Social BPM

 

Social BPM fuses BPM with social software.

Its aim is to enhance the enterprise performance by means of a controlled  participation of external stakeholders to process design and execution.

The motivation of the social extension to BPM is to improve the organization efficiency. Depending on the context and on the kind of processes, this can be obtained by:
Exploiting weak ties between people and implicit enterprise know-how to improve activity execution and disseminating of knowledge. This could also entail fostering mutual support among users.
Increasing transparency and participation to the decision procedures, so as to raise awareness of the processes and acceptance of the outcomes. This also increases the possibility of collecting feedbacks that may contribute to the process improvement.
Involving (informal) communities in activity execution, thus assigning the execution to a broader set of performers or to find most appropriate contributor within a group.
 
In classical BPM, processes are defined centrally by the organization and deployed for execution by internal performers, i.e., actors formally entitled to execute the activities and directly produce the advancement of a process case. This closed-world approach can be opened with social features at different levels of control:
 
Participatory Design opens the process design to multiple actors, including end users; the resulting  process is then executed in the traditional way;
Participatory enactment shifts socialization from design to execution, allowing limited user communities to gain visibility and limited participation to the process; and
Social enactment opens the process execution to open communities of actors dynamically signed-up to the process.
 
The coverage of these aspects imposes new requirements to business process notations and design tools, which are well suited for classical business process model descriptions, but fall short when dealing with social aspects describing informal interactions among people.
 
The levels of social BPM adoption we envision are:
 
The social BPM continuum