BPM is child’s play: How would you teach children about process management ?


After a random tweet earlier this morning about using Lego for BPM I thought it would be fun to play with the concept a little further for a question: How would you teach children about BPM ?

You could argue that in it’s simplest form (as a linear process) something like building a path from Lego or Mousetrap would suffice, you start the customer journey at one end and finish ingloriously at the other end under a cage. Then perhaps moving things on a little, by using Scalextric or a Hornby railway set you introduce the concept of making a decision (Hornby is slightly better in that it allows you to switch routes by choice) to affect the flow of work but the end game is the same (reach the station)

Make things a little more complex and use Hexbugs (that toy with the annoyingly catchy advert track) which despite having jittery freedom to roam around, the somewhat expensive track represents boundaries but how they get to the end is dynamic and adaptive and no two attempts may be the same.

If you leave the fancy stuff aside (Wii, Xbox, PS3, iPad etc) just how would you tell the BPM story using just toys to a child ?

And if you can simplify it to that level, why can’t you tell someone beginning on the BPM path or even a veteran in the industry the same story without resorting to bullshit….


8 responses to “BPM is child’s play: How would you teach children about process management ?

  1. I think you’ve minimised the import of process management by dummying it down to just moving boxes and lines about. There’s all sorts of nuance as to “why” the boxes and lines are moved. And why you have to draw the line clear around that department over there until Joe retires… What about process improvement? Change management? Maturity?

    • Not really John, why does a child need to understand all that for the basics of BPM ? You’ve just killed the buzz in the classroom by turning up and spouting maturity matrices and Six Sigma, poor kids.

      • I suppose I was reacting to the bullshit piece? I agree you have to start somewhere, and boxes and lines may be the right place. But really that’s not BPM, that’s flowcharting. That’s just a part of process management.

        Taking your example further, I suppose you could teach change management by incorporating a friend into the mix, giving them each conflicting goals, and having them duke it out; then showint them the error of their ways and teaching the carrot rather than the stick.

        Then you could teach strategic alignment by giving two difficult choices and limiting the track available to build. Something like “you’ve only got three pieces left. You can earn lots of money if you lay the three track pieces here, but you can make work easier on your staff and stem off the revolt if you shorten this track. What’s your choice?”

        And fun? C’mon, when was the last time someone had fun with BPM? 😉

  2. Pingback: Google gets workflow wings with KiSSFLOW. Can they democratize BPM? « The Eclectic Zone·

  3. This reminded me of my early days long before “BPM” where as an auditor we mapped out what people did by asking them directly. So quite easy encourage children to ask questions and why? A simpe but powerful requirement that will set them up to think the right way….for life….!

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