#bpmCamp 2010 @ Stanford – Overview

Scott Francis
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Last week Stanford hosted the first “bpmCamp” for Lombardi Teamworks and Blueprint practitioners.  By all accounts the event was a success – sold out at 40 participants – and with some truly great interactive sessions and discussion that is hard to have at a bigger forum.  Our Stanford hosts did a wonderful job hosting, including all of the little details like name badges and maps, but also helping organize logistics around lodging, transportation, parking, and providing an excellent facility in which to have our meetings.  Encina Commons is one of the older buildings at Stanford – sandstone and arches and wide covered patios, surrounded by lots of green – a perfect atmosphere for sharing.  We were lucky to get a reprieve from the rain for 2 days so that we could really enjoy the surroundings (and make the occasional trip for espresso).  Thank you to Lombardi, and Apex (and bp3) for sponsoring the dinner on Thursday night at Pampas – an all-you-can-eat Brazilian feast.

And thanks most of all to everyone who came and led a session, contributed their opinions, reached out to their colleagues and made new friends and contacts.  What a great experience. We’ll follow-up with a series of blog posts based on bpmCamp to share some of the content with a chance to step back and editorialize a bit. The biggest takeaway that I had was that the community needed an event like this to step out of the daily grind of delivering processes and process improvement – to see what others are doing, to see the forest for the trees.  Sessions ranged in size from 5 people to 40, and discussions were often lively…

currently JBoss is your option if you want an embedded appserver), and making upgrades to Teamworks 7 a truly good experience.  The goal is to bring the ease of use of Teamworks to IBM’s customers, and to leverage key IBM technologies but expose them in ways that let you cut through the noise and focus on delivery. It was a motivating message for our bpmCamp crowd because clearly Phil’s attention is still on the BPM game, and this prioritization will keep Teamworks relevant for the audience.  Knowing the developers that IBM/Lombardi are putting on this project and upgrade paths, I also know that this is a crack team of some of the best engineers at Lombardi, which says something about the commitment from the executive team. Someone in the audience noted afterward that this was a more tactical set of goals than they expected to hear from Phil- who usually talks in terms such as “the Second Decade of BPM“… but if the focus on the tactical reveals that they believe the tactical may BE the strategic right now, I think its a welcome shift-  because truly, what’s holding people back from BPM is not the knowledge that it has value – the press and blogs are full of information on that score – but rather, its the “getting started” effort required that slows things down.  The easier a software company can make the transition from “business problem conceived” to “BPM project underway” the more likely it is that BPM software is applied to that problem instead of sticky notes and a change order on an ERP system scheduled for 2 years out. There were so many more great sessions to report on, so there will be more posts here about the sessions.  One thing anyone reading this can do for me that will help – is let us know if you’d be interested in attending a future bpmCamp, and if you would travel to attend, or if not, where you’re located so we can judge where we have critical mass for another event. Thanks again to everyone who participated, and watch this space for more information! Also, lest you think that BPM was the only educational opportunity at Stanford last week, I stopped by the Cantor Museum for Visual Arts and took a few photos of Rodin sculptures – the collection is the second largest in the world and nearly every piece was on display.

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