A Conversation On Nonlinearity

I recently traded a few emails with Pedro Sobreiro about NebriOS and how it could be used to for business strategy optimization within a Business Object context. It’s been a lot of fun getting his thoughts and talking through what he wants to see out of Nebri.

Let’s start with a recent email first because it’s the most interesting:

 

Pedro: For the information I have it seems to me almost the “Egg of Columbus” and with the behavior that you describe it seems fantastic in term of possibilities. I like very much of the idea, and I would love to operationalize it in a real context.

Conceptually it is a systemic approach to the organization combined with neuronal networks of scripts. I agree its mind blowing!

 

And on to the rest:

Pedro: This seems great! Some time ago I did academic work in a SQL database where the objectives were to implement several scripts (internal triggers) that minimizes the presentation layer. Those scripts were triggered upon INSERT, UPDATE or DELETE. I am only saying this because the way the scripts are triggered in Nebri reminded me of this.

Adam: That’s crazy! That’s how our idea started.

Pedro: One of the problems that I am trying to solve, is how to articulate the Business Alignment, between strategy and operations, it’s somehow the operationalization of the strategy. In a sense that doing something in the context of the organization to generate value to it.
What I understood about Nebri OS, is that its based in Scripts, KVPs and Inbox. The concepts of KVP seem interesting, where I am thinking in Business Objects and the KVP as decomposition of a business objects. Then I could be arranged the decomposition of the Business Object and linking it to a KVP, this could be the base for alignment of BPM to NebriOS KVP concept.
The concept of the stimulus could be used to align the events (end, intermediate or begin) to the stimulus, although the stimulus for what I understood are based in the KVP changes. And stimulus interactions are reflected in changes in the “data”. The idea seems very interesting, because thinking about the identification of the stimuli and how to treat them, look simpler than thinking in tasks, but at the same time I could make an analogy to BPMN like events and intermediate events.

Adam: We just realized today that objects are the focus of the system, and the KVP’s hold attributes of the business objects. For example, if you had a car rental shop you would create scripts that react to a car’s changing attributes. The scripts would program rules such as “if the oil hasn’t been changed in x miles or x months, let another actor know to change it”. The business object would have a “thread”, or process ID.

Pedro: I am always thinking in BPM because I am always thinking of the alignment between business strategy, processes and tasks. And at that level of task I want to see the implementation of NebriOS, but aligned with the business strategically. Thinking like this is easy for me identify the business value generated by the implementation of something based in Nebri OS.

The idea of using the inbox is very simple, because it defines a repository for the interactions, but what about organizing the inbox? If I use NebriOS how do I manage the Inbox to deal with several processes? Probably I didn’t understand something here, but its one of my questions. Or asking in another way, its all the use of Nebri OS based only in the inbox? How the end user interacts with Nebri OS?
Adam: Managing several processes through the inbox isn’t very hard: each process has it’s own ID in the subject field. However, it’s not advisable to use this as your only organizational method. Inboxes are good for communication, not task management, I would say. Organization can be further enhanced through a custom view on a Nebri plugin page, or your own task manager, or the upcoming interactive view. But more importantly, if you have a task that has a critical path, it’s very simple to put timers and escalation policies on each one so they never get stuck. This method allows people to be personally responsible, but also have accountability when they fail to do so.

The soon to be released interactive view will prove extremely helpful. It allows forms to be filled out and messages to be read via the browser, just like traditional BPM tools. Those forms would act just like an email, modifying KVP’s, except it will be easier since no syntax is involved. This should be done sometime next week.

Pedro: Is it possible to have access to Nebri custom view? I have done some tests with a open source solution, in this case BonitaSoft! It seems to me that is needed a list of processes to interact based in the user login, e.g. if I work with students check-in to the institution I need to have the processes to interact related to my job functions.

[We gave him access to an Nebri environment]

Pedro: The concept of asynchronous of BPM seems apt. I am thinking were in intermediate events, e.g. like one of the messages. In BPMN when we define a diagram the intermediate event waits for the “stimulus”, and here are two types of intermediates events, stoppers and non stoppers of the process instance, where the intermediate event that stops is the most suitable.

Adam: Intermediate events is an interesting comparison, and I don’t mind that at all. It’s almost like each action in Nebri is an intermediate event. I don’t know, let me look into the subject more and get back to you on that.

Pedro: It’s probably best to try to contextualize NebriOs in a real world example of an organization, and try to use it to solve a problem aligned to a business case, like time, cost, capacity or quality. And doing this its demonstrated the business value of NebriOS. What do you think?

Adam: I think business values of implementing a nonlinear BPM like Nebri would be the intelligence that is gained by adding together many small, simple scripts. It’s very fractal and organic in this way. Can you imagine an organization that had 1000 scripts authored by other people, reacting to changes in business object attributes? It’s mind blowing! And since each script is autonomous, fully decoupled, not depending on any other Nebri script, architecture remains much more simple. That’s the hope! We are just launching, so it’s just a theory for now.

Adam: More examples: we are busy now writing more scripts based on the car rental shop to help people (and ourselves) understand the object-oriented nature of the system.

Pedro: I would love to see more examples!

Adam: Cool, these will be on Github shortly.

Thanks for talking this out with me. Do you know of any company/organization that might want us to implement NebriOS for them? We could use the experience and feedback this would provide, and help them out along the way.

Pedro: Yes I am testing my concepts that we have been articulating in the organization where I work, and could be done some work were. Its an institution that works in the education sector, haves 1000 students, 100 teachers and 50 non-teachers collaborators.