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James Taylor has an interesting post on how optimization should not be constrained to a single process. I could not agree more. I would link this optimization to simulation needs for BPM. In response to Khan’s post, I had the post detailing how simulation can help for process optimization. The percieved benifit of simulation can be achieved only if the approach is based on a wholesome perspective than a single process.

If we look into the application of simulation in the market, though vendors talk about many “nice” features around simulation, there are not many BPM projects using these features. One reason could be the result from such a simulation is too narrow to be effective in an enterprise. Check out my post for details on what i term as “Balanced Scorecard Simulation”.

Rashid N. Khan has a post on the use of simulation in BPM here.  Khan raises valid concerns on the usage and results of simulation. I tend to agree with his views. But I would like to another dimension to the concept of simulation.  Assuming the points Khan is raising are taken care of, how does the result of the simulations be used. There could be two results

  • A resource bottleneck
  • A change in the process for optimal business results

How do these results get incorporated into the process? Is the resource bottleneck handled by increasing the number of people working on that particular step? How do we know the impact of this change for the other processes in the enterprise?
Secondly, for a change in the process, how do these changes be handled? Considering that there will be many processes in an enterprise and all of them are dependent on each other, changing one process certainly needs re-work on the other.
The point, I am trying to make is, for simulation to be effective, it should be possible to simulate the processes at a higher level than individual processes. The level could be

  • Group of processes dealing with a particular line of business or requiring specific skills from the participants etc
  • Value chains  which provide a value for the end customer

The simulations at this level of granularity help the enterprise optimize their processes from a balanced scorecard perspective.