BPM – a year in review

Hi lads, ladies and gentlemen.

I know that the year did not end, but unless nothing extraordinary happens, 2010 can be summarized and revisited as bellow:

  • ACM – Advanced Case Management: This is nothing related with people facing the challenges of learning, emotional and social disorders. But its absolutely social related. ACM is a new concept that was introduced in the BPM arena. Basically breaks the BPM foundations. It brought important concepts how processes can be executed without dumb flowcharts, were people structure and execute processes thinking in the output they want to achieve, manipulating data, constructing activities according to their needs. This is a threat to the ones that have a classic view of bpm: process architecture, procedures, rigid processes, but if you don’t embrace this vision maybe your company can lack flexibility execution. The thing is most BPMS cannot truly offer a full ACM solution, thus with you don’t call your BPMS provider to sit with you and construct a system that can bring ACM to your enterprise? You can find a lot of ACM thoughts on Keith‘s and Max‘s blogs.
  • BPMN 2.0: Well the new standard finally hit the cloud doesn’t it? I hate BPMN for the following reasons:

– It takes more time to draw a process with BPMN that other process notation language;

– Never provided 100% compliance with BPEL and XPDL, providing data loss when importing the never ending, complicated, difficult to understand flowcharts (read my previous post on Antiamba about this).

Anyway despite all the clutter provided it’s becoming a standard, because BPM community never cared about how processes should be mapped. Horrible examples exist about processes mapped using Power Point, Excel whatever. In the same company I experienced process mapping silos: one business unit uses EPC, other IDEF.

These concept’s introduced in 2.0 version can make you cry and bring confusion to people’s mind:

-Private business process – internal use (?!)

-Private business process can be: executable or non-executable (?!)

-Public processes – represents the interactions between a private Business Process and another Process

-A Choreography is a type of process, but differs in purpose and behaviour from a standard BPMN Process. A standard Process, or an Orchestration Process. (?!)

  • PKBOK: With so many new concepts, confusion and chaos why not a BPM Body on knowledge. Sounds great doesn’t it? Like two Librans that pursue mirror perfection, we BPM professionals need a guide to excel on professional services. Does such a guide prepare a professional to handle with the MS Visio mistakes when you are drawing a BPMN flowchart and your customer says: the system indicates that your flowchart is misconceived, but you, a certified PKBOK reply: “no! it’s compliant with the standard! the software is wrong!”. Ultimately you are fired!  One last thought about this: Can such a BOK provides enough intelligence to guide you to the correct BPM techique when killing a pain in the process or you are going to use Lean even if it is inappropriate, because you don’t have knowledge to do better?
  • Outside IN: This one did not become a buzzword, but anyway was popularized in some communities. I discovered that the concept was coined was coined by Donald Norman from the University of Southern California in the 1980s. In the 21st century this means: Influence, participate and innovate.Continuously. If you are interested in learning what is building a stakeholder centric company read this breakthrough study – Outside – In and Inside – Out Seizing the White Space: Innovative Service Concepts in the United States.
  • Social BPM: This one makes me laugh! Social BPM is the capability constructing and executing processes in the cloud among peers, stakeholders, like a cyber insect flooded in information? So wrong. This is marketing malpractice. Social BPM foundation is something based on the image bellow. I started writing some articles about Semantic BPM but unfortunately I have not had much time to complete the article series. This image is a peek of part 2.


Semantic BPM Alberto Manuel - All rights reserved

Happy 2011 everyone. BPM will continue to be a fascinating topic.


12 thoughts on “BPM – a year in review

  1. Great Post. Interesting if this trends become a BPM reality in the future. I think you forgot Pattern based strategies one of most important evolution BPM is facing.

  2. Not sure that criticizing BPMN for not having clean roundtrip with BPEL or XPDL is fair 🙂 it wasn’t a design goal of BPMN in the first place, so it isn’t surprising. Its a bit like saying a car doesn’t float very well. 🙂 Some of the other criticisms are, unfortunately, more than fair 🙂

    Regarding the PKBOK – I think the idea (on their part) was simply to put community assets under an opensource license so that knowledge about BPM could be more easily shared. I could be wrong – maybe they’re going to turn out to be all about certification, but that would be a shame if they are. The criticisms you leveled against PKBoK would be fair to level against any written information, no? 🙂

    • Scott:

      I’m from a time when the standards were clear and could be used in a simple way on daily basis.

      Today it is been increasingly difficult to conform to standards, and some software vendors can not build products that are in accordance with such standards.

      I read the announcements of organizations and software vendors and when I have some time I make tests using real world examples. Unfortunately I believe that in these last few years the capacity to facilitate the way we represent processes and we use the information pictured to exchange it among peers decreases sharply at the point of having to simplify, often changing the way the standard tell us how to do it.

  3. Pingback: Process for the Enterprise » Blog Archive » The First “BPM in Review” Post of 2010

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  6. Marco:

    Did you seen major improvements on Blueworks, particularly importing and designing processes? I took a ride half a year ago and I did not work very well. If one of the main objectives of so called social software is to share knowledge and the tool itself does not let people do it, is not very sociable doesn’t it?

    I do not mean I’m an unbeliever, but one thing making an announcement of some kind of capability, other is making it a reality. End users, the crowd, the people managers want to do something (still) sick of such kind of promises don’t they?

    • Manuel,
      this is exactly my point. Social COULD be potentially interesting in BPM, but tools are not (yet).
      IBM Blueworks Live is a new product wrt Blueworks (I suggest you have a look at it, it includes Blueworks and a few other ingredients, and it was released in November 2010), but still I think it quite far from what one would expect as a social-enabler for business purposes.

  7. Good thing you have here! I reallydo love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the details are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post was been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which really should work! Have a nice day!

  8. Indeed. For a comparison of Blueworks Live with the Human Interaction Management System (HIMS) HumanEdj, which has more of a relationship with Alberto’s diagram, check out http://bit.ly/blueworks-humanedj.

    The models are not the same, but they are closer to each other than Blueworks Live and other social BPM tools are to any form of collaborative knowledge work processes.

    All the best

  9. Pingback: BPM – a year in review – 2011 « End to End BPM

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