Monthly Archives: May 2010

Process Modelling Update – Pitfalls and Suggestions

We recently received a reply to our last post on ‘Adapting Process Models to work for your Project’ which has got me thinking again this afternoon…..

It was suggested that a good piece of software to get the process (excuse the pun) of process mapping started is MS Visio 2010 – something I’m looking to getting installed later this afternoon hopefully!

I’ve previously blogged about how we used a version of UML, that has elements of BPMN within it. We arranged it so as the swim lanes were coming down vertically from the top on the page, and the process moved down the page chronologically towards the bottom. This allowed us to integrate some sense timescales into the diagram.

I suppose this first facet of work we undertook was looking specifically at engaging with stakeholders involved in the approval/reapproval process. For this reason we actively looked at making the processes as transparent and easy to understand as possible, to try not to alienate people (looking at the diagram and thinking ‘what the heck is that!)

We held our first engagement day last Friday with members of staff from 2 faculties and found that the diagrams conveyed a manageable volume of information, without overwhelming people – allowing them to comment on where they think systems and processes could be streamlined and/or improved.

After another 3 engagement sessions in the coming weeks, we will be in a better position to gauge staff attitudes towards these processes, and to make informed suggestions about which directions and areas of programme design we should be seeking to develop and evolve in line with the T-SPARC rationale.

Another point you may like to take into consideration is that when you look at translating a business process model into a useable workflow diagram make sure that the you are designing it in a form that the end user will be able to understand. What I mean by this is that if you design a level 3 BPMN model, and pass this on to your CICT dept to translate into a MS SharePoint site, and they don’t have a clue what BPMN is, then it may become obsolete fairly quickly. This may not be an issue that you come across, and hopefully one we won’t encounter either, but give it some consideration early on in the process and it could save you some considerable effort later on down the line.

We will be uploading our V1.0 workflow models onto Circle at some point in the near future, so keep your eye on our blog for more info, it would be nice to hear your comments.

Also, please share any progress updates that you have in relation to process modelling, anything that you find that you think may be of use to share with us. I’m keen to look further into ‘upgrading’ our process models to BPMN in the near future, as long as that’s the best way of conveying the relevant information!

Oliver