Wicked BPM

I was reading a Gartner report on on “wicked problems” in business transformation (or as it is actually called “Introducing Hybrid Thinking for Transformation, Innovation and Strategy”). They define wicked problems as “those that defy conventional approaches to understanding, planning, design, implementation and execution because:

  • The stakeholder interests are so diverse and divisive.
  • Interdependencies are so complex and so little understood.
  • Behaviors are so dynamic and chaotic (unpredictable).

Leaders who do recognize wicked problems typically don’t speak in terms of “solving the problem,” because wicked problems involve such fundamental trade-offs that they don’t have a “solution.” Instead, they speak of “taking on” a wicked problem to produce a “successful outcome,” which merely means that the outcome of the effort leaves the organization sufficiently better off that it was worth the effort.”

I think a lot of the issues faced by today’s knowledge worker fall into that category (though not necessarily on the same scale). Knowledge workers deal with wicked problems “in the small” everyday. These aren’t the kind of problems that a standard BPMS is designed for (though it seems like the modeling part of a BPMS implementation is itself a “wicked problem”).

I believe that adaptive case management (ACM) could become the “process” toolset  for supporting the management of the processes used to bring wicked problems to a successful outcome. Some maybe we should call it wicked BPM?

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One Response to “Wicked BPM”

  1. Tweets that mention Wicked BPM | ActionBase Blog - Thoughts on Collaboration Process Management Unstructured Compliance and Audit -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vuk Trifkovic, ActionBase. ActionBase said: Wicked BPM – http://bit.ly/c1jAQm […]

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