BPM project in practice
To show how BPM platform works, we will demonstrate the implementation of a sample BPM project. This way you will quickly be able to grasp the concept and develop basic understanding of BPM.
Please note that the chosen example has been simplified, though it follows a typical BPM development life-cycle.
Analyse and model existing process (As-Is map)
The project starts with the identification of a business problem and the analysis of requirements for improvements and definition of a desired solution. The defined solution takes into account process improvement capabilities and features that the BPM platform provides (you will read more about those features later on).
Create process map in BPM Designer
Once the solution has been designed, the business user (an analyst or manager) develops a required process model using a friendly, business oriented modelling tool included in the BPM platform. The tool makes use of terms and concepts more relevant to the business level (activities, roles, business rules, information flow) rather than to the IT level.
If necessary, IT developers may have to enhance the solution by integrating it with the existing databases or enterprise systems. They may also build a customised user interface.
Create electronic forms
The users interact with the process through lists of tasks and electronic forms. The application notifies required users about the need to perform the activity by placing a task in user’s To-Do folder. The user picks up the task, interacts with the form and advances the process by applying appropriate action. The Application then advances the process to the next activity.
Once the model and forms have been created, BPM platform will automatically generate a web-based application that controls the whole business process. The application is deployed on a typical intranet or Internet infrastructure.
A deployed process is ready to be started. It can be initiated manually by the authorised user or automatically by an event within the enterprise. The application controls the execution of each activity of the process making sure that required business rules are observed. When one activity is completed the Application passes control to subsequent activities until the process is complete. Some activities are carried out by enterprise systems. In such case the Application prompts the system to start the required activity, monitor the execution and advances the process when the activity is finished. The Application also makes sure that the outcome of the activity is passed to subsequent steps.
The Application makes sure that all activities and steps are executed according to the previously defined model. It ensures that users with the desired level of authority carry out the manual steps.
As every step of the process is monitored and recorded by the Application it is easy to collect previously defined measurements at various stages and store them in a repository. These measurements can be later used to optimise the process performance.
If the process does not satisfy the desired level of improvements it can be modified to do so. The diagrams below show what is involved in introducing a new major business rule.
It could only take about 10 minutes to signifficantly change the Loan Application routing depending on the level of loan required.
Once the model has been changed the Application needs to be re-deployed. All this can be done on the fly while the old process is still in use. This change will be automatically propagated and from that point onwards the Application will run the process according the new model. The change will be completely invisible to the users.
Recommended reading …
The time has come to show you how exactly your organisation can benefit from using BPM to solve business problems. Benefits are split into various categories so you can quickly identify which might be applicable to your organization. Please read on …