If only we could stop those pesky unstructured processes

Sig has a good post mischievously citing this from a post by Gartner

…the hidden costs of unstructured processes: although a lot of focus of BPM efforts (time and money) is on structured processes, as much as 60% of an organization’s processes are unstructured – and probably also unmonitored, unmanaged, unknown and unruly.

This raises all sorts of heady questions, not least of which is how exactly do you get to measure things that you say can’t even be monitored and are unknown. Astrophysicists, stop what you’re doing because Gartner quantifies the unknown. Where’s Donald Rumsfeld when you need him?

Plus I have to laugh at the emphasis on the costs of the unstructured processes. What about the benefits, like when you find someone inside the bureaucracy who can short cut it for you, or the one that gets outside the call centre script and treats you like a fellow human.

And I love that final adjective, “unruly”. For me it’s where the grownup managerial mask really slips and we move into doilies-around-piano-leg territory.

Sig explores this with a nice analogy about cross-country skiing versus snowboarding.

1 thought on “If only we could stop those pesky unstructured processes

  1. sig

    Thanks Johnnie!

    Measure, costs, time, rules, deadlines, budgets… all old hat work-framework beams and nails from the old school pen and paper based days.

    Assuming that these are required is an assumption nobody questions.

    Of course they’re needed if the system is based on those, or if no alternative can be imagined, but…

    when suggesting an alternative… ehh… flogging own wares this is a good quote by @labsji after testing my stuff: “traditional business software define a game in terms of how to keep score, whereas Thingamy defines ‘How to Play’.”

    “He could say that, I could not possibly comment…” 😉


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