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Is the last discussion, How Important is Business Process Integration to Today's Enterprise? end-to-end processes came up a few times. So do you think the goal should still be to make processes end-to-end today?
Scott Francis
Blog Writer
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The goal was never to be end-to-end, per se, but to create great business value. If maximizing business value requires you to build the end-to-end process then do it! If it requires understanding the end-to-end but only implementing pieces of the process- then so be it!

fun times :)
References
  1. http://www.bp-3.com
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Considering the current challenges of digital transition the new goal and an urgent imperative is to have an enterprise as a system of processes (see the URL below).

Maybe some of those processes will be end-to-end.

Thanks,
AS
References
  1. http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2014/03/enterprise-as-system-of-processes.html
Comment
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 month ago
  3. #5948
Logically speaking, is a system-of-systems not by definition "end-to-end everything"?
System-of-systems may have explicit end-to-end processes, but such processes must be "between" systems (in the white space). In the current practice, each system has to implement its only "projection" of such processes.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
At a certain level, I agree with Scott in that creating value is the true goal but in relation to end-to-end, I feel that improving and automating end-to-end processes as well as integrating them should be the goal. It is very important to understand the end-to-end process because when you change a sub-process to the overall process, it will have an impact that could be positive or negative. We need to be aware of that impact and prepare for it. Let's say there are 4 departmental processes that make up an end-to-end process. If we change one of those, let's say the second one, it will impact the rest, the question is one of how?

Creating value is the goal and I think improving and automating the end-to-end process increases the value.
Bob Larrivee
President and Founder
Bob Larrivee Consultancy
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
If it adds value, then yes, by all means make sure that you have end to end processes, however this will never be exhaustive.

Certain processes (such as purchase to pay, order to cash, hire to retire, record to report are typical end to end processes and as such an organization would do good to model them as such. A lot of these can be found in shared service center environments.

More importantly, what really adds value to an organization is to instill end-to-end thinking patterns instead of silo thinking. At the moment that an organization starts to think in end to end processes (preferably starting from the customer touch points if feasible), silo thinking will eventually disappear from the organization (and that is the real added value). People will start to think aboiut the impact their actions have on the next actor in the sequence, or think abouit what their predecessing actors can do differently to make their work easier, and not just their work, but the entire process (end to end) easier, more efficient and effective.

So, it's not a goal to model/have end to end processes, but a mean to the goal of more efficient business process management & execution.
BPM is all about mindset first and toolset later....much later
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Depends on what is meant by "end-to-end".

Organizations certainly don't want unauthorized outsiders, mapping, linking, compiling and rolling out run-time templates of processes but within the organization there should be end-to-end meta-processes, one example of which is to prepare annual tax returns. Accordingly, the run-time inventory of processes should include, for example, at least one end-to-end looping sequence that starts up the day after the corporation's year end.

Aside from this, as Alexander states, there can be some end-to-end processes (most, in industrial process control environments; many, in general business; a lesser number, in knowledge industries; then, in pure research, aside from high-level processes that require, say, daily formal documentation/ review/signature of research notes, most of the interventions at any initiative end up being "ad hoc" interventions.

If follows that the right approach to processes is to have an inventory of process templates (1) some "end-to-end", 2) some that are "process fragments" and 3) some that are "processes of one step each".

Leave it up to humans, software robots and smart devices to thread together #1, #2, #3.

Since we can have pre-processing rule sets at the start of each process fragment and where appropriate, post-processors on exit from "process fragments" and "processes of one step each", any two users, one using an inventoried "end-to-end process", the other doing the same work using only "processes of one step each", should get to the same result, albeit with a variation in efficiency and effectiveness.

The real problem in all of this discussion about processes is that the road to competitive advantage goes like this

corporate infrastructure/resources -> strategy -> initiatives ->cases -> work -> initiatives -> competitive advantage

where "work" is some combination of tasks defined by "processes of one step", "process fragments", "end-to-end processes"

I like this model as it does not offend those who want everything to be a process yet it avoids the illusion that processes have a direct link to competitive advantage.

Few organizations allow the use of infrastructure/resources without the formality of defining promising initiatives, assessing risk, selecting a few, inviting operations to submit "Requests for Funding", authorizing initiatives, then tracking progress toward defined goals/objectives.

Run-time "Case" is an appropriate environment for parking goals/initiatives for an initiative, managing workflow/managing workload for that initiative and assessing, in a non-subjective way, progress toward meeting the goals/objectives of that initiative.
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
  2. http://www.civerex.com
  3. http://www.globalinitiativesllc.com/
  4. https://www.hnctllc.com/
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Of course the goal should be processes "end-to-end". Because by definition, "they are" end-to-end. Order-to-Cash "just is" end to end. Otherwise what happens, we throw some cash out the window?

Let's not confuse BPM-automated end-to-end processes with real business processes. @Scott says the goal is to maximize value, and for sure this is correct. But saying "maximizer value" is not really an argument against identifying, owning and managing end-to-end processes. (I suspect if we had a discussion we'd learn we were on the same page.)

Why should end-to-end be the goal? And in some way maybe even has always been the goal? Because the work of management is to manage!

Certainly, sometimes management must rely on tacit knowledge, or manual processes. Other times, it makes sense to automate using software. Behind the scenes though "the organization exists" and "work exists" and "processes exist" and the purpose of management is to own the responsibility for the work of the organization.

For many reasons (historical, limitations of technology, limitations of management science, inertia) lots of processes were really "black boxes". They just worked. You hired staff that already knew how to collect receivables. And they collected receivables.

Now we are evolving however to a world where more and more of the tact is being made explicit. The black box of work is being opened up. Big data and AI and decision technologies are being deployed, enabling management to own processes. Including end-to-end processes. This is scary for some executives who didn't really want to know what was in the black box. It might even interfere with their golf games.

But the organization that can systematically own their processes, and manage them for constant improvement, will win. It won't happen over night. Maximization of value is the result. End-to-end responsibility is the means. (And BPM is the technology, along with decisioning and other complementary technologies.)

Example: Procure-to-Pay. Spend management has made huge strides over the past 10 years, with enormous savings accruing to successful practitioners. But the evolution of P2P is not stopping. We can now add in micropayments and even supply chain finance. More savings await. But only if you own P2P end-to-end.
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
If you do process-driven development, you need to have an end-to-end understanding of processes, no matter if you fully implement them or not.

Especially in a world of system-of-systems, failing to grasp the most complete picture you can will most certainly lead you into dead-ends (processes that are not re-useable, duplicated code, lack of architectural vision etc). Also, failing to get the big picture may drift you away from the actual deliverable of the client. And then you start charging maintenance just to bring it back into some acceptable shape.

A little joke from old communist times:

A group of workers is tasked to produce a wonder aircraft for the Romanian military. Years after (way past deadline), they managed to get the product read. At the big unveiling, the Defense Minister is shocked to see that the product is now actually a massive tank. He points this to the workers, to which the guys reply: "don't worry boss, we'll start filing at it by hand!"
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Absolutely. A business is part of a value chain. All the links in the chain need to be connected or you don't have a very effective chain.

We define processes in two categories - Transaction Processes, where there is a value transfer between two Resources (e.g. Customer and Product) and Action Processes that support Transactions (e.g. updating a customer's address) where there is only cost. Both are end-to-end but there are many more Action processes than Transactions in an organisation. A business is defined by its Transactions. Whereas you should seek to minimise Action processes .

Transaction processes not only apply to the primary business flow (e.g. Order to Cash, Procure to Pay) but also to sourcing and utilisation of the Resources used in the business (e.g. People - Hire to Retire, Creating a Marketing Plan or Maintaining Plant and Equipment) ...i.e. creating assets used in a business also requires end-to-end processes.

You can break up processes but if a process triggers another you are really just segmenting an end-to-end process.

Unfortunately the tools we use to map process are not designed for end-to-end. Define process first by showing the workflow between people (desks and machines) then by defining the task flow for each stage of the process separately. By including tasks sequentially in the workflow the end-to-end process becomes too difficult to comprehend.
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Every process has a start point and end one. An end to end could refer to the whole process of a "case management" system which will be made up of many supporting processes. Here are a few facts of real case which manages grants to athletes. The build took place in a graphical design build and the end to end application has over 75 process maps which is effectively the "new code"! They incorporating all the supporting processes with the complex ones such as means testing, selection, administration of payments to simple ones such as acceptance, retrieve letters, inflation proofing payments. All the 75 process maps work together to deliver the end to end process with over 500 UIs. Really quite simple and now been running for over 18 years supporting constant change as required with class leading efficiency.
Comment
@David. . . . . Curious about the number of "processes" in an application that "manages grants to athletes".

For "means testing", is that 1 process map made up of several linked steps that different actors need to perform? Does each step have a form that you include in your count of 500?.
Karl
Means testing has 55 tasks all joined up as required There are c 2500 tasks in end to end to about so c20% of tasks are involving people. Where people interact either as a form specifically created for that user in that instance to supply info and allow new data to be inserted or a report on activity in real time as required. Powerful links make decisions and important to rule creation.
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