BPTrends Hype Matrix

by Grant HEnson

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When engaging with the evolution of a novel field, it's common to encounter a myriad of innovative concepts and terminologies. While some of these evolve into best practices, others become distractions, fizzling out without creating significant ripples. The challenge lies in identifying those terms that provide meaningful advancement, versus those that are synonymous with existing concepts, merely repackaged with a slight twist. The BPTrends Hype Matrix helps us navigate this landscape.

Edgar Codd and the Relational Database

The journey of Edgar Codd, the creator of the Relational Database, perfectly illustrates this concept. Having established the ground rules for Relational Databases in the 1970s, he found the concept diluted by the 1980s, with numerous software vendors claiming their versions were true implementations of his concept. Despite their assertions, many of these products fell short when evaluated against Codd's 12-rule criteria. This experience brought forth the struggle between maintaining the integrity of innovative ideas and vendors' propensity to capitalize on popular trends for proprietary advantage.

The Implications of Hype

The case of the Relational Database underscores how hype and lack of clarity can muddy the waters in any evolving field. Large vendors and market analysts, like Gartner and Forester, often latch onto buzzwords and concepts, hyping them significantly without a clear understanding of their true meaning. The result is a distorted perception of the technology or methodology in question, leading to confusion and misguided applications.

The Role of the BPTrends Hype Matrix

The BPTrends Hype Matrix serves to cut through this noise. Drawing lessons from examples like Codd's, the Matrix encourages an objective evaluation of emerging concepts, particularly in the realm of Business Process Management (BPM). It aids in identifying and refining best practices, distinguishing them from those that merely ride the wave of hype. By pinpointing these differences, the Matrix helps practitioners and innovators maintain the integrity of their concepts, reducing the risk of dilution and distortion in the marketplace.

Conclusion: Evaluating Concepts Beyond the Hype

While the explosion of new concepts and terminologies is an inevitable byproduct of innovation, distinguishing meaningful developments from ephemeral trends is crucial. The BPTrends Hype Matrix provides a lens to do just that. Through its application, we can discern best practices from distractions, paving the way for substantive advancements. This process of continuous evaluation and refinement helps preserve the integrity of novel ideas, empowering innovators to realize their vision without falling prey to the hype cycle.

Here are some additional tips for evaluating concepts beyond the hype:

  • Do your research. Before you get too excited about a new concept, take some time to research it thoroughly. Read articles, blog posts, and white papers on the topic. Talk to experts in the field. The more you know, the better equipped you'll be to make an informed decision about whether or not the concept is worth pursuing.
  • Look for evidence of success. When evaluating a new concept, don't just take the hype at face value. Look for evidence that it has been successful in practice. Has it been implemented by other organizations? Have there been any studies or case studies that demonstrate its effectiveness?
  • Be patient. It takes time for new concepts to mature. Don't expect to see overnight results. Be patient and give the concept a chance to prove itself.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of identifying and implementing truly innovative concepts that have the potential to make a real difference.

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