If you work as a management consultant and have just about “had it” trying to get silo-dwellers to come out of their enclaves and start thinking about SCOs (Successful Customer Outcomes), there is some good news.
Up to now a lot of energy has been spent on feature wars between ACM software vendors and BPM software vendors. With new ACM/BPM software this will soon come to an end.
Things have been somewhat less traumatic for ACM consultants and BPM consultants, mainly, it seems, because each side has denied that the other exists.
With the arrival on the market of an ACM/BPM philosophy and hybrid ACM/BPM software, the ACM/BPM debate, in my view, is over, except for a residual Hatfield/McCoy subset of vendors and consultants.
So, maybe¸ just maybe, a burst of consultant and vendor energy can now be concentrated toward getting clients to recognize the value of O/I and SCOs and loosen their purse strings.
The big deal with ACM/BPM is that everyone gets to have their cake and eat it.
We all agree most manufacturing work is structured and that process control works fine there. We also agree most O/S work is unstructured but with ACM/BPM we no longer need to worry what percent of knowledge work is ad hoc and what percent can and should be handled via process templates.
So, given a menu of all possible tasks that can be performed and services that can be provided by an organization, users in a hybrid ACM/BPM environment are now, for the first time, free to select single step processes, or stream instances onto a template, or both. And since they don’t have to sign up for ACM mode or BPM mode to become a user, they can switch back and forth as they like.
If users opt for single step processes, then, of course, they are free to perform steps in whatever order they wish, whenever they wish.
If, on the other hand, they are happy to sit back and let a software system guide the processing of an instance based on a template with the knowledge that they can jump in at any time and skip steps, perform steps in a different order, and add steps that are not in the template, there really is only one difference.
Since some work is best done one way, whereas other work is best done the other way, if the user fails to pick the way that works the best for a particular situation . . . . . the difference is their colleagues will be able to knock it off for a golf game at 5PM whereas they get to leave at 8PM or perhaps 11PM.
The big question in all of this is how can you, on the one hand, promote an environment where there is a strong focus on encouraging people to use best practices templates, while making it super easy at the same time for people to deviate from templates or ignore them completely?
This approach is why ACM/BPM works.
Part of the reason is ad hoc steps can be viewed as single step processes so everything in the hybrid software suite really is a process.
And, some of the processes running include steps executed in the background by the software system alone – their exclusive purpose is to carry out independent audits at key process control points (PCPs).
Whether the user is executing individual steps or steps that are positioned along best practice flows, background steps are contemporaneously being executed by the Software System when a PCP step becomes ‘current’, the software system will impose a hard stop where nothing goes forward until detected deficiencies are remedied. Without the compliance control, everything would be a ‘house of cards’.
As Senor Wences used to say . . . ‘Difficult for me, easy for you”.
Actually it’s as easy as ABC for all ACM and BPM stakeholders and clients, where
ACM plus BPM equals SCO