I wouldn’t go so far as to say that process and BPM are meaningless across the board in the digital economy. If you’re manufacturing or producing a physical product, you still do need to think in terms of a modeled and managed business process.
Other the other hand, if your products are non-physical – for example, money, time, skills, information, meta-data, etc. – you’d better have a major re-think. The old rules of the game simply don’t apply to white-collar work. Nor do they apply if your business model is about digitally leveraging other people’s idle assets – think Uber.
You must still consistently satisfy contractual obligations and regulatory constraints in this new digital world of course. But that’s a business rules problem, not a process problem.
A major characteristic of the new digital world is that activity is never static in any sense of the word. You simply get no points for hardwiring repetitive behaviors. You must:
Continuously make informed operational decisions in the blink of an eye (actually often faster than that).
Selectively respond to changing circumstances with subtle adjustments.
Be as dynamic as possible, yet still produce outcomes of predictable, consistent quality.
These too are business rule problems, not process problems.
Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.
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