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Capturing of processes for Business Users

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by Tania Kitching in ARIS in practice posted on 2016-11-24

Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone has some good tools / ideas to capture processes on the End user side to not impose on their daily tasks. A tool that will either record what they do or something that is user friendly and fast to see which transaction codes they use. And then be able to import this into ARIS.

 

Thanks

Tania

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Carsten Pitz posted on 2016-11-24

Hi Tania,

my most used tool is my brain. Without this tool I do nothing ;-)

Beside this

1. voice memo app

2. todo list app

3. modeling tool

The first to are on my smartphone. Consequently I have these available at 90%+ of my contacts with end users.

My modeling tools are hosted on my laptop. And I only use this at "official" meetings like a daily, a workshop, ... One reason a laptop is more invasive, more offending. The difference is like a reporter pointing the huge lens of a huge single lens reflex on you or someone taking snapshot using a compact camera. For me the big lens is similar to a gun.

No, I do not use mind mapping tools. Simply because I learned th effort to create a mind map equals the effort of creating a model. So in my opinion using a mind mapping tool simply doubles the effort. Furthermore the manual step of redrawing the mind map in a modeling tool  is error prone.

Hope this helps.

Best regards

Carsten

Tania Kitching posted on 2016-11-24

Thanks Carsten, but basically what they want is to not have interaction with the process owners. I am concidering SolMan to see if one can export the TC that is used and then build a straw model. But a company came to us Worksoft but not sure if this is the way to go. So we basically want to capture what they do without sitting with them and "bugging" them if this is more clear.

I do agree with the brain tool ;)

 

M. Zschuckelt posted on 2016-11-24

Hello,

one option of non-invasive (in the sense of bugging people) capturing of processes is the PPM (Process Performance Manager). What you do there is access all sorts of logged information, traces in databases, extracting information from it and correlate it in ways you deem sensible (e.g. time + some identifier). It will allow you to visualize every single process instance discovered and create aggregated views over thousands of process instances (or more).

Pros: You don't bug the business people and you detect, what is really going on. You get process views in ARIS style of processes that really happened. The output you can get are nice dashboard views as well. You can find best and worst cases and investigate deeper into the crooked ones.

Cons: It is not an easy thing you set up in an afternoon. Rather it is a project in itself. Depending on your locality you may need works council buy-in, because you might be suspected to measure people's performance (which you don't), and you use personal data (user IDs) in log files in new ways. You need to invest in licenses.

I suspect, that if your goal is only capturing the processes for ARIS, interviewing people is more efficient. If you want to measure process performance on a large scale and find the crooked cases, PPM could be an option.

Best regards, M. Zschuckelt

Carsten Pitz posted on 2016-11-24

Hi Tania,

I know neither tool, neither SAP SolMan nor Worksoft.

But I really prefer the "put brown trousers on" approach over the "surveillance" approach. It might be German legacy but "surveillance" leaves a bad smell for me.

Nevertheless the "surveillance" approach is sometimes required. There are many points to implant your "eyes". Which is most suitable depend on the setup. So possible points are

  • firewall logs
  • ESB logs
  • web server access logs
  • telephone connection logs
  • BPM engine logs (please refer to Mr Zschuckelt's post for an excellent summary on this approach)

To analyze these raw information a BI tool is quite handy.

Best regards

Carsten

 

M. Zschuckelt posted on 2016-11-25

Hello,

thanks Mr. Pitz for the warm words. I would like to make it very clear:

When you evaluate the traces people leave in the systems, databases, BPM engine logs, other log files etc. you always have to add a lot of interpretation of yourself to make sense of it, i.e. how an entry you find in log file A might identify a process and process step and how this might correlate to a predecessor step (time, key, process ID) you find in log file B or C. If you find different types of keys in the log files the trouble starts and you start making assumptions about the process - or you go "bugging" people yet again, which is what you wanted to avoid.

So if you think about employing ARIS PPM for instance, get your expectations right. It is excellent at putting the pieces together and doing all sorts of fancy BI stuff with them, but it cannot do magic in finding the pieces. It is well integrated with webmethods BPM though. You get excellent support in finding those pieces.

Best regards,

M. Zschuckelt

Carsten Pitz posted on 2016-11-27

Hi Tania,

exectly as Mr. Zschuckelt mentioned in his previous post, going the approach I call surveillance approach you have to interpret. You cannot ask someone who knows.

You have ambiguities even if you correlate information from different sources. An example if a specific telephone communication pattern timely correlates with a transition from one task in the BPM to another. How to interpret this?

One interpretation may be some information required by the second step is not provided by the first step.

OK, this is just one interpretation. But what about the humans performing the tasks use the transition event as an anchor for a semi-private conversation?

This shows two pit falls of this very approach:

* you have to deal with ambiguities

* you might explore in the semi-private sphere of  employees

Also the second point is something to be conscious of.

Best regards

Carsten