Tom Pohlmann opened up the Forrester Technology Leadership Forum that I’m attending today and tomorrow, and it’s such an interesting contrast with the Gartner conference of last week. I’ve never been to a Forrester conference before, and the entire feeling is different than Gartner: more fun somehow; they seem to take themselves a bit less seriously while still presenting a professional program. Maybe because this is primarily an IT conference, although there are some people from the business side of process management. There also seem to actually be wifi here, although I have to go to the registration desk to get a login.
The theme of the forum is “design for people, build for change”, with the idea that we all need to start focussing on the people, not the systems — a very similar message that I heard at Gartner last week, where the people in the process gained a lot more airtime than ever before. Pohlmann started right in talking about processes, how then need to change, and how the software that supports these processes need to change in order to support the necessary degree of agility. Interesting that this is not specifically a BPM or process-specific forum, it’s a technology leadership forum, but process is the key issue. The attendees are mostly at the upper management and executive level, and when I look through the attendee list, I find several of my customers and vendors that I work with, as well as many other high-level people from name-brand companies.
Presenters are mostly Forrester analysts, including a few who I know personally and a lot more who I know on the internet; there’s also a few speakers put in by the sponsoring vendors, such as myself: I’m speaking tomorrow, sponsored by TIBCO, although I’m speaking on the more general topic of discovering and modeling agile processes rather than anything TIBCO-specific. I have to confess that I haven’t completely finished my presentation for tomorrow, because I’m really expecting to be inspired by the content today to do a little bit of fine-tuning before then.