Deciding where to start isnt usually a significant issue for companies looking to use BPM to automate tasks. Its deciding where to stop thats tricky.
In organizations with complex or poorly understood processes, the task of discovering and mapping processes can be a significant impediment to seeing a solid return on investment with a business process management system.
With its forthcoming Adaptive Discovery technology, Ultimus Inc. hopes to at least reduce the time and effort associated with mapping processes. Adaptive Discovery should also help companies adapt to changing processes without having to map those changes before implementing them. Adaptive Discovery will ship with BPM Suite 7.1 in the first half of this year, said company officials.
Adaptive Discovery isnt a clean-slate approach to building processes, however. Business analysts have to define some elements of a process as well as determine the experts who will help build out a process using Adaptive Discovery.
Adaptive Discovery uses Ultimus BPM Servers messaging engine to alert process experts when they need to define additional steps for a process to complete . The experts then define the business rules and process routing that will govern that particular case.
For example, if a company creates a basic process for handling merchandise returns, that initial rule might not assume that certain customers or items need special handling, such as free priority shipping or scheduling with a freight company. As those conditions appear in the process, they may be represented by an "other" choice on an application, but that choice doesnt lead to any underlying business logic. Or the workflow process could end there, causing an exception within the BPM Server.
Adaptive Discovery makes it easy for process experts to create a new rule and other business elements, such as Web forms, that can account for those new circumstances.
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