The art of serendipity in BPM, Case Management and Enterprise Social


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Apparently Serendipity is one of the hardest words to translate in the English language. Maybe that in itself is a happy accident. But what has this to do with process design, case management or enterprise social ?

While everyone is mostly concerned with designing process and outcomes around the ‘happy path’, no happy path is truly without deviations and exceptions and serendipity is concerned with finding happy coincidence or positive effects from unrelated cases. If we look at Case Management, and specifically the Adaptive/ Dynamic variant, definitions centre around it being “information technology that exposes structured and unstructured business information (business data and content) and allows structured (business) and unstructured (social) organizations to execute work (routine and emergent processes) in a secure but transparent manner.

The tangled wiring in my head is trying to make a correlation now between what we know as ACM and serendipity in the Enterprise.

In an organisational context, the happy accident has been used in successful japanese business by the “ability to create knowledge not by processing information but rather by “tapping the tacit and often highly subjective insights, intuitions, and hunches of individual employees and making those insights available for testing and use by the company as a whole”.

And so where this Yellow Brick Road leads is not to Oz but the rather bizarre notion that Case Management and Enterprise Social are in fact serendipitously linked to each other. In my hazy mind the two can no longer survive without the other as the world moves forward because while one focuses on the knowledge worker and unstructured work, enterprise social can support the emergent feedback and insight gleaned from those workers and expose it to create adaptive processes.

Yes, yes, there are those who baulk at the use of ‘social’ right now but it’s a convenient moniker to strike a few points home and make some of the notions more transparent.

And perhaps that’s just the power of serendipity at work when I blog randomly like this !

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Theo Priestley
Theo Priestley is Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Software AG, responsible for enabling the marketing and voice of the industry's leading Business Process, Big Data/ In-Memory/ Complex Event Processing, Integration and Transaction suite of platforms. Theo writes for several technology and business related sites including his own successful blog IT Redux. When he isn't evangelizing he's playing videogames, collecting comics and takes the odd photo now and then. Theo was previously an independent industry analyst and successful enterprise transformation consultant.


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