Marek Szelągowski

Abstract

As customers demand easier access to individualized products and services, companies now face an ongoing problem of how to deliver flexible and innovatve solutons while maintaining efciency and compettveness. In this environment, the only sustainable form of compettve advantage rests in the ability to learn faster than the competton (de Geus, 1988). The artcle returns to the somewhat forgoten concept of the learning organizaton and explores how its principles can be applied with the use of dynamic business process management (dynamic BPM). Enabling in this concept individual or team-based limited experimentaton and providing conditons for learning though experience in the course of performing business processes allows for the constant creaton of practcal knowledge. This artcle provides examples of how dynamic BPM facilitates the constant creaton and verifcaton of practcal knowledge, with the aim of improving and adaptng processes to maintain the compettve advantage of the organizaton.

Introducton

The economy is undergoing acceleratng, multdimensional changes, which are the result of the growing demand of customers for easier access to individualized products and services. Customers want products on demand, at moderate prices, and of perfect quality. They seek products with a wide range of features, products which can be adapted to their preferences, habits, and, increasingly more ofen, to their expectatons, which are shaped by commercials and social media (Koźmiński, 2004, p. 90). In effect, companies are forced to change their management styles — from general market orientaton, focused on the average statstcal customer, to management focused on the individual customer. In consequence, companies are forced to update their knowledge on their customers’ needs on an ongoing basis. However, it is no longer possible to gain a complete understanding of the clients’ ongoing needs on the basis of their past choices. Changes in customer needs, which are the result of globalizaton, technological changes, the influence of social media, or the rapid implementaton of scientfc discoveries (e.g. in medicine, cosmetology, or electronics), are so common that it is essental for companies to operate in and understand the present on the basis of their knowledge of the perceivable future (Kisielnicki and Szyjewski, 2004, p. 1).

This means that organizatons must strive daily to keep their rules of operaton relevant. Furthermore, their informaton on the current and potental needs of their customers must be updated on an ongoing basis (Fiol and Lyles, 1985). Organizatons should constantly verify and update their current knowledge, as well as gain access to more recent knowledge, by means of collectng and analyzing experiences resultng from their ongoing relatons with their clients, partners, as well as their competton (Rybiński, 2014). In other words, companies should constantly learn how to operate with their clients in mind, even though their clients might not know today what they will need tomorrow. The problem is how to fnd sources of recent knowledge, and how to extract and verify informaton on the trends which underlie the changing needs of the clients. From whom should the organizaton learn? Where is the source, or where are the sources, of alwayscurrent and implementable knowledge, which will provide the organizaton with compettve advantage?

A learning organizaton - literature review

The concept of a learning organizaton frst came to prominence in the 1990s. Among the various defnitons of a learning organizaton, this artcle will make use of two. One of the most popular defnitons of a learning organizaton was formulated by Peter Senge. According to Senge (1990), learning organizatons are “[...]organizatons in which people contnually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive paterns of thinking are nurtured, where collectve aspiraton is set free, and where people are contnually learning to see the whole together” (p.19). The second defniton was formulated by C. Sikorski and reads as follows: “[...] a maximally flexible organizaton, in which routne, habits, and stereotypes do not replace the dynamic reality” (Mikuła, 2001, p.29-35). One could also state that a learning organizaton is an optmally flexible organizaton, in which routnes, habits, and stereotypes change under the influence of the knowledge of the dynamic reality and the perceivable future. According to P. Lassey (1998), the key to understanding a learning organizaton is development. Assuming that the learning process is a modifcaton of behaviors, a learning organizaton must be capable of modifying its own paterns of behaviour (Lassey, 1998, p.7). In effect, it must be able to adapt, transform, and to develop itself (Mikuła, 2001, p.30). Then it will have perfectly implemented processes of organizatonal learning, which work on an ongoing basis. This is a good point of departure for looking at an organizaton from a somewhat different perspectve: that of organizatonal learning.

Figure 1. Two approaches: a learning organizaton (Senge) contrasted with organizatonal learning (Garvin)
Source: Jashapara (2011), p.183.

In P. Senge’s model, building a learning organizaton is predicated upon the fve following disciplines: personal excellence, team learning, systemic thinking, thought models, and a shared vision. According to Garvin, a learning organizaton should be profcient in generatng, acquiring and sharing knowledge, as well as implementng the newly-acquired knowledge into ongoing actvites (Jashapara, 2011). From the perspectve of Garvin’s model of the theory of learning, there are two fundamental methods of learning on the level of individual, team, and organizaton:

  1. shaping: learning through experience and using the trial and error method, or, in other words, actve experimentaton in solving ongoing problems and daily challenges.
  2. modelling: adoptng the experiences of others, or educaton and the observaton of other teams or organizatons, and adoptng their methods of operaton.

E. Tsang stated that organizatons learning from practce will automatcally gravitate towards making improvements in their performance, as long as the process is accompanied by appropriate knowledge (Tsang, 1997, p.78). At present, this method of learning is increasingly singled out as the most effectve. Nevertheless, it remains necessary to solve the problem of gaining, analyzing, and circulatng experience gained from actve experimentng and knowledge acquisiton, including the knowledge obtained by observing other organizatons (Pfeffer and Suton, 2000). Processes pertaining to knowledge management in the organizaton within such a system should share several features in common with the general knowledge lifecycle model:

  1. The creaton of new knowledge

Employees should be able to make individual choices on how to approach their work. Organizatonal procedures (e.g. ISO quality management systems) and process models should enable employees to search for the most efcient solutons, or de facto allow for actve experimentaton, which is present in Garvin’s model (1993).

  1. The analysis of created knowledge

The management should be able to monitor changes introduced to work performance on an ongoing basis, as well as to measure the results of work in an objectve and quantfable fashion, both on the level of comprehensive customer support (individual orders, contracts, or products) and the level of partcular actvites. Only then will it be possible to identfy those experiences which should be shared throughout the organizaton (best practces), as well as to identfy those behaviours which should be avoided (wrong practces).

  1. The disseminaton of knowledge

The process of organizatonal learning should not be limited to collectng knowledge and informaton, but should also allow for their rapid disseminaton throughout the organizaton with the aim of using knowledge in business practce in order to gain compettve advantage.

A system with the above features allows us to model all actvites within the company. The company’s knowledge on customer expectatons and the efciency of partcular adaptaton mechanisms should be stored in appropriate common-use databases and verifed on a contnuous basis. Such well-applied knowledge quite frequently guarantees a compettve advantage in terms of reacton tme and the implementaton of processes which adapt to changes outside of the organizaton. In an ideal situaton, an organizaton should possess knowledge which allows, with great probability, to antcipate, or at the very least, closely follow the changes that are happening or are about to happen outside of the organizaton (Mikuła, 2001, p.66).

The concept of dynamic business processes management (dynamic BPM)

All organizatons which want to functon in the 21st century should be centered on processes (Hammer, 1996). Thanks to the possibilites offered by modern IT systems, process management does not need to be limited to the routne, repeated executon of the same actons with a defned producton method and a clearly defned, wholesale end product. Processdriven companies are no longer limited to executng the same actons, which were tested in practce tme and again and which can be changed only at the consent of upper management (Kisielnicki and Szyjewski, 2004, p.6). Due to the ever-changing customer demands, as well as the changing compettve environment that companies fnd themselves in, processes should be maintained, i.e. quantfed, adapted to changes, and elaborated upon in detail afer their implementaton (Szelągowski, 2013). This is why, according to Michael Hammer, among others, the concept of dynamic Business Process Management (dynamic BPM) is the practcal soluton to the management of a learning organizaton. This concept is based on the implementaton of process management in accordance with the following three basic principles:

I. Evolutonary changeability during the realizaton process

Employees executng a certain process should have the freedom to introduce changes in accordance with the current demands of the customer. This is why standard processes implemented within an organizaton are called “standard processes as of today”. Because in reality there are no two identcal conditons for completng different processes (e.g. two identcal constructon investments, two identcal consultant projects, two identcal tailor-made suits), process executors introduce changes to the standard process in accordance with client demands, technological requirements, or the executors’ own experience. Processes must be defned and implemented in such a way that their course and the actvites performed in each step of the process can be supplemented, or even changed by their direct executors. Previously, only process owners were enttled to introduce changes to ongoing processes, but nowadays the direct executors of such processes should also be allowed to make such changes. They should be able to perform limited experiments by performing actons, or even entre fundamental processes, which are not included in the standard process “as of today”, as well as to discontnue performing actons or processes which no longer add value (Garvin, 1993). The scope of such possible experimentaton should, of course, be limited to such an extent, as not to lead to chaos.

II. Processes are considered completed only afer having been documented

Only under this conditon can we compare the defniton of the process (“the standard process as of today”) with the executon of the process. And only then will an analysis of the comparison provide us with full, up-to-date, contextual informaton about all of the actve experiments or innovatons introduced by process executors, as well as about their effects. And only then will it be possible to systemically transform hidden knowledge into shared disclosed knowledge of an organizaton (Vines and Hall, 2011, pp.23-25). In order to avoid additonal, inessental documentaton of the performed actvites, the performance of a process itself should be considered tantamount to the documentaton of a process with the use of e.g. a work flow system, a business process management system (BPMS), a case management system, or a personal intranet portal. Thanks to Automatc Business Process Discovery (ABPD) tools and Process Mining, we can also identfy the course of a process within the standard systems used throughout the organizaton, e.g. communicaton, ERP, or CRM or other systems. We can also identfy the stages of a process or analyze the introduced deviatons from the standard process, and then expand or enhance the standard model (Aalst and Dustdar, 2012, p.82–83). In effect, we can speak not of ex post management, but of dynamic day-to-day management on the basis of data which systematcally reach the management (Process Mining Manifesto, 2012).

III. Comprehensiveness and contnuity

The introducton of process management should include processes which, at a minimum, describe the most fundamental operatons of the company. If possible, the descriptons should also include the suppliers, the partners (who e.g. work in one organizaton network), as well as the clients. This would enable the company to seek methods of raising its efciency through experimentaton encompassing all actons which provide value for the client (Champy, 2003). The aim is not to minimize the costs or the labor tme in a company which is e.g. the main contractor. The aim is to minimize the overall costs and the overall supply requirements, while also lowering the total tme of executon (Hammer, 1996). This would considerably widen the range of opportunites of increasing efciency, and ofen also reduce the tme of completng a project due to optmizatons which take into account actvites which fall outside the range of a single company (e.g. supply, warranty service) within a single value-adding process, which would defne the total cost for the customer (Drucker, 1999).

Dynamic business process management maintains all of the standard capabilites of process management, but it also allows the process executor to shape his/her work in a creatve fashion

In standard, statc implementatons of business process management in organizatons, the process executor stll plays the role of a systematcally controlled “cog in the machine”. In dynamic BPM, however, thanks to the opportunites offered by modern computer systems, the owner of a given process is able to observe actual multple executons of a process and their end results and is able to supplement or remodel the standard process in accordance with best practces, understood as such practces which have led the process to success in its subsequent iteratons. This can be achieved through preventng mistakes (e.g. supplementng the process with control and verifcaton actons before making a decision), through adding faster, more efcient actons, which allow for the completon of the process with beter results (e.g. by a different division of work, omitng unnecessary decision levels, a more detailed defniton of customer expectatons, faster coordinaton of work with subcontractors, introducton of newer technologies, etc.), or perhaps through other actvites, which could not have been foreseen at the tme of designing the process. Such actvites are ofen factors which were known earlier, but whose importance was neglected. Including all possibilites in the descripton of the process may have been considered too expensive or physically impossible. At the same tme, analyzing partcular executons of a single process leads to identfying practces that should not be copied or imitated. These might be called “wrong practces”. They are the result of identfying unquestonably failed experiments and felds in which the company’s knowledge has become outdated.

Dynamic BPM is not the frst atempt at overcoming the limitatons of classic, statc process management, and adaptng it to the requirements of a hypercompettve organizatonal environment. The most well-known concept, though perhaps one of mere historical signifcance at present, is the concept of Business Process Reengineering (BPR). Its authors, M. Hammer and J. Champy (1993), accented changes to the organizatonal environment and the lack of adjustment of organizatons to their new conditons. The scholars advocated for fundamental re-evaluaton and radical redesign of the sum of processes of an organizaton. Not just mere improvements, enhancements, or modifcatons, but complete re-evaluaton and redefniton. In effect, reengineering was not preoccupied with negligible growth or minor improvements, but rather, it was focused on qualitatve leaps, analogous to the qualitatve changes in the organizatons’ environment. (Zimniewicz, 1999).

Despite the fact that the concept of reengineering was met with considerable interest and was quickly popularized, growing experience and the growing number of implementatons revealed that reengineering does not live up to its promises (Davenport, 1995). The main reasons behind BPR implementaton failures are:

  • large scope of implementaton,
  • its one-tme character,
  • rejecton of all prior experiences,
  • top-down (prescriptve) introducton of changes.

In turn, such threats are nonexistent in projects managed along the principles of dynamic BPM. The concept of dynamic BPM is based on:

  • creatng knowledge in the course of limited, local experimentaton (no issues resultng from the massive scope of an implementaton);
  • ongoing verifcaton of current knowledge and the creaton of new knowledge (no issues resultng from the one-tme projectons of the future and the rejecton of prior knowledge);
  • involvement of the largest possible number of employees (no issues resultng from misunderstanding or even rejectng changes imposed on the employees from above).

The concept of dynamic BPM allows for the practcal use of performed business processes as an internal source of organizatonal knowledge. It should be stressed once more that this source of knowledge operates on an ongoing basis and allows for:

  • the accumulaton of up-to-date knowledge, which can be implemented on an ongoing basis. (Vines and Hall, 2011, pp.23-25).
  • the ongoing verifcaton and enhancement of acquired knowledge (Dalmaris, Tsui, Hall, and Smith, 2007, pp.12-16).

It should be stressed once more that in contrast with BPR, such knowledge is created and used in the course of an organizaton’s normal actvites, in the form of dynamic workflows, actons, and cases embedded in business process, rather than projects managed by external consultng frms (Remus and Schub, 2003).

Dynamic BPM and the management of a learning organizaton

Companies managed in accordance with the concept of dynamic BPM practcally instantly become companies which ft the defniton of learning organizatons. All, or at least a wide range of employees in an organizaton produce collectve, accessible knowledge in the process of recognizing and selectng new solutons (Table1).

Table 1. Mapping principles of dynamic BPM to the learning organizaton needs
 dynamic BPM
Learning OrganizatonI. Evolutonary changeability during the realizaton process.II. Processes are considered completed only afer having been documented.III. Comprehensiveness and contnuity.Standard measures processmanaged organizatons.
1. The creaton of new knowledge Generatng new knowledge through the creaton of new business processes or the adaptaton of existng business processes to the requirements of customers, suppliers, and employees. Collectng complete, contextual knowledge about: - the expectatons of customers, suppliers, and employees, - actve experimentaton and its results. Creatng and gathering contextual knowledge on the entre fundamental process executed by different organizatonal units, suppliers, or the customers themselves. Process identfcaton – knowledge on how the organizaton operates (or rather: should operate).
2. The analysis of created knowledge Contextual analyses performed during the process executon, including the ongoing monitoring of benchmarks and actual processes. A complete, contextual analysis performed afer having performed the processes, including comparatve analysis of benchmarks and the actual executon of processes. Analysis of the impact of limited experimentaton on the results of the entre fundamental process, which enables organizatons to avoid fragmented suboptmizatons. Planned actons of the organizaton’s management.
3. The disseminaton of knowledge The possibility of immediate, creatve use of newly-created knowledge. Communites of practce centered around knowledge obtained during the course of processes executon (best practces and wrong practces). Current knowledge on the processes of the organizaton. The availability of contextual knowledge on various scenarios of executng processes and their results in actual business performance. The organizaton’s knowledge base. Standard communicaton of knowledge in the organizaton.

Below is an overview of the process of knowledge management and the broad creaton of accessible and available knowledge in a learning organizaton managed with the use of dynamic business processes. Each newly-hired employee receives fundamental data and informaton on the company and its specifc character. Usually, such informaton, apart from introductory training sessions, is provided in the course of a senior employee/ novice mentor relaton. Once the work is started, the junior employee begins to generate individual knowledge, as well as contribute to the creaton of the organizaton’s collectve knowledge. Should the employee leave the company, he/she also irrevocably takes away his/her individual knowledge, which quite ofen contains a signifcant amount of the so-called “hidden” company knowledge that neither the owner nor the company managers are able to absorb and keep in the organizaton (Perechuda, 2004, p.1). The process owner is responsible for planning/forming the processes, as well as for training the process partcipants. In other words, the process owner is the one who shares knowledge with the novices. Thanks to the possibilites offered by dynamic business processes management, afer the preliminary period of familiarizing new employees with the courses of business processes which comprise the organizaton’s collectve knowledge, the employees then generate such collectve knowledge on an ongoing basis through the identfcaton and selecton of new solutons, as well as the verifcaton of processes in actual dayto-day actvites. Such ongoing verifcaton (the frst characteristc of dynamic business process management) is fundamental. Without it, in the age of rapid technological changes, as well as changes to the company’s environment, it could easily turn out that the company is using old and outdated knowledge, generatng something we have previously called “wrong practces”.

In consequence, the ability to create and verify knowledge (best practces and wrong practces alike) on an ongoing basis is a fundamental skill, which allows companies to preserve their permanent capability of both changing and reactng to change. We are not speaking of an acton, of restructuring, reengineering, or similar provisional measures, which are usually unrelated to the generaton of added value for the customers, and aimed at restoring the ability to fulfl customer needs. Instead, what we have in mind are contnued actons pertaining to the fundamental operatons of the company, which enable the company to adapt to changing conditons. Such conditons include the changing expectatons of the customers, the proprietors, and the staff (indeed, fulflling the expectatons of one’s employees may be as crucial as fulflling the demands of the customers from the point of view of motvatng good performance). Within dynamic BPM, the ability to change and to generate change is permanent and inscribed in the company’s ongoing actual operatons. It fulfls all of the requirements put forward by Drucker or Hammer with respect to the “insttutonal ability to change” (Heijden, 1996, p.18). By means of verifying organizatonal knowledge on an ongoing basis and atemptng to introduce innovatons which would increase efciency and provide the company with compettve advantage, dynamic BPM creates and insttutonalizes the company’s potental to self-reform. The key to success is not being able to predict the future, but rather, the contnuous adaptaton of the rules of operaton, in order to face an unforeseeable and surprising future (Płoszajski, 2004, p.1).

By introducing principles which allow for the dynamic modifcaton of processes, companies inseparably combine their fundamental operatons with their day-to-day capability of introducing innovatons, generatng knowledge, and changing. Because process executors are able to change processes dynamically, the entre system of business management opens itself up to the creatve initatves of employees without introducing the danger of chaos associated with the uncontrolled change of rules of operaton. Additonally, with the ability of monitoring the effects of changes, we can enrich the collectve knowledge of an organizaton with the practces and solutons which provide the best results. Now we can indeed see M. Hammer’s vision of what it means to be a process-oriented organizaton, where process enhancement is neither secondary nor peripheral, but central to the task of management. This is what M. Hammer called the deep system of management, which monitors, administrates, adjusts, and reforms the surface system, to generate value for the customer (Hammer, 1996). However, it is not a separate, external system which, apart from generatng additonal costs, might easily begin to be perceived within the company as another bureaucratc duty, impeding normal work. Instead, it has the role of enabling genuine day-to-day enhancements and adaptatons introduced in the process of analyzing the course of processes. The body of knowledge on the best practces which are currently in operaton, as well as on the directon and methods of their modifcaton, is the company’s property. At the same tme, the “hidden” knowledge is being minimized. IT systems which are responsible for dynamic business process management, along with their databases, make practcally all of the collectve knowledge of the organizaton accessible to all employees. It goes without saying that in such a situaton, even when key employees leave the organizaton, practcally all of their “individual knowledge” remains in the company and remains its property by default, regardless of whether the company is traditonally managed or operates as a virtual network. There is just one conditon: the Management Board, or the “integrator” of a network company, should consequently enforce the use of dynamic process management tools and the rules of actvity documentaton, as well as make use of the possibilites offered by e.g. Process Mining tools.

Experimental results and discussion

In order to demonstrate the process of organizatonal learning through the daily operaton of dynamic BPM, let us consider two examples of its practcal implementaton.

The frst example is the change of one of the fundamental business processes in the largest Polish constructon business. The standard main process of the enterprise, which was initally identfed and is presented in Figure 2, is comprised of 4 main processes:

  1. Winning contracts,
  2. Preparaton of realizaton,
  3. Executon of the contract,
  4. Guarantee service.
Figure 2. The main process of the constructon company

The second part of the main process, “Preparaton of realizaton”, is further divided into 4 sub-processes. The sub-process “2.3. Takeover of the constructon site” is comprised of the following actons pictured on the righthand side of Figure 3.

In the case of each large or medium-sized constructon business, the “2.3 Takeover of the constructon site” sub-process is executed multple tmes with each new contract or investment acton. For that reason, it is crucial for this sub-process to be tailored to the needs of the business and the demands of partcular investors. It can be just as expensive to either omit crucial actons (such as on-site inspecton or general contractual risk assessment) or to overburden the process with actons which generate additonal costs or loss of tme.

Having implemented the process and analyzed its subsequent executons, the process owner and the business management singled out two executons for further analysis. Both executons resulted in a fast and problem-free takeover of the constructon site and launch of the investment. Both of these executons, which are presented in Figure 4, are different from the standard (current) process.

Figure 3. The standard (current) process “2.3. Takeover of the constructon site”

Executon “A” was different from the standard (current) process in that it also included the acton “Preliminary on-site inspecton with the subcontractors”, or those who would execute their share of work. This allowed the contract manager responsible for the process to be beter prepared for the on-site inspecton with the investor, and thus to establish the needs and risks of constructon in a more accurate manner. This, in turn, resulted in a faster and a problem-free commencement of the contract.

Figure 4. Actual executons of the basic sub-process “2.3. Takeover of the constructon site”

In the course of executon “B”, the on-site inspecton identfed some deviatons from the provisions of the contract, which required additonal preparaton work on the part of the investor. However, in order to avoid delays, the contract manager (the process executor) decided to begin the executon of the contract and the executon of urgent contract work (preparaton work) at the same tme. In effect, even in this case, departng from the standard process resulted in a faster and tmely commencement of the contract, as well as efcient cost reducton.

Having performed an ex-post analysis of the executon of this process, its owner has introduced changes to the “2.3. Takeover of the constructon site” sub-process, as pictured on Figure 5.

Figure 5. The new standard process “2.3. Takeover of the constructon site”

The change made in the process repository through the associated Process Portal accessible on a corporate intranet, has been communicated instantly throughout the organizaton. Despite the lack of a business process management system (BPMS), it has been implemented throughout the entre organizaton regardless of the geographical locaton of the ongoing contracts. (At that tme, the business was in the process of executng about 120 contracts all around Poland.)

In conclusion, thanks to the rapid practcal verifcaton of knowledge, the organizaton was able to supplement its processes with new elements and make use of them on a broad scale as fast as possible.

In the second case, the business managed to avoid substantal risks associated with its ongoing operatons thanks to the rapid identfcaton, verifcaton, and circulaton of process adaptatons in reacton to changes in its environment. The identfed standard (“the standard process as of today”) Central Purchasing Process of the company is pictured in Figure 6.

Figure 6. The standard (current) process, “5. Central Purchasing”

This process requires receiving at least 3 valid offers for each purchase and assumes standard waitng tmes of 14 days for making offers. In 2006, during the market crash for building materials in Poland, the executon of such a process was practcally impossible. The prices of building materials fluctuated each 2-3 days by several, and at the onset even a dozen or so percent. E.g. the basic MAX ceramic hollow brick, which initally cost 1.5 PLN, was then offered for 2.5, 5, or even 6 PLN. For a constructon business looking for tens or even hundreds of thousands of individual bricks, the price risk was immense. At the same tme, the same risk was faced by suppliers, who refused to make offers with a period of validity of 30 or 60 days, because the prices themselves fluctuated each 2 or 3 days.

Figure 7. The new standard process “5. Central Purchasing”

In the course of several days, the Central Purchasing team developed changes to the Purchasing process and tested them in practce, which enabled the business to functon in the circumstances it was facing (Figure 7). The inquiries were sent to suppliers via email. The suppliers agreed to make their offers the same day via phone or email, providing for the size of the order, the delivery date (almost always “ASAP”), and even the place of delivery. On the same day, the offers were collected and negotated via phone and following internal consultatons, either the best offer was accepted or the process of sending inquiries and negotatng offers began anew. Acceptng an offer was practcally tantamount to the goods being shipped immediately.

Afer the new version of the process was developed and tested in practce in the course of ongoing operatons by regular employees of the department, it was accepted as a contngency plan. This change was communicated throughout the entre organizaton and entered in the ofcial rules and regulatons of the company.

It should be stressed that the development and implementaton of this change should be primarily credited to the regular workers of the business, in cooperaton with the suppliers. By way of minor experimentatons, the regular workers independently applied the knowledge of the organizaton, as well as their own experience, to an unforeseen market situaton. By allowing for the rapid circulaton of this knowledge, the management ensured its widespread use in accordance with the interests of the company and the expectatons of its clients (the constructon works were not delayed). This ability to draw on the experience and engagement of a wide range of employees in modifying the rules of operaton to account for newly-acquired knowledge is the basic principle behind how an organizaton learns new things to remain in touch with the actual necessites of its operatons, as well as ongoing changes of circumstances, which might have strategic importance (Garvin, 1993).

In conclusion, in a situaton where external pressure was exerted on the enterprise, thanks to rapid and limited experimentaton the organizaton managed to adapt to an unforeseen situaton by supplementng its knowledge to date with new elements and making widespread use of such knowledge as fast as possible.

Conclusion

The fundamental abilites of a learning organizaton include knowledge management and the ability to use knowledge quickly, on a broad scale, and in a controlled manner, with the partcipaton of the largest possible number of employees (Senge, 1990, p.19). Organizatons managed in accordance with the principles of dynamic BPM practcally almost immediately fulfll all the requirements of a learning organizaton. Such an organizaton can create new knowledge on an ongoing basis in the course of actve experimentaton, which adapts the organizaton’s actvites to the changing requirements (the frst principle of dynamic BPM). It can also verify its knowledge in a transparent fashion and make the results of such a verifcaton available both to the management, as well as to a large number of employees, in the form of a full context for all performed processes (the second rule of dynamic BPM). In effect, such results can be used to adapt to the changing market conditons and the competton on an ongoing basis in the course of at least an entre fundamental process.

The concept of dynamic BPM, developed since 2004, is not the frst atempt at overcoming the limitatons of classic, statc process management, and adaptng it to the requirements of an increasingly more hypercompettve business environment of the organizaton (D’Aveni, 1994). However, as we exemplifed, the experience of its implementaton to date raises the hope that by genuinely using the dynamism of a wide range of employees, this concept will allow us to combine the effectveness and efciency of process management with the flexibility and openness to change provided by a learning organizaton.

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Biography

Dr inż. Marek Szelągowski is an experienced business process management specialist. Author of an increasingly popular concept of „dynamic business process management” (dynamic BPM) and „Process criterion for signifcance.” He has had more than 20 years of experience in implementng IT solutons in support of management. He has partcipated in the development and implementaton of IT solutons in the areas of accountng, human resource management, producton, project management, IT infrastructure management, etc. He worked as CIO for Budimex Group and was responsible for the creaton and development of the IT ofce, and most of all IT strategy for adaptng to changing business needs. Currently involved in dealing with dynamic BPM implementaton process management based on common sense to improve and simplify processes, choosing and implementng solutons tailored to the client’s situaton. Corresponding address: 02-372 Warszawa, ul Opaczewska 44/18. Mobile: 601 62 02 81. Email: marek.szelagowski@ dbpm.pl.