MetaProcess vs. Generalization of ProcessesJohn Bertolet, Global Business Process Management director at Schneider Electric, commented: I have seen the term metaprocess used as the generic name for a high-level process. This usually comes up in the context of trying to name the levels of a process architecture – for example:
1) Highest-level, end-to-end process or “value chain” or assembly of processes 2) Process 3) Sub-process 4) Activity 5) TaskPeople usually mean the first level above as a metaprocess. But I have not seen any universally accepted standard for this naming convention; so it is whatever you define it to be. My reply: My definition of metaprocess is process that transforms other processes. Your hierarchy represents the decomposing of processes. A process being (passively) decomposed is certainly not the same thing as a process (actively) transforming another process. Based on that difference, no, I would not say a value chain is a metaprocess. Of course, there is (must be) a process for decomposing other processes. But that specific functionality is highly specialized; not all processes do it. In fact most don’t. So decompose is not an appropriate verb for a definition of metaprocess. It’s not intrinsic to what all processes do. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Systems Architect commented: Is there such a thing as a metaprocess? Yes. One way to look at the answer is processes for the creation and management of processes. But another way is a generalized process … like a design-level process pattern for a certain class of operable processes … which must go through a process design and implementation for specific situation before it is an operable process. My reply: Design-level process patterns can be highly useful. However, I don’t think they qualify under the useful dictionary definition of meta-. Let’s test the ‘rule for meta’. Inserting a verb phrase I get “design-level process pattern that can be customized to a more specific process”. There are at least two problems with that:
- The nouns must be the same on either side of the verb phrase. But a “pattern” is not the same as a “process.”
- A process is fundamentally one that transforms things. But “can be customized to” has no sense of transforming something else.
3b: of a higher logical type – in nouns formed from names of disciplines and designating new but related disciplines such as can deal critically with the nature, structure, or behavior of the original ones *metalanguage* *metatheory* *metasystem*