Creating the perfect process first time is just monkey business


Great thread over at ebizQ about whether it’s feasible to create a process right first time.

Which lead me to think about the monkey Shakespeare analogy. So I sprinkled a little Friday BPM  fun and this is the result. Enjoy.

The infinite process monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random using Visio or a BPMS for an infinite amount of time will almost surely create a given process, such as the complete target operating model of a bank.

In this context, “almost surely” is a mathematical term with a precise meaning, and the “monkey” is not an actual monkey, but a Process Analyst that produces a random sequence of BPMN shapes and symbols ad infinitum. The relevance of the theory is questionable—the probability of a Process Analyst exactly creating a perfect process is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time even a hundred thousand orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but not zero).

The upshot ? Don’t hold your breath.


2 responses to “Creating the perfect process first time is just monkey business

  1. Pingback: BPM Quotes of the week « Adam Deane·

  2. In my experience most of the organizations really don’t know what’s their current process (AS-IS) and have some vague ideas about TO-BE process. Process design is an iterative process and when v1.0 is ready and deployed in real world, many times careful analysis of process performance data and how process is really utilized opens up completely new avenues leading to further process improvements. That’s why BPM projects are based on a life-cycle vs one&done IT projects.

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