It is crucial for knowledge workers to build their own process management solutions.
The health, competitive power, and even survival of an enterprise largely depends on its ability to understand and harness the power of knowledge workers who are enabled to take responsibility for providing automatic solutions to meet many of their business needs.
– IBM System Journal, SOA Meets Situational Applications: Examples and Lessons Learned
The speed and efficiency of a responsive organization can only occur if people think for themselves and control their own actions. The notion that some central person can do all the thinking for everyone is a quaint idea from the days of the industrial revolution, when we lived in a slower, simpler and more predictable world.
– Michael Hugos, Business Agility: Sustainable prosperity in a relentlessly competitive world
Knowledge workers are required to make decisions and judgments based on their knowledge.
Process Management Solutions

BPM versus Situational Process Management

Learn more about BPM versus Situational Process Management.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
-Henry Ford
In this period of profound change, many of the current orthodoxies about business opportunity, business models and the technology tools used to run enterprises are under significant stress.
Cognizant Center for the Future of Work
BPM versus Situational
BPM software is designed for flow-centric processes – there is a predefined sequence of activities that must be followed, and coordinating the flow of the activities is as automated as possible.
But there is a whole set of processes that are not easy to map, streamline, or automate
Situational Process Management (SPM) is focused on supporting business activities that are:
  1. People-intensive
  2. Highly variable
  3. Loosely structured
  4. Subject to frequent change

Seeding the database on Salesforce App Cloud

All [citizen developers] need are services that can supply them with data to feed these tools. IT can facilitate their efforts by supplying data services that virtualize complex data sources.
Mike Rollings (Gartner), Citizen Development: Reinventing the Shadows of IT
When a user wants to build their own business process solutions, chances are they need access to data that already exists – accounts, products, transaction history, etc. Collaborative work management solutions that rely on existing data can be built much faster when a base inventory of reliable enterprise data feeds is pre-established so the data can be consumed and mixed as needed for a process.
Seeding the database Seeding the database is a highly cost-effective and practical way to eliminate or reduce the amount of time users need to spend to find the data they need, and the need to make requests to data owners and/or IT.

Eliminate Process Silos on Salesforce App Cloud

The Business Operations Platform externalizes the control of processes away from individual applications. It makes them equal peers, subjugated to the Business Operations Platform layer that controls the execution of the processes, the provision of services, and the delegation of tasks or activities to the individual applications according to their specific uses and needs.
– Peter Fingar, The Business Process Platform in the Sky
Need to eliminate process silos? We can help!
Like a digital nervous system, a platform is much more powerful than the sum of its parts.  The functionality provided by the situational process platform is designed to work together.  So, for example, every application is automatically social-enabled and mobile-enabled, and a single permissions schema is used in all the different functions, including workflow, reporting, and social networking.   This dramatically reduces the time required to build function-rich solutions.
Having just one platform to deal with allows users across the organization to start building solutions immediately and deploy them quickly, globally, and inexpensively.
Eliminate Process Silos You could create your own business operations platform by cobbling together disparate social, mobile, process and cloud products. Or you could simply use a comprehensive, integrated, extensible, and ready-to-go platform.

Characteristics of Process Steps

A step is a unit of work; it identifies an activity or task(s) that needs to be done before the flow can move forward. Steps are explicitly defined and operationally independent units of functionality. Each flow consists of multiple process steps, and a single step can be in multiple flows.
This is a list of process steps characteristics:

Step initiation depends on prerequisites being satisfied

Process steps get initiated until all the prerequisites are satisfied (though this can be manually overridden by clicking a “Proceed” button and giving a reason). A step doesn’t get started until someone has been notified that it needs to be done.
Steps surface in the responsible party’s activity feed
Instead of the user going from application to application to complete their process steps, the process steps appear in the user’s activity stream. For example, if a manager needs to approve a service request, instead of going to the service management application, the request will simply show up in their activity stream, along with any associated notes, attachments and a direct link to the record being acted upon.

Steps can be adapted to the prevailing conditions

The sequence in which a step is executed, and the rules by which it is governed, can differ from flow to flow and flow instance to flow instance. Users can spawn additional steps as they are being performed – these can be assigned to someone else and must be completed or canceled before the parent task can be completed.

Steps include just-in-time guidance

Employees need information quickly – they can’t wait for colleagues to email them back and they may not all be in the same office to speak in person. Acquisition of knowledge in a fast-paced, complex world becomes less important than the ability to search, create, and manipulate information to generate knowledge on demand and just-in-time learning. The best way to visualize this is to recall the movie The Matrix, in which revolutionaries trying to free an enslaved human race are hard-wired for data downloads. When in need, characters bark out their knowledge needs to colleagues who download the appropriate information – from driving directions to kung fu.
Guidance can be localized for different languages, and improved on the fly, as the instructions are being given. Poor guidance can make a simple task hard to perform, while great guidance can simplify a complex task.

Steps are a focal point of collaboration

Change is the organizing force, not a problematic intrusion. – Margaret J. Wheatley, Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time
Normal people can and will innovate of their own initiatives if enabling conditions are present.
A. Van de Ven, The Innovation Journey

Are you a Salesforce admin? Start process-driven application building.

The reason big new things sneak by incumbents is that the next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a “toy.”  This is one of the main insights of Clay Christensen’s “disruptive technology” theory, which observes that when a new product or service is introduced, it is dismissed as a toy because when it is first launched it undershoots user needs, but then tends to get better at a faster rate than users’ needs increase. How mainframe companies viewed the PC, or Kodak viewed digital cameras are obvious examples.
There is always great skepticism (admittedly justified, for the most part), especially on the part of IT, about whether end users are capable of developing their own applications beyond some spreadsheets and Access databases.
But this time it’s different. We have reached the perfect storm of conditions that will transform the landscape for end user application development.

Lowering the barrier

Given an appropriate set of tools and services, technically savvy business users can build situational processs by themselves.
–  Mike Rollings (Gartner), Citizen Development: Reinventing the Shadows of IT  

Build a Process Competency Center for Salesforce

By engaging with end users and helping them help themselves, IT can accelerate the exploitation of new technology and help end users create competitive advantage and build closer links to their business peers, while managing the risks of EUAD (End User Application Development).
– Ian Finley, Research Vice President at Gartner
The key to making Salesforce Admins successful with building process-driven applications is to build a Process Competency Center.  The objective of the Process Competency Center is to support business units as they build their own solutions, either on their own (with community support through the enterprise social network) or with support from other resources. The Process Competency Center makes available whatever users need to get their solutions built, as well as protect them from making mistakes, including things like legal infringements and security violations. Having a centralized or departmental situational process Process Competency Center also makes it easier for business units to share administrative and other service costs.
It includes the following functions:

Accelerate the adoption of Salesforce with Xpeditor

We must learn to cocreate the future and use an improvisational model for strategy that embraces uncertainty, emerges from execution, engages individual creativity and learns by testing many hypotheses.
Mike Rollings (Gartner), Citizen Development: Reinventing the Shadows of IT

Wanting to start an adoption of Salesforce? Xpeditor wants to help.

For most companies, adopting a new “platform” is a major endeavor, consuming many hours of investigation, piloting, training, approvals and budgets.
This is a major inhibitor to getting new work management applications implemented.  The same can be true with the adoption of Salesforce, but xpeditor wants to make it easier and faster.

Workflow and process management on Salesforce App Cloud

People will bypass and reject any system that does not help them perform work in a natural way.
– Gerhard Basson, Process Architect
The BPM tools on the market today provide solutions to business people, but are not designed for business people to actually use to solve their problems. BPM is no help with unstructured processes. Nor is classic project management. That too, relies on the ability to plan an outcome. We need a different approach.
-Ian James, The Process Consultant

Looking to gain a competitive edge? Work Relay is here to help with unstructured process management.

Most organizations have spent years automating their business processes with BPM, which means they have already gotten most of the benefits available in this area. Unfortunately, a clear majority of the business processes in your company are probably unstructured, yet these are the hardest to automate with BPM software.
Rote work seldom creates value. Any task that can be reduced to a predictable set of steps can often be done by machine, delegated to less-skilled workers, or outsourced to a lower-cost region.
What is needed now is to tackle processes that can’t easily be mapped, streamlined or automated. Any process that calls for knowledge and judgment is vital to creating competitive advantage. This is the space in which knowledge workers thrive and where real value can be achieved.

Build Scalable Processes on Salesforce App Cloud

If about everything top-down fragilizes and blocks antifragility and growth, everything bottom-up thrives under the right amount of stress and disorder.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragility

Looking to build scalable processes on Salesforce App Cloud?

One of the key objectives of Xpeditor is to systematically reduce the downside from unstructured processes, while at the same time increasing the potential upside.
In his book Antifragility, Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes how volatility and unexpected events lead to learning and growth, to become even better as a result of the exposure and experience. This is the essence of antifragility, a term Taleb coined to describe the properties of adaptive or evolutionary systems that become better and reach even higher levels of performance as a consequence of encountering and overcoming challenges. These systems are dynamic rather than static; they thrive and grow in new directions rather than simply sustain themselves; they actually need random events to strengthen and grow and they become brittle and atrophy in the absence of these random events.
For a process in Xpeditor to be antifragile, it needs to adhere to some basic principles: