I don’t usually use this forum to construct a rant – normally I leave that to my own blog. However, something came to my attention recently that, I believe, warranted this. Sandy Kemsley – well-known BPM professional, blogger, and thought leader in the BPM industry – is part of the initiative to put together an open-source body of knowledge for the process. This is something that is mooted for a while and the PKI effort who are running this has begun a wiki to create the basis of the document.
At that point the ABPMP (The Association of Business Process Management Professionals) has weighed in intimidating legal action against the PKI for copyright infringement against their record ‘The BPM BOK’. This is even though the PKI has not used BPM POK in their records and have, instead, created a document called PKBoK. So far so good. Comes the interesting part Now. Sandy blogged about the PKBoK, the ABPMP’s legal action and her thoughts on this the other day and one of the comments to that entry came from Tony Benedict the President of ABPMP International.
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It begins with “I’ll try to address your misdirected rant one by one.” and ends with “Your blog seems just like an eager attempt for attention in a BPM market where you haven’t any reputation as a specialist, only a “criticizer”. And, quite inaccurate and unnecessary. Sandy – to her credit – has replied with factual statements without resorting to ad-hominem attacks. But I find the whole lot disturbing.
It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the PKI’s efforts to put together such a record (and The Process Ninja is crucial of their efforts up to now). No matter whether you believe this is something that should be done (or indeed can be carried out). I have been in the Business Process world now for about ten years and I am completely alert to who Sandy Kemsley is.
She and I have had interactions over social media and through weblogs and I know of the task she will and the effort she places into her work. In those a decade of BPM work I have never heard of Tony Benedict. I have never seen or read anything written by him (apart from the ad-hominem attack on Sandy), and I certainly haven’t heard anything about his reputation – good or otherwise – within the BPM field.
Maybe that is clearly a faltering of mine. I am not reading the right weblogs Maybe, heading to the right conferences or going to the right webcasts. However when somebody I have no idea places himself above someone else by referring to see your face (a member of my blogging BPM Black List) as having no reputation as a specialist, only a criticism, I have to wonder.
I have to question why they feel the need to make a personal attack. I have to question what insecurities he is trying to hide and I must wonder whether he could be fulfilling his commitments as the leader of a business body by causing episodes such as these.
If I were a member of the ABPMP I’d cancel that regular membership immediately. Let me be absolutely clear here about a few facts as well. I have no nagging problem with anyone trying to protect their intellectual property. If I had co-authored a book and somebody else ripped that off I’d attempt legal actions to stop that too.
But the PKI is not ripping off that book. As far as I know they are not plagiarizing anything from the ABPMP, nor are they even producing anything with the same name. They are merely taking the underlying idea (which is not copyrightable) and interpreting it in a different way. Comments on Sandy’s blog also reveal that Mr. Benedict is doing more harm than good to the ABPMP.
Hopefully he will read these comments and understand this is of them. UPDATE: I’ve deliberately removed commenting from this post because I believe that anyone who wants to comment should visit Sandy’s blog and comment there instead. I note that many of my respected BPM bloggers have previously done so. Reminder: ‘The Perfect Process Project Second Edition’ is now available. Don’t miss the chance to get this valuable insight into steps to make business processes work for you. Follow this link and follow the instructions to get this written book.