What's Complicated

  • April 5, 2013
  • Scott

As I go through my notes from bpmNEXT, I keep finding little gems that I want to share.  Like the note I wrote myself- that Germans love David Hasselhoff… and BPMN, after watching a series of great presentations reflecting serious expertise in the arcana of modeling.

BPMN isn’t what’s complicated. Business is what’s complicated. 

Okay, the nit-pickers out there can rightly point out that sometimes IT increases complexity (picture legacy system and migration issues as new technology landscape is implemented).  But for the most part, BPMN wasn’t the barrier to solving business problems in this august gathering at bpmNEXT, it was a foundational (and largely background) element – just like all the other modeling techniques being used, including code.

The very real complexity of running large businesses is what drives the complexity of the models.  For example, the folks who were addressing DODAF and semantic models-  it wasn’t BPMN causing that complexity, it was the requirements of their particular “business” (the government).  Of course, it is possible to have an overly complex model, so writing a concise model is where some of the craft of BPM comes in

Too often we blame the tools – or the messengers.  Sometimes the solution is only as simple as it is.

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  • Hi Scott
    We continue our exchange! Fact is business logic never changes where people are the source of all information. There are less that 13 work task types human and system that address all requirements to support people. Just code once and ready to configure as required V quick and no BPMN required that just adds unnecessary complexity. Please drop me a line I will send papers etc david.chassels@procession.com We are looking for friends to take into US …..but is quite disruptive = customer wins and so does the supplier able to deliver a lot more foe a lot less but make better/good margin. Losers well I think you know who they are…?

    • whenever someone uses words like “never” I know we’re in trouble – because never and always usually make us wrong.

      My post relating to bpmNEXT isn’t intended to sell product, or pitch product, or argue that one product is better than another. I was pointing out (perhaps inelegantly) that the problems that our presenters were addressing are hard – complicated even. But they weren’t hard or complicated because of BPMN. they were hard or complicated because that is what the business environment was demanding, what the regulations were demanding, etc.

      So look, I’m not saying you need BPMN for every process problem – people were solving process problems (in software and without) long before BPMN came along. But I can’t accept arguments like “rules aren’t code”, or “configuration isn’t complicated” – it just isn’t true. Each rule may be simple, but the interaction of an entire rule system is complicated. Because the business rule interactions are complicated. It isn’t the rule’s fault that the environment is complicated 🙂 Businesses have complex situations to deal with and competing needs to satisfy.