Views from BPM Europe Panel Session, 17 June 2015

IRM’s panel sessions always spark lively debate and last month’s session: Case & Decision Management: More than Buzzwords? proved no exception. If you didn’t manage to catch us on the day, here’s the round-up from Bizagi panelist, Jolanta Pilecka. Below you can read the extract from that session extended with the Bizagi perspective.

What are Bizagi’s views on DMN standard and decision management?

Bizagi is a founding member of the OMG standards committees, so actively participates in their development. While BPMN at its 2.0 version has evolved into a relatively mature standard, CMMN is still at 1.0 and further improvement is needed to make it fully functional.

The truth is that both standards represent two sides of the same coin: one focusing on structured, and the other one addressing the unstructured, data challenges so they would benefit from unification.

We hear this over and over again from our customers: BPM is about continuous improvement; the objective is to constantly evolve existing processes and develop new ones. Some processes are structured, others are not. So, ask yourself:

    • Should you be buying a different tool for each project – learning new standards, new UI and building relationships with new vendors?
    • Or should you be looking for ONE vendor that can offer all that capability through one flexible and powerful platform?

I think our audience is the judge of this. CMMN needs to cover notation for context sensitive decisions, actions that make sense to accommodate data, sub-processes defined at runtime; all that we can achieve with Bizagi, but CMMN is not there yet.

So, ultimately it is not about standards: it’s about creating working systems fast using those standards.

Bizagi approach is very pragmatic. To achieve case management capabilities we extended BPMN with functionality or entities that help our customers build case management systems using the same platform they deploy for process centric projects. As our underlying architecture recognises the importance of data, the data layer is loosely coupled from the process layer and that provides a sound foundation for case management. As a result, this powerful data capability plus BPMN 2.0 notation & extensions allows us to deliver the most complex systems managing unstructured or structured data, prescriptive and ad-hoc processes that support context sensitive decisions. These include:


What are Bizagi’s views on DMN standard and decision management?

In the early days, Bizagi worked closely with Barbara von Halle (awarded Outstanding Individual Achievement Award by the International Data Management Association for her pioneering work in business logic frameworks) and embedded some of her decision management concepts in our architecture.

Our platform already has external extensions added to BPMN to deliver strong decision making support. Plus the DMN standard was only released in Dec 14 and there is a huge scope for improvement.

Let’s be pragmatic here; ultimately, our customers, some sitting in the audience today, want a working system; standards don’t go far enough, not yet: most of them are not yet mature and there are too many of them.

Our philosophy is, yes we are committed to standards, but we use them to our customers’ benefit – if standards don’t address important areas that the market is asking for, we need to provide them to ensure our customers deliver working systems.

Many organizations that have been using BPM for several years still struggle. Introducing new concepts is not a question of a notation. Can you explain?

For a start, organizations that use Bizagi do not struggle with BPM! What makes us different in this very crowded BPM space is that we commit to deliver a customer’s first process in just 7 weeks and over 500 happy customers are the genuine proof that BPMS can deliver results fast.

However, one thing I’m very surprised by is how complex we (I mean BPM vendors) make the whole BPM domain to potential users. We introduce a new standard every year or so and use many 2, 3, 4 letter acronyms & technical jargon at every opportunity. It’s hardly surprising that projects fail! Instead we should funnel all that intellectual power into creating solutions that work and scale.

At Bizagi we haven’t experienced project failures to-date and there are two reasons for this:

  • Freemium model: We offer free modelling and automation tools, so prospects can download and model/automate their enterprise processes without any financial commitment
  • Low-risk: It is only when they are confident that Bizagi is the right fit for their business, that they Audi or Mars did.

Ultimately it is not about standards, it is about creating working systems fast that are using those standards and use them to our customers’ benefit. We are lucky to have a well-designed flexible architecture that supports our platform and that gives us all the capabilities we need to deliver the most challenging projects.

Further links:
Find out how the Bizagi Layered Stack Architecture supports standards & reuse
See how Bizagi helped Mars Canada increase speed to market 7x