Wednesday, 1 September 2010

BPMN only part of the solution

Scott Francis takes up the pen in the the ongoing and tedious debate about BPMN ( enough, too much, too hard, too rigid, too imprecise ....) and makes the excellent point that "too many people think that BPM starts and stops with BPMN!".

With a very small set of symbols, BPMN allows a range of expression of process definition from a whiteboard-quality overview to the precision of a computer algorithm for calculating Pi. Even with a palette of 1007667 English words, it is very difficult to get the necessary precision for specifying a business process. Working on the basis of the average reader using only a small subset of those possible words (about 2000) it is clear that we need something more formal than text to get to commitment on what a process is or should be.

It would be really scary if those responsible for the operation of multimillion dollar enterprises can't take on the meaning of a set of symbols that can be put on a small wallchart.

The sad thing is that there is not a similar set of symbols that could be used to encapsulate other aspects of the business canvas so that discussions on whiteboards, or around coffee-bar napkins could be more enduring and useful communication of requirements.

1 comment:

scott said...


This is a fantastic follow-on to my post. I really like your thought process.