BPM Think Tank wrapup

Since I only finished posting about yesterday’s sessions at the end of this morning, I decided to just do a final conference wrapup instead of separate wrapups for yesterday and today.

In general, the BPM Think Tank was great, and I’ll definitely attend again in the future. I learned a lot about some of the standards that I didn’t know much about before (like BPDM), and met some really smart people with lots of opinions on the topic of standards. It’s been so long since I was involved in any sort of standards work (AIIM in the early 90’s, and topographic data interchange formats for the Canadian Council of Surveying and Mapping back in the late 80’s), and I had forgotten about both the frustrations of dealing with standards committees and the excitement of being able to contribute to a little bit of computing history that will make things work better for a lot of people.

I’m still mulling over the XPDL/BPDM conundrum (and, to a lesser extent, BPEL), but the fact that different standards bodies are all here participating is a good indicator that there is the collective will to head off problems like this. At last year’s Think Tank, discussions between BPMI and OMG around the competing graphical process models of BPMN and UML activity diagrams helped lead to the absorption of BPMI into OMG, and the championing of a single standard, BPMN, being put forward by the merged organization. We can only hope that something similar will happen with XPDL and BPDM in order to avoid future problems in the BPMN serialization domain.

I had the chance to meet several people who I had connected with online but never met face-to-face: Dana Morris of OMG, Bruce Silver, John Evdemon (who I’ll be having ongoing discussions with about BPM and Web 2.0) and others. Jeanne Baker, who did such a great job at keeping things moving along during the sessions, even remembered one of my posts from last year about a webinar that she gave on standards — she turned to me at lunch yesterday and asked “Did you write that blog post called ‘Alphabet soup for lunch‘?” — proof that people will remember if you mention them in print. I missed other people completely in the crowd (Phil, where were you?).

There were a few logistical problems (conference rooms way too cold, no free wifi, not enough herbal tea, and no free t-shirts with vendor logos, about which I heard a lot of whining when I got home), but these were only minor annoyances in an otherwise well-executed conference with excellent content.

5 thoughts on “BPM Think Tank wrapup

  1. Sandy – good to meet you at last, although we didnt really get a chance to talk. Seems like you had a good impression overall – just plea to get the spelling of the name right ;-/

    I am planning on starting blogging myself pretty soon – just another thing on the roster to get organised (although I dont see myself being as prolific as you are … I am sure it comes with practice).

    The Round Table format is something that I introduced at last years event BPMI (Think Tank). I was sick to death of going to conferences where there were a few people talking at the front of the room and all the experts in the audience had to put up with them as they rattled on, only to get a few words in edgeways at the very end.

    I was hosting a RT on the subject of ensuring BPM Momentum/Success … and it just went to prove the value of the format. I thought I knew something about the subject, but then discovered I was like a 1st grader compared with one of the other attendees (who ran a PhD masterclass). So refreshing.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  2. Sandy, if you get a chance, you might want to listen to Dana Gardner’s interview of OMG chairman Richard Soley. http://www.ebizq.net/podcasts/36.html

    Richard speaks to BPDM. He shares that it is the standard metamodel for business process models, and the intent to allow for interoperability/transformation between the various business process modeling languages. So, if a vendor tool/language is BPDM compliant, then you have insurance of not being locked in. Richard stated that BPDM is not something the average user will ever see.

    oh, and I’m still not using co.mments… 🙂

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