Process Knowledge Initiative Technical Team

When I got involved in the Process Knowledge Initiative to help create an open-source body of knowledge, I knew that the first part, with all the forming of committees and methodology and such, would be a bit excruciating for me. I was not wrong. However, it has been thankfully short due the contributions of many people with more competence and patience in that area than I, and I’m pleased to announce that we’ve put together an initial structure and will soon be starting on the fun stuff (in my opinion): working with the global BPM community to create the actual BoK content.

From our announcement earlier this week:

The month of November was a busy one for the Process Knowledge Initiative. In execution of our startup activities, we defined the PKBoK governance process and technical team structure, recruited our first round of technical experts, and secured preliminary funding via our Catalyst Program.

On the PKBoK development side, the team is actively researching and defining the candidate knowledge (or focus) areas in preparation for a January community review release.

With the knowledge area release, the development of the PKBoK becomes a full community activity, from content contributions, working group collaboration, and public commentary to content improvement and annotation.

It’s impossible to do something like this without some sort of infrastructure to get things kicked off, although we expect most of the actual content to be created by the community, not a committee. To that end, we’ve put forward an initial team structure as follows:

  • Technical Integration Team is responsible for establishing the PKBoK blueprint (scope, knowledge areas, ontology, content templates), recruiting working group leaders, and coordinating content development, publication and review.
  • Methodology Advisory Board provides guidance and support on PKBoK development and review processes. The Methodology Advisory Board does not participate in content creation or review; rather it provides rigor to ensure the final content represents the community perspective.
  • Technical Advisory Board provides expert input to, and review of, deliverables from the Technical Integration Team and Working Groups. Technical Advisors may lead, or contribute content to working groups within their area of specialization.
  • Working Groups develop PKBoK content for a particular knowledge area, task or set of tasks. Working groups will form via public calls for participation. The first call is planned for April 2011.
  • BPM Community reviews, contributes to, and consumes the PKBoK. All BPM community members are welcome to participate in the development of the PKBoK or utilize the delivered content in their individual BPM practices.

You can see the people who are participating in the first three of these in the announcement – including academia, industry analysts, standards associations, vendors and end-user organizations – and we’re looking for more people to join these groups as we move along.

Most of the content creation will be done by the working groups and the global BPM community; the other groups are there to provide support and guidance as required. We’ll soon be putting forward the proposed knowledge areas for discussion, which will kick off the process of forming the working groups and creating content.

I’m also starting to look at wiki platforms that we can use for this, since this really needs to be an inclusive community effort that embraces multiple points of view, not a moderated walled garden. This open model for content creation, as well as a liberal Creative Commons license for distribution, is intended to gain maximum participation both from contributors and consumers of the BoK.

9 thoughts on “Process Knowledge Initiative Technical Team”

  1. Process Knowledge Body of Knowledge…hmmm…nice name.

    I didn’t seem to receive any announcement – was there an e-mail?

    Glad to see there is at least one process blogger involved… but Technical Team? Technical? Really???!



  2. Hi Craig,

    We’re definitely not stuck on the name, and it may change as we start to get the content in place if a better alternative arises. There are issues with getting too close to other BoK names: Process BoK definitely makes more sense but that would inevitably be abbreviated as PBoK and the owners of PMBoK (which is about project management, not process) have proven litigious with other BoK naming efforts in the past. Similarly, ABPMP has already warned us against trying to use the name BPMBoK to avoid confusion with their BPM CBoK. If the worst thing that people say about the initiative is that they don’t like the name, then that’s okay: we want to remain more focused on the substance rather than the name at this point, and can re-brand later if necessary.

    The announcement has been made on the Process Knowledge site where I link above, so if you follow the News section’s RSS feed,you would have seen it there prior to this blog post. Emails will be going out to those who signed up on the site as well as BPTrends members in the next few days; we don’t want to be seen as spamming the list, but feel that this is an important milestone. In general, following the RSS feed of the News section will be the best way to keep up to date if you don’t choose to become directly involved in the initiative.

    I’m unsure of the meaning of your comment about the technical team. We’re using the word “technical” to mean those proficient in the process knowledge areas that are likely to be in the BoK, as opposed to the methodology group that is focused on how to create a BoK and the community around it. However, many of the people on the technical team — including myself — hold technology-related degrees in engineering or computer/information science, and are regularly involved in BPM implementations that include both methodology and technology. Could you please clarify your question?

  3. By the way, there will be plenty of opportunities to become involved: the teams announced above are more concerned with overall governance, but the real work of content creation will be done by the working groups which have not yet been formed. Since you indicated that you’re most interested in participating as a content contributor, we’ll definitely be reaching out to solicit your involvement in the working groups.

  4. Interesting message. Why another Process Export Initiative beside that of ABPMP = Association of Business Process Management Professionals:
    There exists an certification program for BPM Exports on basis of the Guide to the Business Process Management Body of Knowledge (BPM CBOK®)
    Isn´t it more senseful to put this together?

  5. Hi Sandy – cool understand re the name, it’s just that these things do tend to stick. It did seem a tad silly that this had been chosen in the first place.

    As for technical, well I have an issue with technical. BPM already suffers from an identity crisis in the fact that most business people have a perception that BPM crawled out of a dark cavity in the IT world or from engineering (which of course it did). I think from a PR point of view we’d be better to avoid a technical slant. I am a bit concerned that the experts chosen have a technical or engineering slant and that isn’t what BPM is all about in my humble opinion.

    Also, to back up the other commentor – why aren’t we using existing sources of knowledge rather than re-inventing the wheel – or are we?

  6. Hi Martin, it certainly would make more sense to work together, and we have approached ABPMP. However, ABPMP prefers to keep their content as proprietary and has a fairly slow update cycle. If you review the paper that started all of this (, that included a review of the ABPMP CBOK, and concluded that it had a number of flaws, including lack of transparency in process of creating the content, issues with completeness and correctness of the content, and a closed, proprietary model.

    Those of us working on the Process Knowledge Initiative believe that this information should be created by a broader community of BPM practitioners, and should be freely available to all. I’m sure that we will reference the BPM CBOK in our materials since we aim to be a pointer to other sources of information as well as a repository of information not found elsewhere. Although our BoK could be used as the basis for a certification course developed by others, it is not part of our plan to create such a program.

    Paul Harmon has had a number of discussions with people at ABPMP, who he knows well from his long-standing membership and participation in the organization, and it appears that they are not interested in participating in an open initiative such as ours. I understand that our idea is disruptive to their current revenue model, but the information publishing industry has changed drastically in the past few years, and we feel that an open content source is a primary imperative.

  7. Hi Craig,

    I must have misunderstood your first comment, I thought that you were implying that the technical team wasn’t sufficiently technical, and now it appears that you’re saying that we’re too technical. There are many people on both the technical advisory board and the technical integration team who have a definite business focus in their work; I’m sure that you can look up their credentials easily. Just to stress my earlier point, however, the content will be created by the working groups — which are not yet formed — and the global BPM community, so there is plenty of opportunity for people of all backgrounds to participate in creating the BoK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.