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Persona based BPM

Persona Based BPM

Persona Based BPM is not so much about

product features but more about the capability

of the BPM Delivery Team!

What is Persona Based Business Process Management ?

I would suggest that "Persona Based BPM" (or ROLE based bpm) is not a BPM Product Feature, but the approach to the User Experience which encompasses the following:

    Listening to the business and "discovering" through workshops what the different "Roles" playing a part in the process require in terms of functions/gadgets/reports etc which are to be made available through their user forms (or portal) in order for them to perform their specific jobs/taks.

Surely this is a fundamental activity taken by all good BPM Design Teams no matter which BPM Product suite has been chosen, and an activity which has been performed by competent BPM Designers for many years!

Also see Harrison-Broninski's book, Human Interactions and his 2004 Paper - A Role Based Approach to BPM

In my view, Persona Based BPM (or Role Based BPM) is really nothing new, but is simply the same as an Ice Cream Vendor telling its customers that their Ice Cream is served cold - Persona Based BPM is a design approach that has been around since the early days of BPM but under different names (e.g. Human Computer Interaction HCI, User Experience Design etc).

Meastorm Active Workspace
Metastorm Active Workspace
A Persona Based BPM User Interface
All the major BPM vendors (e.g. Metastorm, Oracle, Appian, TIBCO etc) incorporate a fast configurable User Form Design & dashboards environment in their products, many with ready made templates and/or frameworks. Some vendors rely on external plug-ins (e.g. Microsoft InfoPath Forms, Sharepoint Webparts etc) as they do not have their own dynamic internal Forms Designer capability.

So what "features" do Persona-Based-BPM bring to the table ?

Reading through the published articles available it would appear that Persona Based BPM brings required tools/functions to the main Roles involved in a BPM Initiative:

  • Business Analyst - Modelling and Simulation tools
  • Designers/Developers - Functions and tools to enable development & deployment of the solution
  • Users - Functions and tools commonly used by end-users (e.g. external data lookups, overdue work alerts etc)
  • Managers - Reporting and anaysis tools

    Looking at the above list, all the major BPM Vendors provide the necessary "Persona Based BPM" features/functions.

So, Persona Based BPM is a great marketing device, but under the hood appears to be nothing more than some ready made User Form Templates (and or Portal webparts/gadgets) which still need configuration during the BPM design/delivery phases in order to give users the functions, gadgets, reports they need on their specific forms.

Persona Based BPM is all about the "User Experience" which is, as we all know, unique to each participant (role) in the process. Ready made Forms/Templates maybe a good starting point, but they would still need configuring and customising according to specific business/user requirements.

So Persona Based BPM is not so much about any "product capability", but more about the "approach" to the User Experience, and serves as a great reminder to include all the stakeholders and participants in the organisation (e.g. end-users) throughout the BPM Initiative's Requirements Gathering and Analysis Phases.

"Persona Based BPM" is not a question around the capability of any specific "Persona Based" BPM Product/Feature (all the major BPM providers provide similar capabilities), but rather the capability of the BPM Initiative Delivery Team who will implement your BPM initiative and thewir ability to understand and capture the End User requierements and create User Experiences which reflect those end-user (role) needs.


When choosing a BPM Vendor, do not ask whether the product includes "Persona Based BPM"

features, but ask the proposed Delivery Team "Which BPM Product provides a rich,

easily customisable, "User Experience" design environment suitable for creating dynamic

User Forms and Dashboards providing the "right tools" to the "right users" at the

"right time" in order for those users to perfom their assigned Role in the most optimised way."

A Persona Based BPM approach also addresses the "User Experience"

BPM Vendors who support a "Persona Based BPM" approach

Gartner rated BPM LEADERS:
Global 360
Lombardi Software
Software AG
Tibco Software
Gartner rated BPM CHALLENGERS:
Gartner rated BPM VISIONARIES:
Adobe Systems
Gartner rated BPM NICHE PLAYERS:
Polymita Technologies

Click Here for more information

This list above is based on the Gartner 2009 BPM best picks.
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