I must confess that I enjoyed writing my last post on ACM.
The ACM guys have been sniping at us for ages…
A good comeuppance, well deserved I think…
I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s topic to ACM (Adaptive Content Management). It’s an interesting topic, innovative, with very “passionate” bloggers.
I also think it’s an important concept that we have missed.
ACM currently gets a cold shoulder from the BPM crowd. It’s treated like some sort of “Ugly Duckling”. Everyone is watching to see if it will mature into a graceful swan … or will it be stuffed for Christmas dinner …
ACM as a Concept
Organisations require Case Management solutions. There’s no “ifs” or “buts” about it. It’s used, it brings value, it solves business pains.
Unstructured, unpredictable, dynamic, adaptive process – it provides a good solution.
My problem with ACM is not the concept, but the way it’s presented.
The common theme behind most of the ACM posts is:
BPM doesn’t support it, BPM can’t support it, Therefore we should give it a new acronym and set it up as an alternative to BPM
It sounds a bit like: My cat has four legs. All dogs have four legs. Therefore, my cat is a dog.
I see a lot of angry rhetoric “BPM assumes”, “BPM doesn’t work”, “BPM is a false god”.
Gents – Could I kindly ask you to tone down your language, if possible.
Like others in the industry, I enjoy reading people’s opinions, even the provocative ones. You’ve spent time and energy writing them, so I suppose you would like us to read them, but it is very hard to read them when you are YELLING AT US all the time.
Also, could I kindly ask you to shorten your blog posts, or at least write the points you are trying to make at the beginning or the end of the post (I get a bit lost reading long articles and then need to try remembering what was the point they were trying to make)
Some processes are not predictable
True! And these processes should be implemented by an ACM tool, not a BPM tool.
BPM doesn’t provide solutions to ERP, CRM, ECM scenarios either…
Users must have the ability to dynamically reroute the process
I disagree. At least from my experience I can say that most organisations want to lock down the user’s ability to reroute tasks.
You have received a task. You are responsible to do it. You are accountable. No forwarding of the task please. You need to do it.
If an organisation wants the users to be able to dynamically reroute all of their processes – they shouldn’t be looking for a BPM platform.
BPM doesn’t support ad-hock routing.
I partly agree. I’m not saying that ad-hock routing doesn’t exist in BPM. It does, but in specific work scenarios
• Tom hasn’t come into work today (sick). We can’t have his task sitting in his inbox waiting till tomorrow (or escalated). Tom’s manager wants to be able to take the task and pass it to someone else, now.
• Tom has been fired. We need all of his tasks to be pushed to other people in the department.
• Tom accidently clicked on the wrong button (“declined” instead of “approved with comments”). We need the ability to roll-back the specific instance so that Tom can resubmit the form.
• Tom decides he needs someone else to review the details before he approves it, as the specific process instance has a potential blow-up (internal politics, conflicts a previous process instance, involves a large amount of revenue..)
Most BPMS tools provide out-of-the-box functionality for the above scenarios.
All paths must be defined in BPMN in order to be BPM. Nothing needs to be predefined in ACM..
I disagree. Dynamic routing is process execution functionality, not process design.
Process Design and Process Execution are separate entities.
There are things that you can’t design in BPMN, and you don’t need to.
I’ll give an example: Delegation – this is runtime functionality that is not designed in BPMN or any process designer. It’s functionality that is embedded in every BPMS or process execution tool.
BPMN doesn’t support Reporting, Simulation, Forms GUI, Emails, Documents, Roll-back either…
Dynamic routing is process execution functionality, not a process design functionality.
In a nutshell I’m saying that if you are using a tool that has missing functionality, then you need to change or enhance the tool, not create a new religion.
Most BPM suites have this functionality built-in. It appears as a pre-requisite in any RFI or tender for BPMS vendors.
Does the existing functionality cover every aspect of ad-hock routing? – No.
Can this functionality be improved? – Absolutely.
Should we chuck it away and start purchasing ACM – No.
The Missed Opportunity
The whole IT industry is going social.
BPM vendors are developing Enterprise Twitters (which is as adaptive and unstructured as you can get… here is a technology that has implemented the ACM concept.)
The ACM guys should of been the first to embrace it… Heck, forget embrace it. They should of thought of it in the first place !!
But instead, they were busy picking holes in BPM, and missed their opportunity…
Adaptive is not a new concept. It’s been around for years.
I haven’t seen it catching on yet. But that’s just my humble opinion.
It provides a good solution for unstructured processes.
BPM provides a good solution for structured processes.
Live and let live.
ACM is not the new messiah… It’s just a very naughty boy….