On behalf of Yegin Genc:
In an earlier post, we discussed how social networks and BPM had some fundamental differences in how they treat collaboration among people. We argued that social networks enable people to interact and produce information and work within a free form, with unstructured or ad hoc activities, while BPM enforces structured workflow to improve the collaboration between people on a given business process. Given these differences, it was hard to imagine how the two can come together under the concept of Social BPM.
One possible way for the two technologies to converge is to use social networks as a way to evaluate the structure BPM provides and to use the data for optimizing and improving the structured processes. For example, let’s assume BPM enforced a specific structured workflow around submitting, routing and approving expense reports. We can use social networks to see how people are actually responding to the structure: Are there deviations or exceptions? Are people complaining about the process? Are they working around the structure? With this information, the workflow can then be optimized based on the feedback. This assumes however that the BPM system can be optimized and improved in fairly rapid cycles as social networks operate in real time.
Combining BPM and social networks in this fashion, Social BPM can provide a closed feedback loop to enable organizations to effectively improve and optimize their business processes.