Bringing bpm to the workers: Towards worker-centric management of business processes
Workflow management systems, as originally conceived, tried to impose structure to work, in a way similar to the assembly line. While imposing constraints may be needed because of regulations and compliance, it is important to recognize that much of knowledge work is done in an ad-hoc fashion. Case management is an admission that ad-hoc work exists, and an attempt to adjust to the flexibility of work. Unfortunately, it still requires some explicit steps. With recent changes in the nature of knowledge work, enterprises have increased the adoption of online communication tools such as chat and collaborative documents. Ad-hoc work has become the new norm, and knowledge workers are increasingly utilizing these communication tools to resolve and complete cases. In this work, we argue that business process management solutions need to engage workers in the channels where they already work and outline the challenges of bringing the tools to these environments.