My Top-Down Dinner Bet

Don't ask me how, but Ismael turned the hubbub over BPM vs SOA into a discussion of top-down vs "middle-out." Both threads (including comments) are semi-instructive, but somehow in the course of things he challenged me to come up with proof that top-down (i.e. BPM implementation driven from the business model) has ever worked. The challenge came in the form of a double-dog dare, with the promise of a trip to Hawaii tacked on if I could come up with 3 top-down implementations that met his "BPM 2.0" qualifiiers. Doubting he was good for the Maui deal, I reduced it to a simple dinner bet, so now we both have some skin in the game.

Here are the ground rules:

  • Significant-enough project (the process map has more than 100 steps)
  • Integration with transactional systems through WSDL
  • Human workflow through web-based interfaces
  • Modeling and skeleton design done by process analysts* using BPMN
  • Implementation done by IT people without writing code
  • No technical support from the BPM vendor through executable design and deployment. [He doesn't say into production, just deployment.]
* process analyst defined as: "cannot explain the difference between DO-WHILE, WHILE-DO, and FOR-EACH loops, even when promised a free trip to Hawaii with friends and family."
I'm hoping some BPMS Watch readers will come to my defense on this one, most likely vendors supporting BPMN, but user organizations who raise their hand would be even better. I need 3 to win the bet. We haven't set a deadline yet. You will be lavishly praised in the blogosphere and in the real world as well for proving that BPMS actually does what it says!