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BPMN Filter

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by Christopher Wegner in BPMN posted on 2016-06-08

Dear process-experts,

Successfully using and applying EPC in our organisation it’s time for a little change due to the intention of implementing process automation with BPMN 2.0.

Our idea is to offer a two-stage filter-system because of the plurality of objects in BPMN.

The first stage should exclusively contain objects for an “easy” modelling. The target group has no or little modelling experience and shouldn’t be overloaded by a variety of objects.

The second stage should complement the first stage with supported objects necessary / useful for a process automation notation.

Question:

In your opinion – which objects are indispensable for a simple process modelling (stage 1) and which are indispensable for process modelling with the objective of process automation (stage 2)?

 

Thanking you in anticipation

Christopher Wegner

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Alexander Cherednichenko posted on 2016-06-08

Hi,

First of all you should consider two things. First – ‘BPMN-business-model’ and ‘BPMN-automated-model’ could be very different, especially in details. So you cannot hide for example some objects like service task in your business model because you’ll get a ‘hole’ on your diagram.

Second – you should clearly understand what your process engine could execute, so you should and can use everything for automated model what your process engine allows.

Regards, Alex

M. Zschuckelt posted on 2016-06-10

Hello Christopher,

first good point to note is that you have established business process models in EPC notation, which I assume are the basis for your automation efforts?

By our experience, that is the way to go for your "business" people who need to describe, what needs to be accomplished from a business perspective without going into any detail of IT implementations. I would suggest, that your "stage 1" stays in the EPC notation. That is a notation the business is familiar with, yet it's more powerful than BPMN.

Now I cannot know, what details your EPCs/FADs have. If you want to use them to collect all business requirements for an automated process workflow implementation, there are certain things any IT implementation team sooner or later needs to ask the business people or they will make assumptions and fail due to lack of business support:

  • what are the workflow steps? Any time the process execution changes from one desk to the next, i. e. one responsible role to another, you need a new activity in your EPC workflow. This has to be the criterion the EPC granularity must obey. If it is more detailed you will have people sending files to themselves for the next process step.
  • who is acting in each step? Model this as role satellites that "carry out" the step. Don't mix up the terms "role" and "position" (German: Rolle und Stelle). People in different departments may have the same qualification profile, yet they play different roles in your process. As the goal of IT implementation is to support workflows, you should not think of your organizational chart in answering the question or you will have to change the software when your organizational chart changes.
  • who is acting may also be an IT service without any user intervention in some process steps. In that case you would model that as a step with a software service satellite, if business can describe, what the "dark processing" should do.
  • what are the objects the process works on? If you were a tax authority, the "tax declaration" could be such an object, that is handed through the process and worked upon to eventually produce a "tax assessment" object. We call these "business objects" (German: Geschäftsobjekte). Don't hesitate to place the same object as input and output of the same process step. If you tried to force business people to model every little state change at that stage, you will lose their commitment.
  • what information do you need in each process step and what information will the user provide? Use "screen" objects and assign them with "screen design" models. They offer a good way of describing, what attributes should be displayed or entered in each step. Business people usually can describe this well, when they imagine a screen they would need for the step. It would also help to replace the standard ARIS 9 symbols with some resembling "real" screen elements. Assign attribute objects to be displayed or entered for each screen element. Assign (required) IT functions to objects that should trigger something to happen, e. g. buttons.
  • Having the attributes from the screen designs you can "harvest" them and thus detail the above mentioned "business objects". Also you can use the attributes to model the objects of your business domain. These are independent of processes and you use them to find the common terminology for the objects of your business domain. This model will grow from project to project.
  • Further aspects may be important business requirements, such as business rules: "If condition A and condition B, then conclusion C and conclusion D apply". These can also be modelled.

    
When you are done with this analysis (we call it the "business blueprint" or in German "Fachspezifikation oder Lastenheft") you have a fairly complete picture of what your implementation scope is and - even better - since all this was explained to you by the business people you have their documented buy-in for the future solution.
Now you can go about designing your IT solution in "stage 2" using BPMN models you derive from the EPCs and enrich them with whatever technical detail your execution platform supports.

Regards, M. Zschuckelt

Samuel Jacobs posted on 2016-12-05

What is the difference between " BPMN-business-model" and "BPMN-automated-model"? Does actually Business Process Management = Business Process Modeling? And having a look at this picture, what is the subprocess then?

Thank you,

Samuel Jacobs, business manager, contributor to business model structure.

Please, contact me via e-mail - setting.thegoalforthefuture@gmail.com.