Posted by: Adam Deane | 17/09/2010

Keith Swenson’s Blog – On Collaborative Planning

Keith SwensonI find that the best way to learn a subject is to see it from someone else’s perspective. That’s why I like reading other people’s blogs.

Reading someone else’s blog is always a very humbling experience.
You suddenly find people out there that have more experience, that may be smarter, might be able to articulate better, and that their view on a subject has just as much merit, if not more, than yours.

I spent most of the last weekend reading Keith Swenson’s blog from start to end.

Keith Swenson is the VP of Research and Development at Fujitsu and the Chief Software Architect for their Interstage family of products.
He is the chairman of the Technical Committee of the Workflow Management Coalition.

Keith has been blogging on BPM for the last 4 years.
The first couple of years were mainly around notations, standards and development.
The next year had an emphasis on BPM best practices.
His last year of blogging concentrates on ACM – Adaptive Content Management.

Personally, I found the articles on BPM best practices – the most interesting to read.
Clever observations and recommendations. They were also articulated very nicely.

I’m not a notation kind of guy, so the debate around standards and acronyms wasn’t exactly my cup of tea (XPDL,BPAF, BPDM, Wf-XML, BPMNEL, WYDIWYE and … IJKLMN)
And I must admit that his latest obsession with ACM has got me a bit baffled.
I haven’t a problem with the ACM concept, but I do have a worry about the approach.
He has written quite a lot of articles on the subject of ACM. Maybe he should write a book about it… (… just teasing)

These are the articles that I found most interesting:
BPM is not software engineering
Avoid Mouse candy
The 80% Solution
Workflow is back
What BPM can learn from a spreadsheet
The fable of the five magistrates
The wrong question for process discovery
On Notations – Notes on musical notation
On XPDL – The diagram is the meaning
A methodology for human processes
26 hints for agile software development

His favourite quote is

“When you have a hammer, all the problems start to look like nails. “

Although then one I really liked was:

A reasonable person adapts themselves to the world around them.
An unreasonable person refuses to adapt, and tries to change the world to fit them.
For this reason, all advances depend upon unreasonable people.


  1. Well, thank you Adam. This is very nice. You even read back to my very first post … what seems like ages ago.

  2. […] Keith Swenson’s Blog – On Collaborative Planning – Adam Deane does a respective of this blog!  (thanks Adam!) […]

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