Familiarity and Simplicity

Scott Francis
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Recently at IBM Impact I said that “process data wants to be free” – available in more places, more accessible to users and managers, and more sensible in form and structure. Jacob Ukelson makes the case (paraphrasing) that process just wants to be free:
From my perspective the simplest answer is that we focus on unstructured, unpredictable, ad-hoc human processes that knowledge workers do, while BPM suites focus on structured, predictable processes – and the two approaches are complementary.
In other words, make it easier for the everyman/everywoman to execute their processes.  He focuses on three key themes that differentiate ActionBase from other approaches to knowledge work:

1. Familiarity – ActionBase leverages email and documents in a way that is immediately famliar, rather than asking users to learn a new tool or URL.

2. Collaboration – This is as much a benefit of leveraging email as anything, but the point is that users can dynamically bring others into a process to help, at runtime.

3. Managed – applying “enough structure to make the process manageable, but not so much as to strangle it.” And so the focus is on visibility rather than constraining or controlling the flow.

These are good tenets for anyone to build software around.  Philosophically, I think ActionBase has it about right.

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