BPM Think Tank Wiki

August 6, 2007

I think all those who attended BPM Think Tank regard it as probably the most useful event on the BPM Calendar.

Rather naively, I created Wiki to try and capture all the good thoughts that seemed to be circulating … on the assumption that it would immediately fill up with good thought provoking content. Also, as Sandy K points out, I should have created it for BPM Think Tank 07 (rather than as an adjunct to BPM Focus). But all of that is too late now – one day I wil get the hang of the new ettiquette that goes with the use of this new socially connected medium.

BPM Think Tank wiki can be viewed here.

At the moment, it is mainly the speakers and Round Table leaders who have access … if you attended the event and have a comment or two, please feel free to contact me and I will provide the necessary access.

BPM Think Tank is shaping up

July 12, 2007

Despite my best intentions and efforts, maintaining any sort of consistency on this blog has proved almost impossible. For those of us who like to think deeply about a posting (as against a stream of conciousness approach that some others follow), the ability to post seems inversely proportional to the amount of work you have on the go. For me, I have had all sorts of different things pulling me in different directions. And it is not about to change much. After a gruelling month or two of travel providing training in the four corners of the globe, we had the OMG meeting in Brussels where a one day version of BPM Think Tank was held (June 27th).

The week after next we have BPM Think Tank which I have been intimately involved in planning and running (recruiting speakers, cajoling program committee into making decisions, etc). But it is certainly looking like a great program (indeed the best so far).

Late additions include the CTO of the US DoD (yes that one), Colin Tuebner of Forrester (doing a panel with me, running a Round Table and lunchtime keynote), Brenda Michelson (SOA Consortium), and Clear Channel Communications. Add that to the existing program contributors …

These organisations are either providing keynotes, case studies or sitting on panels:

  • Analysts & Consultants – Accenture, BPM Focus, BP Trends, Capability Measurement, Forrester Research, onStrategies, Weber Consulting
  • Users – AFLAC, Allianz, Maritz Travel, McAfee, Nedbank, VISA,
  • Vendors – HandySoft, IBM, Lombardi Software, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

The list of Roundtables is now truly awesome:

  • What are the Barriers to Starting a Process Improvement Program?
    John Alden, Capability Measurement
  • How Do We Get More Business Involvement in BPM? John Jeston, ManagementbyProcess
  • How Do You Organize and Manage for BPM Success? Derek Miers, BPM Focus
  • How Does Lean / Six Sigma Play a Role in BPM? Lance Gibbs, Lombardi Software
  • How Do You Develop an Effective Business Architecture? Bruce Douglas, Telelogic
  • How Does Regulatory Compliance Fit into BPM? Dennis Davidson, Emerging Technologies
  • Using BPDM to Implement BPMN Antoine Lonjon, MEGA International & Stephen White, IBM
  • Model-driven Organizations: Fred Cummins, EDS
  • BPM and the Microsoft Desktop: Burley Kawasaki, Microsoft
  • Why is BPEL Relevant and what is its Future? Ismael Ghalimi, Intalio
  • The Relationship between BPM and Business Intelligence: Colin Tuebner, Forrester Research
  • BPM in Federal Government: George Thomas, General Services Agency
  • BPM and Business Frameworks: Joe Francis, Process Core Group
  • Metrics and BPM: Michael zur Muehlen, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Competencies and Skills for BPM: Alan Ramias, PDL
  • Expanding the Innovation Horizon Using BPM: Angel Diaz, IBM
  • The Relationship Between Process & Business Rules: Paul Vincent, TIBCO
  • Security and BPM: What are the Problems with Today’s BPM Approaches? Philip Larson, Appian
  • What are the Similarities and Differences between ERP and BPM? Dave Frankel, SAP
  • Enterprise 2.0 and BPM Mash-Ups: Sandy Kemsley, Kemsley Design
  • What Should be the Goals of BPM Standards Organizations? Bruce Silver, Bruce Silver and Assocs.

For those in the know, you will probably recognize these are the worlds experts … who are going to sit at a table with you and help you think and talk about the issues that matter most. Each Round Table only has 10 chairs … and each round of discussions go on for an hour.

So if you are not going to be there … well you’ll miss out on probably the biggest learning opportunity you will have this year in the BPM space. Registration is here.

Returning From The Cold

April 19, 2007

Well, after a continued absence, I suppose it is time to make or break with this blog thing. I just dont know where some of my contemporaries find the time. I suppose it is a balance, like everything in life – to keep the fires burning you have to bring in the coal, chop logs, eat, … you can see where I am going with this. With a punishing travel schedule, too many customers wanting work packages completed, completion of another training course (Process Modeling Fundamentals) and an ever present OMG ready to chew any free time, it just never seemed to be high enough up my agenda. But enough excuses – there are so many things that have happened, spin-pieces written and misleading posts that I really do need to put a few stakes in the ground. So with luck, I will get back to a quick post every day or two.

Lets start with the major step forward that happened at last month’s OMG meeting. BPDM was voted through for adoption by the Business Modeling and Integration Task Force. With a couple of notable abstentions from major vendors (not wanting to rock the boat but not quite ready to endorse), virtually every voting member gave a resounding yes to the hard work that has been put in by the team. (You can find out more about BPDM here.

Of course it wasn’t universally welcomed. We have a few die-hards in our industry who try and spin everything to their benefit (well I suppose most vendors could be put in that bucket). Any standard they have not been involved in developing, they are not interested in seeing being adopted widely. Especially one as far reaching and important as BPDM.

Not surprising really – these standards represent real software development costs for vendors (and in the end customers). For instance, if you had placed all your bets on BPEL delivering the answer to world peace, and outsourced (open sourced) all your development to your customers, then the emergence of a new direction in how business process models are managed and interchanged is nothing short of a major threat. Alternatively, if you had placed the UML metamodel at the heart of your software architecture, then the emergence of another metamodel at the higher business level of abstraction (rather than being purely software focused) just represents further investment (with little prospect of immediate ROI).

At the heart of BPDM is support for both the orchestration and choreography sides of the process coin. Orchestration is the bit we are all used to – purposeful activity strung together in a sequence. Choreography is more about the interactions of the roles involved – be they business partners and the company, internal roles or even between software services. Choreography is becoming ever more important as people start to realise that a serial input-output perspective of process doesn’t help you much when you have thousands of associates working on a problem in parallel (a subject I explored here). The point is that this sophistication is set to enable the next round of innovation in BPM.

A lot of energy is now being focused around creating the next version of BPMN which is set to be extended folded into the BPDM metamodel. It was really interesting to see who was now becoming very focused about making sure the scope of that effort achievable and yet also meaningful.

Most people never need be aware of the intricacies and sophistication of BPDM – it is all about how model information is stored and exchanged between tools. So even the most adept BPM business analyst will never be concerned with it. As far as most of you are concerned, it is just gobbledygook. All the end-user organization need worry about is that their vendor is working toward supporting the standard. Why? Because it will give them true portability and ownership of their important possessions – their process assets.

On the other hand, the vendors of BPM technology products should take a keen interest.

The other big step forward at the OMG was around BPMM (Maturity Model). This is now going through a fast track adoption process at the OMG. BPMM is equally important to the business side. It outlines the long term transformational nature of the BPM journey, describing and highlighting the practices and behaviors as the firm becomes more adept. Based around the 5 layer model we have all become used to in CMM, CMMI and PeopleCMM, it provides a comprehensive assessment mechanism. Knowing where you are is an essential part of working out where you want to get to.

Finally, for those of you who have read this far (it sort of proves you are interested in this stuff), you really should attend BPM Think Tank in Burlingame . Think Tank was a concept I helped put together as co-chair of BPMI.org as a way of getting some conversations going between the various (at that time competing) standards bodies. One could argue that this seminal event led to the eventual merger of BPMI.org with the OMG. This is a real opportunity to learn from the best in the business; to get together with your peers and share knowledge; and to grow a deep understanding of the value and power of process standards.

No other event involves every attendee as a real part of the action. Now in its third year, OMG’s BPM Think Tank is a unique gathering of experts with a highly interactive format that makes it a can’t-miss event.

The format is unique in that delegates spend significant periods to time deep in discussion around the real issues of BPM adoption and implementation. During these Round Table discussions, delegates learn from each other, facilitated by the world’s leading practitioners. They share their experiences and draw out the expertise in the group, before reporting back to the conference as a whole.

To help frame these collaborative discussions, plenary sessions feature a range of unique case studies and keynote presentations that highlight the best practices and pitfalls to avoid on the BPM journey. Other sessions focus on the value of standards and the best practice approaches toward their use. A Standards Body Panel session provides the opportunity to clarify the roadmap ahead, while a carefully managed Vendor Panel will explore the challenges and opportunities for technology vendors as we move forward.

The following firms are combining their talents to helping you learn how to maximize your BPM investment:

AFLAC, Allianz, BP Trends, BPM Focus, Bruce Silver and Assocs., Business Semantics, Capability Measurement, EDS, Forrester Research, The General Services Association (US Government), GTE, HandySoft, IBM, Intalio, Kemsley Design, Lombardi Software, McAfee, MEGA International, Microsoft, Oracle, PDL, Pi4 Technologies, Process Core Group, Queensland University of Technology, SAP, Stevens Institute Of Technology, TIBCO

The following standards groups and industry associations are also represented:

ACORD, OASIS, OMG, Supply Chain Council (SCC), TeleMgt Forum (eTOM), Value Chain Council (VCOR), W3C, WfMC

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