1. Peter Schooff
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Would you say every company needs process architecture?
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
What is needed is Process Architecture in the enterprise software which delivers the required processes exactly as the business requires in initial build and for inevitable future change. This should drive support of creation and use of data and be able to recognise use of legacy data and systems as the business process requires. So YES but needs that software support.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Every company has a process architecture whether they know it or not and whether that architecture is planned and intentional or unplanned and accidental. To me, the first Step is to identify and document the process architecture that exists. The next step depends on what you find out in this first step.
  1. http://www.nickols.us
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  3. # 2
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Given the fact that every organization executes processes (this is merely a fact, not an opinion) I believe it woiuld be beneficial for every sizeable organization (if the organization is too small, a process architecture seems a bit of an oversized concept) to have a process architecture. To me, the real value for having a process architecute is not just having the overview, but being able to identify the touchpoints between the different functional domains that operate in the respective E2E processes. The touchpoints are known to be one of the major root causes for sub-optimal process performance.

I also agree with Fred, a lot of organization don't even know they have a process architecture.... and sometimes this is ok.
BPM is all about mindset first and toolset later....much later
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 3
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When do we have a "process"? The process is a social construction. The only evidence of a process is the description of the process (input-activity-output). Without process description we have only activity and there is no reason to call such "activity" a "process" (Not even in the cases, where the activities are routinely done same way or sequence) . If you don't intent describe the activities as "process" there is no need for process architecture.

When does organization need a process (and the architecture) depends a lot of size. Typically small organizations do not get much added value when describing processes... though no harm is ever done by describing the processes. It always supports shared understanding and collaboration. The bigger the organization grows and more complex gets, the more difficult the collaboration gets. Because of the complexity the functions (sales, customer support, delivery...) emerge. This leads in business to information disconnections, non value added work, waste, delays....

To my understanding the process approach (BPM) is the best way to improve collaboration, value creation and effectiveness.... any way survival is not mandatory :)

br. Kai
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Agree with some of the above: Every company HAS a process architecture. But processes are a means to deliver a result. So I prefere being clear about a result architecture or casetypearchitecture.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 5
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Is this about infrastructure for :

1. mapping out processes?, or
2. using mapped, compiled, rolled-out process templates in a run-time environment for managing work and workload?, or
3. both?

  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
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Managers to the barricades! The question as to whether every company needs a process architecture gets to the heart of management, and its revolutionary nature.

A few definitions concerning Work, in the overall context of Purpose:

1) Work - purposeful expenditure of effort, resulting in a change of state for some object; can be simple or complex.
2) Task - a single bounded and uniform instance of work
3) Process - an emergent technology-of-work entity linking multiple tasks enabling a higher order transformation of a complex object.
4) Process Architecture - an emergent technology-of-work entity map of multiple processes.
5) Explicit vs Tacit Process - whether process or process architecture can be expressed explicitly or not, may or may not be also documented.
6) Process Creation - social phenomenon whereby people at any scale produce process knowledge
7) Management - the social cadre responsible for organizing the production of new process knowledge.

Note that No. 7 above is very specific. The revolutionary nature of management is to force the production of new process knowledge. Two caveats: (i) another management role is to organize the use of existing process knowledge and (ii) process knowledge can also be developed independent of any role of management, for example in educational institutions or on the factory floor. An enormous debate and context results: who owns process technology?

In this context, process exists whether we know it explicitly or not. And we can see why the profession of management is revolutionary: a major task of management is explicitly the production of the tools for changing the world. Management is thus the embodiment of Enlightenment rationalism, revolutionary in contrast to Feudalism, where the tacit and the whimsical were dominant modes of relationship to the world of work and its productions.

What about SMB and process-driven change? Existing SMB typically can't afford change leadership (startups are in a different class). Change leadership is expensive and risky. Change we leave to specialized organizations (channels, again startups, large scale firms, government even). Nevertheless, SMBs, per the above, and as they go about their work every day, enjoy the benefits of process architecture, even if it is tacit, and even if it is never called that.

(Tip of the hat to @Kai, above.)
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 7
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Summarizing architecture as underlying server, networking, communication and integration components on one hand and business process components like process objects, rules, notations, forms and variables on the other hand, then yes, to some extend, everyone that engages in BPM will end up having an accompanying architecture.
The level of its complexity and also the end users’ awareness of related architectural requirements, will most certainly depend on the company’s BPM maturity, quantity and type of automated business processes.
A mature organization, in that sense, will worry more about having a unified process data dictionary in place for multiple process (for example) than, let’s say, a casual visitor to the world or process automation and, more importantly, continued improvements.
As with many other concepts, a sound process architecture will depend, in that relation, on the organizations willingness to forgo the MO of focusing only on reaping short term benefits of a first time automation and rather sacrifice some of the immediate ROI to future proof a more complete process environment (delayed gratification?).
In short, yes, all companies should have (and will have) a process architecture and it would be a recommended practice to consciously design said architecture to the mid to long term needs of the company.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
@Kay - I very much like the elaboration of the definition of "architecture" -

". . . .as underlying server, networking, communication and integration components on one hand and business process components like process objects, rules, notations, forms and variables on the other hand'

Would you be OK with this as a definition of "process architecture" on the basis that all operations level "work" is performed via some process?

That said, a different architecture is needed for strategic planning. This is a topic for discussion in a forum on strategic planning

@Kay . .. re "process data dictionary", do you mean "process data" dictionary or "process" data dictionary?.

In a police department, the former will be a list of 100,000 items whereas for the latter the number is not likely to exceed 1,500.
  1. Kay Winkler
  2. 2 years ago
  3. #5658

Great comments. Thanks. And yes, I meant the dictionary of all the process data, the 100k example you mentioned.

  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I agree that every company has data, processes, systems, and a way of doing things - whatever those mean.

However I disagree that architecture can be accidental. Just going to the first wikipedia entry, we find out that:

Enterprise architecture is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a comprehensive approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy.

That sounds anything but accidental.

And back to answering the question --
Q: Should every house have an architecture?
A: No, only the better ones.
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 years ago
  3. #5657
Fantastic intervention! Inspired a search on architecture and intentionality. Came up with Grady Booch 2006 (originally in an IEEE journal) on "Accidental Architecture".

The Accidental Architecture
By Grady Booch


He's covering software. There seems to be quite a lot of material on this as well for the question more generally - i.e. applicable to houses.

As for actually living in a "ramshackle house", which has grown organically over time, one can imagine an architect analysing the house to reveal traffic and use patterns and architectural elements - which if not originally intentional, nevertheless exist.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 9
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All depends on your definition of architecture, by definition.

If architecture is “fundamental orderliness (embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and the environment) of a system” then yes. Because architecture is like structure in this case.

If architecture is “fundamental orderliness (embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and the environment), and the principles governing the design, implementation and evolution, of a system” then no. Because it is mandatory to think in advance.

  1. John Morris
  2. 2 years ago
  3. #5661
This is similar to the aspects of BPM technology which include the first-class capabilities related to work and process AND the meta-ability to manufacture a variety of those artefacts. I note that systems, software, processes, houses and cats can all evolve organically, i.e. without macro intentionality.
@John, @ Alexander. "Mandatory to think in advance' is sound advice and takes you to macro intentionality.

Top down is the road to success If you can get the attention and focus corporate management.

Bottom up typically gives the "hay-wired" solution we see in most organizations.

@John, “I note that systems, software, processes, houses and cats can all evolve organically” – we also known that 20% of home-made software systems’ TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is for creating such systems and the rest 80 % is for evolving them. In some situations this ratio is 5/95. This is the hidden cost for organic mentality and the classic “après nous le deluge”.

If it is easy to modify systems, software, processes and houses then a lot for clever work has been done up-front to enable this ease. Just find that people and say thank you to them.
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 years ago
  3. #5664
+1each @Walter and @Alexander for highlighting the "cost of organic". For some reason, I don't know why, the word "agile" comes to mind. Also +1 mention of "le deluge" ...
@John, the best way to make business agile is to have a good architecture.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Defining multiple architectures like Process, Technical, Data, Functional / Business, Enterprise or Digital Transformation Architecture are great as long as there is a correlation between them in complementing the business and IT objectives.

We can call or name it differently but what is really important is :

  • getting them defined at the right time to set the foundation right & objectives aligned

Taking the same house analogy, architecture is important for the foundation, but when we drill-down we have the following:

  • overall gated society layout plan (apartment structures, clubhouse, pool, common areas, jogging track....so on and so forth similar to shared services) > Enterprise Architecture
  • house construction plan/architecture (with pillars, concrete, bricks, fixed structures of wood or other materials) or builder plan in case of multi-storeyed apartments - Technical/Solution Architecture
  • floor plan (floor, rooms, stairs, walls, fixtures, kitchen, balcony, pool/park facing etc.) > Functional Requirements
  • plumbing plan (water supply & drainage) - Integration Specs
  • electrical plan (power, lighting, communication - floor & ceiling structures) > Integration Specs
  • design plan (interior design & decor / furniture) > Design Experience

Enterprise / Process / Data /Technical Architecture is something that is of least importance from an end-user standpoint, but is a critical lever in reshaping the business to the ever-changing demands of scale & experience coupled with the digital technology disruption & new-age wishlists - for augmenting the customer experience
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  3. # 11
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Every company runs certain business processes, either documented or not. These processes can be simple or complex, depending on how big and complex is the company. Collection of processes comprises certain structure. To name this structure 'architecture' or not, is a matter of taste.

Suppose you decided for a short trip outdoor and intend to pitch a tent for a night. With some skill and common sense, you can arrange pegs and pins, spread a canvas and have a reasonable shelter for a while. Should you hire an architect for this purpose? Probably, not.

Suppose now that you decide to build a house. You can affordably buy some bricks, tiling and cement. With a bit of luck and advise you can compose these into a sort of walls and a roof. However, there will be a risk that the construct will eventually collapse right on your head. Detailed architecture and professional builders are always advised to avoid a trouble.

Enterprise architecture is a comparable challenge. If you keep a stall, drawing an architecture for it might be an overkill. But running a decent corporation without well developed process architecture will eventually lead into disaster. Remarkably many skyscrapers on a business landscape collapse just by missing their architectural foundation.
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  3. # 12
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1. Consumers Will Demand Everything in Real Time

The always associated customer, with unparalleled choices through mechanisms such as the share economy, has never had more power than now to demand how and when they purchase your items.

Businesses will have no real option but to adjust and become flexible to meet consumer expectations. The days of being able to dictate to consumers are nearly over. eBay’s Director of Global Infrastructure warned that failing to be responsive to your customers’ wants and needs may mean you lose them and not just for that specific purchase.

This 24/7 need for immediate, on demand service, means that organisations are going to have to start seriously considering their supply chains and processes to ensure they can meet the increased expectations from their customers while remaining competitive. The change will need to come from within, because it is impossible for staff to meet consumer demands if your internal processes and systems rely on manual, non-digital and long lead time processes.

2. Chatbots Will Become More Common

It has been predicted that by 2020, 85% of consumers will be conducting their brand relationships without human interaction. With some of the biggest brands in the world already harnessing bot technology to enhance and automate the consumer engagement and sales experience, this an area that is only going to continue to grow.

At the F8 Conference in 2017, Facebook announced that they would be providing API Tools to build chatbot plugins for their increasingly popular Facebook Messenger service. Presumably there will be a flow on affect to the tech giant’s other products like WhatsApp as well.

When any Facebook page can easily integrate instant messaging and chatbots into their social media customer service, bots will start to become the primary way that all brands — big and small — initially engage one on one with their audience.

Chat is likely to become the preferred way that your team will communicate as well — it’s why employee messaging systems like Slack and Atlassian’s Jira have become powerful business tools in recent years. Not only does ‘chat’ allow real time correspondence, but conversations become searchable and archived. These platforms are also designed to integrate with the other applications your business already uses in ways that older technology like phone and email cannot.

3. Collaboration Will Become More Prevalent

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to work smarter, not harder, and outsourcing some tasks and job functions is one way that savvy small and medium enterprises can increase their capabilities without the need for full time staff.

It is this collaborative workforce that drives the need for businesses to start exploring Business Process Management solutions. The paper and human knowledge based systems that are often employed in small offices don’t work when you need to share information or processes with external partners.

As more and more businesses work with contractors, freelancers and partners on projects from marketing to accounting and everything in between, streamlined system applications will need to foster and support a remote, flexible workforce in an easy to use, scalable and customisable way.

This is where intelligent business operating systems like Workflows are really going to benefit business — the ability to automate processes, delegate tasks and manage key documents with efficient simplicity is going to be key for teams working together.

4. Artificial Intelligence Will Become Mainstream

Artificial Intelligence (AI) investment grew by over 300% year on year from 2016 to 2017 and experts tip that developers are only starting to harness and implement its full capabilities. AI has been described as “putting expertise into the machine”. It’s also putting more personalization, than we’ve ever seen, into applications. While retailers have been finding ways to fine tune the individual preferences of shoppers for some time, other industries have been lagging behind in developing similar levels of customisation and personalisation.

Experts predict that in the next twelve to twenty-four months we’ll start to see initiatives like chatbots and AI able to do everything; from alerting IT to the fact that a specific employee needs a new device based on their individual support requests, to creating efficiencies through automation such as generating reports that once took finance teams days (or weeks) to compile — and this is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come.

Rather than taking jobs away from humans, industry leaders say that AI and associated technologies will improve job satisfaction and free people up to “do what they’re actually being paid to do” in ways that haven’t been possible previously.

5. Businesses Will Be Looking to Automate from the Base through Process Bots

There have been so many affordable subscription style applications and software solutions hitting the market in recent years, however some businesses have found they are overwhelmed for both choice and the number of tools and systems they end up using to do their jobs.

With the very systems that were supposed to make life easier for small and medium enterprises now causing headaches, streamlined simplicity will become key for future technological investments. Businesses are now using more tools than they have previously, but it isn’t always the most cost effective or efficient solution for their technological and operational needs.

In 2018 and beyond, businesses are very likely going to be reducing their suite of technology rather than continuing to mash together multiple applications. Instead, they will be looking to single platform solutions, like Workflows, that streamline processes and repetitive tasks, connect software, people and customers together, provide enhanced efficiency and automation from the base.

In addition, by 2018 Process Bots will begin to take hold as businesses look for ways to automate their routine, day to day tasks. And by 2020, these Process Bots will move from simply automating the routine to being capable of making decisions for a business (driven by powerful artificial intelligence), allowing businesses to deliver value, leaner and faster.

In conclusion
With consumers having more control than ever and technology continuing to grow at exponential rates, Business Process Management will continue to become a focus of organisations as they prepare their operation for the years ahead.
working as a business analyst and having 3+ years of experience in business analyst field.
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