Saturday, July 12, 2008

What else in BPMN 2.0, Process Inheritance, Variance?

I am hearing two different perspectives from people in BPM field. There is one set of users who see a lot of adoption already of BPM (and BPMN) and there is another which says that the industry is on the upward curve.
That brings me to the actual question(s) I want to ask, what else would users want to see in BPMN 2.0.
Process Inheritance: Just for the sake of clarity and being on the same page, let me take a stab at what I mean by Process Inheritance. Process Inheritance implies a parent child relationships between processes. e.g. If "building a house" is a project, "building the foundation", "building the frame" and "electric wiring" would be child projects of this project.
The child process "building the foundation" could be further sub divided into "lay the plumbing", "put the concrete slab" and "install latent heating". And further on. Tool users can then navigate across parent and child processes. Further there could be dependencies across this child processes. I already see several tools support this paradigm including Oracle BPA Suite. The question I am trying to understand is whether this should be mandated by the specification.

Process Variance?
Once again to be on the same page as readers. Process Variance implies geography, polity, legal, ... etc specific variations of the process definition. There are questions about whether these variants should be allowed to modify the original process or should continue to exist within the variation parameter. e.g. If the process requires a credit check in the US version, it might require three steps to verify credit - physical verification of identity, address and property ownership before deciding the credit worthiness of the applicant. Once again there are tools that let business users do this. However, the question is whether this should be mandated? And if yes, then what would be the mandated behavior. In this example it may seem apparent that the localized process should not change the base process but there are examples where the base process needs to be "upgraded"?
I am looking to BPM practitioners and customers in the field to state their opinion on this!