Legacy Thinking or BPM

Expecting Different Results When You Do The Same Things …

I am sure there are more of them – but here are a few that might resonate. I find that so many people are climbing on the band wagon of BPM that they dont even realize it when they are applying exactly the same thinking that caused their existing mess in the first place.

  • “We are going to outsource implementation” … as in we are going to abrogate responsibility and find someone to litigate against once it all goes wrong.
  • “Must get all our processes into a repository” … as in , lets spend 10 man years pouring stuff in the front end only to discover that 80% of it is out of date and we still haven’t got anything implemented.
  • “Functional Requirement Specification” … as in, have you ever seen one that actually stood up to the test of time. Whatever the user signed off on was not what was really wanted.

But it goes deeper than that. We see so-called “experts” exhorting people to adopt one process modeling technique and ditch all others (see
here As Craig points out in his comment “In a way it is like learning a language (spoken or programming) you never really have a true appreciation for communication until you learn a second one.” (corrected typo).

We see many of the same old approaches trotted out with subtly different spin (I am thinking IDEF based decomposition here and all the raft of “methods” that went with it). Sure IDEF has its place, but not at the sharp end of helping people really get to grips with how things get done around here (or step outside their cosy little box). Exactly what ICAM Definition Language (and ICAM stands for Integrated Computer Aided Manufacturing) has to do with white collar office work and services is quite beyond me.

I am sure there must be other good examples of Legacy Thinking out there … a free copy of the book to anyone who can get past my BS filter (you knew there had to be a book aroudn the corner). Expect it end of Q1 2007 (which probably means Q2).

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