sstein's picture

Our readers know that "We Love BPM". Therefore, we are always happy to see new initiatives trying to spread the word about BPM. One recent initiative is the OMG certification program for BPM experts. This official certification program consists of several levels and registration for the fundamental level will be available soon. As a contributor to the certification program I am not allowed to release any of the questions (sorry guys!), but I can give you some hints what you can expect from the program. <!--more-->

The OMG Certified Expert in Business Process Management (OCEB) is a professional certification program developed by OMG. Most of you might know OMG as the standardisation body developing the UML notation. However, OMG is also developing BPMN and they have shown clear interest in such softer topics in recent years. Besides BPMN, they are also working on standards for business rules management and business architecture definition.

It is good to have an independent organisation like OMG providing such a certification program, because that ensures that the questions and program is vendor neutral. In fact, you won’t find a single question directly referring to a product or vendor framework. Instead, the questions focus on public standards. The certification program is structured in three levels:

  • OCEB Fundamental
  • OCEB Intermediate
  • OCEB Advanced

You can only do the OCEB Intermediate exam if you successfully took the OCEB Fundamental exam. Interestingly, there are two different flavours of the intermediate and advanced exam. One is focusing on technical BPM and the other one on business BPM. That is very important, because there are two different understandings of BPM available in the market and OMG addresses that by distinguishing those two different qualifications. This is a much better solution than mixing questions in one exam.

Each exam is done as a multiple choice test. You have to go to a local test centre and click through the questions in front of a computer. The questions are designed so that there is only one correct answer for each question. While preparing questions for the different exams, I was really surprised how much effort OMG puts into creating high quality questions. I as an author entered my questions into a database. Each question was reviewed several times by OMG before it got accepted. For example, a very experienced psychologist reviews every question to find misleading answers or confusing sentences. Such a careful review is needed, because creating a well balanced multiple choice test is not an easy task. After all questions were finished a beta test was done. This beta test analysed all questions to find those questions done wrong by most people. Those questions were removed from the final version of the exam.

Registration for the OCEB fundamental exam will open on the 27th of October. So it might be a good idea to start bugging your employer to get the budget for taking the exam. The value is of course not in taking the exam, but in preparing for it. OMG provides a detailed reference list for each exam so that you know what you need to study to be well prepared. In my personal view, the OCEB fundamental exam is still relatively easy. You will need a broad overview of most topics, but it is not necessary to go into detail. So for example you have to know the main elements of BPMN, but you don’t have to know each syntactical piece to pass this part of the exam. There are also some OCEB contributors providing trainings for the exam. Of course, you have to decide if you prefer to study on your own or sign up for such training.

A certification program can never be perfect and you will certainly find some questions very strange. However, you don’t have to pass all questions to pass the exam. I am convinced that OCEB is a good thing to formalise a little bit the body of knowledge in business process management and to create awareness of the different perceptions of BPM. Please also share your experience while preparing for the test and after you took it so that we can improve the test in the future.

Tags: Business Process Management BPM