service can be implemented as a process, and
  • a process includes services in its implementation.

3) BPM architecture comes with a systematic modelling procedure to identify related artefacts and the latter are implemented (or wrapped) as services.

From those architectural considerations, the use of BPM is:

a) reducing the number of components as the modelling procedure helps different people find similar artefacts in similar situations thus increasing the re-usability;

b) making all relationships explicit as all processes are explicit and executable thus helping to control the number of relationships (typical monolith applications are becoming coordinated sets of services - http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2013/06/enterprise-patterns-eclipse.html), and

c) reducing the number of relationships as within a process, the number of relationships is proportional to N-1, where N is the number of its components (i.e. artefacts) because all except 1 are connected only to the process (also an artefact).

There are also other benefits to use of BPM:

d) BPM penetrates 2,5 levels of the enterprise architecture (business, application, data, technology) and becomes a business-system-forming factor. This considerable simplifies the implementation of agile and flexible business systems (see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2011/04/enterprise-patterns-peas.html and http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/search/label/PEAS).

e) BPM can address some concerns of the information security – see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2013/10/bpm-enables-cibersecurity-because.html



About #social, #BPM and #ECM, again

This blogpost is inspired by the blogpost http://peterwhibley.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/social-bpm-is-dead-long-live-social-case-management/?goback=%2Egde_70120_member_5802043386345046020#%21 which is talking about Social and Enterprise Social Network (ESN).

At a basic level all of these features are focused on enhancing knowledge worker productivity by delivering enhanced collaboration and support opportunities. Let me know what you think:

Below is what I think about Social features mentioned in that blogpost.
Mentioned Social feature
Existing techniques
Enhanced collaboration and file sharing
Any modern ECM does this by default
Collaborative creation of content within a case
Does it mean usual co-editing?
Automatic creation of temporary team workspaces or groups focused on a specific process or a specific case to facilitate the collaboration and sharing of ideas among co-workers
Any modern ECM does this by default
Runtime guidance from subject matter experts
Decision-as-a-process (see URL below) and Community-based coordination in BPM (see URL below)
Rapid access to shared content and content ranked on utilization by co-workers and teammates
Any modern ECM does this by default
Crowdsourcing or distributed problem solving
Decision-as-a-process (see URL below)
Social Stream and BPM work queue integration i.e. the Social work queue which many BPM platforms already offer today
Already in some BPMS
Shared team folders and shared case management folders
Any modern ECM does this by default
Collaborative process design and continuous process improvement.
Two different concepts. Collaborative design is a feature of BPMS. Continuous process improvement is a governance issue. Both are addressed differently.
Leveraging social awareness to deliver automatic process routing based on availability
Community-based coordination in BPM

Decision-as-a-process - http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2013/10/practical-process-patterns-decision-as.html

Community-based coordination - http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2012/07/coordination-techniques-in-bpm-social.html

So, this confirms that I said in BPM.COM (see http://www.bpm.com/home/forums/has-social-failed) “I think that Social in the way of absorption by established business disciplines.”