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Service Oriented Architecture Field Guide for Executives by Bibhas Bhattacharya, Kyle Gabhart

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2.11. MONITOR AND CONTROL THE PROCESS

With an orchestration your business process runs on autopilot. If every thing goes according to plan, all the tasks in a process will complete successfully and in time. The sequencing of tasks no longer needs any human supervision. The role of human staff is largely limited to performing the tasks (but not to control the flow or sequence of these tasks).

Unfortunately, we cannot take our eyes completely off the business process. There are several things that can go wrong:

  • A task has not finished in time. This may be because an employee is on vacation, a supplier is really not up to the game, or someone just forgot all about it. Something has to be done to deal with this situation so that the assembly line of the business process can get moving. Even the simplest of tasks can unnecessarily hold up a process.

  • Process instances are starting at an alarming rate, increasing demand for resources. For example, in our Return Handling case study, you may see a high number of returns after the holiday period. Excessive demand for resources can lead to long customer lines, overflow in a storage area, and in a worst-case scenario, machine failure.

  • An unexpected situation has occurred. For example, a supplier has sent a wrong part. The business process is not designed to deal with that situation. Something has to be done to reorder the part so that the manufacturing process can continue. If an exception situation occurs, management should consider altering ...

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