Process Modeling:

Complexity is just a combination of simple things

Business Process Management (BPM):

How you manage complexity in a simple way

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Looks like Process Modeling and BPMN is a hot topic this year

I have for the most part been inactive in my blogging and writing, mostly due to life getting in the way.   But occasionally I take a look at where my ranking is at on Amazon when I type ‘BPMN’ or ‘Process Modeling’.   The ranking varies day to day.  But today, to my surprise, the book was in the number one spot.   Tom and I are amazed at how well the book is selling.   Thank you all for your support.   To me, this seems to be an indicator that Process Modeling is becoming more mainstream every day.  The book is ranking quite well in the management sciences category, which leads me to believe that Process Modeling in BPMN is not so much a niche market anymore.  Furthermore, trends of BPM product sales are on the rise.   But it’s not necessarily BPM automation systems (BPMS) that are on the rise.  Stand-alone and collaborative modeling tools are also becoming more popular as well.

For those of you who have not gotten your copy yet, we have a special price on the Kindle version right now at $9.90.

The Microguide to Process Modeling in BPMN 2.0: How to Build Great Process, Rule, and Event Models

  Kindle Edition  or   Paperback Edition 


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

An Event Driven World

Process modeling has been going though an evolution.  If you haven’t noticed the evolution, you have either been living in a vacuum or you are still using flowcharts in Visio.   Everywhere I turn people are talking about processes and process improvement.  At least this is one good thing to come out of the economic recession.

The other trend we are seeing more of in this decade is the use of more events, and less tasks. A task that says that something happened is not a task at all; it’s an event.   To be a task it has to be something that is performed by a person, system, or process.  One could argue that everything is performed somehow, so everything is a task.  So let me ask you this:  Is it a task for the weather when it rains?  Is it a task for the highway that traffic is backed up?   Is it a task for the stock market when the NASDAQ drops by 100 points?    If I can’t put a performer to the task, it can’t be a task.
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Recap from the Singapore BPMN Training Event

Advanced process modeling (for the rest of us)

Recently I spent some time in Singapore teaching an advanced process modeling class.   I was pleasantly surprised at how well Singapore is adopting process oriented strategies, and how well the students learned from this event.  But I also realized something about BPM and process modeling.  There is a general lack of knowledge world-wide of how to actually execute on process management.  Some countries are doing better than others, but in the ten years that BPM has been mainstream, we still haven’t gained much ground in terms of getting the word out.

OMG has done a fabulous job at giving the world a specification for a modeling notation that far exceeds the potential of flowcharts.  The problem is, we are still at a point where we have a specification, but no practical knowledge on how to apply it to a real-world business process.   There are still only a handful of us in the BPM space that understand the BPMN specification fully.   If this BPM industry is to take off, there has to be more visibility on the benefits of getting away from the old flowchart approach.   Instead of trying to sell a BPM system (that’s the easy sell to make a some quick money) we should be teaching BPM practice.  You cannot buy BPM.  You have to practice it every day. Read more »

The next trend

In the IT world, trends come and go.  The next “must have” or “must do” today is a dust collector tomorrow.   Recently I had a conversation with a colleague about BPM, and whether or not it will continue to be a growing trend, or are its days numbered?   He said to me “are you still doing that process stuff?  BPM is old news.”  My reply to this was simple.  While trends of automating processes come and go, process management has been around since before the computer.  The computer enables people to be more efficient in many ways.  But the software you use today is constantly being replaced by latest, greatest trend.   BPM is not software.  It’s not something you buy.  It’s something you do. There are many systems on the market based on older technologies that make them go out of favor as new systems emerge.  But to say that BPM is ancient history would be like saying that business its self is ancient history as well.

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Where’s Rick been?

Why so long between posts?   I took some time off to spend with my family.

My wife and I have a baby girl who is now 5 months old.  Between family life and traveling all the time it’s hard to keep up with a blog site.   This and the fact that most of my “creative juices” have been reserved for my upcoming BPMN patterns book.

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New site theme

I just updated the site theme.  Do you like it?

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Process modeling at two miles high

Before I arrived at Quito, Ecuador I thought it was a typo when I saw the elevation is 9300′ (2835 meters) above sea level. But shortly after I arrived the headache of altitude sickness began and it wasn’t so hard to believe.

It’s very exciting for me to be teaching BPMN here in Ecuador. This is my first experience working with a professional translator. I speak some Spanish, but not enough to conduct a process modeling class. Sometimes it’s hard enough to teach in my native English language, so translation to Spanish I left to a professional. Read more »

Process Modeling in South America

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve added any new posts.   I’ve been learning Spanish for the past month, cramming as much as I can, in preparation for my trip to Ecuador.  I will be conducting process modeling classes for this week and next in Quito, Ecuador.   I’ve had no prior experience with speaking Spanish, so this will be a real challenge.   The goal is to leave here in two weeks with enough experience to prepare for an all Spanish BPMN process modeling class.   The location for this class?  I don’t know yet.   Maybe Chile, Ecuador, Mexico City, Venezuela, or maybe even Madrid, Spain.   I do know that there is a big demand for process modeling knowledge in Spanish speaking countries.

Surprisingly I’m finding more and more that developing nations are more open to adopting the process development methodologies than what I see in the USA.   Maybe it’s because we’re so used to the old ways of business and it’s hard to change?   Anyway, I’m enjoying teaching people that are so eager to learn, even if they can’t understand a word I’m saying :-)