Towards a Manifesto for Agile BPM?
TUE 14:00 – 15:00

Moderator: Udo Kannengiesser, Metasonic GmbH, Germany

Udo Kannengiesser is a researcher in BPM with over 15 years of experience in modelling dynamic processes and developing agile process management systems. He has published more than 60 research papers in the fields of business process management, information systems, design science and artificial intelligence. His work on the FBS process framework of design has become a major reference for design researchers worldwide and has been applied in various design disciplines including business process design. He obtained his PhD from the University of Sydney (Australia) and worked as a research scientist at National ICT Australia. He is currently a senior research engineer at Metasonic GmbH (Germany), where he leads several research projects related to agile BPM.

Abstract

Many businesses face new challenges in managing their business processes as customer demands get more specialized, innovations emerge more frequently, and business environments become more volatile. Leading market analysts proclaim that in many of today’s business processes exceptions are the rule. Effectively and swiftly reacting to these exceptions is seen as vital for competitive advantage. The notion of agile BPM is often used for describing this ability. Individual aspects of agile BPM have been addressed in a number of recent BPM workshops, conference tracks and special journal issues, devoted to related topics such as semi-structured and evolutionary business processes, adaptive case management, human-centric aspects, social software, and design thinking. However, despite the wealth of research outcomes in the separate areas there is still no unified definition or foundation for agile BPM.

This fragmentation of research in agile BPM is similar to the situation in software engineering research in the late 1990s, when a number of agile methods were developed independently that all broke with the traditional “waterfall” paradigm of software development. These methods were eventually given a unified conceptual platform with the formulation of a “manifesto for agile software development” in 2001, which defined the common values and principles underlying the different methods. The manifesto gave a considerable boost to agile software development and its adoption in practice.

Is it possible to benefit from these experiences and formulate a similar manifesto for agile BPM to unify its separate research streams? The panel session will investigate this question using the expertise of five panelists:

  • Leon J. Osterweil (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA) – Computer science luminary and expert in software processes including agile methods
  • Rick Hull (IBM Research, USA) – Senior member of the BPM research community & principal developer of the data-centric BPM approach
  • Ilia Bider (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University, Sweden) – Business analyst and researcher in agile BPM
  • Frank Lorbacher (Detecon International GmbH, Germany) – Business process consultant specialised in agile BPM applications
  • Albert Fleischmann (Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria) – Researcher in stakeholder-oriented, agile approaches to BPM

Specifically, the panelists will discuss the following issues with the audience:

  • What does agility mean in the BPM domain?
  • How relevant is agile BPM in practice? Where is it useful?
  • Does disruptive business innovation require agile BPM approaches?
  • What are the common values and principles of agile BPM approaches?
  • What attributes are required for methods and tools to support agile BPM?
  • How do current methods and tools perform with respect to these attributes?
  • What are the consequences for future BPM research and development?
Follow-up activities

A summary of the discussion will be produced shortly after the panel session and published by the Institute of Innovative Process Management (www.i2pm.net), Special Interest Group (SIG) on Agile BPM. The SIG will provide an open forum where the summarised results of the panel can be further discussed by anyone interested in the topic, potentially leading to the formulation of a consolidated “manifesto for agile BPM”. Contributions are also encouraged for compiling a list of methods and tools that support agile BPM.