I had a really positive meeting with the Head of CICT Project Management yesterday here at Birmingham City University. I wanted to ensure that the work we’re currently conducting in the area of process mapping is going to be in a form that will easily (!) translate into a transferable workflow that can be mapped onto MS SharePoint.
The first series of documentation we’re producing are fairly detailed flowchart diagrams, detailing the processes involved, and the way they interact with each other. However this information alone will not be enough to enable CICT to be able to map the new SharePoint site with the workflows we’ll be looking to implement.
In order for CICT to be able to complete the SharePoint site they will also need to know (amongst other things) what documentation will be involved at every point in the process, and exactly who will be involved at each stage in the process.
This in itself is not a particularly arduous task, we have looked at a number of different modelling languages, and after speaking with CICT believe we now have a hybrid (using aspects of UML) that will detail exactly what we need to convey to the SharePoint programmers. We are looking at creating some test diagrams in the coming weeks that CICT will pass on to the programmers who will eventually be working on the T-SPARC SharePoint project. The feedback they supply will enable us to tweak any issues they may have in translating the workflows into a workable SharePoint site before the main stakeholder engagement sessions begin, defining the way the new workflows will be deployed.
One issue we have thought of is that the more complex the diagrams become, the less accessible they become to a general audience (other stakeholders). The last thing we want to do is to alienate any groups involved in the process, and the mapping will inevitably become an intrinsic part of documenting and streamlining the approval and re-approval processes. For this reason there is a possibility that we may look at producing two separate sets of documentation, one very detailed set for CICT, and a more generic set that will be easier to interpret and pass on to other stakeholders.
This process seems to be quite organic at the moment in the way that information on processes is gradually coming to light, things are definitely moving in the right direction.