Posted by: Adam Deane | 11/02/2011

BPM in China

ChinaLast Thursday was the Chinese new year.
It struck me as a bit odd that there was hardly a mention of it in the BPM community.

We have representatives from across the globe.
India, USA, Brazil, Russia, Malaysia, Spain, Australia, Portugal, … and even smaller countries Tunisia, Israel and Lebanon

China, a country with 1,342,160,000 people, has no representation in our BPM community.

I tried looking around, but I couldn’t find any Chinese blogs on BPM.
I found a short article about BPM in China by Gartner’s Jim Sinur written a couple of years ago, but nothing else.

So I’m sitting here, trying not to look too ignorant, and asking myself: what am I missing?

What?… Is BPM a “western” methodology?
Is there a flourishing BPM community in China that we are not communicating with?
How do they manage business processes? Surely there must be a tonne of things that we can learn from them…

I know there are cultural differences, language barriers, and even different web applications … so, what is their approach to BPM?

I’m not even going to try to be a political analyst, but looking at the USA’s debt, the unrest in the middle east, the European bankruptcies, and on the other hand – China’s economy boom… I’ve got a feeling that the balance of power will start to change.

One of my neighbours has a private tutor pop in a couple of times a week after school to teach his kids Mandarin. Crazy? Over the top? Smart thinking?
Are we sticking our heads in the sand? Should we be planning ahead?

After the British empire, the French revolution and the American dream..
Are we ready for the Chinese Dragon?

Enjoy your weekend


  1. + Switzerland, please.


  2. Hi Adam,
    I’m definitely not an expert analyst in macroeconomy, but I think the trend you are depicting here is quite evident.
    With respect to your analysis, I would be even more radical saying that China has already potentially overthrown the western hegemony on economy. Just think to the huge interests it has in Africa: China is really buying entire countries or economies in exchange of infrastructures or engineering projects (and you know how really big Africa is:
    China huge economic power is already here, and I guess we will see soon its international impact also at cultural and scientific level.
    It’s actually strange this hasn’t happened yet, but I’m keen to think this is mostly due to the large cultural divide. This is starting now in some fields (e.g., Web science and technologies) that are maybe intrinsically more global.
    Now, about BPM: the question could be extended to other areas too. For instance, what about India (that is one of the world leaders in IT)?
    I think it’s quite adopted in enterprises, although not so visible: some vendors are showcasing some success stories:, and companies focus on this: e.g., Arvato from Bertelsmann group .
    It’s a pity so far we don’t have open contribution to the community though.. we’ll see what will happen when the dragon wakes up!

  3. Here ya go, Adam! Great question, as it has produced some interesting results. Although BonitaSoft isn’t mentioned in these articles, they are worth sharing. (Google translate does an adequate job.) Thanks to BonitaSoft Beijing for these…

  4. So… It looks like there is BPM in China after all…

    IDS Scheer:

    Use Google translate to translate.
    Thanks for the update..


  5. Yes, there is practically everything in China. But due to the language constraint, a lot of the software movement going on there are kind of being kept within the local community.

    In fact, the local open source community has took some efforts to translate the introductory information of various workflow engines available, into a comprehensive directory.

    And if we take a look at one of the most popular micro-blogging platforms in China, you would also be able to find some people, whose profile is tagged with “workflow” and “BPM”.

    China is an incredibly huge market; but not easy to be penetrated. As of proprietary options, only a few huge software companies who could afford to hire a team of local employees to influence the market, can make a difference to capture market share in China. Else, open source model would really work very well there. China has all the talents and market demand needed to turn something found in proprietary software, into something else similar licensed with open source model.

  6. Hi Adam,

    Have a look at my blog here on BPM in China. I was there last year studying how they approach things. The key difference is the sheer scale of resources they throw at a workflow process.

  7. […] Deane muses about BPM and China.  BonitaSoft’s Q&A team in Bejing provides some interesting […]

  8. Please refer to the following web site

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