Modeling at #bpmNEXT
As part of the Business of BPM, a panel discussion of the role of modeling was held. Denis Gagne, Clay Richardson, and Kramer Reeves all took part, moderated by Bruce Silver. Again, Sandy Kemsley has the gold-standard coverage.
A key element was a discussion of the value of modeling itself:
- Does a model only derive value if it is executed?
- Is there value in building consensus around a model?
- Does a model have more or less value if “mined” from process data?
I think the key value for most models is when they turn to execution. Now, execution could be by way of putting everyone on the same page – a model that can be consulted, like a punch list or standard operating procedures. But execution could also be by way of software implementation of the process, as is traditional with a BPMS. The point is, the model driving the process is a value beyond just a common understanding of the process.
An interesting moment was when one of the panelists said that “we aren’t competing against each other, we’re competing against old methods or non-modeling” (Can’t recall the attribution but it might have been Bruce Silver who said that).
The most difficult job vendors have to do around modeling is to serve two masters: simplicity and power. It is so hard to produce a modeling language and environment that is of minimum complexity, specificity, and expressive power. Introducing execution enhances a model’s value dramatically -but also it’s complexity – which potentially reduces its value to the business as an educational and consensus building tool.
At the end of the day – who’s the audience for the model? And for the modeling environment?