This is the thing BPM often ignores – to the chagrin of both customers and employees. In the algorithms of any given BPM-implementation, there is a need to be able to overrule the machine by individuals and these individuals need to be entitled and properly empowered to do so.
There are too many incidents in which an exception from the rule is called for but not catered for. Gregory Bufithis mentions this in his analysis of the case of the infamous UA airline incident:
Southwest Airlines and its “hub social team” that has spokes into every element of the business. Southwest actually has human decision making “escape valves” build into their algorithms used to dictate employee behavior. In other words, if an algorithmic process is going terribly wrong, it is ok for an employee to find a non-standard way to solve it or ask for help. Southwest has a “rapid response team” that can swoop in electronically (usually via a smart phone) to coach onsite employees on ways to response (and also authorizing extremely non-standard responses on the spot).
Excellent reading matter, and a wake-up call for all of us doing BPM implementations to follow Southwests policies and not UAs.