BPM in Action: Calling for Input on BPM in Cloud Computing: Let's Clear Away the Fog

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I would approach the “BPM in the cloud” topic from a) a BPM reference model and b) an architectural framework for improving enterprise BPM systems.

At first, it should be clear the definition of BPM. I think, the most important BPM is “enterprise BPM system” which is a portfolio of business processes of the enterprise, as well as the practices and tools for governing the design, execution and evolution of this portfolio as a system. Well-known BPM as a discipline and BPM as software are used to implement this “third” BPM (see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2009/04/should-we-consider-third-forgotten-bpm.html).

The BPM reference model tells us that any enterprise BPM system is a complex and dynamic set of interconnected and interdependent artefacts: events, processes, rules, roles, objects, services, etc. The evolution of some artefacts and the relationships between them is necessary to accommodate typical changes in policies, priorities, compliance, technology, laws, etc. So, to be agile and responsive in business, it must be easy to modify all artefacts and their relationships without causing any negative effects (e.g. unexpected delays and undesired consequences) in any part of the BPM system.

The architectural framework defines the four main architectural principles necessary to achieve a high level of flexibility.

  1. All artefacts must be versionable throughout their lifecycle
  2. .
  3. All artefacts must evolve to become digital, externalised and virtual
  4. .
  5. All relationships between artefacts must be modelled explicitly
  6. .
  7. All models must be made to be executable
  8. .

The second principle can be extended that, finally (see figure below), the artefact should be able to exist somewhere in a “cloud” (i.e. somewhere on the Internet without any knowledge of, expertise in or control over the technology infrastructure that supports it) and should be available whenever needed. Although the concept of cloud computing is still in its infancy, our experience shows that the best use of this concept requires both
a. a customer-centric (i.e. not vendor-centric) “cloud” and
b. the internal preparedness of an enterprise to put its artefacts into the “cloud”.

I think, that this approach can reduce the cost of moving to clouds, because it considers a possibility to use clouds from the architecture of the system. Also it can help to define that SLA should be required for a particular “clouded” service, because explicit and executable models provide enough information to evaluate how the availability of a particular service contribute into the availability of higher services.



Re: Humans Swimming In The Intalio Pool

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I agree with Anatoly's diagramms and think that they can be more explicit -- namely, by separating humans' added-value work and administrative work to "animate" the process. So, there are 4 pools, as shown below:

Both human participants -- candidate and HR manager -- follow their internal processes (COOR02 and COOR01 respectively). The latter carry out the coordination (some kind of choreography). Those processes are "the main thing" to be made EXPLICIT by a business analyst.



BPMnexus: Let's get started !

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I propose to give a context first. My sequence of concepts is the following:

1. Improving enterprise business performance is a permanent imperative and a daunting task these days.

2. Evolving of an enterprise as a complex system requires its rational construction.

3. The best (so far) approach for such a rational construction is process-oriented enterprise. [The business world understood a long time ago that services and processes are the backbones of most enterprise business systems. ]

4. The best (so far) method for the realisation of process-oriented enterprise is BPM (as a 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) [other methods for continual performance improvement -- BPR, TQM., ISO 9000, lean, TPS, Six sigma, etc. well contributed]

5. Each process-oriented enterprise has its own "enterprise BPM system" (portfolio of the business processes as well as the practices and tools for governing the design, execution and evolution of this portfolio) [it may not perfect, but it does exist, e.g. as ISO 9000 quality management system].

6. A specialised class of enterprise software -- BPM suite (coherent set of software tools) -- is used for facilitating the implementation of an enterprise BPM system.

7. As a rule, BPM suite is necessary, but not sufficient for good implementation of an enterprise BPM system -- other information technologies (EA, ECM, SOA, BI, BAM, BEM, ITIL, etc.) to be considered together.



Re: 10 Reasons Why BPM Market Doesn’t Meet The Expectations

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Sure, there are serious problems with BPM which should be openly discussed. (I am going to do that also at a BPM seminar in Moscow today).

Before going through your list it is necessary to define what we are talking about see -- http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2009/04/should-we-consider-third-forgotten-bpm.html about three axes of BPM.

1. The legacy of process disciplines is a great asset which should be used correctly. My advice is “How you do something may be more important than what you do” – customise the message to the target audience.

2. Agree. Terminology is a pain and there is no agreed reference model yet. Hope that bpmnexus.ning.com can improve this situation.

3. Don’t think so – in my experience if the third BPM is architected / designed / implemented correctly then it becomes a disruptive technology with many advantages.

4. It is never late to do good things (especially at your own home!).

5. It is well knowna that the mentioned technologies are very rich and overlapping, so they should be used partially and with critical understanding. Actually, explicit use of the third BPM simplifies the enterprise business system because BPM guides how to use other information technologies.

7. I think, the dot-com crash had a positive effect also – I saw dot-com architects moved to classic environments where they found issues from the real production.

8. Agree – at present BPM is vendor-centric. It should move to become customer-centric.

9. People is the most difficult aspect of the third BPM - “How you do something may be more important than what you do”.

10. BPMS is not the most critical part of the third BPM. Start small and adjust your tools as needed. Good architecture will help.



Linkedin: BPM Babylonia - Comparing BPA and BPMS is like comparing apples and oranges

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BPM Babylonia - Comparing BPA and BPMS is like comparing apples and oranges"


I think, considering BPA and BPMS as diffenret things is to bring an artificial barrier for bPM within enterprises (see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2009/04/should-we-consider-third-forgotten-bpm.html for "thrid BPM") .

I believe that people in enterprises and projects should consider by themselves where modelling stops and execution starts -- not tools.
This would be the fisrt step from vendor-cenric BPM to customer-centric BPM.


Should we consider third (forgotten) BPM?

First BPM - management methodlogies to have process orientation

Second BPM -- software tools (a.k.a. BPM suite or BPMS)

Third (forgotten) BPM - a portfolio of business processes of the enterprise, as well as the practices and tools for governing the design, execution and evolution of this portfolio as a system

I think, our effofts should be dedicated to this third BPM.



Linkedin: Does the world need a BPM Manifesto ?

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Does the world need a BPM Manifesto ?
I have to ask, with all the furore the Cloud Manifesto has created, does our world need a once-and-done framework to finally define the who, what, why, where, how ?

My opinion - BPM needs a reference model and some reference architectures.

Those are initial steps to move from vendor-centric BPM to customer-centric BPM.

I would be happy to participate and bring my contribution:

- some BPM terminology http://improving-bpm-systems.com/terminology/business-related-terminology

- BPM reference model http://www.osp.ru/os/2009/01/7195011/