The "Process Table"

  • June 9, 2009
  • Scott

Recently read the post (and watched the screencast) on Intalio’s blog about their new “Process Table” feature.  The basic idea is that you use a spreadsheet to define your process, and then have the software “auto-magically” produce a running, executable process for you (screens and all). Interestingly, I saw something similar in Lombardi’s labs when I was an employee there, one of the “science fair” projects that one of my colleagues was showing off.  Not sure what happened to it as far as a shipping product idea, but it sure made for a neat demonstration.

I think in this family of product ideas, however, ActionBase (Click on the “take the tour” link) has a better answer.  At least, if you’re going to the depth of comparing one web video demonstration to another (admittedly not up to Dennis Byron’s standards of research!).  ActionBase proposes using Word and Email to create processes “on the fly” and relies on the software to manage the hand-offs for you.  However, ActionBase also appears to let the process adapt as it is running, if someone is assigned a task and needs to add additional items to the process flow.

Both of these ideas address processes that have lightweight technology requirements but very real process requirements.  Both pure-play and stack vendors would do well to provide better support for such scenarios, but its even more important for the pure-plays because they’re more concerned with directly assessing and meeting the needs of the business, rather than just IT.  IT-led projects won’t be as interested in “process-lite” style approaches like this, but in reality it is a great way to start extracting process out of the email stream or the spreadsheet-hand-off scenario…

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