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Human Process Performance

Consider whether it is eco-friendly to let humans work over machines

How can the environmental impact of a process be decreased by changing certain activities, so that they are executed by humans?

Nowak, A., Leymann, F., Schleicher, D., Schumm, D., & Wagner, S. (2011, October 21). Green business process patterns. Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs. PLoP 11: Pattern Languages of Programs Conference 2011.


Organizations are based on both human and IT supported activities and processes that aim to achieve a certain strategic objective. These activities need to be organized in such a way that organizations are most profitable and also reach certain ecological goals within a given environment. Performing some activities by human workers can be one possibility to reach this objective.


Determining activities in a workflow which may be replaced by human activities in order to improve the ecological footprint of a certain business process.


Replace certain activities which are enacted by machines that pollute the environment with human performed activities to obtain a greener business process.


By replacing certain activities of a workflow so that they are enacted by humans, the environmental impact of a business process may be reduced.


Consider an organization that manufactures specialized metal parts for engineering. The parts are produced in small batch series. Instead of using a high-tech laser-scanning machine which scans each part for quality assurance, an employee checks the corresponding part. This saves the organization costs (at least to some extend) and decreases the environmental impact which is created through the manufacturing and operation of such a specialized machine.


Single activities must not be executed by humans in total. They can also be semi-automated or split into an automated and a manual part to better (i.e. more efficiently) support human process performance.

Relations to other Patterns

The green automatization pattern may be considered as the opposite of the Human Process Performance pattern. Also, the use eco-friendly resources pattern may be considered because changing an activity to be enacted automatically may be considered the same as using other resources to enact a certain task.

Performance considerations

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Foundational free Patterns

Appoint case managers

Assign a responsible individual for handling each case type

Distinguish case types

Determine whether activities are related to the same type of case and, if necessary, distinguish new business processes

Establish a case-based mindset

Remove batch-processing and periodic activities from your business process

Empower resources

Empower workers for more decision-making authority

Fail Early

Order knock-outs by least effort and highest termination probability first.

Minimize numerical involvement

Too many cooks spoil the broth

Resequence activities

Move activities to more appropriate places

Shift Workload

Execute tasks when the grid is powered by renewable energy

Preference-based task assignment

Let people do what they love to do


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Connected to

Automate for environmental impact

Implement automation in a sustainable way

Use eco-friendly resources

Replace underlying resources with eco-friendly alternatives

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