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Last week met with a journalist (Dy.Editor, Murali) from a leading business newspaper in India (Hindu Business Line). We talked about many things that are at the top of my mind now- software products, future of IT industry, startups, middleware technology trends and, needless to say, Operational Responsiveness and our Responsive Process Management (RPM) strategy. Like I have been doing a lot lately, highlighted the visibility and control that RPM is enabling in a non-intrusive manner retaining all existing apps & solutions as is and still get the needed visibility across biz processes that span these applications. And get this without re-engineeirng any application. (A promise that has long been made by SOA but something that is not easy to realise without massive re-engineering to get services and automated business processes in place. So first order problems are solved by getting any re-engineering needed in place. But an organization's visibility and control needs are much beyond these first order problems).
As I was engrossed in explaining the value from RPM, this journalist posed a question from a completely different view. Asked if there is any way to track Operational Responsiveness of people? Anyway to get real-time visibility into the people part of the organizations. Not the time-sheet type tracking of who is doing what and for how long- but more of a semantic and collaboration enabling type of tracking. Of trying to capture who is "thinking" about what at any given point. And use this information to trigger collaboration. If I see a colleague of mine is presently thinking about a particular problem area, and I have inputs, I can share it knowing that he/she is going to consider/consume it right away.And do this in an RPM manner, with visibility, alerts and workflows.
Now, this was an interesting thought. I know organizations have been working on knowledge management and collaboration approaches and tools for long. In spite of very widespread penetration of Wikis, networking tools and social style collaboration in organizations, still not easy to realize the collaboration organizations could use. Often different people go thru the solving same problems each solving it again without realising someone has already solved it. Would Operational Responsiveness help here? Can the needed "visibility" into people and what they are presently working on be enabled? And then, build the "responsiveness" and "control" (read, collaboration here) capabilities. This was the gist of the journalists thought. Very interesting. Especially when he brought this up as I was talking about how RPM enables seamless and effortless visibility and control in an organization (essentially machines, applications, business functions, processes and other manifestations of machine processing- but none involving people in the organization and what they are presently thinking about!).
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