How Einstein would have managed process

Albert EinsteinSometimes change is so gradual yet so ubiquitous that we don’t see the enormous implications of what’s really happened until somebody says it in a new way. I recently had such an experience when I read Google’s Michael Jones on How Maps Became Personal in the Atlantic.  A lot of the ideas in this piece jumped out at me, but the one that really got me thinking was:

Effectively, people are about 20 IQ points smarter now because of Google Search and Maps. They don’t give Google credit for it, which is fine; they think they’re smarter, because they can rely on these tools. It’s one reason they get so upset if the tools are inaccurate or let them down. They feel like a fifth of their brain has been taken out.

It’s Personal

The change Jones talks about was brought about by taking static maps and making them personal, AKA tailored to the person using them in a way that makes everyone a ‘local’, an instant expert. Smarter.

I had that experience today driving back from Palo Alto to SFO. The Google Maps iPhone app remembered my previous travels and offered me two choices with predicted travel times differing by 20 minutes. I could see the red areas where traffic was heavy and what to avoid. Armed with this real-time insight, I selected the 280 North and a small side road that got me to my destination almost to the predicted minute.

Personalized Process

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 11.18.53 PMThis same kind of personalized view of what one is supposed to do on the job has arrived in the workplace in the form of intelligent process. Instead of getting a one-size-fits-all company binder (typically well out of date), new employees can expect to get a personalized, up-to-date view of their processes, work instructions, systems, metrics based on their roles within the organization.

In a sense, this lets them become ‘locals’ much faster with out the need to become immersed in hidden tribal knowledge.  Not only that, they can ask questions of other locals in real time with built in social collaborative tools – a sort of built in roadside assistance.  Of course, they can get this same information on their mobile devices.

Personalized process is as common sense as Google Maps and just as much a factor in making people smarter. What did we do before we had this? Hard to remember.


TIBCO Nimbus 9 information

Tags: ,

Categories: Future of work, Human Resources, Process Management

Author:Tom Molyneux

A business process strategist with a focus on real-time event management.

Subscribe to the blog

Subscribe and receive an email when new articles are published

4 Comments on “How Einstein would have managed process”

  1. January 17, 2013 at 6:37 am #


    Data (D) is abundant, but the right data has to be provide the required Information (I) to support execution of the task to its goal state. Next comes whether the Information is true/false and belived/not believed …correct correlation of thee two is called Knowledge (K)´. Those having Knowledge, accumulate over many years by Education and Experience acquire Wisdom (W) which only the Human Brain has the capability of assimilating. …..hence DIKW …now read about that in Google and you will become a little wiser!

    Brian in Sweden
    Alias Sir George the Dragon Slayer
    Knighted in Canadian Dragons’ Den 2009

    My User name ‘PFCN’ is an acronym for Profitable Fulfillment of Customer Needs, the ultimate solution to World-Wide Wealth & Welfare as explained at web-site

    • January 17, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks for the comment and spot on. I think you hit on something really fundamental with whether the information is trusted. This is where many BPM solutions fail – the processes are mapped once (say, for a project). However, they aren’t maintained and pretty soon they no longer reflect reality. Once this secret gets out, trust in the process information is destroyed and you’re back to people falling back on tribal knowledge as to how to perform their jobs. One of the fundamental requirements for adoption is trust, and you can only get that with a managed single source of process truth. Once you get this truth, you can start to do some really interesting things like personalization and continuous improvement.

  2. January 18, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    what if we allowed customers and people alike to BYOP (Bring your own process) ? The effective consumerisation of process (and everything within it) !

    Think about it, we allow BPMS to constantly monitor and tweak processes according to feedback mechanisms which are (mostly) internal, but do we ever truly allow the customer to control just how that process interaction, direction and speed should take place ? Should we ever for that matter ? And if not, why not ?

    And what if Big Data and MDM suddenly wandered into the welcoming arms of the customer themselves ? We hold their customer records, but we erect chinese walls preventing them from actually doing anything with it.

    What if everybody had a private cloud which were effectively mini master-data-portals that WE accessed. Suddenly control of accurate data would be in the hands of the customer as would the responsibility of maintenance, not with 1, 10, 100 organisations they’re registered with.

    And on the flip side, would we allow new Subject Matter Experts that are employed in an organisation to bring with them a set of processes they know work ? Would that cause such a governance issue to embed new processes from the outside without question ? In a BYOP scenario they would be seen as a set of flexible tasks rather than a rigid process to follow, so more inherent to Case design than process design.

    Would it lead to business process chaos, is it something we need to fear or welcome ?

    After all, we spend every waking moment trying to give the customer what they want, at what point do we really achieve it……

  3. Bob Urry
    January 18, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    I like your thinking Theo. I’ve always thought that BYOP was a really valuable concept. it would be very liberating to (appropriately) access information held in public (or any other) organisations an have your process present it in a valuable way.

    Perhaps details of where to get good healthcare by mining healthcare organisations. MPs able to get instant statistics about the same healthcare organisations, based on their role in life.

    I think there will be some very nervous security experts trying to know how to deliver this safely!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: