Report from my BPM/BPMN adventure in Istanbul

It was almost an instant decision accepting an offer to prepare a BPM/BPMN workshop for a life-insurance company, located in 15 million metropol Istanbul. And I didn’t regret it, in any case.

How it all begun

In February I’ve been contacted by Nobleprog, a global training and consultancy provider, if I would be prepared to perform a three-day seminar about Business process management and BPMN at a leading life-insurance company, located in Istanbul. After quickly evaluating pros and cons, I’ve accepted the offer.

If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital. – Napoleon Bonaparte

The customer

The customer of the workshop was Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik, Turkey’s first life insurance company, active in private pension and life insurance markets. Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik has the first rank in the total amount of private pension and life insurance funds registered in Turkey and is a subsidiary of Türkiye İş Bankası or simply İşbank, Turkey’s largest bank with more than 17 Million customers and 25,157 employees (and this number excludes the subsidiaries).

Istanbul_company_buildings
Customer’s headquarters (left – a photo I took  from Sapphire, the highest building in Istanbul, the arrow points to the customer’s main building, in the background is Bosporus; right – three customer’s skyscrapers).

Workshop concept

The customer required a tree-day seminar on the subject matter (21 hours). Based on the received information about the current state of BPM in the company (including process-related artifacts), the following basic structure of the workshop was designed.

Istanbul agenda
The bird eyes view agenda of the 21-hours BPM/BPMN workshop

It was challenging to evaluate the pace of the workshop in advance, so I additionally prepared several examples, which could be applied according to the pace of the workshop.

Slides design

While being aware of the huge amount of new knowledge being passed to workshop participants in just three days (21 hours), I’ve decided to prepare a minimalist design for the presentation (over 200 slides), consisting of a clear typography, dual coding approach (images supported by text) and only two colors used – basic black and read for highlighting. The amount of text was intentionally keep small, including focal questions to the audience stated. In this manner I’ve tried to keep “alive” the conversation as well the audience. Examples of slides are presented below.

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The following books were used as the primary source for the workshop:

  • M. Dumas, Fundamentals of business process management, 1st ed. New York: Springer, 2013.
  • M. Weske, Business process management concepts, languages, architectures. Berlin; New York: Springer, 2012.
  • B. Silver, BPMN method and style: a structured approach for business process modeling and implementation using BPMN 2.0. Aptos: Cody-Cassidy Press, 2011.
  • J. Freund and B. Rücker, Real-Life BPMN: Using BPMN 2.0 to Analyze, Improve, and Automate Processes in Your Company, 2 edition. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.

Tools

Customers already used several diverse tools for BPM, where I’ve decided to use Camunda for all workshop’s operations for the following reasons:

  • The modeling tool actually comes in two versions – as a web modeling tool (i.e. bpmn.io) and as a desktop-based tool. This is very convenient since the web tool may be applied in any case (i.e. it does not require any installation and related authorization/security issues).
  • Camunda is compatible with “Tripple Crown” standards (i.e. BPMN, DMN and CMMN).
  • It has a standardized XML support, the desktop version actually enables “dual coding” – (models are simultaneously generated in visual and XML format). XML files are interchangeable with other standardized tools.
  • Minimalist responsive design, a good user experience in general.
  • Plug-ins may be simply applied to the Camunda – i.e. a token simulation plugin was used in the workshop.
  • Camunda is more than just a modeling tool. It is an open source platform for workflow and decision automation that brings business users and software developers together.
Camunda_examples
Some workshop’s practical examples, created in Camunda

After being used for three days by a dozen of workshop participants, Camunda tools demonstrated as friendly and reliable.

Results

From my point of view, the workshop was a huge success in all respects, since all planned objectives were achieved. At this point I must also praise the participants, of the workshop for their professional and friendly attitude. It was a young enthusiastic team of analysts, with which I had a pleasure to collaborate. And nevertheless I am very proud on the feedback they provided to me, getting the highest grades in all respects (three participants decided to fulfill the questionnaire).

istanbul_workshop_results
Workshop participants’ feedback

Thanks

At first, I had to thank again the participants, of the workshop for their professional and friendly relationship, for their hospitality. I was really positively supprised in that manner. Secondly I had to thank Mr. Baris Idemen, the program manager at the company for his professional attitude, assistance and responsiveness in all matters. And finally I must thank Nobleprog for their professional relationship and for being their primary choice for the event in Istanbul. Thanks to all again. G.P.

Istanbul_certificate
The certificate I’ve received after sucesfully performing the workshop

 

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