Paper on Runtime Collaboration and Dynamic Modeling in BPM

I recently wrote a paper for the February Cutter IT Journal called Runtime Collaboration and Dynamic Modeling in BPM: Allowing the Business to Shape Its Own Processes on the Fly. It’s available on the web to Cutter subscribers, and in the printed journal.

In the article, I deal purely with the topic of runtime collaboration, not collaboration during process modeling: how users participating in a process can add new participants for the purposes of collaborating on a step in a structured process, or even create their own subprocess at that step. I look at why you would want to do that (mostly auditability of processes) and how the results of that can be rolled back into process design rather than just being changes to a single process instance.

Disclosure: my payment for writing this paper was a year’s subscription to the journal, plus bragging rights.

3 thoughts on “Paper on Runtime Collaboration and Dynamic Modeling in BPM

  1. Cutter is a good journal. Unfortunately my free year ran out a few months ago, so I don’t know how, but somehow I am going to have to read a copy of that article. Sound really interesting.

    I am really very interested in the usability of runtime modifications to processes. I am fairly convinced that a graphical notation will not work: it is just too abstract and uncomfortable for non-specialists. Isntead, a simple check-list approach might be better. Surprisingly, in my research for this upcoming book on case management, I am finding that a number of the products are using just such an approach — because it is a familiar paradigm to the workers, and works well enough.

    Here is my write up:
    http://kswenson.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/is-the-checklist-mightier-than-the-model/

  2. Keith, I agree with the usefulness of checklists, but I believe that there are some situations where a more complex representation is required (and would be understood): for example, when there are dependencies in the dynamically-created tasks. Maybe a flowchart-style process model, maybe more of a GANTT chart, since many users are familiar with project management diagrams. You can be sure that GANTT charts weren’t recognizable by most workers a few years ago; maybe using a graphical process notation is just a matter of education and adoption.

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