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What would you say are the biggest misconceptions companies have about low-code/no-code BPM?
Stuart Chandler Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
That it is low cost and solves all problems.
Comment
Yes, a well-known negative pattern "This new thing will solve all problems".
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
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  3. # 1
Kevin Beddingfield Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
That low-code means anyone can do it when in reality, you still need to understand the basics of programming logic to build solutions in these platforms. Whether this means how best to structure process flows in the correct order and considering all variables (i.e. Step B needs to happen before Step A in some cases) or in building visibility rules for controls on a "low-code" form (i.e. Field C should be visible only when Field A has a value and Field B doesn't...these can get quite complex).

The other misconception is that a lot of business side users may think is that they do not need to go through a formal analysis-requirements-design phase before building. They think that since it's so easy, they can just start building which will lead to problems down the road. Proper project management is still needed as well as governance to make sure application sprawl doesn't occur like when Excel, Access, and SharePoint was put out as "user development tools."
Managing Director
ClearCadence, LLC
http://www.clearcadence.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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Max Young Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
I think we(BPMers) need to recognize that Low/No code is more powerful then it used to be.
References
  1. http://www.capbpm.com
Comment
That'd be a moot point - all software platforms / frameworks are more powerful than they used to be.
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 2 months ago
Good point @Bogdan. For some reason your comment reminds of the aphorism of a "night in which all cows are black". :)
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 months ago
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Dr Alexander Samarin Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Just spotted on the landing page of one of the "low-no" code BPM companies "Create applications for any business process without coding". Can you implement these two processes WITHOUT coding?
- https://www.slideshare.net/samarin/process-practical-patterns-si
- https://www.slideshare.net/samarin/practical-process-pattern

Thanks,
AS
Comment
Both look straight forward to me for easy no code build and now enhanced capability with encryption as now required by GDPR
  1. David Chassels
  2. 3 months ago
Thanks David, can you share with me your low-code / no-code solution, please?
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 2 months ago
Alexander see summary of 2014 research paper.. https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/object-model-development-engineering/78620
Want more drop me email at [email protected]
  1. David Chassels
  2. 2 months ago
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
Kay Winkler Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The over-usage of "low and no code" for everything over the years, has contributed to the end users' perception that the term is basically a lie for which they won’t fall for any longer. This, of course, has been caused by the fact that most of vendors that have used the nc/lc emblem, haven't been able to live up to their promise and were in fact not low code nor intuitive (despite not being the same thing), at all.
In the realm of BPM that still holds true, with a few notable exceptions - especially in RPA and Cloud BPM, which in its very nature tends to carry over a more sizable approach for which graphical UI driven application creation seems to be a good fit.
In that sense, I think, a major misconception on the vendor and on the solution provider/integrator side alike, is to think that BPM is somehow exempt from the global trend of facilitating none-technical and none-programming end users with intuitive and easy it use means to accomplish the creation and implementation of fully functional business applications, without code and without having to spend months of in-depth, vendor boot camping activities. Are we there yet? Not yet, but I do think that that's where things are heading fast.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 5
David Chassels Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
As pioneers in delivery on no code capability the first challenge was the "ridicule" with disbelief. Sadly today that still exist indeed only last week on Twitter this from past leader in government IT "I remember something called “the last word” or close to that, in the late 80s that promised you need never write another line of code again. Nothing much has changed, still lots of empty promises." However we move on through the being ignored stage as vested interests will not welcome as the cost very significantly reduced its called the Innovator's Dilemma.....now we prepare for battle to win....!
Whilst now many others join in and indeed some do appear to have genuine capability there is still fluff and hype causing confusion for example being applied to mobile apps when the dream of the 80s was to focus on the business enterprise arena. The other confusion is suggesting citizen build; sorry but in business build needs knowledge of the bigger picture and importantly compliance recognising legacy and real time reporting. Business Analysts are in ideal position build but is a skill that can be quickly picked up with being a good communicator understanding business helping.
From our early experience we find senior executives who get it like it indeed one CEO and CFO looked at each other and said why do it any other way...then they remembered IT...! Whilst it is possible to build in capability for users to change where change anticipated we have recognised user do no see as their job to build but they do like the fact their input becomes important; a step forward from the old IT ways with coders and their alien language....!
Sadly in the early days the big industry analysts just did not get it and I have many stories on those experiences...ready for the "book"....? However it is encouraging to see moves which are promoting the message even if deep research on just how all business issues are addressed and dispel the hype to reality and remove any misconceptions.....I live in hope but know it is just a question of when not if it becomes the new way driven by how business really works and BPM becomes the "driver"...
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Garvin Fouts Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
Biggest misconception is that it will be vastly easier to implement the solution and anyone in the firm can do it. Well, not necessarily without a cost.

Low Code/No Code is getting better and more powerful every year but that concept has been a bit challenging for consultants to build solutions at times. LC/NC generally requires solutions to follow specific behavior or usage patterns which don't always follow what the client is looking for. This drawback really has been surfacing in our projects is at the data presentation layer where it is highly visible and tends to be quite restrictive, at least for the tools we have been using. LC/NC at the process and integration layers really are better in many cases as it is easier and more standardized as to how they should react during execution. But as others have said, it doesn't reduce the need for good PM/Analysis/Implementation specialists unless there are no real impacts to the business overall if the process is thrown together and use cases are localized or minimal. I was in a demo recently with a BPM provider just to determine if the solution would be a good replacement for an older technology and this LC/NC option was so limited in capability, I actually had to wonder why anyone would buy that except for a very specific use case. It wouldn't work for any of our clients for their primary process automation needs. In another vendor, They just seemed to take efficient code and replaced it with hyper-inefficient rule sets that are tedious to work with and have erratic execution patterns when trying to accomplish something sophisticated. All in all, it is getting better but would rather have a hybrid that allowed LC/NC and coding as the need was identified.
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Karl Walter Keirstead Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Many of the misconceptions are the result of "advice and assistance" given by vendors and consultants.

All my clients need/expect from "low-code" is to be able to map out processes they have in their heads.

Major accomplishment !

This gets them to where an incoming consultant can interview key stakeholders and finish off needed work, without running up a large fee.

Specifically, with a proper tool set, end-users can, on their own, in advance of a visit from a consultant:

1. put down circles (nodes) on a graphic canvas,
2. define resource needs at nodes,
3. paint and attach basic data viewing/collection forms,
4. assign names to the nodes
5. connect the nodes with directional arrows.

They can also build branching decision boxes of the manual-execution type (minus rules) simply by lassoing two or more icons, and they can put-in-place implied loopbacks.

Few can build pre-processing steps (i.e. OK to engage this process fragment?) or build post-processing steps (are the results of processing within boundary conditions?).

Some decision boxes and most loopbacks need rules so that they can transition from manual to auto-execute (i.e. allow multiple picks at a decision box, except where the selections are non-complimentary; loopback 'n' times, unless a "cancel" flag has been raised).

Missing are form-level rules (i.e. is the start time earlier than the end time?; warn if the data value is more than 200% of the prior data value; does the scoring at the form exceed 100%); branching decision box rules (i.e. either 1 or 2; or 3+4 but not 6; or 5 alone), Case-level rules, parsers for incoming data. pre-processing rules, post-processing rules),.

The outside consultant can complete the implementation and teach a few key stakeholders how to maintain/put in place minor enhancements.

Some functional units do not have even one person who can "think" process, so the consultant has a bit more work to do.

Forget "no-code", unless you know that a particular problem is terribly simplistic.

Nothing wrong with cultivating a customer base that has simplistic needs - automating these processes still makes a positive contribution.

Otherwise, do not oversell by telling the client "no-code" - all they will do is put no money in their budget for occasional outside assistance and the app will fail.
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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Dr Alexander Samarin Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Is Low-Code / No-Code a free cheese in the vendor lock-in trap?

Thanks to @David
Comment
Alexander you raise an issue on lock in very much on my agenda that I want to address in my plan to distribute globally. I believe that outsourcing infrastructure with cloud is the inevitable future but the challenge is business and governments must "own" and have control over not just their data but also their salient processes to avoid any lock in with either the infrastructure or software supplier. This will require the software platform to be in "ownership" of the customer which will allow ready access for the inevitable changes. Yet it makes sense that any updates are always available. At the moment we use the Oracle database including enterprise one which requires traditional licences most other components such are open source but do not believe open source is sensible for our Platform as unfettered access by out of control coders is not in long term interests of customers. So we plan to share code around the globe which will allow issues to be addressed but must be shared globally for for benefit of all. Our experience to date suggests that customers will form strong business working relationships with supplier so we see identifying local suppliers with the process (BPM) thinking skill set makes sense. Money and value creation is what you build with the Platform which should encourage global collaboration for continuous improvement. Thinking of all eventualities if the local supplier fails then end customers should have access to the Platform and if required other suppliers in the collaboration network. Early days in this planning but I think a framework that could be attractive to all and avoiding that lock in but not out of control open source?
  1. David Chassels
  2. 2 months ago
"do not believe open source is sensible for our Platform as unfettered access by out of control coders"

erm... what? you're not required to give access to your code to "out of control" coders, even if you embed open source components...
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 2 months ago
and " identifying local suppliers with the process (BPM) thinking skill" good luck with that... around the world! :-)
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 2 months ago
And this time to @Alex: unless you are on your own electricity network, on hardware you built yourself, running a software stack fully built by you (including drivers and OS), you are always, to a massive degree, in a vendor lock-in situation.
Vendor lock-in situations are what drove most of the social constructs (including business entities) throughout the modern history - it's just that some situations are so stable and so commoditized that we don't usually recognize them as lock-in (see public utilities, social contracts, national legislation etc)
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 2 months ago
Bogdan The presentation layer is java based allowing choice of browsers, operating systems and application servers including open source. There are 3 core components embedded in the platform (file size)
1. The Procession Engine (500k).
2. The Graphical Interface to design / build applications (1.75mb).
3. The presentation layer including the tag library (1.1mb).

We believe much more to come hence plan to share code with like minded orgs to allow collaboration where all benefit. All who have seen and understood agree open source not an efficient way to achieve optimisation for future versions


We will have access to global decision makers and we can train quickly.....BPM is actually very simple and logical.....as is our Platform!


  1. David Chassels
  2. 2 months ago
@Bogdan, it is an individual choice – go to lock-in with a particular vendor or not. Thus it must be made crystal clear for a customer to allow him/her make an informed decision. It is OK if a company wants to carry out its digital transformation with the pace of Oracle or SAP. However, a very popular question about any BPM-suite tool / platform is the following: how much of our information can be recuperated from it if we decide to stop using this BPM-suite tool / platform. It seems for me that in case of a modern low-code/no-code platform, the answer is “only audit-trails”: no processes, no rules, no automation scripts, no services, no data structures, etc.

We know very well that reference architectures, reference implementations, agreed interfaces, notations, etc. are proven means to avoid the vendor lock-in. Ideally, all of them must be properly architected together.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 2 months ago
@Alexander.. Agree re ". . . .modern low-code/no-code platform, the answer is “only audit-trails”: no processes, no rules, no automation scripts, no services, no data structures, etc"

Audit trails can/should include all data as it was, at the time it was entered, per Case intervention.

Making available digital storage of graphic processes would not help, rule descriptions might help but would typically have to be changed moving from one platform to another.

Re data, the data structures would typically not be portable - what some of these systems do is export ALL data, element by element to a data exchanger such that someone wanting all of the data could start up a piano player and dump all of the data out from the time of setup of a Case.

  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 2 months ago
@David, I was talking about a different scenario - moving some artefacts between products from different vendors. Your scenario about the full or partial ownership of the whole application which is rather exotic (i.e. not a commodity). I saw it in an humanitarian organisation which has to operate in countries which are under sanctions. This organisation works primarily with the open source or software companies which agree to make their code available in force major situation.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 2 months ago
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The biggest misconception (heavily pushed by respective vendors) is that LC/NC solutions do not require knowledge of any kind (except for the business task at hand).

It somewhat fits a more general trend:
- you can publish news without being a journalist,
- you can can have an opinion about something without having to actually get any knowledge about that subject matter,
- you can be a consultant without having any business experience whatsoever

However, when it comes to enterprise application design and architecture, the depth of skills required (architecture, data modelling, integration, security) can only be ignored at one's own peril.
CEO, Co-founder, profluo.com
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Boris Zinchenko Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Simplification of business through IT is often seen among primary benefits of the ongoing digital revolution. Low-code / no-code business applications are considered as a primary way to facilitate digital transformation of business. Complex digital solutions are respectively seen as failures in delivery of this expected and promised simplicity.

This collision is not related to IT or to modern technological age. Rather, it is a result of irrational and deeply rooted belief in miracles. It is so tempting and attractive to believe in a magic new software, which will instantly resolve all business problems, that many experienced managers eventually fall into this dangerous illusion. Multiplied by poor IT awareness and aggressive advertising of vendors, it yields false strategic decisions based on misconception of an illusive simplicity.

Why true and efficient business platform cannot be low-code / no-code? Because it must hold and enforce objectively complex real business logic of a company. Bigger company is, more information should hold its digital management system. Any attempt to cut this information for simplicity will result in a truncated and inadequate system, which ignores essential business information. Adequate platform should be as rich and versatile in code as business itself. Low-code slogan is generally a characteristic of oversimplified and not flexible platform incapable of adapting to broad and unpredictable business requirements.

On another hand, mission of BPM is in cherishing and embracing existing complexities of business environments into complementary business models, which simplify understanding of this complexity and facilitate its further transformation for increased business efficiency (but not artificial simplification).
Comment
1. Again, a well-known negative pattern "This new thing will solve all problems".

2. RE "objectively complex real business logic of a company" - Hmm, it reminds me the 3-tier application architecture: presentation, business logic and storage. However, we, in BPM world, know that any enterprise has many business artefacts: goals, events, rules, roles, KPIs, etc. Considering all of the as "business logic of a company" is rather IT-centric view it would be better to explicitly express those artefacts and relationships between them.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 2 months ago
@Dr Alexander Samarin, thank you.

I don't believe that IT with all its code can be considered outside of the business context. Rather, it is an integral part of the business by the virtue of the fact that business and nothing else created this IT. The code is not a garbage. It holds business logic. Business logic is not an IT term, it is a business term, which describes essential information and rules of an organization.

The only problem with code might be that it is poorly organized and not transparent to management. BPM can improve transparency by properly structuring and organizing code. Consecutively, the amount of valuable information contained in the code cannot be generally diminished without a loss of precision. BPM ought not be simple or code-less. Rather, it should be rich and descriptive for all elements of enterprise landscape including, of course, IT and its essential code.
  1. Boris Zinchenko
  2. 2 months ago
Bravo @Boris the anthropology of magical thinking in business and technology. It's almost a cargo cult, which great technology is expected to fall from the sky. I could say there is also an aspect of the "work shy" about this too. Because reality is rich. And the technology artifacts required to automate real work in a complex world must likewise be richly expressed. And that's a lot of work.
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 months ago
@John Morris, thank you. Exactly. BPM should be rich, same as business reality and the code. It is not a way to hide this richness but understand and manage it efficiently.

  1. Boris Zinchenko
  2. 2 months ago
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David Chassels Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Boris touched on the key to the door that actually does deliver "it must hold and enforce objectively complex real business logic of a company." Our original R&D recognised business logic never changes and never will and by coding as generic capability as data inside a RDBMS bingo it worked we then created to build by configuration as required to take place via graphical interface. This includes links and can handle very complex and speed of build truly disruptive

It inherently supports BPM thinking where data is created a genuine outside-in horizontal approach not needing coders for core business logic. We were decades ahead of this now growing movement evidenced by the link below.... next few years going to see some big changes in Enterprise Software.....long overdue!
References
  1. https://www.enterprisetech.com/2018/06/06/investors-high-on-low-code-developers/
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Karl Walter Keirstead Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
@Boris... It might be worthwhile to have the forum host a question on . . .

"Why true and efficient business platform cannot be low-code / no-code? Because it must hold and enforce objectively complex real business logic of a company. Bigger company is, more information should hold its digital management system. Any attempt to cut this information for simplicity will result in a truncated and inadequate system, which ignores essential business information. Adequate platform should be as rich and versatile in code as business itself. "

Seems to me there are three (3) needed perceptions of "platform", some that expect the platform to accommodate "code", others that do not.

The perceptions are those of the workflow mapper, power users, ordinary users.

The workflow mapper needs to be able to represent any business situation where we have steps along a pathway that splits and later either merges or does not merge. Along the pathway there has to be the option for auto-exec steps or "gateways" and another very important construct is branching decision boxes (manual or automatic). Next we need a loopback that behaves differently from the step/directional arrow/next-step-forward mapping protocol. The loopback needs a breakout capability (i.e. quit after 3 tries, etc.).

Clearly, steps need attached forms, and typically, rules at forms to discourage data entries such as a start date that is later than an end date.

As we move to remote devices performing much of the processing, corporations have no direct guarantee that a remote device will perform (you may be sending a request that exceeds the boundary conditions of the device in which case it may give a bad response or no response or fail to perform the requested processing). This makes a point for "pre--processing" (OK to engage?) and "post-processing" (Did the requested processing get done properly?)

Power users need to be able to make changes to rules at forms, edit data pick lists etc, otherwise probably best they defer to workflow mappers.

Ordinary users need to be able to skip steps, re-visit already committed steps, insert steps, record data at not-yet-current steps. They also need to micro-schedule their work, Supervisors of ordinary users need to be able to re-assign steps, assign new steps so that they can balance and level work across ordinary users. Ordinary users should not mess with code unless this is of the simple variety like spreadsheet rules that assess progress at Cases toward goals/objectives.

Of course, anyone, at any time, can build an external app, get it certified by the corporation's IT, and then, from within Case Records, ping the external app and hopefully get back the desired processing result.
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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