Upcoming BPM Events

Three upcoming events might be worth looking into:

May 19: Industry Briefing: BPMN 2.0 Examined

This is a free webinar by Robert Shapiro the brain behind XPDL.  Few have his insight and experience into the process space.  Now a consultant at Process Analytica he brings a vendor independent view to the future of BPM and workflow standards.  This will not be a presentation for the timid — expect considerable depth and details.  If you are a software vendor thinking about implementing BPMN 2.0 or if you are a consultant that needs to keep up on BPM trends this briefing will be an easy way to get tips to help you plot your way forward.

June 18-19: The BPM in Government Event

There has been a big focus on BPM in the government this year, with the DoD sponsored SOA Symposium in DC in April, and now the Process.gov event in June, also in Washington DC.  No coincidence that the 2009 BPM & Workflow Handbook has the theme Spotlight on BPM in Government.  Most important:

The only event of its kind, Process.gov is strictly non-commercial and no paid-for sessions or sponsored content will be presented. All sessions and presenters are peer-reviewed and subject to a rigorous jury process.

I will be presenting a session on “Model Preserving Strategy” which is also the subject of my chapter in the 2009 Handbook. It is a great opportunity to have face-to-face meetings with many process thought leaders.  Price is a very modest $100, but note: if you are not a government employee sign up early: there are a limited number of non-government admissions.  As of this moment, there are a few open speaking slots as well (six I believe).

June 22: Stevens BPM Day

This is the third year for this vendor-independent executive seminar (pdf brochure) located conveniently just across the Hudson River from New York City hosted by Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ.  I will be there with a few other though leaders presenting the acclaimed “BPM in Practice” full day tutorial on currently evolving BPM technology and standards.  Stevens adds an additional twist with a breakout track focusing on BPMN modeling.  Robert Shapiro will  surely have lots of interesting details on the BPMN 2.0 standard. Early registration is $495 but you save $100 if you are a WfMC member.

21 Questions to Ask a BPM Vendor

With all the work I do in getting BPM system to interoperate with each other, I have come to recognize a set of potential problem areas.  Naturally, vendors are not always forthcoming with these little glitches.  So I have put together a list of questions that someone who is currently evaluating product might want to ask the vendor, and gauge the response.  Pick and choose, but I hope this list is helpful in getting some probing questions:

  • Does your product support a standard external interchange format for process definitions? – some products support only an internal proprietary file format. Continue reading

Searching for BPMN / XPDL Incompatibility

For you who read this blog on occasion, please help.  I am looking for any valid BPMN diagrams that can not be represented as standard XPDL.  Many people understand that XPDL is a superset of BPMN, meaning that everything from BPMN can be represented as XPDL, while the converse is not necessarily true.  There are, however, a few vocal opponents who claim that XPDL can not be used to store BPMN.

OK.  Both BPMN and XPDL are complex subjects.  Continue reading

Representing Choice in a Process Diagram

A business process is compsed of activities.  Are those activities of a computer (an automating diagram) or are those activities of people (a facilitating diagram)?  There are places for both kinds of diagrams in making organizations run better, and BPMN is a notation designed to support both as well.  To support facilitation diagrams well, there is one key thing that is missing: a way to denote a “choice“. Continue reading

Model Portability is No Accident

A process design ecosystem demands a reliable way to transfer the process definitions between tools.  Bruce Silver’s post on Model Portability in BPMN 2.0 is very timely indeed. What he demonstrates is four different modeling tools, drawing BPMN diagrams, writing the diagram as XPDL, and then reading those into Sketch Pad (an open source process modeler) and displaying the result. Continue reading

“BPM In Practice” in San Diego

On March 26, 2009 I will be participating in another “BPM in Practice” seminar in San Diego. This full day event will explore workflow and BPM from a number of different points of view. We start with the basic, advance quickly to the new enterprise architecture, and from there explore 5 key standards and how they might or might not be applicable. While there is an organized presentation, the sessions are generally intimate enough that we can have a discussion on any side topic that the audience wants to go into. Continue reading

Wisdom and Business Processes

Interesting link for the day. Barry Schwartz talks about wisdom and what it means to do a good job.

Barry Schwartz on our Loss of Wisdom

The reason I link it here is because everything he says is very applicable to the field of business processes.  He give an example where the official job description of a janitor does not actually describe the job.  This is not that surprising because when asked to describe a job or a process people often find they don’t really know the job.  He also talks about the dangers of over-reliance on rules with an example of lemonade and group of  social workers who obviously overreact to the situation but blame it on the need to follow rules.  In BPM we emphasize the need to use rules, but this is a great example of the downside to rules.  He says rules allow people to stop thinking.  He says we need more wisdom (but he does not say how to do this).

My question for the day: we can codify rules and incentives, but how can we make a business process which enhances (or at least rewards) wisdom?  What does “BPM for Wise People” look like?

Far Flung Analytics – BPAF

Michael zur Muehlen has written a short article on “The Business Process Analytics Format (BPAF)“. This is a portable format that will allow the history events from multiple BPM servers to be aggregated together to a single process analytics server. It can be used to connect one vendor’s process engine to another vendor’s analytics server. This proposed standard will be a critical element for gaining insight into how well your processes are running, especially when you have workflow engines from multiple vendors in your enterprise. Continue reading

Model Strategy & Simulation

Most BPM systems offer some form of simulation capability. Simulation capabilities range from the very simple ability to walk through a process, to very sophisticated case-arrival/activity performance models, and even to goal-seeking optimization capabilities.  In this post I explore the relationship between simulation and Model PReserving/Transforming StrategyContinue reading