Wednesday, February 28, 2007


As the interest into BPM is growing quickly these days, the new buzz-words and notification language is becoming hot topic. As the market is trying to push BPMN as business process modeling language, I’m wondering if this not again will lead towards to technical focused orientation of BPM.
The goal of real BPM is to enable business people, to have again control over their processes and not only from a documentation point of view, but also from real execution. Would it not be great that the designed business process model is directly understood by the BPM-engine and can be executed without any code translation? This would give all business users a real view of the business process status and will allow them to react if needed.
What will happen if we force people to use BPMN? Do we have to teach everybody this notation language? I believe this will scare of some people and make it more complicated than needed. Where is the pragmatically and no-nonsense approach?
BPM Notification should be understandable and readable by business users, and make sense to their environment or way of working. Everybody knows that one picture is saying more than one thousand words, so use self explanation notification.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Following Gartner BPM Summit from home side

I'm trying to follow the Gartner BPM Summit via my colleagues in the US and by reading several blogs about this BPM Event. (Like Sandy's Column or BPMS Watch From Bruce).

Quoting Bruce Blow:

Hayward and Janelle Hill both make a big deal of the idea that BPM has to make the process “explicit” but leave activities decoupled from their actual implementation. Explicit here is kind of a code word. I think it means fully defined at the logical level, i.e. almost executable. They also say that BPM must empower the business side (not IT) to make changes to the (executable) process model. They make this sound like reality, even though it is a vision (one that I support)… rarely fulfilled by actual products.

Well for the first time in my live I have the feeling to by at the right side of the table. The last few years I have spend a lot of time to learn more about BPM and the impact on the business. As I have also a technical ICT background (for more than 17 years; starting in IBM-world and moving afterwards to the Microsoft world). The last years it has become clear to me that the current way of handling projects by IT, was not about serving the business from a statically point, but sometimes from 'I known better then you' approach.

The economic pressure of the last years and the need to become a dynamic and flexible organization to serve their domination customers is becoming a nightmare for some IT-people and business owners.

And this brings me back to the quote of Bruce and the vision of Gartner. BPM seems today the only way to serve this dynamic and flexible business model. BPM should empower the business by having dynamic process models which can be adapted to the business needs, without leaning back on IT.

I’m glad to work for a BPM-Solution provider called Ascentn, via established over the last year a real BPM-solution which is serving this model for at least 100% ! As I’m involved in dealing with Partners and (potential) customers, I can clearly state that this vision is not yet fully spread. This brings us to the never ending discussion between the definition of workflows and BPM-Solutions, the coding solutions by IT or giving back control to the business.

However I have to admit that some visionars in some larger companies are seeing the light, and are looking for the nicely described solutions by Gartner.

Ascentn’s AgilePoint solutions is leveraging today the IT knowledge and expertise (about integration) towards the business users, and give them back control.

To be continued….