Publication of business processes. Universal - “pan-religious” approach

Many companies have developed a large number of business process diagrams that have different authors and different origins. Some of them are presented in general only in the form of scanned documents, since "native" modeling tools have become history (for example, BPWin), others are developed in vector or raster graphic editors. At the same time, it is necessary not only to take an inventory of already formalized business processes of the company and publish the diagrams on the company's portal, but also to keep further records. BPM-Publisher from leading companies are focused only on the support of their own formats and thereby even more “hook up”. A universal business process publishing tool is needed that is interoperable with various BPM denominations.

1. What is BPM and where is the publication of business processes

Sometimes at a conference or seminar on “business process management”, which is BPM (Business Process Management), they spend hours discussing BPM problems, then when it becomes obvious to everyone that the conversation is in different languages ​​and “they ask about different BPMs” : What is BPM? The following are “book” terms that are suitable for all occasions, which form even more “BPM - porridge” and “BPMS - systemic porridge”.

At the dawn of the "CASE era", the reduction in BPM was more often interpreted as Business Process Modeling .

The concept of “modeling” is very conditional: it can be argued that a set of hand-drawn connected circuits is also a model. Therefore, in the simplest case, by “Business Process Modeling” we mean a graphical representation of the logic of business processes and call it “ graph PBMod"(No Data Base). Actually, already in the Unified Program Documentation System (ESPD) there was GOST 19.701-90 “Schemes of algorithms for programs, data and systems” (ISO 5807: 1985), where the mention of “systems” generally indicated that this was a notation for Business Process Modeling. Graph BPMod is a sketch of business process diagrams - as a visual modeling of administrative, technological and other procedures in order to form a knowledge base on the organization's business processes.

You can talk a lot about the “high”: automatic analysis of models and the construction of job descriptions for the model (which in the main is nothing more than pampering), etc., but the basic value is given by the visual representation of the company's key business processes in the form of a set diagrams, and it doesn’t matter whether inside “BPM” or “not quite BPM” (in the representation of BPM orthodoxes) - these “squares and circles” are presented in the system: in a raster or as a visualized database. This is the description of business processes, because the end business user (not a business designer) knows nothing about the Data Base or the repository. The main thing here is the intuitive notation for various categories of users who should be able to, if not draw such a model, at least understand it without significant effort to study notation. The main task to be solved is the formalization, first of all, of high-level key business processes (in relation to the organizational structure) in the form of a set of diagrams and, thus, fixing the "Business Architecture" of the "Enterprise Architecture". Moreover, in the general case, formalized "Business Architecture" and "Enterprise Architecture" may be present in companies where there is no automation tool, except for a vector editor on which their schemes (their descriptions) are drawn.

In contrast to “graph BPMod,” let’s look at executable BPM objects, for example, created in BPMN notation (although some systems have different executable notation) - a fairly new direction where the term “business processes” is more likely to mean “business operations”, in the context of "automation". Visual programming systems using an executable environment into which graphical models are loaded develop the principle: “programming without programming”, where in the simplest case a program can be created and modified without coding at all. This class of systems will be called “BPM-BPMN.” Today, their mass - for any "color and taste." Enterprise: Oracle BPM (BEA AquaLogic BPM), IBM Business Process Manager (Lombardi), etc. Open Source: jBPM, Activiti (Alfresco), Intalio, etc., see 10+ Free Open Source BPM PlatformsPopular: BizAgi, ELMA, Bonita - see a Comparative Overview of BPM Systems and many others. For fixing high-level logic with fuzzy formalized rules, such systems and BPMN notation are not the best choice, but BPMN is widely used as an algorithm fixing notation in software development, even if this algorithm is implemented in classical programming systems without a fashionable model designer.

Publishing a business process. In “BPM-BPMN” systems, publication refers to the unloading of a circuit prepared by the designer for execution in the “execution environment”. In “graph BPMod”, publishing refers to the presentation of a shared graphical model or the visualization of a circuit on a server (another means of accessing the image). We call this publication “BPPub” (Business Process Publisher). The above is a large number of “BPM-BPMN” - and they, too, “good” require “distribution to the public” graphical algorithms: as if agreed upon before implementation (to be), and as a reflection of the current operating scheme (as is).

2. The challenge

There are business process diagrams developed in different instrumental environments:

- IDEF (BPwin);
- EPC \ VAD (Visio);
- BPMN (a huge selection of BPMS in terms of designers and runtimes);
- structural diagrams, flowcharts, various variations of known and unknown notations (handmade to scan).

It is necessary:

- to visualize them within the framework of a single system (corporate system for publishing business processes);
- structure the schemes in the form of a hierarchical catalog;
- keep a passport for each business process, have means for highlighting (highlighting) and sorting by attributes (stored in the passport), calling related (through the attributes stored in the passport) documents, for example, an order to introduce a process or a regulation with a detailed text description of the process .

The given “motley” notations can well “coexist” together in a single hierarchical tree: high-level sketches in the form of VAD \ IDEF0, medium sketches in the form of EPC (from a group of processes to the environment of a function), and very detailed “work” (executable) in BPMN and UML In general, the approach is quite ancient (classical), which came with ARIS and its Modeling Agreements (option).
What tool to choose for publishing a company's business processes? Given this "motley". The “fancy” ARIS Business Publisher \ Oracle Business Process Publisher (OEM IDS Scheer) does not know how to do this. Both the CA ERwin Web Portal (all the more so, the “abandoned” Business Process) and the Business Studio Portal \ Business Engineer Web Portal cannot do this .

They pull models from "their" repositories and do not support third-party formats. Everyone has their own religion, and everyone demands that alms be carried in his BPM temple.

The first generation of Publisher allowed creating a static Web site from models. ARIS Web Publisher (business navigator) uploaded the executable shell in html & js, and graphic models in gif format. In principle, simple manipulations made it possible to manually maintain a catalog of models and add any model in raster formats and html descriptions to them in such “ARIS Publisher handmade”.

ARIS Web Publisher is shown at . As you can see, only the process tree and the model visualization window (diagram) represent value. Established Attributes, Objects, etc. contain a lot of garbage and require replacement with a normal “process passport”.

The idea behind ARIS Web Publisher is: HTML - Business Studio publication HTML navigator for Business Engineer, QPR ProcessGuide.

The solution of the problem

Attention! The work program of Publisher with great potential for development (do not miss) is given and free for earthlings.
A “BPPub tool” is proposed on VBA Excel: Uni BPPub , which is similar in appearance to the ARIS Web Publisher interface. This can be built on html & java script or CMS (php + database). But if it’s easier on VBA, then why bother with a garden? I posted “.xls” in a network folder (read only), made a link from the corporate portal and - a ready-made simple and reliable publishing system without any application servers. It is not a programmer who can develop the system at all, but only a little familiar with VBA Excel, and there are usually a lot of such employees in the company: despite the “general automation of the enterprise” (ERP, etc.), it’s worth turning off the work of all excel companies will rise. Today, many economists and engineers own VBA.

Link to Uni BPPub. Two examples: simple and more complicated.

An example is simple - a couple of bank processes
Example 2: Company + Project Management

Description and setup of BPPub.docx

Using this simple shell you can easily organize the publication of processes in any common raster formats (jpg, gif, etc.), html, pdf, etc. In both examples, the processes were initially rendered in ARIS. Can you suggest something better?

3. When you need it

When there may be an urgent need for universal BPPub-tools instead of specific and also “for a mule”?
There are models (schemes) of different BPMS of the same class. For example, there is a need to compile and publish a collection of BPMS-BPMN class BPMS business executables (executable notations), and not only with BPMS notation. Large companies use more than fifty information systems, half of which can be designed on executable notations: ERP on SAP \ 1C, integration bus (ESB) on IBM, " CRM meat grinder " are the same "meat grinders" for EDMS , ITSM, Project management, see Project manager + BPM = optimal solution?

And how many other applications that also use executable BPM? Moreover, this is not always BPMN 2.0, for example, there are “extravagant BPM engines” under IDEF0-based notations (EGAR E4) and absolutely unique notations.

Sometimes you need to collect a collection of circuits from motley BPMS of the PBMod class: from the popular monster-system ARIS \ ЕРС to "UFO-toolkit".
There are BPMS schemes of different classes (EPC in ARIS, and BPMN in IBM BPM, etc.), there are business process schemes from outside BPMS (Visio), it was decided to leave the expensive Publisher, it is planned to switch from one BPMS to another, The “other” may or may not have its own Publisher (OptimaSoft: Prima, Modeler of Business Process, ISOtnik, etc.).

When you get tired of Monster-Publisher difficult to configure, refine and administer, or when there are no (no need) specialists in "aris-mythology" or its specific tools such as aris-script, but you need to simply connect the schemes (models) in the publication system , catalog, cards (passports of business processes) and the regulatory framework of the company, including instructions that describe the process in detail. Often, what is needed is not instructions generated by the model, but real practical instructions that you can work on. These instructions are written by different specialized business units, each in the area of ​​its small area in the overall business process.

Other examples of Publishers:

Business Studio

Fox Manager

Some links from Habr business modeling:

How to model business processes in eEPC notation?
The role of KPI in operational process management.
Business processes multiplied by efficiency. Part 2: BPM overview with KPI accounting.

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