Something which struck me whilst watching the lightening storm outside the window in Amsterdam this morning. I looked over a few vendor sites, some small, some large, open source and not, and whilst in my opinion BPMN still struggles to be a de facto notation it’s going to face a very tough time trying to convince people once Social BPM steps up a gear.


Simply because in a social context there are no set standards, it’s meant to be accessible for all. If you built a collaborative process discovery tool but tell everyone they have to use BPMN then you’re going to turn off a large audience in the organisation. There’s no need for ‘experts’ per se in the same way we have now because to all intents and purposes everyone can get involved and help shape a process. If you had a scenario where you were modeling in an open environment and inviting business staff to help out would you seriously start barking at them because they didn’t use the right notation? Instant #fail if you ask me.

But it reveals another interesting situation here. Social BPM is layered. There’s the analysis and discovery layer, collaboration and engagement layer, modeling layer, execution layer etc, at what point do you introduce something like BPMN? And actually, should you? (primarily because you’re introducing a silo’d approach in one layer and shutting out further collaboration)

Can’t have both. Shouldn’t have both. So consider both before you think you have a Social BPM tool…..