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New Post 8/16/2012 6:50 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 

Richard said:

"The main area that I am interested in is linking the organisational chart, to the job maps and department maps and then linking the processes and being able to link between them."

This is how Business Analysis was attempted back in the 60's.   Patitioning a system by organizational considerations is classic forced, artifical partitioning - otherwise known as "sledge hammer partitioning".   

Kimbo is right.   The result, unless you are dealing with simple systems, is going to be a rats nest of interfaces between the organizational-based partitions.

This swim-lane approach is  one of the reasons (another being esposuing that all diagramming can be done based on sequential techniques) that BPMN is so misleading

Tony

 

 
New Post 8/16/2012 9:01 AM
User is offline Anthony Chen
63 posts
8th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 
Modified By Anthony Chen  on 8/16/2012 11:34:47 AM)

 richardegginton wrote

Good Morning All

I have just been given the task of process mapping the business I work for, we are a 35 employee manufacturing company, I have decided to follow the steps of ERP selection as this route gives the outcome we are looking for (although ERP may not be selected at the end of the process.

At present I am looking to put together the 'as is' maps to attempt to highlight failings etc.

I have visio premium as a software to use (but could look into others if more suitable).

whilst looking into process mapping techniques etc, I found the following site which shows the level of detail I am looking to achieve.

http://www.smartdraw.com/enterprise/vpm/collections/hr/master_process/

What I am am wondering is:

In visio, can you do the same as the above?

One of the key outcomes for me is to identify the process failings between processes i.e. if x does not work it gets passed to x to fix and then passed to x etc etc and then comes back to complete the initial process.

I have looked at the BPNM processing but this also seems linear orientated rather than show the system fully.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Visio is fine for modeling. None of the modeling tools are great at tracing. In addition, they limit who can actually edit the source docs. The nice thing about visio/excel/word is that they are common tools that can still get the job done.

For software selection processes, you are definitely on the right track. RML (Requirements modeling language) defines four categories of  models, objectives, people systems and data 

http://www.seilevel.com/wp-content/uploads/RML-Language-for-Modeling-Software-Requirements1.pdf

The models and how to use them are in this book

http://www.amazon.com/Visual-Software-Requirements-Practices-Microsoft/dp/0735667721/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345132568&sr=8-1&keywords=visual+models

 

For objectives models, a legacy conversion project usually uses a KPI model which is basically a series of process flows with the key performance indicators overlaid. The reason for this is that the new software will never work exactly how the users want it to, however it doesnt matter as long as they can accomplish their processing throughput at the right level of quality. The key is to define those parameters. The value of each process flow can be estimated and then the processes flows that are more important for the selection process can be prioritized accordingly.

For people models, an org chart which diagrams the functional groups, not necessarily the actual reporting hierarchy, ensures that you talk to the teams. In addition you can map owners to parts of the process to make sure you have full organizational coverage.

For system models, an ecosystem map and data flows will help you to ensure that you understand how the new system will structurally fit into the existing ecosystem. Data flow models provide a different cross section to the information provided by process flows.

For data models a business data diagram shows how the business thinks about the relationships between data today. If the new system cannot map properly to the way the businesses thinks about data, that can have huge architectural implications. For example, if the business thinks about customers as companys, with multiple contacts and multiple addresses, software that doesnt support this model fundamentally wont work with the business.

 
New Post 8/16/2012 9:40 AM
User is offline Anthony Chen
63 posts
8th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 

 I almost forgot, one last item is a linear list of requirements that can be used as a checklist. For this use an RML Requirements Mapping Matrix. The RMM lists all the process steps in a spreadsheet form and then allows you to list the requirements that map to each process step. You then map business rules to the requirements.

 

The value of this method is that users are very good at thinking about process flows to make them complete because they only have to think about what happened before and what happens next. The number of functional requirements need to enable an L3 process step is usually quite small, typically less than 4. This means that as the users think about each step they only have to manage thinking about a few requirements at a time. 

 

Finally when your vendor comes in, you can use the KPI Model to ask questions like

1) Show us how the software would enable us to perform the following process

2) Since the process is different to the way we do it now, prove to us that the volume and quality level that we have today is supported by the system

Where software selection usually goes wrong is that people generate a list of features, but they dont consider exactly how they will access those features and in what order. Organizing the features against the process flow dramatically helps to organize the process and allows you to see whether the software can actually be used by the users to hit their metrics.]

 
New Post 8/16/2012 8:02 PM
User is offline Kimbo
456 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 

Richard,

I recommend you steer well clear of Mr Chen's RML idea. My understanding of it, is that its something the company he represents is trying to push people to adopt. Stick to industry standard techniques. On that note too I'd stay away from DFDs as well as it is the cobol of modelling techniques i.e. very 1980s.

Like I said before BPMN will do the job for you. It actually brings together the DFD and activity diagram streams into one. Tony is not correct that it will not allow you to map processes at the enterprise level. And Tony, I don't want to get into another argument about it. I respect your opinion but don't agree.

Kimbo

 
New Post 8/16/2012 10:17 PM
User is offline Anthony Chen
63 posts
8th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 
Modified By Anthony Chen  on 8/17/2012 12:34:23 AM)

 BPMN is useful but it simply isnt enough to model a system. Over the last 20 years people have come up with many different aspects of modeling, RML brings many of them together under one roof. How does BPMN help you to model how the business views data objects, the rules associated with fields, or the interfaces between systems? How does BPMN help you to model user interfaces or even business objectives.

Before you encourage people to stay away from RML, I encourage you to actually read about RML to understand the models. We certainly dont sell RML, we created it to fulfill a huge hole in the analysis body of knowledge. Analysts are constantly trying to use a single model to model requirements. Whether that is use cases, data flow diagrams, process flows etc. a single model is simply not sufficient. Im not sure how you can argue against that, but I would certainly be open to discuss it.

 

 
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