SearchCIO defines “Human-centric BPM” as ” an approach to BPM that considers human skills and activities first and uses automated functions to support them. A major feature of human-centric BPM is increased flexibility and adaptability on the practice end of business processes, enabling workers to more easily update policies and respond to events. Human-centric BPM suite usually support the ability to reassign work, put it on hold and return to it later. As a result, benefits can include reduced risk, higher rates of compliance, enhanced management support and improved interaction with clients. Most BPM suites include human-centric BPM features.”
What was a differentiator five years back is now embedded in most BPM suites today! Here I recall John Selly’s, ex-Chief Scientist, Xerox, words “Processes don’t do work, humans do!’ Fantastic words, isn’t it?
So, why did this happen? How much ever you automate a process, there are still some parts of it where human elements are needed, whether it is claim processing, check clearing, booking reservation/cancellation, humans do handle exceptions and it is also the reason why we get a varying level of responses from different companies even while they are using similar BPM systems.
Considering exceptions are increasing becoming a norm, there is always a need to reassign a claim, put a check on hold or return to some stalled process, so a human-centric BPM considers these exceptions and allows to be modeled around it. Also, in an increasing shared group tasks each one should be able to see others works, who owns what and be empowered to change the process to effectively manage exceptions.
BPMs that started as document-centric workflows took into account how humans work to evolve into human-centric BPM, this was helped by software tools which linked different steps of a function through different pieces of software. This is now being consolidated under a single BPM suite that covers different work patterns of dynamic case management, human workflow and straight-through processing. Hence an amalgamation of automated functions with human intervention offers best of both worlds, both system-centric and human-centric.
So where are “Human-centric BPMs” they are all just BPMs.