Marwane El Kharbili

Feb 14, 2008

BPM basics for dummies

Although the discipline exists since more than 20 years (the IDS Scheer for example was founded in 1984 by Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. August-Wilhelm Scheer), interest in Business Process Management has been increasing dramatically in the industry. The fact that all major players have brought up BPM strategies in recent years is a clear sign for that. But still are many people asking about BPM and thinking about getting fit in using BPM, although fear of new technologies and the buzz syndrom may slow down adoption in most cases (think about SOA). Many experts that most of the potential of BPM has still to be uncovered.

So it might not sound very strange that even Software AG, one of the major software providers in the world, after having acquired WebMethods (completed in june 2007), one of the biggest Business Process Integration software providers, have just made a book available. The book is entitled "BPM basics for dummies", and is destined to narrow adoption barriers of the technology. However the book is mainly treating the subject from the integration and software point of view, and not from the business point of view. The book is rather an introduction to BPM related technologies and a treats the topic more from the perspective of BPM Suites. Sections of the book proceed to a custom definition of BPM, then distinguish functional goals and what the added-values of BPMS are, then give discuss management and technological architectures that go with BPMS.

You can get the book on the corporate site of Software AG, all you need to do is register. The book is planned to be translated to French, Spanisch and German in April 2008. The book was written by Dr. Kiran K. Garimella (VP of BPM Solutions atSoftware AG), Michael J. Lees (Director of BPM Product Marketing at SoftwareAG) and Bruce D. Williams (SVP & GeneralManager of the BPM Solutions Group for Software AG). The most intriguiing and amusing in the book is the "for dummies" layout. It makes reading very easy-going and flowy. Most of all it remindedd me of one of the first books I read about computer science as I was a teenager "HTML for dummies" :D But those times are over.

My verdict: if you are solely intersted in implementing BPM someday, and looking for a detailed presentation of the way one of Business Process Management Suites' providers look at technical BPM and its IT implementation, then here is a compact, easy-to-read and very interesting small book (78 pages). The book can be easily read by newbies to BPM. But you shouldn't limit yourself to this book of course, rather think about how getting to know what BPM can really bring up your organization's corporate strategy, governance and processes to, while staying independant from implementation platforms.

Marwane El Kharbili.

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