Process Modeling:

Complexity is just a combination of simple things

Business Process Management (BPM):

How you manage complexity in a simple way

BPMN lecture at Georgia State University April 15 2010

Rick Geneva will making an appearance as a guest speaker at the Georgia State University Robinson College of Business on April 15th, 2010. This class is particularly interesting to me because it’s for business students, and they are learning BPMN as part of their curriculum. Not only are they learning BPMN, but also how to turn a diagram into an executable process. It’s wonderful to see such a program appearing at universities these days. Many thanks to professor Olsen for inviting me.

My guest appearance will include about an hour of lecture. I will be discussing multi-tier process design and the Process Modeling Framework (PMF). Up until this point the students have been mostly working in two dimensions. The PMF adds another dimension of detail which takes into consideration the organization where the process will be performed. Most process diagrams focus on who does what, and are divided into swimlanes. This is fine for simple diagrams, but in the real world it’s not that simple. There are politics involved, different owners of different parts of the diagram, and the need to change some parts independently of others. So my intent for this event at GSU is to inspire business students to look beyond the people who do the work, and start to look for the why it’s done, in the context of the larger organization.

Following the lecture presentation I’m going to do a Q&A session and a demonstration of the Process Modeling Framework in action.

– Rick Geneva

7 Responses to “BPMN lecture at Georgia State University April 15 2010”

  1. Tom Debevoise Says:

    Can outsiders attend?

  2. Rick Geneva Says:

    Sorry, not outsiders on this one. But for the 30 or so students in this class, be sure to attend Thursday. It will be well worth your time.

    I don’t have any public events on the books as of right now. Hint: anyone offering? I might just take you up on it.

    – Rick Geneva

  3. Tim Olsen Says:

    Looking forward to it!

  4. Barbara MacLaren Says:


    I really enjoyed your presentation last week to our Business Process class at Georgia State.

    You gave us a great way to look at business processes, and it was very interesting. I will be checking into this site in the future.


    Barbara MacLaren

  5. Rick Geneva Says:

    Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I really enjoy sharing my experience with the next generation of process modelers. We are at an exciting time in not only technology, but also in how businesses use the technology. I think that good process modeling skills will be in very high demand in the next few years. So anyone who really masters this skill will have lots of great career opportunities. To master this skill, keep in mind what I showed the class and you will do quite well.
    The biggest roadblock you will encounter is all of the complexity in a large organization. In reality, complexity is just a combination of simple things. The technique I showed helps you be more efficient. Focus on the patterns of the simple things, match them up to the organization, and everything will quickly fall into order.

    The best of luck to you
    – Rick Geneva

  6. Boon Hou Says:

    Hi Rick,

    Good to see your post again…
    Any update on your book?

    Boon Hou

  7. Rick Geneva Says:

    Boon Hou,
    Good to hear from you. How are things in Singapore? Yes, we are still working on the book. Getting ramped up on a new job takes a while, especially when I’m learning a bunch of new products, not just one. The style of process modeling is slightly different now but the PMF (process modeling framework) concepts still apply. In addition to BPM, ESB, and other SOA related products, I’m also working with complex event processing (CEP) and data virtualization.
    So about the book, we are wrapping up the content now and starting the editing phase. It’s slow going because Tom and I both have day jobs. The BPMN 2.0 is due to be official in June or July. We are planning on having the book ready around the same time, but we’re also not making a commitment to a date. What is missing in most BPMN books is a consistent flow and a true teaching style that is easy to read. We are concentrating more on making it flow as a higher priority than when we release it. So keep your eye out for the next book. We’ll be announcing it within a few months. Sorry we can’t make it sooner.

    – Rick Geneva