|•||Variety and variability of tasks|
|•||Extension of temporal scope and reduction of time constraints|
|•||Avoidance of backlogs|
In many real life business processes unforeseen customer demands, errors, bottlenecks or any other kinds of exceptions call for adaptations of pre-specified allocation decisions. One reason for adaptation that we met several times in our case studies is escalation; other prominent ones are time constraints and workload balancing.
Contract management for express services includes the agreement of discount rates between customers and the express service. When sales representatives and pricing analysts cannot agree on appropriate discount rates, cases are escalated to higher positions. Escalation of controversial cases is very difficult to plan in advance and must be supported with functionality for flexible delegation and additional information for informed decisions (see section 3.1. and 3.2.). When time becomes an important factor for signing a contract, clerks in the contract management take over activities from their colleagues. This valuable interpretation of roles can be supported by flexible role modeling and access to those pools which contain either preceding or subsequent work-items (3.3.).
In the field of the forwarding business, workload-balancing is a critical success factor. For instance, the distribution of piece goods on vehicles for delivery has to fulfill many constraints such as maximum use of loading capacities, short road ways etc. Sometimes drivers participate in distribution decisions and negotiate with the distributor. Constraints and conflicting requirements can be controlled by negotiation, voting mechanisms and constraint based control (3.4.).