Posted by: Adam Deane | 31/08/2012

Use Cases for ACM

ACMI always say that our job is about finding the right solution for the customer’s business pain.

I’ve been to customers that need case management, but are implementing a BPM solution. I’ve seen companies using ECM software to build workflows, CRM used as a HR system, and HR systems used for finance.

Total disasters, but part of the fun of corporate life .

ACM solutions suit a specific business process requirement – dynamic routing.
They’re not built for strict processes like finance and legal processes, but they are perfect for call centre processes and internal organisational communication where you want to allow the end-users to have the flexibility to change the process route. I’m sure the ACM guys can give additional areas where ACM fits customers like a glove.

These are use cases where I feel ACM provides a better solution than the traditional BPM solutions.
I’ve also added scenarios where I feel ACM would not provide a better solution than the traditional BPM solutions.

A good fit for ACM

Use Case A
The customer support team is an enthusiastic, smart and experienced team dedicated to solving customer problems quickly.
Customer problems have an impact on company revenue. Not all the problems have the same solution
They need a dynamic support process

Use Case B
The Pre-Sales team receives dozens of tenders and RFIs to answer.
Tenders can take hours or even days to fill in and respond.
Sometimes, due to time constrictions, one presale guy will reallocate the task of answering the tender to another collogue. Sometimes a decision needs to be made to drop a tender opportunity in the middle to deal with a better tender opportunity
They need a dynamic presale process

Use Case C
The development team receives lots of software change requests from department managers.
Some of the requests are easy to implement. Some require additional budgeting approval, some require additional resources, some require clarification and agreement multiple parties.
They need a dynamic change request process

Use Case D
The sales team are smart bunch of guys and girls. All focused on the money.
The sales manager wants control of the Leads-to-Sales process – All leads must be handed out equally to the sales team.
But sometimes leads need to given to a specific sales guy. Sometimes its a high value lead that needs to be dealt with by the most experienced sales guy. Sometimes a new lead comes in from someone in a company, that another sales guy is already dealing with.
They need a dynamic sales process

A ‘not so good fit’ for ACM

Use Case E
Johan works in a pharmaceutical company.
He has spent the last 10 years working on a new wonder medicine that will save the world (and also make him very rich)
Unfortunately, the test patient that he has injected with the medicine has just died.
Johan goes to his computer and fills out a SUSAR report. The system asks him who he would like to send the report to.
Johan looks at the corpse, then looks out of the window at his old car.
He then turns back to the computer. Hmmm

Use Case F
Tim has been called in for a chat with his manager.
You’ve taken 44 days off this year. I didn’t approve them. How did you do it?
The system asked me who would be the best person to send it to for approval, Tim replied.
I thought the best person to make that decision would be my wife.

Use Case G
Simon works in a government office.
He gets a bonus for completing a fixed number of tasks per month.
His colleagues in his office also get the same productivity bonus.
The manager looks at the monthly report. For some strange reason the number of tasks to complete an end-to-end process has tripled.
Simon and his collogues are smiling…

Use Case H
Jeremy has joined the company as the new finance manager.
His last job was in a company called Elron
Jeremy is looking for a system to run the financial business processes.
But without having to go to jail again…


Responses

  1. Adam, unfortunately too many people inlcuding many analysts speak or write about ACM without taking the time to gain a full understanding. Even reading the very basic three point spec I wrote three years ago would already avoid many misconceptions.

    1) ACM is not just for dynamic routing. Many BPMS can do that.
    2) ACM can handle strict processes as well as a flow-diagram does.
    3) ACM is not about performers doing what they want.
    4) ACM does not mean that management has no control.

    The main points of ACM:
    A) business performers can create the processes to meet well defined goals.
    B) processes are signed off by the process owner and rated by customers. C) They can follow a flow but do not have to.
    D) They can be modified during execution where allowed.
    E) Goal completion can have very strict criteria.
    F) Modified processes can be saved as new templates. (adapted)
    G) each process instance can be audited.
    H) linked objectives and targets allow business perfomance monitoring.

    I always enjoy your subtle humor. Thanks for taking the time to write about ACM.It would however come across a lot more professional if you would first read about it …

    Regards, Max

  2. I’ll avoid Max’s tone but I do echo his view that ACM is not only about dynamic flows and routing (and yes, many mainstream BPMS products can do that). I particularly echo his points on the importance of individuals being able to create new templates for work; and also the importance of goal orientation and completion enforcement.

    • Neil, I am not sure what problem there could be with my tone. There could be a problem with Adam’s tone, but we can all use some humor in our overly serious IT world.

      I say what needs to be said and while I am direct, I don’t think I am disrespectful. Anyone with the slightest interest can find out that ACM is a lot more than dynamic routing. Adam isn’t a newbie to BPM and I expect from him to be careful that his humor and satire is still professionally sound. It usually is. Therefore my candor. I know how highly respected Adam’s opinions in this arena are and it is therefore even more important that he doesn’t produce wrong impressions to remain a professional and not turn into a comedian only.

      But on the other hand I am thankful that he shows how hard it is – after writing about ACM for three years in print and online – to make the ACM concept understood to the BPM community and beyond. Not because it is complex, as I basically described it in seven bullets, but because the current BPM ‘experts’ either do not understand or are not interested.

      Thanks, Adam.

  3. Hi, Adam… Your post is thought provoking – “ACM, I always say that our job is finding the right solution for the customer’s business pain”.

    I don’t see how “helping” a client to decide on either of ACM or BPM is “finding the right solution for the customer’s business pain.”

    In a world where we mostly see a mix of structured versus unstructured work, neither of these two methodologies alone is likely to be the “right solution”.

    I don’t understand “. . . . customers that need case management, but are implementing a BPM solution”.

    What subset of customers do not need “case management” for structured (BPM) work?

    Without a way to set a focus on an instance of a workflow (i.e. a Case), how do these customers build a history for instances? I suspect the answer is these customers are not paying attention to the “M” (i.e. for Management) in BPM and that their notion of BPM ends with a mapped paper process that they then stare at with the expectation of being able to “manage” process instances.

    So, my grandstand position is MOST customers need ACM/BPM. And, when you implement these two methodologies within a Case Management environment, there is no need for a customer to worry about whether they are doing ACM or BPM.

    ALL of Max’s items in his ACM capabilities list are ACM capabilities.

    My customers have “best practices” that their individual organizations feel are capable of yielding consistent good outcomes. Staff generally finds these to be easier to follow than arriving at the same outcome by NOT following best practices. But, If they prefer, for whatever reason, not to follow a best practice and instead perform work as a series of seemingly unrelated ad hoc tasks, this works for us. In-line compliance controls “rein in” major excursions from the best practices so, in practice, they do what they feel is best.

    I think Albert Einstein would have viewed unconstrained BPM as reasonable – “In theory, theory and practice are the same, in practice they are not”

    We have to get to where we stop carry around specific types of hammers that we use to hit any nail.

  4. Adam I for one appreciate the real world examples you are giving. I see the commentators telling what ACM is not – I want to hear what it is. Thanks to Max forgiving such a good list:
    A) business performers can create the processes to meet well defined goals. – Well who can argue with that – and that is true for any process; the process owner should “OWN” the process.

    B) processes are signed off by the process owner and rated by customers.
    – Absolutely – it means other folks that consume the process must agree with the definition of the process.

    C) They can follow a flow but do not have to.
    – When they dont follow a flow what do they do?

    D) They can be modified during execution where allowed.
    – Absolutely. I am assuming the question here is whether you allow state changes or also allow defintion changes.

    E) Goal completion can have very strict criteria.
    – It should have a measurable criteria.

    F) Modified processes can be saved as new templates. (adapted)
    – Absolutely – in CS corridors the word is versions.

    G) each process instance can be audited.
    – Absolutely true.
    H) linked objectives and targets allow business perfomance monitoring.
    – The key performance indicators should be linked with business performance.

    Well a product can do all of these, it can use BPMN as a notation to track what is happening? Would we call it BPMS, Dynamic BPM, Intelligent BPM or ACM …? Check out Bruce Silver’s review of Roubroo.

    • Vishal, Adams examples are not real world. They are a satire …

      the main point is that ACM makes a simple form of BPM methodology and governance explicit and puts it in the hands of the business. BPM does not do that. I just enforces flows, no matter how flexible they are. A lot has been written about ACM and it is not likely that anyone can explain all of that in a blog post comment.

      You seem to be unaware of the principal concept that the people that use ACM are managers, experts and knowledge workers and not some cheap butts on chairs somewhere in a call center. Therefore the processes are created by them without IT and if necessary modified by them during execution or for future templates. You completely mix up BPMS terminology as you like and claim that it is the same as ACM. It isn’t.

      In BPMS the process is neither created by the business, nor modifed by them for new templates. And no it is not versions as a new one makes the previous version obsolete. BPMS have no goal definitions either. They can neither be audited as the process instance is not kept after completion but just some log data.

      And yes, you can call it what you want … feel free! Clearly, the BPM community will move all the ACM capabilities into their world as soon as they can. Before they claim – as now – that they are either not needed or that they can do it anyway. How would the buyer really know?

      Regards, Max

      • Max,

        Please allow me to respond to your comments. And thanks to Adam for providing a forum for a great dialogue, which is a sort of “forge” for testing new ideas and pushing the boundaries of our understanding. But of course any forge, whether real or metaphorical, will tend to get warm, or even hot! Let’s see how warm we get here!

        Unfortunately, my response concerns a strong objection, which is to your characterization of call center staff as “cheap butts on a chair somewhere in a call center”.

        Control over work processes has been contentious ever since Adam Smith and the industrial revolution. And work management software, including BPM and ACM software, conjures further fears about the “commoditization of labour”, rightly or wrongly. But such fears will only be deepened, likely with justification, if leading theorists of work management technology use such language and refer to people as “cheap butts”.

        My point is not just rhetorical. Over the past decade, the call centre pioneers you are talking about have, on a micro level redefined processes and on a macro level have enabled the whole BPO revolution. The so-called “cheap butts” have revolutionized, in a creative way, international business, training, cross-cultural work, telecomm technology, and work management systems. And yet these achievements are still sometimes disparaged by a focus on unrepresentative and even misreported cases.

        The “ACM” movement is in part about mobilizing tacit knowledge resident in the thoughts and memories of humans, the better to manage complexity. You might think this trend was inherently democratic. But implicit in many comments I see is the idea is that the only knowledge worth mobilizing is found with an elite cadre of knowledge workers! This assumption is ironic given the mission of ACM to build better complexity responsiveness; to restrict our focus to an elite management cadre is to miss the largest repositories of tacit knowledge, found in front-line staff world-wide. People on the front lines of any business process often “know” what needs to be done, and thank goodness they do it!

        Where getting the work done is concerned, today’s mantras are “collaboration” and “social”. And we see attempts to marry “social” to BPM and social to everything else. Whether or not these efforts have been successful yet, the attempt is worthwhile — because collaboration and social get to the heart of what business (or any organization including government and non-profit) is about. The heart of any organization is working together on common tasks to achieve common goals. Note the word “common”. Again I’ll quote Adam Smith. As in his 1776 comments on pin-making, in “The Wealth of Nations”, enterprise has always been about coming together to perform repetitive work systematically. This is the purpose of organization. Economist Ronald Coase’s famous work on the nature of the firm defined the raison d’être and size of the firm as dependent on transaction costs. A firm exists, and exists at a certain size, because the act of organizing work has a cost. Organizing work is easier if you can specialize and do the same thing over and over again. BPO happens (and BPO strategists love Coase) when the transaction costs for coordinating outsourcing are less than the specialization efficiencies gained sending the work to specialists.

        The nature of enterprise then is about organizing around optimal levels of specialization — and specialization is the key. Specialization implies repetitive work, and acquiring deeper and better understandings of optimal ways of performing that work. There is an illusion today that an increased rate of change and novelty (or what the cyberneticists call “variety”) imply that work is becoming less systematizable or less suitable to work management technologies such as BPM and workflow. On the contrary, we’re probably just beginning to appreciate the potential of and need for business process technology.

        Is BPMS only to be used by IT? We believe business process technology can and should be used directly by business staff. If one’s impression of business process technology leads to a belief that business users will never be able to modify processes, forms, rules, data and content in a BPMS, that may be true of the process systems “found in nature” today, but it is not true about Roubroo BPMS. Quoting from Bruce Silver’s recommendation: “The interesting thing to me about Roubroo is the ease of modifying process definitions at runtime, either on a single instance or a set of instances, while strictly observing the semantics and rules of BPMN 2.0.”

        No doubt that the business community and the world of ACM practitioners and champions will welcome fresh blood to the world of adaptive business process! Certainly, the mission of both the BPM and ACM communities is to provide tools that enable that work to be done better, more profitably and in ways that enable individual workers to enjoy good benefits and opportunities. We are all working towards these common goals. Let’s consider that this debate is evidence of progress!

        Sincerely,

        John Morris

        Roubroo, Inc.
        http://www.roubroo.com

        “What You Draw Is What You Execute”
        W Y D I W Y E

    • Re: Roubroo

      it isn’t even a BPMS as Bruce properly explains. So it is neither Dynamic BPM or DCM or ACM. No idea what the benefit is supposed to be …

      ACM running on the Papyrus Platform uses BPMN 2.0 with some extensions to show processes in real-time and it REALLY allows the creation and runtime modification by business users of processes and ALL ITS COMPONENTS: tasks, forms, rules, data and content!

      The point is that the business user will only look at the flow for information and create the process through a simple UI by selecting all elements from library menus.

      Regards, Max

  5. I think there is a very clear difference between ACM and DCM. Personally if the BPM product cannot handle DCM, the ability to make decisions on future stages based on business rules, then its not worth its salt. ACM is a completely different beast and puts the control of the process fully in the hands of the executioner, or not as the case may be.

  6. Sorry, by “DCM” do you mean Document Content Management?

  7. […] through Adam  Deane’s post and comments I realized its important to understand where the industry is headed without the three […]

  8. Adam,

    Are we permitted to draw attention to our own product here? I think this might be apropos given that Roubroo BPMS, as reported by Bruce Silver, and in the context of your nice set of use cases (satirical or not), does in fact provide a foundation for supporting both BPM and adaptive business process.

    Taking full advantage of the technological opportunity which is BPMN 2.0 and the token flow specification, Roubroo has delivered a product providing BPMN 2.0 execution semantics, with full support for “what-you-draw-is-what-you-execute” (WYDIWYE). And Roubroo BPMS makes it possible to support unstructured work, thus avoiding “model mortis”. We even allow front-line staff to alter in-flight processes at the instance or even model level. We think this technology is “empowering” and will “mobilize” the energies of every team member, from front-line to executive. We expect BPMN 2.0-based products to be utilized in revolutionary new ways not only by IT staff, but by business-side personnel. And married to the best of complimentary products such as rules engines, the combination will be unbeatable.

    “BPM”: Because repetitive work is the reason why organizations exist. “Adaptive”: Because sometimes the richness of reality cannot be modeled asynchronously ahead of time. A product like Roubroo will do both successfully, because it is first of all built on a powerful academic foundation of token flow semantics.

    The Roubroo BPMS team is proud to have delivered the world’s first WYDIWYE BPM product to market. We appreciated Mr. Silver’s insightful comments. And we invite all readers to assess whether Roubroo BPMS technology is a match for their business process needs. Inquiries are especially welcome from call center managers, insurance underwriting teams and pharmaceutical research management! Whether your workflow is more structured or less structured, you will enjoy the freedom to “think-draw-execute-and-manage” that WYDIWYE business process technology delivers.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share.

    Sincerely,

    Best regards,

    John Morris

    Roubroo, Inc.
    http://www.roubroo.com

    “What You Draw Is What You Execute”
    W Y D I W Y E

    • John, you are either dreaming or misinformed to claim that Roubroo is ‘the first product to do WYDIWYE’. First it is something we (ISIS Papyrus Platform providing full BPM and ACM functionality) do with BPMN+extensions since 2009 and second are there a number of non-BPMN products on the market that have ‘model-preserving execution’ as well.
      Regards, Max

      • Something Lombardi was doing and advertising in 2004 (now IBM BPM). Lots of other vendors piled on to the BPMN bandwagon as time went on. It was a big debate at the time between round-tripping and executing the model. Lombardi went with WYDIWYE (though thankfully they never used that acronym 🙂 )

      • And Lombardi supported BPDM until 2007 🙂 http://blog.lombardicto.com/2007/04/index.html

        And what about IOR semantics – the research paper on this was not even published when vendors were claiming tall claims about supporting business processes “as modeled by business”.

        @Scott – lets look a level deeper than the blog ware. What are we asking for:

        “A non compiled execution of business expectation which can be defined as discovered and change as and when needed. ”

        Process definition – discovery – design by doing – You may know the process, or parts of it, and the knowledge will change because new events happen and or some new events and dependencies are discovered. Alexander has done a wonderful analysis in his blog here: http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2010/12/illustrations-for-bpm-acm-case.html

        Process change – Some folks prefer to call these changes templates, in CS it is called version. The changes can be made to the state of an instance or to the definition itself. Now the changes to definition need to be selectively applied because you may not want to update all templates.

        As long as these two requirements are met – you have a process system which can support the variants as described by Alex.

  9. RE John Morris: Specialization implies repetition.

    John, you are really living in the past. Clearly, Adam Smith, Ronald Coase and Frederick Taylor’s scientific management have provided great understanding at the time, but have largely been replaced by the theories of Nash, Holland, Granovetter, Watts, and the scientists behind behavioral economics. Tversky, Kahnemann, and others showed how humans really take decisons through biases, patterns and simple altruistic decision mechanisms. Complex adaptive systems can’t be decomposed into complicated ones. You better move on …

    Hierarchies that have specialists make sense and are used also in natural systems for improving efficiency but specialization is only repetitive in the context of manufacturing automation. That is the huge fallacy of BPM. BPM is used in the context of social networks which represents the economy with its businesses and consumers. In the real world processes have chaotic starting conditions, uncontrollable events and the outcomes are judged by individual value perceptions, none of which are in any way handled through a BPM flow-diagram. They are an illusion. Adaptive processes are not just about allowing tasks to be added at runtime.’Adaptive’ is not about business users creating processes through diagrams but through a simple business language UI and simple rules. But most of all ‘Adaptive’ is about achieving well-defined goals.

    So far so good. I understand how hard it is to throw away the orthodox business perspective but it will have to eventually happen. Regards, Max

  10. Max,

    Going back to first principles, or if you will, “walking down the stack” (we’ll stop before we get to the Higgs boson) – what technical language do you champion, and which is therefore a limiting factor for any customer business semantics?

    I have a huge respect for your work and analysis. As for Frederick Taylor, whom I didn’t mention, I’m not much of a fan. But considering Adam Smith and Ronald Coase, or Newton for that matter, their work is foundational. As Newton famously said “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. You are correct that the behavioral economists are providing lots of great insights into human “systematic irrationality”, although that recent research does not invalidate Coase’s relevance for BPO.

    But regardless, what have these questions got to do with business process technology “as such”? What technical language do we start with?

    Sincerely,

    Best regards,

    John Morris

    Roubroo, Inc.
    http://www.roubroo.com

    “What You Draw Is What You Execute”
    W Y D I W Y E

  11. Well, Civerex has had WYDIWYE for at least 5 years so I find the Roubroo to be extraordinary.

    One of our partners did an implementation in NYC using CiverOrders (the graphic process mapping environment/compiler) in the early to mid 2000s. There were some 20 workflows, 200 custom forms and 5,000 custom data elements.

  12. For everyone who has taken exception to the use of the acronym WYDIWYE, it’s worth comparing the term to WYSIWYG, which is its analogue.

    Both terms assume a rich capability and freedom to create (“write a document” or “model a process”), according to need. Claiming that “presentation” alone justifies the use of either term is just marketing hype. “Presenting” an inadequate model, in the case of business process, presenting the results of a severely restricted process modeling exercise, doesn’t win any gold stars for what business analysts really need.

    Anyone who is interested in business process technology should ask what modeling language is used and whether today’s best business process and case execution semantics are supported. For example, does a candidate product support the IOR gateway, a critical element in business semantics? Here is an interesting paper from BPM 2012 http://www.column2.com/2012/09/bpm2012-papers-on-process-model-analysis (thanks to Sandy Kemsley).

    • Hi, John

      I guess it’s hard to kick yourself in the rear end when you have both feet in your mouth.

      I don’t take exception to the acronym but rather to the Rubroo statement . . .

      “The Roubroo BPMS team is proud to have delivered the world’s first WYDIWYE BPM product to market”,

      You should not be proud. You did not deliver the world’s 1st WYDIWYE BPM product to market.. This is rubbish !

      Max says “. . .you are really living in the past” which, to me, is a very polite statement.

      I ask “what planet have you recently arrived from?”

      And, as I respect Adam Deane, I don’t think he is interested or willing to provide “a forum for a great dialogue” about dubious product claims.

      How about we do a rewind, Let’s start all over again.

      Do a cake bake with me, if you like, Then evolve your product as you wish.

      I hope you sell truckloads.

      I don’t sell my 1,000,000 line software suite that we spent $5,000,000 developing. It’s available free to management consultants.

      We like it when they use if in front of their clients, After two days of seeing it in action, the clients want it and pick up the phone. End of.

      The only way for a consultant to get a better deal than Civerex is to find a vendor who will pay the consultant to take their product.

  13. Lets see what we can agree on?

    I hope we all agree in value in process participants being able to change process even if they are “cheap butts…” as suggested by Max. I can fully understand why social BPM gets the attention it deserves.

    Max you define BPM as model preserving execution while my vision is that you can still preserve the model (or a template of it) even if you make changes to it while execution is in progress. All ongoing executions have to be supported by an underlying definition to exist and also support audit. This vision aligns closely with Stephen White’s vision of what is coming next in BPM, found here http://www.column2.com/2012/09/bpm2012-stephen-white-keynote-on-bpmn/. And further you can make changes in “retrospect”, which is one step ahead even of design-by-doing, as highlighted by Bruce Silver in his review of Roubroo.

    If you look at Alexander Simrin’s blog post here : http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2010/12/illustrations-for-bpm-acm-case.html
    you will see that its a continuum from structured to unstructured.

    The focus of this conversation is use cases for adaptive case management not the degree of WYDIWYE, please take a look at IOR merge semantics before we can conclude either way. Obviously, the design tools prohibits users from drawing a process model which it can not execute – even though the vendor may cliam WYDIWYE. Here are some process patterns as food for thought : http://roubroo.com/resources/process-patterns

    Back to the topic – Knowingly or unknowingly, we have all agreed that we are ALL using BPMN 2.0 as the modeling paradigm some with extensions and some without. If you are using something else, then I would like to hear.

    Roubroo is using the BPMN 2.0 execution semantics to deliver the adaptive business processes. And this is where the big Question is – do we invent a new way for doing adaptive processes or build on top of the execution semantics which have become the de-facto standard.

    Another question: what happens once the goal in ACM is achieved – does that sequence or sequences get repeated? If yes then its a flow, if not – then I am interested in understanding the ROI – but that is probably a separate topic.

  14. I hope business people do not see this discussion as it will just confuse them; so some simple clarification. First BPM is not a product. It is a discipline that recognises people and their processes are drivers of the creation of business information. There are a variety of tools that support BPM with the ultimate one to deliver a digitised solution supporting people to bring greater efficiency and transparency of activity.

    It is very clear from the discussion that buyers need to adopt a simple but meaningful approach as advocated by leading analyst Naomi Bloom ““It really matters how your vendors build their software, not just what they build”!

    So let’s look at the key issues that business people should look for
    • At top of the list as indicated in the discussion comes flexibility in the software. This is as much about the initial build as for the inevitable future change. The architecture to look for is where all code is prebuilt it just requires configuring to exact requirements. There should be no need to change the code, no code generation or compiling.

    • The build should be in business hands. Look for the architecture that separates business logic from delivery technologies. The build should be transparent and intuitive to be understood by all interested parties.

    • Any tool should include all capabilities required to support business activity including
    1. BPM focus on people and their processes
    2. Process engine to ensure all works to plan
    3. Rules engine reflecting real world of compliance
    4. Calculation engine automating system work
    5. State/ instance engine real time feed back
    6. Workflow that includes asynchronous capability everything connected in right order
    7. Events in built triggering as required
    8. Audit trail, events, escalations = supporting control = empowerment
    9. Time recording supports activity based costing
    10. Real time reporting become predictive

    • The article mentions “What You Draw Is What You Execute”. Just make sure “What You Draw Is The Application” i.e. the build takes place in a graphical interface with out need for use of BPEL or BPMN to “execute” which will inhibit flexibility. This is a capability that has been around since the late 90s pioneered by Procession in the UK if any one disbelieves!

    • Version control will be required where significant changes take place

    • Any tool needs to recognise legacy data so look as how this is handled

    • Ask about the file size of the technology – always a good indicator of the complexity being bought!

    Looking for BPM enabling application technologies which in my language includes ACM have this list of questions to hand.

    This blog by Naomi is worth a read http://infullbloom.us/?p=3222 the “object model driven” future for enterprise software creating a “moat” for vendors to cross. As she says “Writing less code to achieve great business applications was my focus in that 1984 article, and it remains so today. Being able to do this is critical if we’re going to realize the full potential of information technology”

  15. David,

    Absolutely agree “the build should be in business hands”,

    I agree with your 10 points.

    Agree as well on “without need for use of BPEL or BPMN to ‘execute’ which will inhibit flexibility”

    Agree on versioning, agree on legacy data.

    On the size of the technology, could you elaborate, please, on this?

  16. Karl
    I added that as it is about time buyers understood better just what it is they are buying. File size on a comparative basis should give some clues as to the level of complexity in the technology. I asked our techies what was ours – they just smiled and gave thinking so what. But if say total size was 5 times greater then that becomes something to investigate. Ours is as follows The Procession Engine 500k. The Graphical Interface to design / build applications 1.75mb. The presentation layer including the tag library 1.1mb. Any feed back comparisons welcome – standalone is meaningless but there might be a few surprises from established vendors?
    Also the Green agenda moving to enterprise software lead by research in Holland. The industry needs to start thinking this way a – sign of maturity to commoditization of software?

  17. @David – the size of an executable, according to our developers here, is a function of the extent of use of classes, the programming languages used, the efficiency of 3rd party compilers/compressors (big factor in NLE video editor products), efficiency of the programmers and perhaps other factors.

    So, size may be an indication of language, sophistication/lack of, sophistication/lack of,chaos, legacy code being dragged forward, general inefficiency etc.

    We cannot seem to agree here that “big is good” or that “small is good”.

    Our record management executables run 13.5mb, the graphic drag-and-drop products run 3.5mb. We have 22 products across the industries we serve, in some cases a new product is little more that a name change/ new splash,and use of industry-specific vocabulary. Our code base has about 1,500,00 lines of non-duplicated code.

  18. Karl
    Sounds like you have an elegant technology. It’s the big analysts that should be asking and disclosing such information. It will “encourage” vendors to re-write poor code not add more code by writing fixes! Come on IBM, Oracle & Microsoft what are your stats on your technology to deliver ACM capability as described assuming you can actually do it?


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