Sigurd Rinde has been beating the drum for some time that from an information technology perspective, enterprises are locking themselves into ERP-type industrialization models, while falling short on essential processes that address innovation, value creation and customer partnerships -- what he calls BRP, or "barely repeatable processes."
Put simply, businesses crave predictability and organization, and thus things get put into boxes:
"Production, service delivery machinations, human capital management, and supply chain management are examples of Repeatable and predictable processes well served by ERP, SCM, HCM and other such nice TLAs.... We like ERP so we try to streamline BRP using rules or rigid processes, but otherwise we minimize them. Over time the pure 'BRP-mode' startup becomes a rigid 'ERP' machine."
Rinde urges businesses to remember that ERP is a subset of BRP, and not the other way around. "If the BRPs were well supported, even run as processes in some 'repeatable' fashion, then patterns becomes visible and some sort of predictability ensues."
Great stuff to keep in mind as service oriented architectures are designed as well. We know SOA approaches are effective for transaction and data-sharing environments. But what's the best way to leverage services to support and enhance business innovation and creativity? Users need the the flexibility and freedom to design or even build services or service interfaces that will not only help them do their jobs better, but introduce new ways of thinking. SOA should keep the entrepreneurial spirit thriving.
(Photo credit: Les Chatfield via Wikimedia Commons, CC 2.0)