Instructional Overload

I’ve just finished two days of teaching “Making BPM Mean Business” to about a dozen FileNet customers at their North American user conference — the first time that I’ve done it in the two-day live format. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent that length of time in front of a classroom, and I had forgotten how exhilerating that it is, and also how exhausting. I had a great group of people in the course who shared their BPM experiences and some of the issues that they have with their business processes, and based on their feedback, the course was useful to them so I’m feeling good about the content that I decided to include as well as the experience of actually teaching it. I especially liked the comment on one evaluation form: “Sandy is great!” (thanks, Mark), since comments like this validate all the work that I put into the course.

Now that the course is over, I can focus on the rest of the conference, although I do have a one-hour breakout session to present this afternoon. It’s a bit like old home week for me, since many of the FileNet sales and marketing people are here, people who I worked with back in 2000-2001 when I was FileNet’s Director of eBusiness Evangelism, as well as a lot of customers who I visited when I was in that capacity. I’m also amazed at the number of other ex-FileNet’ers here who have retained close ties with FileNet, most of them closer than my occasional FileNet-related work as part of my larger BPM practice.

I’m currently sitting in the morning main tent session and have a lot of interesting breakouts to attend over the next three days. Stay posted.

BPM: a moving target

I’m prepping for the 2-day Making BPM Mean Business course that I’ll be delivering this weekend in Las Vegas, and it’s giving me a chance for a complete end-to-end review of a lot of material that I’ve been gathering, thinking about, presenting and rewriting over the past several months. One thing that immediately strikes me is the constant state of change: since I sent these materials for printing three weeks ago, there’s new things that I just have to include. The BPEL for People initiative (IBM-SAP white paper here), for example, which is a critical step to having BPMS products use BPEL more extensively. The ongoing effects of the OMGBPMI merger. New versions of Enterprise Architecture modelling tools such as ProVision, since I position BPM in an EA context in this course.

There’s also a lot of wisdom that I’ve gathered over time that it will be fun to discuss with the course participants: how to do a business walkthrough, analyzing and designing business processes, and ROI calculations for BPM.

I spent this morning sitting in a local café (a good place to get away from all distractions except the Crackberry, which I am unable to detach from my psyche), putting the final touches on the workshop exercises that I’ll be having the participants do during the course. It’s a small class which should result in a lot of interaction amongst the attendees, and since they’re all from different companies, I’ve decided to do individual projects rather than group projects so that they actually have something usable to take home about their own business processes at the end of the two days. It’s sort of like speed-consulting for me, which should be fun all around.

I’m all a-quiver with anticipation.