You know that you’re getting near the end of a conference when the number of people on the panel is almost as many as the number in the audience. The last session of the day is a breakout, and I attended a panel with Craig Le Clair, Chip Gliedman and a third analyst (George) who was substituted in for Paul Hamerman, but for some reason they had not spent the necessary 10 seconds to update the title slide.
They classify processes into “tamed”, meaning those that are so structured, they’re embedded within packaged applications such as ERP and CRM; and “untamed”, including everything else, including all those processes that we implement in BPMS. I’m not sure that I agree that some of their untamed processes are not structured; rather, a packaged app doesn’t provide the right degree of flexibility, or the market for the process is small enough that there isn’t a packaged app to deal with that process.
Forrester has an interesting format for this type of panel, where each of the analysts takes on a persona and a set of opinions that I don’t think necessarily represents their own opinions: although I like the light-hearted back and forth conversational manner, this has too much of the air of a high school debate club where anyone can argue any side as required rather than analysts who actually hold opinions on this subjects. I found this one to be too distracting to focus on the content.
That’s it for the Forrester Business Technology Forum; all in all, a lot of great content in a fast-paced two days. There could have been more on Lean business process improvement rather than Lean software process improvement, especially considering that half of the vendors in the showcase were BPMS vendors, but I still gained a lot of value from the conference.