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Dear Colleagues,

in the course of an ongoing research effort, I and some colleagues have recently started to empirically examine the reasons for involvement of end-users or domain-experts in business process modeling activities in their organizations (or the lack thereof).

As a first step towards this aim, we have designed a small questionnaire aiming at people involved in or responsible for an organization’s process management activities — both, in an internal role or as an external consultant. The questionnaire takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and is available at https://goo.gl/forms/N6FCYlYNyhaO6AWc2.

We would very much appreciate, if you could find the time to contribute to our study and/or forward the link to potentially interested people.

If you have any further questions regarding the study, you can reach me at stefan.oppl@jku.at.

Thank you,
 stefan

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The State of the BPM Market: Stagnation?

Hi all,

Many of us know that "selling" the concept of process orientation is sometimes a tough business.

A recent survey of Paul Harmon suggests that BPM maturity in businesses is stagnating: "The state of BPM, as we defined it in 2005 is roughly the same today." (Source: http://www.bptrends.com/bpt/wp-content/uploads/2015-BPT-Survey-Report.pdf).

I am curious: Do you have a similar impression?

Best regards,

Matthias

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New BPM book ...

There is a new book with the interesting title "Hagenberg Business Process Modelling Method". So, there is no universal methodology, but one that works in Hagenberg (just a joke) - nevertheless, there is also a "Grazer Ansatz" developed at the TU Graz (no joke).

There is a chapter inside with the title "An Enhanced Communication Concept"; as I do not have the book yet - let's do some googling: "An Enhanced Communication Concept for Business Processes" from the same author gives some insight.

"The event pools of S-BPM [Fl12] provided inspiration for the pool concept introduced here. The pools of S-BPM are tailored for actor comfort, but are not embedded in a wider delivery concept. S-BPM provides some extra “configuration parameters” for input pools, whose most important application appears to be the enforcement of synchronous communication, which is handled differently in our more general concept."

Your opinion?

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S-BPM concepts and terms too far out there?

I recently received a reviewer's comments on an S-BPM related paper that I would like to share.

The reviewer criticised that the terminology used in most S-BPM related papers is too specific for the general BPM community. He/she also suggested that when describing the S-BPM approach we should position it more closely among other approaches to BPM. Specifically the reviewer suggested Role-Activity Diagrams and UML collaboration diagrams as related approaches.

I think these comments are fair enough, and especially useful for S-BPM folks who want to reach a wider audience. What are your views about this? Have you had similar feedback? How can we be more successful in getting our message across?

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Comments: 5

Exploratory study about S-BPM Community

In the course of a post graduate program about “Applied Knowledge Management” I have conducted an explorative, qualitative study about the Open S-BPM Community. The  aim  of  the  study  was  to  gain first information  about  the expectations,  feelings,  needs,  and  motivations  of  possible community members. Overall I interviewed 18 persons related to our community.

Afterwards I located the results within the three knowledge management methods or approaches “Communities of Practice”, “Knowledge Creation” and “Enabling Knowledge Creation” in order to infer ideas to foster knowledge creation and knowledge sharing within the S-BPM community.

An excerpt (in German) of this thesis can be found here: Exploratory_study_about_S-BPM_Community.pdf

A short paper about the study can be found in the S-BPM 2015 proceedings.

With best regards
Harald Lerchner

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Is process modelling easier with S-BPM than with BPMN? Given the very small number of symbols in S-BPM compared to the over 140 symbols in BPMN, the answer seems obvious. On the other hand, there are observations that many process modellers still seem to feel more at ease with the global control-flow perspective of BPMN (with a reduced set of symbols). Why is that?

To understand this issue I suggest considering a second dimension: the degree to which the knowledge about a process is distributed. When all the knowledge needed to model a process is available to 1 person, the global, "end-to-end" process view of BPMN may be more intuitive than the modular perspective of S-BPM where separate process parts are encapsulated in different subjects. However, when the process knowledge is distributed across several people (I'd say more than 2 or 3 process participants), the global view of BPMN quickly becomes very difficult to construct and maintain; to a point where it is no longer manageable. Modelling with S-BPM is more scalable in this respect, with additional knowledge sources leading only to a linear increase in difficulty. ("Difficulty" may be measured in several ways, for example as the subjective perception of individual process participants, as the time needed for process modelling, or as the correctness of the resulting process models.)

This hypothesis is based on two considerations:

  1. The more participants in the process, the more communication relationships you have to include in the model. BPMN, with its focus on control flow (rather than data flow), is very limited in this respect. Simple instances of communication can appear very complex in BPMN, sometimes requiring the use of "advanced" BPMN constructs (such as the signal event for intra-pool communication). S-BPM, in contrast, provides unique symbols for sending and receiving messages and even has a dedicated diagram for modelling communication relationships.
  2. The more distributed the process knowledge, the less the individual participant knows about the other participants. This is a problem for BPMN modelling, as one swimlane needs to understand the detailed process in the other swimlane in order to know which activity it needs to interact with (e.g. by sending a message to that activity). In S-BPM, a subject only needs to know the type of message and the name of the subject it interacts with; the internal behaviour of the other subject doesn't need to be known. This separation of concerns enables concurrent modelling by separate process participants, as they can focus on modelling their own behaviour without needing to care about the internal behaviour of the others.

Current training examples and exercises in (BPMN) process modelling typically provide complete textual descriptions of a process. So all the relevant process knowledge is located in one place, and the distribution of knowledge is zero. Most research in the "process of process modelling" is based on the same "zero-distribution" assumption. To fully understand the benefits of S-BPM in terms of ease of modelling, more attention needs to be given to situations when process knowledge is distributed.

What are your thoughts on the "distributed knowledge" hypothesis?

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S-BPM in the Wild

is here:

http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/650/bok%253A978-3-319-17542-3.pdf?originUrl=http%3A%2F%2Flink.springer.com%2Fbook%2F10.1007%2F978-3-319-17542-3&token2=exp=1434176338~acl=%2Fstatic%2Fpdf%2F650%2Fbok%25253A978-3-319-17542-3.pdf%3ForiginUrl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Flink.springer.com%252Fbook%252F10.1007%252F978-3-319-17542-3*~hmac=f6f1469c736cc514c7b66cfe8b33bc50b1b57bdcc76e123ba710635c47a0895e

Grab your personal copy with the best wishes from the editors!

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Field Study Book is Coming Soon ....

S-BPM in the Wild - Practical Value Creation

provides insight in the application of S-BPM in the field.

Being the first of its kind cases from operational business, consultancy, education, organizational and technical development are revealed.

Each case is specific and shows essentials with respect to modeling and/or implementing S-BPM solutions.

Stay tuned to download your copy:

http://www.springer.com/de/book/9783319175416  

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Publishing books via I2PM

I2PM now is a publisher with its own ISBN.
The BSC Cookbook is the first book published by I2PM:It is already available on amazon.com: Link.
Publishing via I2PM is a very inexpensive option for I2PM members.
If you have any questions about publishing a book via I2PM, Matthias Kurz is happy to give you advice.

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Comments: 2

Dr. Clemente Minonne from iProcess AG, Obergrundstrasse 61, CH-6300 Luzern, does research on BPM maturity Level in German-speaking countries.

He asked us to share this information and the link to a respective online questionnaire among our members. Answering takes only a few minutes.

You can find the questionnaire here. Participants can get the results if they want to.

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