2009-05-18

BPMNEXUS: BP Notations

<discussion ref="http://bpmnexus.ning.com/forum/topics/bp-notations" />

A short answer - there is no a commonly agreed BPM reference model which can give a context for BP notations.

An explanation by example. In my BPM reference model, BPM discipline allows you to model, automate, execute, control, measure and optimise the flow of business activities that span the enterprise’s systems, employees, customers and partners within and beyond the enterprise boundaries.

The main difference of the BPM discipline from previous process-centric methodologies is the need to have a single formal description of the business processes which can be used to model, automate, execute, control, measure and optimise them.

Agree with Ricardo, that expressing of business processes in any notation should serve to communication between people. But, I believe, such a notation should be also executable to validate that communication. (just a sidenote -- I think that any program code should be written to communicate a solution between people.)
So,
• A BPMN-like modelling notation should use a standard execution semantic which can be validated and which guarantees the adequate interpretation of models by different software for different uses, e.g. for functional testing, performance simulation and execution. (I think, this is similar to Brian's post).
• It should be possible to represent the same business process model with different levels of detail, e.g. a high-level view for a normal user, and a more detail for a business analyst.
• There should be a modelling procedure which guides different people how to use these different levels.
• Details of the execution of business processes should come from a coherent set of standards, similar to that provided by the W3C for HTML: a) xHTML for structure and content, b) CSS for presentation, c) DOM-based API for dynamic modifications, and d) some other specialized standards. (At present, W3C works also on some recommendations for HTML5 which include several API for Web application, i.e. the execution environment.)

It seems that W3C standardisation approach for HTML is rather solid. I like it as a good example of customer-centricity which is proved by the current situation with Web browsers – all vendors of Web browsers want to benchmark their product against the ACID3 test (acid3.acidtests.org) to demonstrate their compliance with standards. Once such a baseline has been established, it becomes easy to compare the performance of products.

I think that the current BPM is still vendor-centric and we have to make customer-centric BPM.

Thanks,
AS
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