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New Post 8/17/2012 1:07 AM
User is offline richardegginton
7 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 
Modified By richardegginton  on 8/17/2012 3:18:21 AM)

Thank you all for your replies, I think its wise to further explain my situation to aid in the discussions above.

I am trained as an Enterprise Manager to masters level, part of this included BA but not as a specialism so I am not a BA (although I think this is were my career is going). The company I work for has doubled in size over the last 12 months and as such, many of the systems need improving to adjust to the scale of the business now. It is my role to analyse these processes and systems. I am currently performing brown paper mapping exercises with each member of each 'department' to gather information as a starting point. I am also pulling together the database/excel/word docs for each task and creating a matrix of information for each department and hows these cross over the boundaries. The org structure is very departmental at present producing 'silos', we are working to move it towards the product / project team based approach during this review process as the silos that have occured are hampering growth and efficiency and producing islands of data that arent transfered.

I am looking for a way to have a macro view (departmental) and then drill down to the micro using either visio or other to formally map the 'as is' processes, links between departments, loop backs, wastes, identify the islands of data etc and then eventually formulate a 'to be' map using a team based approach. I was looking into whether any system could display this level of detail as although many of the main processes are simplistic and linear in the main, they also have many different spin off's, loop backs etc that make them quite complex once things dont go to 'plan'

We are considering an ERP system at the end but this is only a consideration, we believe that the strategy to analyse and improve the processes is critical to the business with or without using an ERP in the future and should erp be chosen, we will know exactly what we want from the system.

In a nutshell, I have to process map the entire business and processes as is now. I am looking to see if there is any system, theory, software etc I can use to help do this in a holistic manner using the current (archaic) structure. Reading the above, I dont think I will be able to map the whole business using one system.(the reason I was looking at the smart draw was that it follows our current heirarchitcal structure i.e. org structure linked to processes and structures - it shows it in the video in the link). I am not at this time looking to produce the 'to be' flows as this will come much later one I have mapped the key areas of the business.

I do thank you all for your input and will read around each of the subjects mentioned above.As stated previously, any help would be greatly appreciated as this is not my specialism and I am a visio beginner.

 
New Post 8/17/2012 1:07 AM
User is offline richardegginton
7 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 

Thank you all for your replies, I think its wise to further explain my situation to aid in the discussions above.

I am trained as an Enterprise Manager to masters level, part of this included BA but not as a specialism so I am not a BA (although I think this is were my career is going). The company I work for has doubled in size over the last 12 months and as such, many of the systems need improving to adjust to the scale of the business now. It is my role to analyse these processes and systems. I am currently performing brown paper mapping exercises with each member of each 'department' to gather information as a starting point. I am also pulling together the database/excel/word docs for each task and creating a matrix of information for each department and hows these cross over the boundaries. The org structure is very departmental at present producing 'silos' but we are looking to move it towards the product / project team based approach during this review process.

I am looking for a way to have a macro view (departmental) and then drill down to the micro using either visio or other to formally map the 'as is' processes, links between departments, loop backs, wastes, identify the islands of data etc and then eventually formulate a 'to be' map using a team based approach. I was looking into whether any system could display this level of detail as although many of the main processes are simplistic and linear in the main, they also have many different spin off's, loop backs etc that make them quite complex once things dont go to 'plan'

We are considering an ERP system at the end but this is only a consideration, we believe that the strategy to analyse and improve the processes is critical to the business with or without using an ERP in the future and should erp be chosen, we will know exactly what we want from the system.

In a nutshell, I have to process map the entire business and processes as is now. I am looking to see if there is any system, theory, software etc I can use to help do this in a holistic manner using the current (archaic) structure. Reading the above, I dont think I will be able to map the whole business using one system.(the reason I was looking at the smart draw was that it follows our current heirarchitcal structure i.e. org structure linked to processes and structures - it shows it in the video in the link). I am not at this time looking to produce the 'to be' flows as this will come much later one I have mapped the key areas of the business.

I do thank you all for your input and will read around each of the subjects mentioned above.As stated previously, any help would be greatly appreciated as this is not my specialism and I am a visio beginner.

 1 Reports
New Post 8/17/2012 1:21 AM
User is offline Kimbo
456 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 

Anthony,

BPMN is a process modelling tool. There are many other aspects to modelling a system / business than process. If you've heard of the Universal Modelling Language (UML) then you'll know that it offers everything you are talking about and more. BPMN has been adopted (I think) by the UML group. Don't see why we need another modelling language. Whatever your RML is, I don't care. No one in my marketplace uses it so therefore it is worthless to me.

Kimbo

 
New Post 8/17/2012 1:26 AM
User is offline Kimbo
456 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 

Hi Richard,

Reading between the lines it sounds like you might be looking for a more comprehensive way of defining your As-Is and To-Be views? If that's true then perhaps business architecture is more the way you are headed. This gives a holistic view of the business. Check out this book: it focuses on defining a series of As-Is and To-Be views as a starting point and goes from there. With your enterprise background this might be what you're looking for to put it all together?

http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Business-Architecture-Chris-Reynolds/dp/1435454227/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1345191884&sr=8-2&keywords=business+architecture

Kimbo

 
New Post 8/17/2012 6:04 AM
User is offline Anthony Chen
63 posts
8th Level Poster


Re: Visio Vs Smartdraw For A Full Business Review 

 richardegginton wrote

Thank you all for your replies, I think its wise to further explain my situation to aid in the discussions above.

I am trained as an Enterprise Manager to masters level, part of this included BA but not as a specialism so I am not a BA (although I think this is were my career is going). The company I work for has doubled in size over the last 12 months and as such, many of the systems need improving to adjust to the scale of the business now. It is my role to analyse these processes and systems. I am currently performing brown paper mapping exercises with each member of each 'department' to gather information as a starting point. I am also pulling together the database/excel/word docs for each task and creating a matrix of information for each department and hows these cross over the boundaries. The org structure is very departmental at present producing 'silos' but we are looking to move it towards the product / project team based approach during this review process.

I am looking for a way to have a macro view (departmental) and then drill down to the micro using either visio or other to formally map the 'as is' processes, links between departments, loop backs, wastes, identify the islands of data etc and then eventually formulate a 'to be' map using a team based approach. I was looking into whether any system could display this level of detail as although many of the main processes are simplistic and linear in the main, they also have many different spin off's, loop backs etc that make them quite complex once things dont go to 'plan'

We are considering an ERP system at the end but this is only a consideration, we believe that the strategy to analyse and improve the processes is critical to the business with or without using an ERP in the future and should erp be chosen, we will know exactly what we want from the system.

In a nutshell, I have to process map the entire business and processes as is now. I am looking to see if there is any system, theory, software etc I can use to help do this in a holistic manner using the current (archaic) structure. Reading the above, I dont think I will be able to map the whole business using one system.(the reason I was looking at the smart draw was that it follows our current heirarchitcal structure i.e. org structure linked to processes and structures - it shows it in the video in the link). I am not at this time looking to produce the 'to be' flows as this will come much later one I have mapped the key areas of the business.

I do thank you all for your input and will read around each of the subjects mentioned above.As stated previously, any help would be greatly appreciated as this is not my specialism and I am a visio beginner.

We use visio to do what you describe although there is a bit of overhead compared to dedicated modeling tools like enterprise architect. In visio you can hyperlink shapes to each other so you can get zoom in zoom out capabilities. When we create process flows we generally try to keep each flow to under around 10 steps. More than that and you should add another level or split the flow into mutiple flows. We also try to keep the levels a maximum of 3 levels deep.

In visio you can also extract the labels of shapes into a spreadsheet to generate a linear list of the shapes that you can then map to other objects.

Integreat is one of the new generation of requirements modeling tools that lets you create model diagrams and then map those to requirements metadata. There is a whole industry of tools in the BPM (business process management) space. They let you draw your processes in their tool and then automatically generate workflows via business rules. They are much better than most ERPs for workflow and are geared towards optimizing business processes.

Finally, you are mapping the relationship of excel spreadsheets and other data that flows through the system, take a look at data flow diagrams in addition to process flows.

 

 
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