Research in BPM in Education

Professionalizing BPM: Towards a Common Body of Knowledge for BPM

First up was a paper from QUT and BPTrends on the status of BPM as a profession, and what is required from a body of knowledge (BoK) about process-related information to support process professionals. Although several valuable resources of BPM information exist, none of them provide the complete picture; this research evaluated existing BoKs and established the core list of essential features for developing a more comprehensive BoK for process knowledge.

Related BoKs include the American Society of Quality’s Black Belt BoK and Lean Six Sigma Certification, IIBA’s BABOK, and ABPMP’s BPM CBoK. The research looked in detail at the ABPMP work because it’s most directly targeted at BPM practitioners. However, it has a number of weaknesses that need to be addressed, as indicated by literature review of design science and conceptual modeling, as well as BPM community input. Fundamentally, a BoK should be evaluated on completeness, extendibility, understandability, application and utility; the research found that the ABPMP CBoK lacked critical capabilities in all of these areas.

The challenge, then, is how to create something that does work as a BPM BoK? They propose an empirically-validated, open source body of knowledge, and are welcoming feedback and interest in participation at an initial Process Knowledge BoK website. There are a lot of key skills in developing a BoK, and the paper presents a proposed ontology for what information should be in the BoK and how it could be organized.

I’m involved with the paper authors and a number of other participants in getting a Process Knowledge BoK started up; check the blog post immediately following for more information.

Service Learning and Teaching Foundry: Building a BPM and SOA Education Community

Next up, from the University of New South Wales, is a paper on a BPM and SOA education community for an industry-relevant curriculum. This was motivated by student feedback on what started as a web application engineering course, and now covers a range of service orientation topics including business process modeling. The plan is to develop a service learning and teaching foundry as a community spanning multiple skill levels and multiple learning institutions.

The core of the foundry includes an information model of the areas of study, with resources such as use cases, sample web services, tutorials, assignments and programming exercises built on that core. It also contains a sandbox and demo environment, plus an access layer with a browser interface and an API for building the content into other applications.

The services technologies module of the learning and teaching foundry was developed as the base for a specific course offered at UNSW, including all of the materials needed for lectures, labs and assignments. This includes not just the materials to be provided to the students, but supporting elements such as event processing services that they can use in the completion of their assignments. This environment allows them to easily have lab exercises that build on previous exercises.

They’re using an open forum for collecting feedback on the course on an ongoing basis, using a “wiki/blog style” (not sure which) rather than just course evaluations at the end of the semester. You can check out the website here.

I skipped the last paper because the session was running a bit late and I wanted to get over to Keith Swenson’s fireside chat – more from there.

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