Friday, 27 July 2007

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

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During the last few years I have been fortunate enough to be able to meet, discuss and debate BPM with thousands of people in many countries. The discussions and debates (as ever) lead to better informed thinking, yet there remains serious questioning of the messages and values presented. However, none of those debates has caused me to question my underlying beliefs, but they have caused me to question what is BPM and the way that people are trying to apply it. In this article I would like to share some of my thoughts and I hope that these thoughts may assist you in your endeavors as you move forward.

I should state at the outset that I am in no way looking to define "Process", "Business Process" or Enterprise Business Process" in this article, instead in this article I want to revisit the over arching question of what is BPM.

The first thing that becomes very apparent in classes and presentations is that the fundamental beliefs and perceived values from BPM differ tremendously from person to person and organization to organization. The second thing is that whilst those beliefs differ, all seem to be agreed that processes themselves are a valuable tool for managing and improving business. As we shall see the differences are more around the fundamental question of "What is BPM."

In the first case the more I talk with people the more I hear the words "it is too theoretical and you keep focusing on the people, what we want are concrete approaches to deal with the technology systems issues." This is despite the fact that through the use of the 8 Omega Framework we are delivering an end to end process for process projects and addressing all four of the key perspectives. In analyzing this feedback I am coming to the conclusion that is the increasing majority of people that say that, the question is why? It may not be what people want to hear but it seems that the word "theoretical" is actually being used to express "it's too difficult" or "it is not the part of the problem/issue I want to address" or "if you can't give me a detailed step by step to doing it that I like the sound of then it is not for real."

These responses do not make sense when we consider how successful organizations like Easyjet, Egg, Capital One and others are. But, if we look a little deeper then we can start to understand the issues. Organizations like those listed do not need to be told or sold on the idea of customer focus; they just know that it is vital to their success. Companies like these do not need to be sold on the idea that it is a management issue, they also do not need to be convinced about process or that people are what make the difference. They just get it! What they don't worry about is whether they are applying strict practice or methodology, they do not worry about what the systems or technology issues might be or whether they are following the latest management trend. They are leaders who have recognized that customers, people and processes are key and that systems can be built or bought that will support the way they want to work. These are the companies that are applying the concepts and principles of BPM through practice and not theory.

In the second case the number of people turning to BPM as a way of solving their process related issues is growing at a phenomenal rate. They are all agreed that a greater level of process awareness and process improvement can and will have a dramatic effect on their business. What they do not agree with are the concepts and principles of BPM – I am being a little harsh here but in the main they want to use the word "Process" out of BPM but without focusing their efforts around the customer, without reorganizing their structure around process lines and without changing the management and reward systems in their organizations – they want to use process for system specification, they want to use process to promote common understanding of work, they want to use process to drive cost out of their business. Do these things make them wrong? Yes! And No!

Yes, if they want to be able to tell the world that they fixed issues and problems using BPM and No, if they are clear that their objectives are to use process to deal with one or more of the issues detailed above. Process will certainly be able to deliver on these things and there are many hundreds of examples of successful projects, but they should not tell the world they are doing BPM, they should be honest and say they are working on a process awareness program or a process improvement program. This will mean that their success can be judged accordingly.

This distinction is important if we are to ensure that the benefits of BPM as a management paradigm are not tarnished. If we look back in history, many of the failures associated with BPR are attributed to the fact that people just picked the bit they liked the sound of, did it well and achieved some positive results. But they were not able to deliver the step change results that were expected. So we have to manage expectation. Using the process elements of BPM will deliver incremental (in some cases BIG increments) but it will not deal with the fundamental cultural issues that prevent organizations from thinking freely, innovating and increasing their agility.

Increasingly we will see BPM split into two camps, those that buy the principle and address the two key points – Customer Focused and Cultural Change – and the other camp that uses process to continue to drive the traditional better cheaper faster model. Be under no illusion the second camp will be larger, certainly by a magnitude of more than 10 and probably more like 100. But this does not make them right and the first camp wrong.

Based on our experiences with, and studies of, clients and their organizations the wins for the first camp will in the end be bigger and more sustainable. It may even be, that just like the Harvard study of the 1960's into people with goals and those without, that the 3% who fall into the first category will eventually be worth more than the other 97% put together! A figure that might be hard to justify, but of course to deny it would be to assume that the better cheaper faster model will be enough to keep the other 97% trading at levels that ensure they are still viable. If that seems like scaremongering or far fetched then look at manufacturing. In the western world we are still losing jobs by the thousands every week and organization after organization is closing down. Can we really assume that this applies to them but won't affect us?

From a BPM Group perspective it does not really matter which camp you are in, our training and education program is suited to both camps. The skills we teach around Process Analysis and Design and Problem Analysis are transferable and applicable to both sides. However it is interesting to note that as we talk to students around the soft issues such as communication, stakeholders, people and root cause analysis many feel that they are not being given the tools they need. It is interesting that in a recent one day class a student gave this feedback but when questioned further agreed that he had in fact be given (with full explanation) 12 different tools – his parting comment, "Yes, but they are all soft tools aimed at understanding the problem, analyzing the problem and communicating the problem in business terms to management. They are not real tools, what I expected was to be told what software would do that for me!"

BPM tools or techniques will never (at least not in my lifetime) replace the human brain and its capacity to understand people and psychology, so until that time we had better learn the techniques and skills that enable us to use ours to tell the systems what we need.

It is our firm belief that Process Analysts who can bring that range of soft and hard skills to bear will be of the greatest value to organizations – whichever of the former two camps they are in.

Before being written off as anti-technology or not appreciating the value of new and modern BPMS systems, I would just like to state that these systems are extremely valuable, but in the main address a different issue. These systems are designed to support the business we have in a more flexible and adaptable way. They are engineered to enable them to change with us and so address the historical problem of inflexible and inappropriate systems causing the business to change to fit the software. They are also far better suited to supporting process centric organizations than the traditional ERP, CRM type packages.

In conclusion BPM is a management philosophy for doing business differently in pursuit of extraordinary results. It embeds process thinking in an organization such that they can continually change and adapt to suit market and economic conditions. Process Improvement, by contrast, is an approach that at best will produce ordinary results. There is no right or wrong, just a need to understand what you want to achieve and the risks you are willing to take to get there.

Finally, it may well be that the story as told is not one you want to hear, but it is one that deals with the fundamental issues and questions, all I ask is that you – Don't shoot the messenger!

Note: This article first appeared on Mark McGregor's series of articles on

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Book Review – Mastering Your Organization’s Processes

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Mastering Your Organization's Processes: A Plain Guide to BPM


by Jon Pyke, John O'Connell, Roger Whitehead

Edition: Hardcover

Price: $47.50


This is the book that most people thought would never be written. So many people have been urging Jon Pyke for so many years to get down on paper what he really thinks. Of all the people in the process space, Jon is probably the most widely misquoted! It has been all too easy for people to say "Well, what Jon actually meant was!" and then turn it to suit their own purpose, now we can all get to find out what Jon actually thought!

This book is a veritable treasure trove of information, every page fact with some fact or factoid of note. There will be those in the BPM community who may find aspects of what Jon has to say hard to swallow. But, Jon more than most has the right to state his views and give corrections to the origins of some of the terms. As CTO of Staffware from 1992-2004, potentially the only truly successful vendor of the workflow era, Jon was in effect the father of workflow and by that fact the de facto father of BPMS - not that some would like to acknowledge that fact.

The book although jam packed with information, is a very easy read and, in the opinion of this reviewer at least, is probably the most complete, logical and digestible explanation of what process are and why they are important I have seen.

Full of tips and tricks on what to do and what to watch out for as you - in the name of the title - Master your Organizations Processes. The book does not set out to be a cook book, but instead guides your thinking and provides plenty of checklists to help you on your way. This approach is to be applauded, as all too many a good book on process has been spoiled by the first you do this, then you do this approach. The reality is that one size really does not fit all.

Its nine chapters are strongly focussed on success in business and never do you get the sense of technology for technology's sake - pretty good going for a former CTO! The chapters also contain lots of good case studies which certainly help and are easy to relate to.

If I had one criticism of the book it is that by its definition of BPM as technology it propagates (in my opinion) the lie that BPM is technology rather than using the more widely accepted term BPMS for the technology to support the management philosophy that is BPM.

The book is an absolute must read for any business, systems or process analyst in order to make sure that they stay focussed on what is really important - business results. It's non-jargon, non-technical style means that for any Manager it will serve as a great introduction to process management and will prove invaluable to them in the selection of processes to improve, tool selection and technology selection..

Now of course all we have to do is wait and see where Jon pops up next, it is now 2 years since his departure from Staffware, Jon what are you up to, when we will we be seeing the latest from you in the process space?

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Book Review – More For Less

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More for Less: The Power of Process Management

by Andrew Spanyi
Edition: Hardcover

Price: $21.86





Andrew has a way with words that makes his books very accessible to all levels of reader. As with "Team Sport" Andrew is focusing on the needs of business leaders to take control of their organizations and to lead from the front. Andrew provides many good examples of companies who have achieved great things through the power of process; he also identifies some of the key attributes that set them apart from their peers. Although it will be executives that will gain most from this book, business managers too would do well to read and learn what it takes for them to help their organizations prosper in the years ahead. Thanks Andrew

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Free 8 Omega Video

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Although there are those that knock the 8 Omega framework, the fact is that over 2,000 people downloaded information and presentations about it from the BPMG and hundreds of people around the globe were trained in how to use it during the past 3 years. So the fact is that there are quite a few people who are finding it useful, and in the coming months I know we will see more about it and how it can apply to you.

In the meantime, while we still wait to see what finally happens at the BPM Group, I thought it might be helpful to make some of the resources I have available to people. In the first instance I have a video, (not brilliant, but hopefully, acceptable quality considering how much was paid to do the work!) that was taken at the Global Business Process Forum a couple of years ago.

The video is quite long and talks through the principals of the framework and how it is used as part of a BPM approach. Although the thinking and detail has moved on since this was done, it still provides good background information and some ideas on making it work for you.

Despite the quality I hope that it proves a useful refresher to those that might have done the BPM Certification class, while acting as a more detailed introduction for those who have only see some of the pure slide ware. You can access the video by clicking here

While next week I hope to be able to provide you with some insights from the business perspective of my recent trip to India. For anyone interested in seeing how I found India from a personal perspective are welcome to download a new article as a PDF from here

Monday, 16 July 2007

NLP in Business and Process Management

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In my BPM and Process training classes and seminars I use a lot of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). As anyone who has ever been trained in NLP will tell you. You can't help it, once you learn the skills and your brain is wired with the techniques they come naturally. Of course the more you practice then the more natural they become.

I am often asked why, in a world where for some people NLP used to be seen as bad, that I talk openly about it and the techniques that I use. I usually explain that the aim of classes where I reach is to be able to coach others in learning how to make changes in people and processes. Not something that happens if a "magician" waves a magic wand and generates the wow factor, but instead something that happens after the trick as been performed by explaining how simple it was and letting people try it for themselves.

Now, this puts me at odds with other trainers I know, they, rather like the magicians want to use the techniques to create the wow factor and make themselves look good. Don't get me wrong, I like to look good to! but I don't feel that the techniques should be used just to impress people with clever use of language. Instead I think it is better for people to feel good in both knowing what is happening and how it can work for them as well.

My belief is that this also helps to dispel some of the myths that have grown up surrounding NLP.

So how does NLP relate to Process and to Business Change? Below I have listed just 5 of the things where there is an obvious overlap and in fact where NLP has a lot to give in terms of providing techniques for more successful analysis and design in process.

1.    Working with reality - The "Map is not the Territory" is talked about in process, but is actually a core fundamental of NLP, and one that is rarely fully or properly explained in process or analysis training.

2.    The As-is To-be Trap- NLP works on the concept of taking "Current State" and moving to "Future State", this is far more powerful and useful than the failed concepts of "As-is" and "To-be" still used in process and systems analysis. For me the concept of As-is leads to a blame culture. You start a project and someone takes out the As-is map from 2 years ago and immediately someone says, "well why are you not doing it this way" or "if we have a map the we don't need to do the As-is" again." In other words we start blaming people. The reality is that the map was created based on the perceptions of the time and the knowledge of the people that created the map then. Over time we get new information that was not available at the time or things change, so we need to start from where we are today – the "Current State" Think of the fields of science and medicine, how many of the things that were taught or drugs that were prescribed 100 years ago have changed today? So starting out with "well we used to…." Is not especially helpful. Instead it is better to start with where we are and what we know today.

3.    Change - In any business or process design project or program there is assumed to be a requirement to "Change", yet traditional techniques talk about changing others or the behavior of others. In NLP you learn to first change yourself, then you can assist others to change. You will learn that actually changing yourself may actually cause others to change without anyone even realizing.

4.    Communication – A key element in any analysis, design or change project, but how much do you really understand about the language you use and the effect that it has. The NLP meta-model provides a deep understanding of how to: Get at the information you need, change people' perceptions on any subject, and to be more persuasive in communicating with them.

5.    Modeling – A major premise of NLP is if you want to be the best, then you model the behavior of the best, and as you see through their eyes, hear through their ears and feel what they feel you will notice the little things help to make them good at what they do. Once you have done this you can bring back with you new incites to assist you and adopting some of their behaviour. This of course has been the holy grail of people looking at best practice for years, yet in NLP it has proven more effective over the past 30 years than any of the traditional approaches to analysis and design used in process or IT modeling.

Successful NLP is based upon experiential learning, the more we learn the more we experience, the more we experience the more we retain, the more we retain the more we learn. If you are not sure about this then just take a moment to think about the 5 points above.

Now, I don't know just how much these words have changed your thoughts, or how many of your own experiences you could think of when you were reading them. But, you will have thought of your own examples, where a change in behavior could have driven a new and more positive result, or maybe you could think of times when people we so busy arguing about the past that they forgot to look forward to the future, a future that looked much brighter. However, think about those things now and imagine that you are able to use language differently, to exude alternative behaviors and to act differently. As you do so, just a take a moment to reflect on how much better it feels when you replay these scenes with their new outcomes.

We are not together, we are only communicating across the ether, so I can't know just how much of a change has taken place inside you, but I do know that you are now party to by 2007 goal to get people to "Think Differently", for you see it does not matter how much you agree with me or my words, you are already thinking differently and that is all that I hope for, to give people the chance to be able to think differently and to have more choices over how they act in situations, the more choices we have then the more flexible and adaptable we can become. Which of course brings us full circle in why NLP is as good for business and process as it is for people – It provides us with choices that enable us to become more flexible and more adaptable, in other words it becomes a strategy for survival.

If you are not yet convinced about the differences it can make, then perhaps you might like to read some of the testimonials on my web site, here you will find the source of my greatest pride. Some testimonials from people who suggest that while they came to learn business process, they learned process and more importantly in some cases processes that they tell me have helped to change their lives, that to me is what teaching and coaching is really about. Helping people learn how to help themselves – and others.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Will You Make The Changes Before It Is Too Late!

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Over the past few months I have written about major initiatives underway at both Boots Plc in the UK and at Volkswagen Us. In both cases the companies were looking to use Business Process or Business process combined with Enterprise Architecture as a guide to managing change. In what might become an expensive lesson for those who believe that it is not appropriate for them, this month sees the news that Volkswagen US have dipped into the red for last year and do not see profit re-appearing for another year, while Boots plc, despite reporting some good sales for the last quarter is now coming under attack from the UK's leading supermarket chain, Tesco.

In both cases it would appear that the boards of both companies might have left it too late to make the changes required in order to remain competitive. The long term future of both operations must now be in great doubt. Boots must surely become a takeover target very soon, and will probably find itself the subject of some kind of break-up. While car workers in the UK know only too well that things can get difficult when foreign management sees that their traditional style of management is not working so well abroad and although not easy to sell it is very likely that we will see operations scaled back in the very near future.

The interesting point in both of these examples, and a salutatory point for others who might not consider that they need to invest in programs of change, to re-align their businesses or to take stock of their strengths and weaknesses, is that in both of the above cases the company management started the initiatives as a response to impending problems.

Of course by then in their cases, and in others, it may already be too late, the actions may simply slow down a slide of prolong potential agony. The worst thing of all though is that as a result of such stories it may be that others pick up on the idea that Business Process Management (BPM) or Enterprise Architecture do not work. Of course such approaches, can and do work, but, it is true that they cannot be used to perform miracles.

In many ways corporate change projects such as Business Process management are the exact opposite of what marketers see. In marketing it is the company who has the vision and strength to continue to pour money into marketing during an economic downturn that truly cashes in when the market takes an upturn. In this case, these companies recognize that a) they can very often buy their marketing at significantly reduced cost and b) realize that they get much greater exposure as there tend to be fewer advertisers to compete with and so they get far greater awareness, leading to greater sales when buyers return to the market.

In the case of Change programs the very opposite is true. It is the companies who are constantly striving to improve themselves while seemingly strong that win out in the long term. Such companies are always moving the barriers and making it harder for others to compete with them. On the other hand companies who wait until they have serious problems before undergoing such change will more often than not run out of either time or money before the positive effects can truly kick in.

An example of this in the UK would be Marconi, the former electronics and defense giant. The company had for years been seen as a stalwart British company, no one could ever have imagined it going under. But, sure enough after a couple of wrong moves the company was in trouble. Pure speculation of course but, if the company had made changes faster, recognizing the changes that needed to be made while it was still strong enough to act it may well have survived. To be accurate of course many would say that the company is still alive and continuing to do business, true, but the shareholders lost most of their money in the refinancing and most of the staff lost their jobs too.

Now, I would be wrong and a fool to suggest that companies in trouble can't successfully undertake change and survive. But, as in the case of Marconi, the cuts and changes have to be far more dramatic than they might otherwise be and I think it is true to say that whilst such companies might "survive" very few attain the heights from which they might have fallen.

Many reading an article such as this will undoubtedly think yes well that is for them it does not apply to me or my company. That would be a grave mistake. The last 20 years have shown that all companies large or small, new or long established are vulnerable to both new competitors and of course the new world economy. Nothing is the same now and nothing will remain the same in the next 5 or 10 years. All companies need to have a clear idea on what their value chains are and how their business processes operate and are managed, without such knowledge it will likely prove impossible to be able to make or respond to change quickly enough, it will likely prove impossible to work out how to reduce cost without reducing capability and it will likely prove impossible to satisfy regulators that you actually understand how your business operates!

Note: This article first appeared in January 2004 on Mark McGregor's "Postcard from Europe" Series of articles on BPTrends

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Book Review – Human Interactions

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Human Interactions

The Heart and Soul of Business Process Management

By Keith Harrison-Broninski

304 Pages published by Meghan-Kiffer Press ISBN 0-929652-44-4

This book offers a refreshingly different perspective on BPM. Instead of the thinly veiled system approach of many other books Keith reminds us that managing and controlling processes is what we are ultimately trying to achieve. He also reminds us that whatever people may say or think the fact is that most work processes (and the hardest ones to control) occur between people (rather than between computer systems). The book puts forward some very powerful ideas to support these new ways of thinking about processes and the systems that support them. These suggestions and arguments are supported by a great deal of thought and theory.

If Geary Rummler is to be remembered for "Managing the White Space" on the organization chart then surely Keith will hope to become known as the man who set forward the agenda for "Managing the White Space" in the process map!

The central idea of the book is that the issue is less to do with understanding and automating individual processes and more to do with managing and controlling the literally thousands of processes that go to make up an organisation. This of course cannot be carried out effectively without fully understanding and managing the Human Interactions of which most work is comprised. As Keith points out "Many organizations have yet to realize that they are sleepwalking into a world where we simply move from a set of legacy applications to a set of legacy processes and swap a set of functional silos for a set of process silos." In that respect this book is a must read for Process Professionals and Systems Analysts alike.

In essence the book has four elements to it – and they do not necessarily appear in order – they are;

  1. That Human Interactions form the basis of most of the work in an organisation.
  2. An explanation of the science and psychology behind how such interactions take place.
  3. The argument that current approaches to capturing and modelling these interactions are unsuitable.
  4. That there are lessons to be gained from Role Activity Theory that may help.


Items a) and b) are very well covered (although it might have been nicer if they had been specifically separated out), whilst items c) and d) are a matter of perspective.

In his arguments on modelling Keith quite rightly asserts that for most business users current notations and tools are hard to follow and onerous in use. However from a personal perspective I suspect the alternative modelling approach suggested in the book may suffer from the same fate. But, as Keith points out, the issue is not about which notation one uses to model the interactions – it is more about the fact that they need to be captured and managed in a structured way. As ever the challenge is that almost any kind of model suitable for constructing a system will be constructed by specialists using some kind of specialist notation. Whereas business people are actually quite comfortable with the concept of flow charts to describe what they do (and because they use them for illustrative purposes they are not overly concerned by rigour and detail either.)

The great thing about this book is that instead of suggesting that all previous approaches to process were wrong and offering a new panacea, it tries to borrow and build from what has gone before. In this way hopefully a larger audience should be able to engage with the ideas and theories presented. In particular he suggests that a blend of both Petri nets and pi-calculus be used in order to provide a formal underpinning to process management and permit its potential systemisation. This approach is sure to cause great debate among purists and Keith has certainly positioned himself well for debates with just about everybody!

As with many other books by technologists or vendors, this one too concludes with detailed advice on how to develop and deliver better systems for the business, which whilst it may be useful, is a shame. I say this because the book provides much good information around the theory of how people work together and if that was blended with the desire of businesses to focus on successful customer outcomes, then I think the message could be even more powerful.

In summary I would suggest that this is a great book for Process Specialists and those wishing to gain deeper insight into why in many cases the current technological approaches fail to catch the imagination of business people. It may also appeal to some Business Managers and Business Analysts, as the theory presented in the first three chapters is sure to be of interest, but the technical nature of latter parts of the book may prove to be a slight struggle for some such readers. I also hope that Keith is able to continue to build upon this initial work as I believe that the essence of what he is trying to achieve here is extremely important, and in the world of process truly new ideas are hard to come by.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

First Telelogic, Now Proforma Corp?

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It seems that once again we are seeing a round of consolidation and roll-ups in the Modeling Tool market.

Firstly we see IBM bidding for Telelogic, a deal which most observers are expecting to close soon – which has to be good news for the poor Telelogic sales people, who are seeing sales stall as customers wait to see what happens next. Indeed I think we might all wonder at what IBM plans to do with all those modeling tools and how it will present a coherent view to the world. With System Architect, Rational Rose, Holosofx, and Tau – as well as other parts in the portfolio, it seems that IBM themselves might be spoilt for choice. But, as well all know too much choice makes it harder for customers to decide.

Then just last week we saw IDS announce that they were setting up direct operations in Australia and in the UK Proforma announced that they had purchased their UK distributer and thus created a direct presence. This last move has been well overdue, in order for Proforma to be seriously credible they have long needed to build a stronger direct international presence and so this moves is logical, although the timing is very interesting.

I suspect that the timing may have to do with another deal that we are yet to hear about. I think we may see that Proforma themselves will be acquired in the next few weeks. Oracle have long been rumored to be looking to make an acquisition in the space and were seen as suitors for Popkin prior to the Telelogic takeover. But for my money HP may be seen as a more likely acquirer of Proforma. HP have clearly stated that they intend to grow the software side of their business and to do so through acquisition.

HP and Proforma have a historical relationship going back several years and indeed the ProVision tool was used to assist HP in the HP Compaq merger, the tool being used in the clean room to help set up the new organization. Whether HP, Oracle or someone else, Proforma would be as good fit, with its relative ease of use, good installed base and rich functionality, whoever wants a fast leg up in the modeling market will be interested.

If as I suspect such a deal goes through, this will pretty well leave MEGA International along with IDS as the only two real players in the "independent" modeling tool space. Which then poses the question is there such a market?

As ever only time will tell, but interesting times ahead of that we can be sure.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Looks Like The End Game is Approaching for BPMG

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It would appear that the end may possibly be nearing for the BPMG, and that end would appear to be a very sad one. Yesterday BPMG Chairman Stewart Ashton put out a statement on the situation.

In it he says "The report that I have presented on June 29th 2007 is confidential to the board and shareholders of BPM Ventures Limited but I can indicate that it identifies certain matters that may well become the subject of legal claims in the future. My task in this matter was to try to resolve the matters as quickly as possible in the interest of the members and clients of BPMG. Having provided my report to the board and not being able to resolve the position I have no desire to continue in this role and I have therefore resigned my directorship in the company although I remain a shareholder.

At the same time our Administration and Finance Manager Rose Butler has also resigned. She will no longer be able to answer BPMG members or clients queries. In addition, David Lyneham-Brown has also resigned his roles and directorships of BPMG. With David being the prime technical developer of the BPMG training and development approach this is regretful. Imre Hegedus has stepped down as our Global Director of Chapters and the principal organiser of our autumn conference having done a sterling job in both these areas to date. We have already advised people that we cannot run the conference because like our other web sites Process2007 has been entirely under the control of Bennu Group LLC and we have had no access to it." – You can read the full statement at

So it seems that despite the attempts to try and breathe life into the patient, it has not responded. I guess it remains to see whether Steve and Bennu are going to try and resurrect something. But if the conversations I have been involved in are anything to go by it would appear that too much damage has been done and too little respect shown to the very people who actually made the BPMG what it had become – the customers and members.

It does not matter who claims to have built what at the company, or who claims to own what, the fact remains that it became what it was due to the tremendous trust and support placed in it by so many people around the globe. Without that support it would have been very much a small UK based group.

I would also like to add my thanks to the many trainers who I have had the pleasure of working with while I was at the BPMG, they too played a big part in ensuring the quality and the breadth of the training was maintained and delivered throughout the world. Many of those trainers I am sure, like me, will continue to provide a quality BPM training product and will continue to do their best to help any of those that require assistance as they go along their BPM journey.

I have never hidden from the fact that although I have been disassociated from the BPMG for some 9 months now, I remain a shareholder (although who knows to what value!) and in this capacity I have seen the final report that Stewart Ashton presented to the board. Whilst I cannot share the details with you, I can tell you that it made astonishing reading and seemed to suggest a whole catalogue of financial mis-management and other things.

My final hope is that members of the BPMG community are able to find new "homes" and vehicles through which to communicate with each other and other training programs that enable them to continue to develop as individuals.