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Is there a process or case for just about everything that happens in a business?

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Is there a process or case for just about everything that happens in a business?

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  • I'll take that question back to front: Things that happen (work that's being done) can either be predefined (completely or as a combination of defined steps - building blocks), or the necessary work is developed on the fly - in which case it becomes a case or process afterwards.
    In my vocabulary a sequence of event or tasks IS always a process, even a case once it's been completed. But I admit that may not conform to textbook defintions.

  • To take it really from the back; an organization exists (hopefully) to serve customers. They want products or services and they will pay us for that. (or we get moeny form the government because we serve their customers)

    A process or a case is just a label we put on "helping our customers" to be able to get grip on the things we do and to steer it so we meet our goals.

    So, in the end it's about getting things done (aren't there books about this ?) and a process or case view helps us to do this in the right way.

    So that also makes us aware of the fact that some things we do not contribute to a process or case and might not be useful to execute.

    At least, as we want to help our customers. Sometimes "Mister Law" wants us to execute a process....

  • Is there a process for everything that happens in a business? Yes. Is it or even can it be defined? Sometimes. Like in science, there are however many things that we do in business that are out of boredom or out of the necessity to clear our heads. Sometimes those things allow you to stumble upon facts or people that somewhere down the line lead to new products, new or better processes, etc. These serendipitous encounters are hard to put a process or sometimes even a case around, but very often are vital to an organization.

  • Technically I would say yes. However just because there is a process, or some form of actions that take place, even targets and goals, this doesnt mean we necessary can "model" them, or understand them, or even have them repeated.

    Business processes are like running water. The goal is to get down the hill as quickly as possible, and there will be certain targets along the way, all of which we can understand and monitor, administer etc. However, the actual deatil of the route each peice of water takes is beyond our control - as it should be...The point is, we can never know, understand or repeat ever process that happens in a business, nor should we expect to.

    So my actual answer is....NO...

  • Yes, it is all process. As others have said, some things will be formalized because they, 2) need to be done one way for efficiency, 3) need to be done for compliance and/or certification, 3) need to be captured, measured and improved. Others won't be formalized for many other reasons.

    Should we capture and manage everything? No.

  • I am sorry to object because processes DO NOT EXIST. BPM text books are quite silly on this. Processes are a human perspective on something that has happened mostly by chance in a certain sequence. The idea that they can be captured, optimized and perfected is a purely human illusion. It is fine to do that where physical manipulation takes place and through a rigid process a fairly effective repeatability can be achieved.

    The highest level of repeatability is through miniaturization and robotization, means cutting out the human entirely. That alone points to the fact that once humans interact it can't be seen as a process (not robots) and the outcome is human perception (not measurable).

    So there is no process for everything that happens in a business. One can take a process view on how things have happened in a business on the wrong assumption that once we do things the same way again we get the same outcome.

    One can look at process being another term for outcomes or goals and use them as targets, and strive towards achieving them through guidance of skilled individuals. Processes can also describe high-level handovers between process owners or a set of constraints (compliance).

    A process is 'how it was' and 'how it might happen', while a case contains 'the state of affairs right now'. Thus processes are components of cases, which need to make the plausible and manageable a human interaction terminology and well defined, verifiable goals.

    Yes, process is like running water and it is impossible to enforce where which molecule will be at a certain time, but one can create a conduit that helps to guide it. Sometimes there is more or less of it but I always know where to find it and how much water there is.

    Should we capture and manage everything? Absolutely! Make it all transparent and verify goal achievement? Definitely! Should we predefine and enforce the work of skilled people in rigid flows. Absolutely not!

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