Business Process Management (BPM)

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Failing to properly and accurately define requirements at the very beginning of the project lifecycle points to a distinct lack of business analysis competency. The role of the business analyst is an important one, and, sadly, one that is underutilized by many organizations around the world. In essence, a business analyst acts as a translator or liaison between the customer or user and the person or group attempting to meet user needs. But, that’s just speaking generally. What about the specifics?

Below, I’ve put together a list of eight key competencies that every business analyst—or every professional performing the duties of a business analyst—should possess. I’ve included specific emphasis on tasks associated with junior, intermediate and senior business analysts. If performed effectively, the items on this list could save organizations millions.

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One of the issues high on the agenda of many CIOs is to align IT efforts with the company’s strategic goals. But how you do trace a line of code back to the strategic goal that caused it to be written? If we’re able to do this then, and only then, can it be said that IT is aligned with the business strategy. 

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Over my last two articles, I have laid a foundation for a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) as the enterprise architecture of the globally integrated enterprise and focused on how to define and establish the business side of the enterprise through a well defined business architecture . Before diving into the IT side of the enterprise, this articl...
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Tony Bear says the BPM-folks are from Venus and the WS-folks from Mars. That exactly summarizes a big division in the BPM industry that might not be obvious. The term BPM-folks refers to the people that focus on process modelling. Their starting point is the analysis of procedures that describe how people and systems work together in an organisati...
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Defining business requirements accurately is one of the most important success factors for technology projects.  Rather than focus on solutions that satisfy a list of requirements, we need to focus on solutions that satisfy desired business outcomes. The best way to achieve this is by performing business process modeling.  Employing a vi...
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There are three basic reasons why you might need to model a business: to re-engineer a business, to improve a business process and to automate a business process. Nevertheless, another reason may be very useful for analyst of software systems and their customers – to understand and automatically generate functional requirements to the system. ...
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I have been very fortunate to see a lot of this history first hand. I have observed changes not just in terms of systems and computers, but also how the trade press has evolved and the profession in general. It has been an interesting ride.

Throughout all of this, there have been some very intelligent people who have impacted the industry, there have also been quite a few charlatans, but there has only been a handful of true geniuses, one of which was Robert W. Beamer who passed away just a couple of years ago. Bob was the father of ASCII code, without which we wouldn't have the computers of today, the Internet, the billions of dollars owned by Bill Gates, or this document.

I always find it amusing when I tell a young person in this industry that I worked with punch cards and plastic templates years ago. Its kind of the same dumbfounded look I get from my kids when I tell them we used to watch black and white television with three channels, no remote control, and station signoffs at midnight. It has been my observation that our younger workers do not have a sense of history; this is particularly apparent in the systems world. If they do not have an appreciation of whence we came, I doubt they will have an appreciation of where we should be going. Consequently, I have assembled the following chronology of events in the hopes this will provide some insight as to how the systems industry has evolved to its current state.

I'm sure I could turn this into a lengthy dissertation but, instead, I will try to be brief and to the point. Further, the following will have little concern for academic developments but rather how systems have been implemented in practice in the corporate world.

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Business analysis is about more than software development. It can help business leaders to understand the business and develop resourcing, training and IT strategies. Through careful analysis of workflows and business processes you can identify opportunities for increasing efficiency and profitability. You can use business analysis techniques to help you identify potential processing bottlenecks or under-utilisation of costly resources.

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In the first two installments of this series, we saw why BPMN is important to the Business Process Expert and got an overview of the notation. In this part, we’ll look beyond the spec to suggest some best practices for making your BPMN models most effective. The art of effective process modeling depends on what you are trying to do. Unlike traditi...
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In the first installment of this series, we saw why BPMN is important to the Business Process Expert. In this part, we’ll look at the notation itself. In BPMN there are only three first-class diagram elements, or flow objects:  Activity, a rounded rectangle, representing work performed in the process  Gateway, a diamond, r...
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Business process management (BPM) is an emerging discipline that looks at the enterprise in a radically new way. Instead of trying to automate and optimize individual functional units, like sales, supply chain, and customer service, in isolation, BPM views your company from the perspective of end-to-end cross-functional processes – exactly the way ...
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This paper provides an in-depth introduction to the new BPMN standard, illustrating how it is used to model business processes and web services. The paper also provides greater detail on how BPMN fits within BPM, BPEL’s, BPMS’s, UML and other new industry standards and initiatives described above.

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The research work of Wil van der Aalst, Arthur ter Hofstede, Bartek Kiepuszewski, and Alistair Barros has resulted in the identification of 21 patterns that describe the behavior of business processes. This paper reviews how two graphical process modeling notations, the BPMN Business Process Diagram from the Business Process Management Initiative...
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This tutorial/white paper introduces business process modeling using the BPMN process modeling standard. This session will show how BPMN can support different methodologies as well as different modeling goals (e.g., orchestration and choreography), using actual business processes as examples. Sample business models will also be presented and explor...
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The Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) has been developed to enable business user to develop readily understandable graphical representations of business processes. BPMN is also supported with appropriate graphical object properties that will enable the generation of executable BPEL. Thus, BPMN creates a standardized bridge for the gap betwe...
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