8 years, 9 months ago

The Battle of Our Times: Capabilities vs. Process

Photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs I’m a little ashamed to admit I’ve spent far too much of my career debating colleagues on the merits of capability versus process. In the worst example, I engaged in an intense debate … Continue reading

8 years, 11 months ago

BPMN vs. EPC revisited, part 2

The previous part focused on areas such as expressive power, readability and enterprise architecture. This one, written jointly with Roland Woldt, dwells on a few more aspects such as semi-structured processes, exceptions, loops and data handling. Some of them could be sorted well under the ‘expressive power’ heading but as stated in the previous post, […]

9 years, 20 days ago

BPMN vs. EPC revisited, part 1

There were several posts and discussions on the topic of “BPMN vs. EPC”. One of them is quite comprehensive and its discussion thread very interesting. But there are still many important points untouched and I’d like to share some of them for those facing a choice of business process notation. That doesn’t mean that there […]

9 years, 1 month ago

Business Capability Naming and Content

Bruce Silver, BPMN luminary, has recently posted a piece on BPMN and Business Architecture where, he says, “In the past year the ‘architects’ seem to have discovered BPMN.”  WIth his usual meticulous style he dissects the difference between a process and other notions such as capabilities and functions, terms that architects like to throw around in their paperwork.

He clearly distinguishes process as the “how,” which is what we, at SenseAgility, have been saying as well. Process diagrams, and BPMN diagrams in particular, are the proof behind a particular type of capability, namely the Business Capability. In our work we’ve found that there are specific types of acceptable proofs behind different types of capabilities.

Here’s a statement Bruce makes about typing or perhaps it is even about granularity by implication, “If you’re sorting things into boxes, it doesn’t matter so much if some boxes hold square pegs and others round holes. But when you want to assemble those boxes into a coherent unit, it would be easier if the pegs and holes all had the same shape.” To us this principle is exactly the same one we employ when naming capabilities. As mentioned above, capabilities are different types. You can tell they are different types by looking at the proof behind the capability. That is, what makes the capability a capability in the first place? Business Capabilities have processes behind them, maybe more than one, but at least one.

So what I’m saying here is that if you want to give a name to a capability you need to have something in mind besides appropriate wording. Just getting people to agree on words doesn’t cut it. Why? Because ultimately you need to be talking about something of value. If capabilities can’t be linked to something of value then you might be imagining capabilities in a vacuum.

Anyway, subscribe to Bruce’s excellent blog when you get a chance.

9 years, 1 month ago

Business Capability Naming and Content

Bruce Silver, BPMN luminary, has recently posted a piece on BPMN and Business Architecture where, he says, “In the past year the ‘architects’ seem to have discovered BPMN.”  WIth his usual meticulous style he dissects the difference between a process and other notions such as capabilities and functions, terms that architects like to throw around in their paperwork.

He clearly distinguishes process as the “how,” which is what we, at SenseAgility, have been saying as well. Process diagrams, and BPMN diagrams in particular, are the proof behind a particular type of capability, namely the Business Capability. In our work we’ve found that there are specific types of acceptable proofs behind different types of capabilities.

Here’s a statement Bruce makes about typing or perhaps it is even about granularity by implication, “If you’re sorting things into boxes, it doesn’t matter so much if some boxes hold square pegs and others round holes. But when you want to assemble those boxes into a coherent unit, it would be easier if the pegs and holes all had the same shape.” To us this principle is exactly the same one we employ when naming capabilities. As mentioned above, capabilities are different types. You can tell they are different types by looking at the proof behind the capability. That is, what makes the capability a capability in the first place? Business Capabilities have processes behind them, maybe more than one, but at least one.

So what I’m saying here is that if you want to give a name to a capability you need to have something in mind besides appropriate wording. Just getting people to agree on words doesn’t cut it. Why? Because ultimately you need to be talking about something of value. If capabilities can’t be linked to something of value then you might be imagining capabilities in a vacuum.

Anyway, subscribe to Bruce’s excellent blog when you get a chance.

9 years, 2 months ago

ArchiMate, BPMN and UML together

The question about “the remaining role of UML now that ArchiMate has arrived” generated an interesting discussion on ArchiMate LinkedIn group. Adrian Champbell‘s first comment was: Archimate was deliberately designed to be mappable to BPMN and UML, but not to replace them. Not parallel universes but complementary ones. Archimate is for modelling at an Enterprise […]