Editor's Note: This feature, the second in a three-part special package
on dynamic BPM, provides examples of industries where the methodology is rapidly
becoming a must-have. Part
I defines dynamic BPM and addresses some myths about the methodology; Part III covers considerations for choosing a dynamic BPM platform.
We don't hear about train derailments as much as we used to, and Gartner analyst
Jim Sinur uses that fact in opening a discussion about industries where dynamic
BPM is making a difference.
Train derailments can be caused by a phenomenon known as a "hotbox,"
which refers to a railway car axel bearing that has melted over time because
of friction. That can cause the car to go off the track, pulling other cars
In the past, railroad workers looked for potential hotboxes by inspecting cars
manually in switching yards. Today, heat-seeking radio-frequency identification
(RFID) sensors posted at railroad mile markers can detect when a passing train
may have a hotbox problem, says Sinur, a research vice president at Gartner.
The sensors alert railroad officials, who can then arrange to examine or switch
out the cars in question at an upcoming stop.
"That's dynamic, goal-driven, knowledge-driven immediacy," Sinur says.
And it's in line with Gartner's formal definition for dynamic BPM as "the
ability to support process change by any role, at any time, with very low latency."
But dynamic BPM's value isn't limited to the transportation world. Following
are some highlights from other industries where BPM is in use:
MILITARY: The United Kingdom's military leaders use a sophisticated pattern-based
dynamic algorithm to help determine where to deploy troops. "They allocate
their resources very carefully," Sinur says. "They use advanced simulation
to simulate the best alternatives, then deploy the troops dynamically based
on their needs."
GOVERNMENT: Many U.S. government agencies use dynamic BPM for tracking correspondence
documents from the White House, Congress, other agencies and citizens. The Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, among others, uses the approach to keep tabs on correspondence,
documents and tasks requiring action or response.