Why a BPM Community means more than just creating another discussion group

Last month I blogged about the three C’s; Communication, Collaboration and Community.
It seems fitting to revisit that given the likes of ARISAlign on the scene plus a few others waiting in the wings which I’m aware of but can’t speak of just now.

Over at ITBusinessEdge they covered an article on the rise of the BPM Community and how it promotes the exchange of ideas. I agree that this is reaching critical mass for BPM but right now the models are wrong. There are many network and discussion groups in existence across the process sphere but the fundamental element which is lacking is how new ideas are handled. In other words, they’re not. There is no feedback loop into the BPM ecosystem from which the practice and discipline as a whole can learn and evolve from. Discussions die off and nothing useful taken from them.

After my original post in January I followed it up with a number of vendors and analysts, most were in agreement that something needs to change. I had postulated with them that the peer groups such as Gartner and Forrester get involved and use their skills to help guide useful conversation and debate started by the practitioner community and then help draw conclusion from the discussion, the result of which is something which could potentially be adopted into BPM as a new way of thinking or working. The only flaw to this is that there is no centrally recognised group or body of work to feed this back into. There is no accepted standard.

Mike Gammage spoke yesterday in his blog about how BPM may need (yet) another name for itself as the times change, suggesting that it morph into a “Business Operating System” (completely missing out process in that definition…..). I think that speaks volumes in itself, that people are far more comfortable to come up with new buzzwords and terminology than actually sit down and help define what BPM is. Again, I wrote about this before a previous post, that we are devaluing BPM with the amount of jargon and ‘noise’ being generated. The BPM of 20 years ago may no longer fit where we are today but we certainly don’t need to come up with a different acronym, we only need to adapt the philosophy to the changing conditions. It’s still about process, the people, the business and the holistic management that wraps around it.

When a sponsor at a BPM conference turns round and says he was perplexed at why there was such a low turnout given how important BPM has become according to what surveys seem to suggest the answer may be in the fact that we can’t even agree on what we’re telling clients in the first place.

For a group that practices change we’re incredibly resistant to it ourselves…..


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