Announcing the BPMN Training

The course is a joint production of Bruce Silver Associates and itp commerce ltd. I developed and own the training content; my partner provides the Process Modeler for Visio tool (see here for why I picked it) as well as the license key infrastructure, translation into German and French (and maybe others). We're scrambling to launch in time for the Gartner BPM event later this month. (You can get a 1.5-hour mini-version of it for "free" if you're attending the conference. I'm on the afternoon of the last day. Hey, ya gotta start somewhere...)

The training will be offered 2 ways: online/on-demand and classroom. The online/on-demand totals 7.5 hours of Flash video, split into 15 parts, plus time to complete quizzes and exercises. The standard classroom offering is a 2-day course. We will also customize the classroom version (minimum 10 students) to focus on your specific process issues. Also, the classroom version is licensable to consultants and corporate training departments.

One of the really useful pieces of feedback I got from the beta was not to force every process modeler to have to learn the intricacies of intermediate events, compensation, and the other advanced parts of BPMN. It's true, most of what you need to capture and document as-is processes, even to analyze their shortcomings and model improved to-be processes, can be done with a limited subset of BPMN elements and without intermediate events at all.

So we've broken up the training into 3 sections. The first one, BPMN Essentials, covers the basics - essentially all the elements except intermediate events and exception handling - along with a proven best-practice top-down methodology for how to translate process knowledge into the diagram. If you're curious, it's really Sharp and McDermott's methodology from their 2001 book, Workflow Modeling, translated into BPMN.

The second section, BPMN Deep Dive, goes heavy into events and exceptions, transactions and compensation, useful diagram patterns for various situations, again with best-practice suggestions thrown in. It's designed for business analysts and architects, not developers. Both BPMN Essentials and Deep Dive include a mix of "theory" and hands-on with the Process Modeler tool.

The training includes quizzes and exercises to test comprehension. Solutions to some of the exercises are presented in the training. Others must be completed in the tool and emailed to me for grading. Students completing the course successfully will be recognized by a certificate, and we will publish a list of certified BPMN professionals on the website. Certification will be offered at both the BPMN Essentials and BPMN Deep Dive levels.

The third section, Simulation Analysis with BPMN, shows how to do practical performance analysis using BPMN in combination with the modeling tool's simulation engine. Simulation isn't standardized by BPMN, so this part is somewhat tool-dependent, although the principles behind it are not. We walk through three specific use cases, which I have discussed previously: cycle time improvement from eliminating handoff delays and other inefficiencies, optimizing resource configuration and utilization, and activity-based costing. We show you how to use various diagram patterns, how to set up the simulation parameters, and how to customize the simulation output to give meaningful results.

The online course syllabus, with Flash video playing times (exclusive of quizzes and exercises) is shown below:

BPMN Essentials 1. Introduction and Overview (35 minutes) 2. Process Concepts (19 minutes) 3. Diving Right In (35 minutes) 4. Subprocesses and Top-Down Modeling (34 minutes) 5. The Complete Notation (30 minutes) 6. Gateways (43 minutes)

BPMN Deep Dive 7. Events (56 minutes) 8. Modeling Exceptions (15 minutes) 9. Modeling Business Transactions (22 minutes) 10. What?s Wrong With This Picture? (20 minutes)

Simulation Analysis with BPMN 11. Simulation Overview (24 minutes) 12. Simulation Parameters and Outputs (27 minutes) 13. Simulation Use Case 1: Cycle Time Improvement (34 minutes) 14. Simulation Use Case 2: Optimizing Resource Utilization (20 minutes) 15. Simulation Use Case 3: Activity Based Costing (24 minutes)

The online training will cost $695, which includes the Flash video, student notes, certification, and a 30-day license to the Process Modeler tool. This effectively means the student has 30 days after activation to complete the training. Students may upgrade to a permanent license for $440, a discount of $250 from the standard price of the software. Because the Process Modeler tool is an add-in to Visio, that software is effectively a prerequisite. (We are trying to get a trial version of Visio 2007 bundled, but that is not available at this time.)

The classroom version will be offered by Bruce Silver Associates, itp commerce (in Europe), and licensees. Trainers must be individually licensed and authorized by successful completion of teacher training and exercises. The standard classroom version I will offer is a 2-day course for $1295, but each licensee has some freedom to customize the content (and price) of the training. Certification procedures for students of third party licensees have not yet been worked out. Contact me if you are interested in licensing the training.

All students of the classroom training must use the official student materials ($250), which include the student notes in PDF, 30-day license to the Process Modeler tool (with same upgrade pricing as described above) and exercise submission for certification.