Posted by: Adam Deane | 03/10/2011

Case Studies

BPM Analysis
Story One
Once upon a time there was a CIO.
This CIO had a structured daily schedule, as most CIOs usually have.
Every morning the CIO would go to the kitchen table, pick up his car keys, his wallet, and his mobile phone.
He would then put them in his pocket and go out to work.

Every day the same procedure: Keys, wallet and mobile phone
Keys, wallet and mobile phone, Keys, wallet and mobile phone..

One morning the CIO picked up his car keys. He then picked up his wallet. But he couldn’t find his mobile phone.
He looked and looked and looked and looked but he just couldn’t find it.
So he decided to go to work without it.

The moral of the story: Not every structured process has a happy ending

Story Two
A well-dressed lady boarded the train with her dog and sat down in the first class carriage opposite a well-dressed old gentleman.

As the train left the station, the gentleman took out a cigar from his pocket and lit it.
The lady was outraged. How dare you smoke next to my dog!, she howled
The gentleman didn’t say anything. He just kept puffing on his cigar.

The lady continued yelling. What a vile person you are! How dare you smoke next to my lovely dog!
The gentleman continued quietly to smoke his cigar as the lady kept yelling abuse at him, without any reaction.

Suddenly the lady grabbed his cigar and threw it out the window.
The gentleman didn’t think twice. He picked up the little dog and threw it out the window as well.
The woman shrieked, chaos ran through the carriage. The emergency cord was pulled and the train came to a stop.
The conductor ran in to the carriage and found the lady and gentleman yelling at each other.

He looked out the window. I see something! he cried
Everyone looked out of the train window. In the distance, they could see something small heading towards them on the track . It was the dog.
As it came closer they could see that the dog had something in his mouth.
They all looked hard.

What was it?

You’re right.. it was the mobile phone from the first story

The moral of the story:
Not every dynamic business process has a result that you’d expect

Story Three
Once upon a time there was a boy called Tom.
One day at school, Tom raised his hand to ask a question
Yes Tom?, asked his teacher.
Miss, said Tom and asked “What is the Blue Pill?”
The teacher was shocked. Tom! How dare you! Leave the classroom and go straight to the headmaster!
Tom went to the headmaster’s office, tears in his eyes.

Why Tom, I surprised to see you here, said the headmaster. You are one of our best students. What happened?
All I did was to ask the teacher what is the Blue Pill.
The Blue Pill!!! How dare you!! roared the headmaster. You are expelled from this school!!! Go home!! I never want to see you again!!

Tom ran home. Mummy, mummy he cried. I’ve been expelled from school.
But why, my sweet child? Asked his mother surprised.
All I did was ask what is the Blue Pill, replied Tom

The Blue Pill, shrieked his mother. How dare you!!
Get out of this house. You are no longer my son!!!

Tom ran out of the house. Days went by. He roamed the streets hungry and frightened.
Suddenly he met a policeman.
Why are you crying? asked the policeman
I dare not tell you, or you will get angry with me too, said Tom

Trust me, said the policeman. I’m a policeman. I’ve been trained for these kind of situations.

All I did, said Tom nervously… was to ask about the blue pill..

“The Blue Pill” shouted the policeman, and then calmed down.
He looked at Tom and said. Are you sure you want to know what the Blue Pill is?
Yes, replied Tom.

Cross the street, said the policeman. On the other side there is a chemist shop. Go in and ask them to show you the Blue Pill

Tom started crossing the street. Just as he got to the middle, he was run over by a truck.

The moral of the story: Always look left and right when crossing a street

Not every case study has a moral.


  1. Adam,
    I have several issues here:
    – would the story have been different if it had been about a red pill? (we all know about standardization, but I just wanted to make sure)
    – Story 2 seems highly unlikely, given that the dog would have had to swim across the Channel (see here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: