Defining BPM with a Poster

  • October 10, 2014
  • Scott

Keith Swenson of Fujitsu has published a poster based on the collaborative definition and clarification of BPM that he led in previous months.  That discussion ranged from LinkedIn groups to his blog and to others’ blogs, and much to my surprise, the community (largely thanks to Keith’s determination and efforts, though many contributed intellectually) arrived at a definition that doesn’t kowtow to a particular vendor’s interests or definition.

This is based on the effort to gain consensus around a single common definition for BPM.  The definition by itself can not convey the meaning, if the terms are not explained.  You have seen this before in my post “One Common Definition for BPM.”  What we have done is to put all the information together into a single poster.

So, an apology from me is in order:  I just didn’t believe that this effort would succeed with all the vested interests represented, nor that it was necessary – from the perspective that we’re doing “BPM” just fine, thank-you-very-much, and don’t want someone else’s definition imposed upon us.  But Keith (and others who helped) proved me wrong. The community can and did arrive at a meaningful definition.  Keith persevered through the naysayer comments (even mine), and through the vendor-specific trolling.  And I think the end result feels a bit more modern and well-thought-out than previous definitions from various standards bodies, though many of the people who participated in those efforts also engaged in the discussion with Keith.

So, thank you Keith and BPM community for both surprising and delighting in this effort. Further thanks to Keith for producing a pretty good visual layout that includes explanation of all the key terms and context – much of the text directly from the discussion, so this isn’t just Keith’s point of view.  A PDF version is available on his site as well.  While it flies the Fujitsu flag, and the PDF itself should be considered copyrighted unless Keith indicates otherwise, the text itself is available from other sources should you desire to make use of it.




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