Smart digital assets: Catalyst for end-to-end process management

Smart digital assetsThe rise of smart digital assets presents a compelling opportunity to extend process management to variable human-driven processes.

If you need to know which lines of business produce the most revenue or which factories have the most downtime, you can usually get the answer at most companies. But if you want to know the processes by which HR hires employees or engineers design products or marketing creates collateral, the answers aren’t easy to find. As discussed in the previous article, the only parts of end-to-end processes that enterprises have visibility into are those closer to transactional systems—which focus on standardized tasks and ignore variable, human-driven processes that depend on the versatility people bring to their work.

In today’s business environment, it is crucial to be able to manage human-driven processes with the same steady hand as transactional processes. The challenge is how to get there without investing heavily in detailed process modeling of every nook and cranny in the enterprise. A quick start is needed, one that takes advantage of process standardization driven by factors inherent to the activities themselves.

This quick start is now possible thanks to what PwC calls smart digital assets and their integration into an approach for process management that leverages existing business process management systems (BPMS) and collaboration and content management systems (CCMS). As noted in the first article of this issue of the Technology Forecast, we call this approach meta-process management. This article examines advances in three key technical areas that make our vision of meta-process management possible.