Saturday, 8 March 2008

Why do we need training for BPMN and BPMS?

BPMN is intended to formalise the definition of real world business processes. BPMS implementations take a formal definition of business processes (which should be derivable from the BPMN) and control the flow of information around the process. How difficult can it be to develop the design tools to the point that they help the designer think in the 'best practice' of business process and follow the rules of BPMN?

Ismael Ghalimi in Process Discovery describes his plans for experiencing the development of a BPMS-based solution for a well defined requirement. Like most users of a new tool he is going to do it without training. OK, he does have an advantage over mere mortals from close involvement with the underlying standards and a key-player in this emerging market but I look forward to seeing the commentary on his effort.
...model the process at a high level, using an off-the-shelf process modeling tool. For this purpose, I will use Intalio|Designer, but I will do so before having attended a formal training session. The reason for it is the following: while I have been working for Intalio for over 8 years now, and originally came up with the idea and the name for the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), I have never fully read its specification, even less learned the proper way to use it with a process development tool capable of turning pretty pictures into executable code. As a result, I expect this first modeling exercise to produce a process that will look nothing like what I will be capable of doing after having attended the Intalio Traning, and learning more from the gap should be a key benefit of the overall experiment...
Although there is some good training for process design becoming available, I question how much we should be reliant on it to get to work with a formal language (BPMN ), with absolute rules, that is intended to describe things that we are familiar with in everyday business. It is not teaching English to Korean speakers!
I would like Ismael to also consider how the Intalio Designer toolset could be improved with an autopilot or helper that leads you through the process of designing a process and explains the rules of the BPMN as you go.

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