Let's consider the 3 dominant paradigms in modern process management:
1. Workflow (BPM), which is about flow, implemented via concurrent flowcharts - in this approach, as in the BPMN notation, the driver is sequence flow (of Activities) and/or message flow
2. Adaptive Case Management (ACM), which is about data, documents and rules, implemented via shared repositories - in this approach, the driver is knowledge worker judgement, constrained by policies implemented as business rules
3. Human Interaction Management (HIM), which is about goals and knowledge, implemented via dynamic, cross-boundary Plans - in this approach, the drivers are effective teams, structured communication, use of knowledge, time management and dynamic planning.
Organizations adopting Human Interaction Management System (HIMS) technology for managing human work are finding that it provides a universal solution to matrix management.
First, a HIMS provides the information necessary to make the issues associated with matrix management visible (a sine qua non for resolving them):
- Who is involved in each Plan
- What their responsibilities are
- Who they will be working with
- The deliverables expected from each person
- The period of time during which each person will be involved
- What percentage of each person's time will be required during that period
- Whether this (combined with work in other Plans) results in more than 100% of their time being allocated
- Who is managing each Plan
Second, a HIMS allows process owners and line managers to work together in high-level Plans, in which they use the information above to allocate resources to lower-level Plans for doing the operational work itself.
This is the approach used by the UK NHS, an early adopter of the HumanEdj HIMS, to manage highly complex, dynamic, cross-boundary processes involving many different teams and departments.
For more information on cross-boundary processes, you might be interested in this article.