A Quick Review of Gartner BPM 2011 Write-ups #BPM11

Post by
Scott Francis

There were several blogs about Gartner BPM 2011, capturing overall impressions.? From ebizQ, Ann Stuart reviews the keynotes (including this quote from Daryl Plummer):

--Visibility is critical: "If you can't see it, you can't fix it. You probably don't even know you have it."

I think the highlight of the keynotes was Daryl Plummer's closing remarks.? I found myself wishing he had opened the ceremonies, so to speak - it would have been a great way to energize the attendees about BPM and their role within their businesses.? He was the best individual speaker that I saw at the conference (great mix of humor and data and content).

Len Dorfman from Fujitsu also summarized the Gartner BPM 2011 experience in the Fujitsu Interstage blog:

What stood out for me the most at the Summit, however, was the positive vibe of the attendees.?? I had the opportunity to speak to a number of them in the booth as well as between the sessions, and all of my conversations were positive and optimistic about the BPM outlook for next year and beyond.

I'd second this sentiment - the positive vibe was palpable.? And you might think that this was just among the vendors, eying a bigger attendance population - but no.? It was positive among companies attending.? I'd attribute this partly to an improving background (economy, fewer layoffs in your own company), and partly to a different posture - acting upon the world rather than waiting to find out what the world will do to you and your firm next. I think humans are hardwired to prefer to be taking the initiative over waiting and reacting.

Deb Miller wrote about the conference on her blog as well:

Cloning would have been helpful at Gartner?s BPM Conference #BPM11 last week in Baltimore.? It was hard to decide which of the multiple concurrent sessions to attend.

She should try attending SXSW in Austin.? Some of the time slots had more than 100 concurrent sessions.? At Gartner the maximum was 5 or 6 - but still, there were usually good choices of content.? She also liked the "Great Case Management Debate" format.? We'll just agree to disagree on that one!

Clearly overall reactions from vendors attending Gartner BPM 2011 were positive.? But in the way of feedback, a few things I noticed:

  1. Some of the speakers have spoken at many, if not all, previous Gartner BPM conferences in the US.? I think Gartner could be more proactive about pushing even their sponsors to bring fresh perspectives and content to the conference.
  2. Some of the vendors are just now figuring out that you need to start with the business objectives and work from there toward the methods behind BPM, and the functions within a BPMS.? I found that... surprising.
  3. The high variance of maturity of what different vendors are calling BPM is astonishing.? The variance of maturity of what customers call BPM is also high, but less surprising.? (If Visio and Sharepoint plugins are your idea of BPM...)
  4. BPM within most companies is an island.? If you envision all the BPM efforts at these different corporations, you might think of it as an interconnected web, but it is more like a sea of islands.

It turns out, standing on one of these islands, a person doesn't have perspective about how their BPM maturity compares to another island's maturity.? It is only the vendors and independent consultants and analysts who really carry this news around.? Someday perhaps Twitter and other resources will also, but for now, those social domains just help keep the outside experts better informed and connected, and haven't advantaged customers directly as much.

I'm mindful that we should all stay humble as we share our advice with the world - lest we find out our own island is small and inconsequential - perhaps more so than we thought.

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