Untamed processes represent the heart of the distinction—Forrester Research calls it "a stark contrast"—between BPM and dynamic case management (DCM).
"While BPM products tend to focus on repeatable, structured processes, case management applies to more dynamic, unstructured, ad hoc processes," Craig Le Clair and Derek Miers, both Forrester principal analysts, wrote in a recent Forrester Dynamic Wave.
And in many ways, experts say, untamed processes represent the last real barrier to business process automation. "That's because these processes are either semi-automated at best (leaving content and collaboration unaddressed) or completely manual in many steps of the process," Le Clair, who's credited with coining the term, explained in another recent Forrester report, "Use Dynamic Management to Attack Unclaimed Processes."
Untamed processes: A closer look
What exactly are untamed processes? And why do businesses need to domesticate them?
In its official definition of such processes, Forrester explains: "Untamed business processes form in the seams and shadows of the enterprise, require a balance of human and system support, and cross department, technology, information, and packaged application silos to meet end-to-end business outcomes." The haphazard approach results in processes that lack structure and, over time, grow "bloated with non-value-added activity."
Such processes, while ubiquitous, are often invisible. But their effects can be devastating: "They literally choke the productivity and creativity out of the workforce," Le Clair says.
Financial services, government, health care and manufacturing are among the industries most plagued by untamed processes, which Forrester lumps into three overarching categories:
- Investigations, such as audits and patent filings
- Service requests, such as disability claims and permit or license applications