By Kate Le Grand at December 12 2018 22:34:14
In mathematics, method of solving a problem by repeatedly using a simpler computational method. A basic example is the process of long division in arithmetic. The term algorithm is now applied to many kinds of problem solving that employ a mechanical sequence of steps, as in setting up a computer program. The sequence may be displayed in the form of a flowchart in order to make it easier to follow. As with algorithms used in arithmetic, algorithms for computers can range from simple to highly complex.
In the last years some organizations have emerged with the aim of creating professional communities around specific disciplines such as Software Development (SEI, ESI, etc...), Project Management (PMI), Business Process Management (BPMI), IT Service Management (ITSMF), etc... One of the objectives of these groups is to develop a body of knowledge that compiles the discipline's best practices in the form of reference frameworks, methodologies and maturity models. These assets should be considered by any organization interested in knowledge process management.
In all cases, however, the task that the algorithm is to accomplish must be definable. That is, the definition may involve mathematical or logic terms or a compilation of data or written instructions, but the task itself must be one that can be stated in some way. In terms of ordinary computer usage, this means that algorithms must be programmable, even if the tasks themselves turn out to have no solution. In computational devices with a built-in microcomputer logic, this logic is a form of algorithm. As computers increase in complexity, more and more software-program algorithms are taking the form of what is called hard software.
All process instances are executed in a very similar way and it is easy to draw a flowchart detailing the sequence in which tasks are executed. It is also possible to formalize the business rules that guide decisions, normally based on the evaluation of some process variables. But recently other kinds of processes have caught the attention of process management specialists. They are known as knowledge processes, or knowledge-based processes. Knowledge processes can be defined as "high added value processes in which the achievement of goals is highly dependent on the skills, knowledge and experience of the people carrying them out". Some examples could be management, R&D, or new product development processes.
Knowledge workers carry out these processes by taking into account multiple inputs (generally a wide set of unstructured data and information) to perform difficult tasks and make complex decisions among multiple possible ways of doing the work, each one implying different levels of risk and possible benefits. They are dependent on individuals and it is not possible to automate them. One example of a knowledge process is "Marketing a new product". The same steps are followed each time a new product is launched (benchmarking competitors, deciding pricing strategy, planning promotion, etc...), but it is the experience, knowledge and intuition of the people that drive the process to success.
That is, they are increasingly becoming part of the basic circuitry of computers or are easily attached adjuncts, as well as standing alone in special devices such as office payroll machines. Many different applications algorithms are now available, and highly advanced systems such as artificial intelligence algorithms may become common in the future. Artificial Intelligence (AI), a term that in its broadest sense would indicate the ability of an artifact to perform the same kinds of functions that characterize human thought.