Is Watson the Next Frontier of Process Improvement?
Krista Summitt 270003YAW6 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  business intelligence improvement bpm analytics predictive watson process
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AUTHOR'S NOTE: The following post was contributed by Mihnea Galeteanu, Chief Storyteller, IBM Blueworks Live and Websphere Lombardi Edition.
Language: "a body of words and the systems for their use common to a
are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition"
Once you’re done reading this blog post, I dare you to stand up and look for wherever people congregate in your office, perhaps around water coolers or coffee machines.
Not only will it be good to get that much needed exercise (just saying) but I’m also confident you’ll confirm my theory: whether in English, French, Spanish or whatever other natural language, your colleagues will be talking/complaining/debating about a process. What a company does, how it differentiates itself in the marketplace, how it orders everything from paper clips to engine parts, can all be expressed in terms of a process.
Process is the language of business
When something goes wrong, it’s either because there is too much process, too little process or the wrong process. Likewise, when something goes right, it’s because the right resources (people or systems) were engaged at the right time. What dictates that is again a process. Too often however, what differentiates something going wrong from something going right is nuance or context if you will. You either had the right alerts in place to alert you when that something is about to go wrong or you just happened to read a whitepaper that proposed an improved way of delivering that promotion campaign and that allowed you to capture market share ahead of your competitor. The equivalent of context in natural language is when your wife asks you “What do you think of this color on me?” and your answer is always wrong UNLESS you had just bought her flowers or are about to take her out for a nice dinner.
Process execution context makes process management more of an art than an exact science
This is where Watson comes in. As demonstrated recently on Jeopardy, Watson can take language and apply the context to it in order to find meaning in their combination and propose an answer or a solution.I can’t help but wonder if this is the next frontier of process improvement. What if Watson could take everything it knows about process improvement in general, about your industry and your company in particular and apply that knowledge to offer you insights into how you can make your processes better, more efficient, more scalable before you even had a chance to have your morning coffee? What if, because it understands the meaning of your process in the context of your organization, it could monitor for changes in your industry and adapt your processes for you (of course, Watson would be nice enough to send you an email and let you know what it did and how much money it saved you or it made you)?
While IBM has been using BPM with Business Intelligence & Predictive Analytics for a few years now, with Watson, we can 'humanize' the output. It allows us to deliver process insights in natural language instead of in reports,
dashboards, and in data, which then requires a human to review it,
understand it, and apply it. Healthcare will, in fact, be
the first industry that will benefit from everything IBM learned from building
Watson. At the macro level, what I’m talking about here is the healthcare of
your organization and of your business. Same problem, different scale.
What are your thoughts on this? Please leave us a comment below and share your perspective.