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The challenge.... to write a book about social BPM (description follows), publish it (electronic or paper) and present the proceeds to a non-profit before the end of the year.

This means finding authors (can you write? can you draw? or do you have useful case-studies?...).

This means organizing, collaborating, making progress.... exactly what happens in any business process so there's nothing to be worried about here.

Worthwhile? Return on Investment? I'm confident about that. The author royalties of our second workflow book, which we donated to Doctors without Borders topped 20 000 Dollars so far. So that was definitely a project worth doing. I have no way of knowing how much revenue this social BPM book can make, but the effort will be worthwhile because any revenue goes to charity, too.

Fig 1 The book challenge process

Go it alone - no way!

I've had successes (the first Practical Workflow Book - which is now in 2nd edition) but I've had failures too. So rather than just bulldoze into this project I consulted some colleagues and partners whose opinions I very much respect. Apologies to those of you that I didn't reach out to... there's plenty of time to reach out to me... but the response from those I already contacted was so encouraging that I want to move ahead right now. Craig Cmehil published his last book 20 minutes before the start of 2012, so I felt the end of the year is an appropriate target. Ginger Gatling, who took over the baton and orchestrated the 2nd edition of the workflow book (and who's up to her neck in publishing right now), said "yey". So I've got plenty of energy guaranteed.

And consultant X (no name yet for added suspense) - Feet-firmly-on-the-ground BPM expert and SAP mentor - warned me that he'd express opinions (before quoting compliance, policies and even Dame Edna.) Woot! This is going to be a truly eccentric and fun process.

But What is Social BPM?

Literature on Social BPM exists. The analysts have a clear view that its importance will increase. But to quote an exact definition would prejudice the outcome of the book. So for the moment let's just say it's:

Business Processes, driven in part by people power (or peer pressure)

and see how it progresses from there.


I have used SAP tools to get this process moving because I feel comfortable with these tools and they are effective; Gravity to model the process, SAP StreamWork for the repository aspects. However, as the challenge progresses we may find ourselves using tools outside the SAP domain. In other words, there are no restrictions other than cost.

The Ceremonial Groundbreaking

[drum roll]

To show I mean business, I created a collaboration space in SAP StreamWork and bought the domain: .

So the Business Process has started.

[trumpet fanfare]

Fig 2. The process so far

Participate? Propagate?

Are you in or are you out? If you'd like to take part in this experiment many thanks up front! Send me a short mail describing what you can contribute. Case-studies, graphics, research, expertise; these are all things that will make the book useful and readable.
If you're out, then you can still do me a huge favor by propagating this challenge (twitter, g+, facebook..) , and even lobbying colleagues who you think could contribute to contact me, too.

Please... worthy cause.... scour your experiences ... be brave... join us now.

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