I spent a good part of today with Michael Rosemann and Wasana Bandara of Queensland University of Technology, Paul Harmon and Celia Wolf of BPTrends, Kathleen Barret and Kevin Brennan of IIBA, and Brenda Michelson of Elemental Links to plan a new initiative around a body of knowledge (BoK) for business process knowledge. The idea for a non-commercial, open source style BoK came from a paper written by Wasana, Michael and Paul, “Professionalizing Business Process Management: Towards a Common Body of Knowledge for BPM”, presented by Wasana in this afternoon’s research session at BPM 2010.
We’ve created a Call to Action for all interested parties, which provides a bit more detail:
Dr. Bandara’s paper, co-authored by Paul Harmon of BPTrends and Dr. Michael Rosemann of QUT, calls for the creation of a comprehensive, extensible, open source, community-driven Business Process Management Body of Knowledge (BoK). To be deemed successful, the resultant BoK must be understandable and relevant to business process management professionals, academics and industry technology and service providers.
To realize the vision of a truly open, comprehensive and accessible process knowledge base, the entire business process community – practitioners, methodologists, academics, vendors, analysts and pundits – must get involved.
In this call for action stage, we are seeking business process community members who are interested in contributing to, or supporting, the BoK creation effort.
There’s a form on that page for you to indicate your interest, with a number of categories to indicate your primary and secondary interests in being involved with a process knowledge BoK:
- BPM Practitioner / End-user
- Community Reviewer
- Content Contributor
- Funding Sponsor
- Media Sponsor
I’m involved in this because I believe that we need an open source, Creative Commons sort of BoK in BPM, created by a broad community and acting as a meta BoK (pointing to other related BoKs) as well as containing unique content. I’m particularly interested in enabling more community involvement to really open things up, not just in community contributions of content, but also in community tagging for the purposes of creating personalized views onto the BoK as well as generating a folksonomy. I have a hard time getting on board with proprietary walled gardens of any sort, and especially in the area of information that should be freely available to all types of BPM stakeholders (free as in beer), and freely reusable in a variety of contexts (free as in speech) – the idea is that the Process Knowledge BoK is free in both of those respects. And speaking of free, this is not a commercial venture for me: I’m volunteering my time as a special advisor because I think that it’s an important initiative.
In addition to just indicating your interest by filling out the form on the website, we’re looking for a small number of organizations to participate in our Catalyst program over the next three months while we prepare for the official launch: we’ll be getting the initiative set up, expanding the website into a proper collaboration space in preparation for content creation, and sorting out the methodology, process and ontology for the BoK. To be clear, by “participate”, I mean “write a check”, and in exchange for a bit of near-term seed funding, you’ll get a package of goodies including participation in press releases, ads on the BPTrends and OMG websites and newsletters, and a credit towards our ongoing sponsorship program. You also get bragging rights as a thought leader in supporting this new BoK. Ping me if you’re interested.