Posted by: Adam Deane | 12/11/2010

BPM Easter Eggs

BPM Easter EggsRemember Easter Eggs…
Easter eggs were little games or a change in program behaviour that would occur in response to a set of mouse-clicks or keystrokes.

Easter eggs in the 1997 version of Microsoft Office included a pinball game in Microsoft Word and a hidden flight simulator in Microsoft Excel.
It was fun.

Remember Solitaire…
Microsoft intended Windows Solitaire “to soothe people intimidated by the operating system”, and at a time where many users were still unfamiliar with graphical user interfaces, it proved useful in familiarizing them with the use of a mouse, such as the drag-and-drop technique required for moving cards.
It was fun, and it helped people learn to use the system.

What is the BPM equivalent?
We have support sites, knowledge centres, centres of excellence, best practices, documentation and training videos.
But we don’t anything that’s fun.

BPM is for grown-ups, it’s got the words “business” and “management” in it, therefore it must be taken very seriously.

Easter eggs in BPM software? – BPM is not meant to be enjoyable!!
A game to learn BPMN? – How very dare you!!

We can continue to tell ourselves that BPM is a heavy issue for users to learn, BPMN is a sophisticated notation and BPM software can only be used by the truly gifted…

Ok… I might be oversimplifying but having Easter eggs and Solitaire-like applications in our products surely should ease the learning curve for both developers and end-users, and make the BPM user experience a bit more enjoyable…

Just a thought.
Enjoy your weekend.


Responses

  1. Hi Adam, I totally agree and would even take it one step further. I suggest to look at business achtivities more like a game in principle. Work should be fun and not boringly serious. Business applications should not tie people into a straight jacket but allow them to work THEIR WAY, not just some theoretical optimal way.

    Hey, what a thought! How about letting people do work their way and have fun with it and do the work the way the customer wants and let him have fun too? How about that? Would that would be even a lot better than Easter eggs and would do away with the unpleasant BPM experience in the first place.

    Just a thought … Thanks for bringing it up! Max

  2. Good point!
    This just reminded me about an entire field known as “Game with a purpose” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_with_a_purpose for basic ideas).
    Maybe one of the most known systems is Google Labeler: http://images.google.com/imagelabeler/.

    I was wondering whether anybody ever tried to apply this kind of approach to the BPM world. Anyone?

  3. You mean BPM isn’t fun in and of itself? 😉

    I like Marco’s idea as well – the more development can be made to be an enjoyable experience, the more dedicated the work becomes (or, potentially). Peter Drucker anticipated us all becoming knowledge workers, but he warned against us being drones. BPM should be, under the right kind of management, a creative, flow-inducing experience.


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