At its Impact 2010 conference in Las Vegas this week, IBM is encouraging attendees to play computer games.
IBM is giving away the third iteration of a gaming series the company developed to help both IT people and business executives understand the value of taking a comprehensive approach to managing integrated sets of business processes.
According to Phaedra Boinodiris, senior game program director at IBM, the CityOne Serious game is "inspired" by electronic games such as SimCity and Civilization Revolution. But rather than asking people to build a city, players are asked to efficiently manage a city that already exists using business process management methods.
This game is IBM's third free offering in a series of games developed for BPM training. The first game focused on optimizing call center operations, while the second was an online offering focused on managing supply chains right down to their carbon footprint and associated transportation systems.
To increase understanding of BPM, IBM has given these games to more than 1,000 universities that use the games as part of their curriculums. Of course, playing a game and actually executing a BPM strategy in real life are two completely different things. In fact, IBM unwittingly exemplified the complexity of BPM by rolling out more than 30 new BPM-related products at the conference.
One day soon we may see a dramatic simplification of BPM. But in the meantime, we can at least model our perfect business process world in a game where everybody pretty much does what they are suppose to do without any unforeseen exceptions. Now if that could only happen in the real world.