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.