Untamed business processes #BTF09

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.

3 thoughts on “Untamed business processes #BTF09”

  1. I was intrigued by the title of your tweet, but I fell into the same trap as you – having unmet expectations.

    What I find most interesting about your post was your opinion about the 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”. I sure hope you are wrong. I believe the strength of any opinion-based forum (presentations, blog posts, panels) is founded in the passionate beliefs of the presenter. It is discouraging to think some folks believe in they need contrived conventions to stimulate interest.

    Steve Romero, IT Governance Evangelist

  2. I’m with Steve…I want to believe that the opinion-based forum is alive and well, and it certainly is at the lower levels, but the sphere of influence over the analyst community is very strong, and the broader community must work to keep them honest!

  3. I think that they were taking more of an academic viewpoint on this, and wanting to present all sides of the argument. I’m with you, however, that they should be arguing their own beliefs, not switching around depending on the time of day.

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