We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

I don’t like waiting. And I don’t like having to verbally provide a customer service representative at my phone company or at my bank my account number after I’ve already typed it in using telephone dial pad, only to have my requested action kicked out for manual (and uninformed) intervention by a customer service representative.

I think that’s why the thought of business process management appeals to me. I like the idea that companies are streamlining their businesses processes to integrate tasks that cross systems (so I don’t have to tell them my account number all over again!) and automate tasks to enable them (and me) to accomplish a given process more quickly or efficiently.

The problem is that not every process always goes smoothly. Like the automated telephone input process that gets kicked out to a human representative when there’s a problem, exceptions are an important, and often overlooked, part of improving a company’s business processes.

In the last column, I introduced the notion of why business process exceptions are important to consider. Basically, whether we like it or not, they’re ubiquitous. For almost every process, no matter how automated, there will almost always be the need to handle exceptions. In fact, certain industries (like telecom with provisioning processes or insurance with claims processes) are rife with complex, multi-step processes that may involve multiple human-centered steps, all of which may have dozens of potential exceptions and exception points. For example, process exceptions in order management, supply chain transactions, and insurance claims processing are expensive, cause operational delays and can reduce customer satisfaction.

Let’s look a little more closely at some of the causes of business process exceptions. From my perspective, there are four main causes: system errors, data issues, external factors, and process design.

System errors can be independent of the transaction data and business logic and can be caused by underlying system problems, such as servers being down or services that aren’t available. One example of this type of exception would be when a web service times out after it doesn’t receive a response from a call to another web service. For the purposes of our discussion, we will not be focusing on these types of exceptions—since they’re driven by underlying systems issues.

Data issues are the next category of potential process exceptions and are pretty much what you’d expect—missing, invalid or inconsistent data. An example of a data issue would be an address field where the zip code is missing, contains alphabetic characters or doesn’t match the information in the customer database.


1  2  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)


Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More