Define or Decline: Help shape BPM for the future and stop talking about it

Earlier this week Jim Sinur coined the term “Doing by design/ Design by Doing”….admirable and makes sense given the shift in changes towards process design and discovery. But again we’re rushing headlong into creating new territory before we’ve bothered to stop the bus and discover what we’ve been doing for the last 20 years in the first place.

There is obviously growing appetite to do something and define BPM to include what we have today and in the immediate future. Now even Case Management is at this crossroads, before it’s even begun it’s own journey there’s 3 forks in the road.

There are two blog posts on Redux ( and another at plus numerous comments on Twitter about, basically, put up or shut up. There’s far too much talk about wanting to change, define, redefine, get together but no-one is actually doing anything about it. I’ve called it out a number of times now and it’s either a case of “Why bother, it’s been tried before ?” or “I can’t simply be bothered full stop.

Admittedly I tried to do this last year with Nexus but the momentum ceased due to the lack of interest from the practitioner community to step up to the plate and help out when asked to. Again though the subject cropped up on Adam Deanes blog about “Where is the BPM Manifesto ?” so the ideal hasn’t died away.

On the ebizQ forum Tony from the ABPMP used their definition to describe what BPM is but if you actually take the time to look at it it’s like someone has thumbed through a Thesaurus and picked out every conceivable term to cover all the angles and as such has created something even more ambiguous.

BPM needs, no, deserves definition before it can go forward again. We have Social BPM, Advanced/ Dynamic/ Adaptive Case Management to consider now as well as a myriad other topics. Put a stake in the ground then move forward from it.

Having little Twitter-fests isn’t the way to discuss something fundamental, this needs a proper concerted effort from everyone with a vested interest in it’s future; analyst, vendor and practitioner. I’m calling out the likes of the ABPMP, Gartner, Forrester and the BPM vendors who want to get involved to get in touch, you know who you are because you’ve already commented or emailed before. Roundtable, Coalition, Alliance, call it what you want, just sit down and get talking as a group and act. Lip service is not longer accepted.

Like Adam pointed out, parties got together and defined Cloud, SOA, BPMN, BPEL, is it really that hard to do the same for BPM which is much bigger ?

Fortes fortuna adiuvat


2 responses to “Define or Decline: Help shape BPM for the future and stop talking about it

  1. Theo,I have an inner conflict on this -Part of me, that is really bugged up with the increasing sub-fragments, functional overloading (borrowed from Max Pucher), misinterpretations, says we need to get some clarity across for the people who may be confused. And on this, I agree we have done enough of beating around the bush, we ought to just take the baton and really beat the chaff out of the wheat.But the other part, the pragmatic one that really works on the ground with customers and partners, says two things again:One, consider all the perspectives that are involved and BPM, addressing such a broad space, cannot really satisfy all the perspectives with a definition that’s simple and devoid of jargonism. And the attempt to do this may defeat the purpose of establishing the clarity. We don’t want another semantic twist-game. This is what I mentioned in my post – – that triggered the ebizq discussion – Two, I really wonder how many times I have been forced in a situation to define BPM in front of a customer. I have gone and solved the problems that they face. Sometimes, in a consultative manner, I have to guide them, but that never happens with definitions. A definition could be probably one slide in the first meeting, preceding multiple specific discussions! What I need is a solution that doesn’t force me to make an either-or choice for a customer, that makes these enabling and peripheral technologies work together. Then it doesn’t matter whether we started off by calling the solution as a BPM solution, or an ERP, or CRM, or even SOA… does that make it three sides of me, whatever….! My post probably had 9 perspectives? 🙂 :)- Ashish

  2. Theo,A definition is not enough (the topic is too complex for a definition) – we need a BPM reference model.Post tenebras lux.Thanks,AS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s