Then one day they come to the idea of a project template. Finally they realized that the best template is a process template. Now, all the routine jobs of controlling task sequences, inputs and outputs are done by the “robot.” BPM engines and project managers are focused on bottlenecks, delays and escalations, and increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

It may look obvious when it’s done, yet it was hardly possible for the pharmaceutical company to utilize the process management from the beginning because they didn’t have the required internal capabilities. And what’s probably more important, they didn’t have a clear understanding of how the work is done.

Every company needs time to find its “business recipe,” which consists of who should do what, when and how to deliver maximum value to the consumer while utilizing the available resources most efficiently.

Another example is an architectural firm developing both single building blueprints and development plans of city districts. This work is managed by a composition of project- and process-management methods. The overseeing body is typically called the Project Office, yet they are both project and process professionals.

It’s commonly agreed today that research, development and other so-called “knowledge work” require more than just a process approach. And even if the core operations are strictly process jobs, changes of these processes are projects or cases anyway.

To reach the level of business agility required by digital transformation, the full range of processes, projects and case-management methodologies, techniques and tools must be engaged, and the traditional borders between them must be eliminated.

Social networking drives unification
The new workforce is coming to enterprises: millennials who can’t live without mobile gadgets and apps even a single day. Losing a smartphone is like losing a part of the body or half of your memory. It’s a cultural shift no one can withstand because youth always wins, sooner or later. It’s better to embrace this with BYOB, social networks and gamification.

But you can’t really introduce a social change piecemeal. Just imagine your traditional ERP applications, BPMS/process/workflow/docflow applications, and project-management software, now equipped with a social functionality of their own. Will it work? Hardly so; people won’t be comfortable with such a fragmented social environment.

True social networking should cover all forms of work within the enterprise: from legacy applications to cross-functional operational processes to knowledge-oriented cases. We aren’t there yet, but forward-thinking vendors are already working on making it a reality.