Marwane El Kharbili

Apr 8, 2008

Agile BPM

I found this post in a Dialog blog. Dialog conference series are organized by ILOG, of course tackle everything around Business Rule Management Systems. The post is about making BPM agile. The answer is: BPM, BRMS, SOA, Events Management. How? Well, Daryl Plummer, Vice President and Chief Gartner Fellow gave a talk about just that at Dialog08. I found the following points very interesting. A more dynamic BPM will have an effect on the following points:
  • Business agility
  • Decision making
  • Revenue opportunities
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Regulatory compliance
I find the second and last extremely interesting since hey form the core of my work at the IDS and my topic of research. It is true that managing decision making independently from where it is used, but also being able to modify and deploy it into business processes where the business is realized brings agility to the enterprise. Regulatory compliance is also a bog concern at companies currently, and even late adopters are now starting to explore ways of achieving that because they have to comply to laws and regulations in order to avoid judiciary pursuits or trials.
A second interesting though was that SOA is IT driven and BPM business-led. It is not about aligning IT to business, it is about integrating both, make sure they work together. So there is a need for a process-centric layer between both. This is what tools like ARIS are all about. Providing a comprehensive framework for managing business processes, while helping the implementation of these business processes.

The third idea was about events and services. Apart from the fact that consuming services is the natural way humans handle things. Nobody is interested in how a service is realized. A service is just the abstract interface to an value-adding functionality. Now the things is that services are made to be executed upon occuring events. Events and services just fit well. A services architecture integrated with an event management framework is another component in achieving flexibility. I have usually always heard of CEPs, Complex Event Processing frameworks, and how well they would work with business rules. There are vendors for CEPs and looking at what it may bring to a enterprise in terms of flexibility is certainly worth it. Now any process modelling notations such as EPC and BPMN handle events. So there is already event information that can ba managed by the business. so just like business rules, events are present at the different layers of an enterprise's business.

So three ideas about BPM agility out of a post at a BRMS conference. BPM, Services, events and business rules can all work together. We just have to show that in rea world use cases and complex scenarios, I would be very happy to write apost about someone who goves a presentation about such a thing.

Anyways, I have been reading some of the posts at DIALOG08 and many are very interesting. I'll keep on reviewing whatever has to do with BRMS, BPM, SOA and compliance.

Marwane El Kharbili.


Jean Pommier said...


Thanks for the interest and coverage. Since you are talking about agility, you may want to have a look, and potentially participate, to the Sustainable IT Architecture community.

There, in addition to BRMS which certainly plays a key role, you will find EDM in the concept of Agility Chain Management System (ACMS).

In case you didn't know already.

Jean Pommier
VP Methodology, ILOG

Marwane said...

Thanks Jean for your interesting comment and link! I had a look at the cal for participation of the sustainable architecture group and to the mission of the group. I have to say that I totally agree to the de facto necessary evolution of legacy systems towards SOA. More that that, it is not just a necessity to take these systems into account, while taking the SOA journey, because you believe in what SOA brings, it is also very important to proceed to such an evolution in an organized, architected way. The initiative of the sustainable architecture community surely has its place beside the other SOA related working groups. I have to say that I am not yet familiar with the agility chain management system though. But that will have to change in the future.

Marwane El Kharbili.