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A Regulation-Based View on Business Process and Supporting System Flexibility. Gil Regev, Alain Wegmann EPFL-IC-LAMS. What is Flexibility?. Elasticity Plasticity Adaptivity Proactivity Agility Changeability But what is flexibility?. What is not Flexibility. Total Fluidity Rigidity.

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a regulation based view on business process and supporting system flexibility

A Regulation-Based View on Business Process and Supporting System Flexibility

Gil Regev, Alain Wegmann EPFL-IC-LAMS

what is flexibility
What is Flexibility?
  • Elasticity
  • Plasticity
  • Adaptivity
  • Proactivity
  • Agility
  • Changeability
  • But what is flexibility?
what is not flexibility
What is not Flexibility
  • Total Fluidity
  • Rigidity
what is this form1
What is this Form?
  • Less change => Survival
survival
Survival
  • Maintenance of norms
  • States that for a given observer remain stable for some period of time
  • Dependent on observation period
  • The earth seems very stable from a human point of view
  • But maybe not from a stellar point of view
survival 2
Survival (2)
  • In a little changing environment
  • Little change to norms is necessary
  • In fast changing environments
  • Flexibility may be necessary
  • Counter example: Dot com bust
flexibility
Flexibility
  • Change without loss of identity

Rigidity

Change

norms
Norms
  • Protect and constrain the system
  • Enable and limit action
  • Example: Compaq couldn’t become Dell
  • Example: Apple, didn’t want to become one more PC maker
  • Counter example: Nokia but is it the same Nokia?
example amusement park
Example: Amusement Park
  • Reservation system
  • Flexible cancellation scheme
  • Very nice for customer but at what cost?
  • Inflexible division between reservation types (Tent and hotel)
  • Means nothing to customer but what is the cost of change?
norms1
Norms
  • In a changing environment norms don’t just remain stable for no reason
  • There are automatic mechanisms in place to maintain the norms
  • Homeostasis
  • The stuff that keeps us healthy also prevents us from being medicated
deviations and norm change
Deviations and Norm Change
  • Deviations => Short term flexibility
  • Norm change => Long term flexibility
norm flexibility
Norm flexibility
  • Alignment on some “basic” norms enables more flexibility
  • Example: Aligning on free speech allows democracies to be very flexible
  • Except on free speech…
process goal
Process Goal
  • What is the goal of a university?
  • Output graduate students?
  • Output failed students?
  • What about its role of filter?
  • Source Weinberg and Weinberg 1988
maintenance of fit
Maintenance of fit

An optimizing-balancing act

Moving equilibrium point

some flexibility mechanisms
Some Flexibility Mechanisms
  • Revisiting norms and their interpretations
  • Knowing what to change and what not to change
  • Problem is: Norms are invisible
bps help to stakeholders
BPS Help to stakeholders
  • Maintain knowledge of
    • the relevant norms
    • stakeholders’ tolerances for deviations from these norms
    • possibilities afforded by technology that can improve the equilibrium from one or more stakeholders’ point of view
    • the projected consequences of changing the norms and equilibrium point
  • maintain a pool of possible actions and conditions of their use in the process
flexibility1
Flexibility
  • Survival in changing environments
  • Maintaining non perfect fit between multiple stakeholders
  • Requires debate/agreement on how much fit and misfit is acceptable
  • Moderation in everything, even in moderation Weinberg & Weinberg 1988