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Leonardo Consulting

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11 Benefits of Customizing ARIS for Your Organization

Leonardo Consulting on March 29, 2016

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ARIS (Architecture of Integrated Information Systems) is an approach to enterprise modelling. It offers methods for analysing processes and taking a holistic view of process design, management, workflow, and application processing.  The ARIS concept is the foundation  for  the ARIS Toolset software system that supports the modelling (ARIS)

The ARIS Design tool has become widely popular as a powerful business-process modelling tool. One reason for the suite’s popularity is its configurability to suit individual business’s requirements’s requirements and environments. The evaluation module includes the ability to implement custom reporting and scripting.

The ARIS toolset (referred to hereafter as ARIS) is one of the leading tools for Business Process Management, produced and supported by the vendor Software AG.

There are many features of ARIS in the Evaluation section. It is comprehensive and includes reporting, macros, transformations, semantic checks, and queries.

Business Process Modeling (BPm) is the activity of representing the processes of an enterprise so that the current ones may be analysed and improved.

Enterprise modelling is the abstract representation, description and definition of the structure, processes, information, and resources of an identifiable business, government body, or other large organisation (Enterprise Modeling).

BPm and Enterprise modeling are typically performed by business analysts and managers seeking to improve process efficiency and quality. The need to model a business process to provide improvements through information technology is a common driver.

As a data repository, the re-use and relationships between data makes ARIS more than just a sophisticated graphic tool. There is no point having all the data collected in one place if it can’t be outputted into formats that the business can benefit from. Also, there is no use collecting data if it is not reliable and holds the integrity of the data.

Benefits of Customizing ARIS Configuration / Conventions

A powerful part of ARIS is the ability to customise the conventions to suit the business’ requirements by changing the method, filters and templates. ARIS provides a set of standard reports, but these are configured to the typical ARIS configuration with SAG formatting and branding. The flexibility of ARIS is that it provides an inbuilt compiler with the Code View of the Reports module to write custom ARIS reports based on an ARIS JavaScript derivative. User-defined reporting will use the ARIS data specifically as required by the business.

  1. Uniform reporting based on custom configuration/conventions
  2. Corporate branding/custom layouts and formatting as per business communications protocols
  3. Import/update ARIS data quickly and in bulk to reduce repetitive modelling
  4. Increase data integrity by using custom scripts to evaluate and analyse the data
  5. Quality assuranceeasier quality checking, ensuring the process to ‘model’ is adhered to by the modellers (e.g. ensure all VACD functions have assigned EPCs)
  6. Include non-ARIS business experts via distribution of reports as files for review outside ARIS
  7. Automatic & Scheduled reporting event triggered scripts (e.g. triggered when a model is saved) or time triggered scripts (e.g. triggered at midnight every night)
  8. Consistent and uniform modelling via import scripts (e.g. FAD creator with custom layout)
  9. Business reportingshows data in report formats in one file rather than multiple models for those who prefer less visual representations
  10. Statisticsshows data in spreadsheets and tables
  11. Graphical reporting – shows the models/objects as graphics

ARIS Customised Reporting

Topics: BPM/EA Technology

3 Steps to Converting EPC Models to Swimlane Models

Leonardo Consulting on November 12, 2015

If you are looking convert a large library of EPC models to Swimlane models (model type EPC Row Display), a customized automatic conversion script is what you are after.

Firstly, check that such scripts are compatible with the tools and databases in your business environment.

We recommend three steps to follow when creating/obtaining such a that assists your organization when converting EPC Models to Swimlane Models.:

  • Conversion,
  • Rollback &
  • New model setup.
  1. Conversion:
    • Creates new Swimlane (EPC row display) models
    • Creates a new folder structure for new models identical to the existing one
    • Moves all relevant objects to the new folder structure
    • Removes event objects from the process flow and replaces them with new relationships
    • Updates superior model assignments
    • Creates function allocation diagrams (FADs) and assigns them to the function objects
    • Applies custom templates and applies default layouts
  2. Rollback – moves all objects back to their original folder locations and converts any updated assignments to the original model
  3. New model setup – creates a new Swimlane model with the default layouts and custom templates automatically applied.

Converting EPC to Swimlane

Connected models

Connected models aris

Connected ModelObjects in superior models that have assignments to the existing EPC models will be updated and point to the new Swimlane models.

Group/folder structure

group folder structure ARISThe script automatically creates a mirror of the existing folder structure. Models and objects are saved to this new group folder section that mirrors the existing one.

Output report

Output Report Script ARIS The conversion script produces a comprehensive report in MS Word format detailing all the changes made by the conversion script

Models

  • Model type EPC converted to model type EPC (Row Display) – referred to as a Swimlane model – without altering or removing the existing EPC
  • New Swimlane – EPC (Row Display) – models are created for each conversion and saved to a new folder structure identical to the existing
  • Model attributes on the original model are copied to the new
  • New function allocation diagrams (FADs) are created on each function object that has extra relationships occurring on the existing EPC

Objects

  • All objects (except events) from the original EPC model are reused as object occurrence copies in the new Swimlane or FAD models. This means all object attributes are inherited from the EPC
  • Object definitions are moved from the original folder location and saved with the new Swimlane
  • Objects are moved back to their original locations when the rollback script is run on a new Swimlane
  • Event objects from the existing EPC are removed from the process flow and replaced with new relationships on the Swimlane

Assignments

  • Assignments on superior models for the existing EPC models are updated to the new Swimlane models. For example, the Superior Value Added Chain diagram will have any Value Added Chain object’s assignment changed to point to the new When the rollback script is run, this changes the assignment back to the original EPC model.
  • Any function objects on the EPC model that have non-process flow objects connected (e.g. Application System Type objects) will have a new FAD created for the extra objects to be placed and assigned to the function

Effectively Administering ARIS

Topics: BPM/EA Technology

Selecting a Project Management Model (PMM): Prince2 vs PMBOK

Leonardo Consulting on November 5, 2015

Business Improvement projects can be, by their very nature, interesting projects to run as they do not always seem to follow a traditional Project Management Models (PMM). Currently there are a number  of different Project Management Models available and widely used to manage projects. With a bit of knowledge about how the PMM works, the advantages and disadvantages of the different models, you can use them to provide the structure and governance required to execute a successful Business Improvement project.

The two most common Project Management Models (PMM’s) are PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) and PMBOK (Project Management Body Of Knowledge). There are also a number of in- house models that have been developed to address specific requirements within that organisation. Often, regardless of which model is used there are numerous benefits of adopting a companywide Project Management Model and using this model to execute your Business Improvement projects.

Advantages of the adoption of the regulated Project Management Models are:

  • If a company does not have an established PMM, the adoption and implementation of a regulated model enables them to very quickly build up a level of operational best practice due to the information and combined experience within PMBOK and PRINCE2
  • It creates an understanding within an organization of what is expected of a project team; It can give a company a competitive advantage;
  • Users can gain recognized ‘qualifications’ in the model; Training is easily managed;
  • It creates a community which in turn gives employees opportunity to share best practice.

Below we outline some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two big PMM’s and the establishment of an in-house model that was undertaken by a large Australian organization.

PMBOK and PRINCE2

PMBOK and PRINCE2 are two different approaches to Project Management that are widely used. Both of these PMM’s very definitely complement each other. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages but the identification of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach is dependent on the environmental context being used to compare the two.

What is PMBOK?

PMBOKPMBOK is a collection of best practice principles that incorporates the different knowledge areas and process groups within a project. The PMBOK describes what a Project Manager should know to successfully execute a project.

PMBOK has 39 processes grouped in 9 knowledge areas or 5 process groups.

 

Advantages:

  • Comprehensive approach;
  • Well suited to an iterative development environment; Includes Project Procurement Management; Customer Requirements driven;

Disadvantages:

  • Project Governance is around the use of a Project Sponsor and stakeholders; Descriptive approach;
  • Looks at a project as a single entity;

What is PRINCE2 ?

PRINCE2 is a structured, process based on a series of components and techniques. PRINCE2 describes what a project manager should do to successfully execute a project by supplying a road map that advises how a Project Manager should organise, manage and control their projects. The primary focus of PRINCE2 is the Business Case.

PRINCE 2 has 44 processes in the eight process groups and the interactions between the process groups are shown below.

PRINCE2

Advantages:

  • Business case driven; Process based methodology;
  • Clear quality management points within the process; Change control process;
  • Project governance is around the appointment of Project Board (PB). This has its own set of advantages:
    • Increases the Business buy in as they are consulted via the PB throughout the lifecycle of the project;
    • The PB has members that have the ability to assure resources;
    • Decisions are made by the Business that effect the business;
  • Focuses on key risk areas within a project environment;
  • PRINCE2 can be integrated with a number of other models:
    • OGC Gateway Process
    • Managing Successful Programs (MSP)
    • CMMI
    • ITIL

Disadvantages:

  •   There is a requirement to produce numerous products (documents) throughout the project lifecycle;
  • Decisions are made by the PM. This can lead to ‘paralysis by analysis’;
  • Does not include all of the knowledge areas and detail found in the PMBOK (Procurement and HR);
  •   Not as suitable to an iterative development approach;

 

PRINCE2 vs PMBOK - retaining the benefits of each and correcting for the deficiencies

Both approaches are global and have hundreds of thousands of certified members. It is generally accepted by most Project Management Professionals that PRINCE2 and PMBOK are complementary and that a competent Project Manager should have knowledge of both.

The approach that is being adopted by many Australian businesses is to establish an internal model that is principally based on one PMM with some additional process that incorporates the aspects of the  other PMM’s available.

A large Australian organization was presented with the challenge of modelling a best fit Project Management approach to deal with the large variety of projects undertaken within the organization. The type of projects undertaken by this organization include anything from Process Improvement to IT system upgrades to major infrastructure projects. Described below is the analysis that went behind the design of the internal project management model.

The directive was that the organization required a comprehensive Project Management model to:   

  • Address the needs of the project, and also the organization;
  • Ensure that the risk of failure is managed, the method must provide the correct level of control and reporting;
  • Provide the correct level of management information so that the appropriate decisions can be made;

A bespoke project approach was designed after a survey of the business was conducted. Through the receipt of the surveys the team identified a number of both positive and negative project management characteristics visible at that time throughout the organization.

With the design of the new methodology the team analyzed both PRINCE2 and PMBOK for the strengths of each approach. They mapped the strengths of the different models to the issues identified by the business. They then incorporated all of these different strengths to a methodology that was designed to:

  • Reduce the risk of project failure; Focus on the needs of the business;
  • Ensure the correct involvement of the correct teams at the right time; Provide a consistent way to plan and manage projects;
  • Provide reporting visibility via effective controls;
  • Ensure appropriate accountability and authority over projects;

The result of this exercise was a series of project based activities that were tailored specifically to meet the needs and environment of this particular organization.

Based on the experience of the team and the following analysis, the initial decision was made to customize the PRINCE2 method of Project Management. As both the PMO and the organization have matured, the method has been further customized to incorporate elements of PMBOK in order to utilize the advantages provided by both models.

The in-house model identified that:

  • Even for a small project, no steps should be skipped; however the formality with which they are performed may vary greatly from small, medium and large projects.
  •  The same applies to the manner in which Project Management products are documented a single page may be sufficient for a certain document in small projects, but larger projects would likely require more detail.
  •  The method itself also has to encourage feedback and continuous improvement.

In addition to this the organization has also incorporated the OGC Gateway model into their in-house model. The main driver for this inclusion was in order to further impress the requirements for good process governance and control and to provide on-going feedback to sponsors and stakeholders on project ‘health’.

Conclusion

Ultimately it doesn’t matter what Project Management Model you use, just as long as you use one. There a numerous advantages and disadvantages of the two principal PMM’s, but with a firm understanding of what your organization requires from a PMM you can either, adopt and implement a regulated Project Management Model or if you have some time you can successfully cherry pick from both PRINCE2 and PMBOK to create a in-house model that works for your organization.

 

Watch 7 Enablers of BPM Video

Topics: BPM - Business Process Management

4 Approaches to Manage ARIS Administration

Leonardo Consulting on October 27, 2015

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The question about who should manage the BPM tool administration arises when it comes to the bridge that crosses the business/IT domain. In some contexts, this can be a “push-pull” situation between the business and IT teams to administer the tool. It needs to be clear that the separation between business and IT is on the administration components at the software level of the tool, and not the hardware piece (i.e. ARIS Designer & Architect server). The server management, including the hardware maintenance and database application backups, remains with IT.

Who should manage the ARIS Designer & Architect tool administration?  

Below we discuss four models using  internal/external resources (business /IT) to manage ARIS tool administration. 

Model 1: Administration solely by IT

The IT team, which is external to the office of BPM, manages all the administrative components. This is typical if the IT team governs both the hardware and software in the server. The IT team includes a dedicated department or personnel for:

  • system applications/helpdesk
  • server management (hardware/backup)
  • network management (connectivity/IT network architecture)
  • security management (user management/access)

In this structure, the administrative role is distributed internally into many pockets within the IT envelope. This scenario commonly exists in large multinational companies (e.g. financial institutions, retailing, and manufacturing industries).

Model 2: Administration by an individual project team and IT

This is a large BPM initiation (such as a system replacement project that involves business process and technical modelling from an “as-is” analysis to a “to-be” state).

  • A project of such a scale may require differing methods and settings than the established conventions.
  • A dedicated project team member is trained on the ARIS Designer & Architect tool administration to cater for the needs of the project. Meanwhile,
  • IT takes on a reduced role, from hardware and backup perspectives, of server management.

Model 3: Administration by the Office of BPM

In this model, the Office of BPM centrally manages all the administrative components.

  • The ARIS Designer & Architect tools administrator plays a pivotal support role in the office of BPM. This is in line with the purpose of BPM implementation, which gives an organisation the agility and efficiency to meet the business challenges.
  • The continuous engagement in the tool administration provides leverage along the BPM maturity curve by tweaking the settings to meet the needs of the business users as of the office of BPM expands with the maturing organisation.

Model 4: Shifting the Paradigm – Outsourcing

Outsourcing has become a common model in the new business frontier. Organisations are moving their routine and complex activities to the managed service provider by the mean of SLA (Service Level Agreements) that mandate quality deliverables against the standard established in the SLA.

What can be outsourced in the ARIS Designer & Architect administration?

  • Basically, the whole suite of administration components can be outsourced.

How does the outsource mechanism work?

  • The ARIS Designer & Architect project team comes to an agreement with the managed service provider with a SLA outlining the components to be administered, together with their respective frequency and maximum response time. The frequency can be on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Meanwhile, the maximum response time indicates the allowable time for the task to be carried out, normally in hours.
  • The communication to make any changes to the administration components is done via a service request by the ARIS Designer & Architect team to the outsourced company.
  • The outsourced company may also provide helpdesk services packaged into the SLA.

So, instead of managing the complexity, the organisation manages the SLA levels. This may appear that the organisations are transferring their “pain” from the process to the managed service provider, which is absolutely not true!

Models 1 and 2 clearly show the “diluted” governance and control in the office of BPM. In fact, this situation can be a serious threat to the success of the BPM implementation itself.

It is ideal for any organisation to have the governance and control span within the office of BPM. This is demonstrated with even more advantages in Model 3. This is the more efficient model compared to 1 and 2, but now the question further boils down to the effectiveness. Organisations can achieve both efficiency and effectiveness by outsourcing as in Model 4 – it value adds to the BPM implementation efforts.

Effectively Administering ARIS

 

Topics: BPM/EA Technology

5 Keys to Improving Process Measurement

Leonardo Consulting on June 23, 2015

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Process Measurement is one of the key aspects that lead to organisational success (Kellen 2003). Measures give visibility of organisational performance and provide control to determine the direction of  the  organisation. Measurement is also a crucial factor in Business Process Management; it is the ‘Management’ part of BPM (Tregear 2009). Knowing what an organisation does through a Process Architecture is important, knowing that those processes are being executed well and knowing where to focus attention and resources is even more important. Measures need to be balanced between Functional and Process. Functional measures focus on performance within a particular department or division, while process measures ensure  the  end-to-end process is delivering value to the customer.

When improving process measurement, the question then becomes ‘What should be measured?’. The focus should be on determining those critical few measures (Higgins 2004) that most directly provide control over organisational direction and success. Some key factors in determining those critical few measures are:

  1. Linked to Vision, Mission and Values
  2. Balanced
  3. Aligned
  4. Leading
  5. Practical.

For each of these key factors it is important that they:

  • relate to key stakeholders values and desires
  • focus on establishing organization in a competitive position in the market place, and
  • are practical and economically feasible to implement.

1. Linked to Vision, Mission and Values

For measures to be useful they need to provide insight for an organisation to make its strategic decisions. The starting point should always be the organisation’s Vision, Mission, Values and Behaviours statements as these are the determining factors for the organisation’s direction and reason for existing. Time and energy has been spent to identify where an organisation should be heading, thus any measurements should be directly related to helping achieve that aim. The Vision, Mission, Values and Behaviours need to be turned into  clearly described goals that can be measured. These goals then need to be the basis for setting SMART measures - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Key factors that need to be considered here are:

  • Ensure the organisation Vision, Mission, Values and Behaviours are current, clear in their description (this must be done first as all measures will be based on this)
  • Set measures that will drive behaviour desired by the organisation
  • Measures should be precise and clear
  • Measures should be operatinalised in performance appraisals and incentives.

2. Balanced

Measurement should not only be financial in nature. Measures that only focus on short term profit taking often do so at the expense of long term sustainability. Non-financial aspects such as customer satisfaction, operational effectiveness and employee satisfaction should also take into consideration. Typically this is in the form of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), where a Balanced Scorecard is decomposed from the highest level down to specific metrics that contribute to that goal. This needs to be done from both functional and process perspectives to produce a Balanced Scorecard addressing both functional and process goals. Key factors to ensure Balances Scorecard is successfully established and useful are:

  • Employees need to provide input
  • All employees should have an understanding of the business’s objectives
  • Measures should be understood by all
  • Allow appropriate time, money and training to implement the BSC
  • Balance Scorecard is a living thing and needs to be updated regularly.

3. Aligned

Measures need to be aligned for both Functional and Process based aspects (Tregear 2009). Creating alignment between both of these gives the optimum outcome, allowing functional managers to deliver efficiencies and effectiveness within a departmental silo, while process based measurement goals ensure optimisation across boundaries in the organisation. This is achieved by breaking down strategic goals into specific measurements which are crafted to incorporate both Functional  and  Process  measures  (Harmon 2007). When Business Process Management is part of an organisation it naturally creates a matrix management approach of both functional and process. The Balanced Scorecard is  integrated  with  this  to provide the measures in both those dimensions. Key factors in ensuring the alignment is properly catered for include:

  • Measures are not counterproductive and send mixed messages
  • Clear accountability for process and functional measures set at the right organisational level
  • Measures are pragmatic and practical
  • Measures produce value for stakeholders.

4. Leading

Further to this is the nature of the measures which should predict future results where possible. Lagging indicators that show what has happened in the past are not as helpful in determining action an organisation needs to take. Often lagging indicators provide information too late to be useful. Leading indicators provide information that allows an organisation to drive its results. A lagging indicator such as previous month’s sales does not  give information that  will determine future performance. A leading indicator such as number of quotes requested/sent or number of enquiries received provides information that can help shape behaviour and drive the organization. Key factors that ensure leading indicators provide benefits to the organization are:

  • Sets behaviour and performance in the organization
  • Linked to drivers that provide results for the organisation.

5. Practical

Another critical factor is that these measures are practical and economically feasible to capture. As well as What to measure and Why we measure, we need to consider When to measure, Who is involved in measurement, Where to measure, How and how often measures are to be made – aspects that are often overlooked. There are also several key factors that should be considered overall when approaching measurement in an organisation, including:

  • Too many or too few measures
  • Lack of executive support
  • Lack of coherence of Balance Scorecard from higher to lower levels
  • Lack of skill to properly implement measurement and Balanced Scorecard
  • Measures need to be relevant, valid and reliable.

Why Measure Process Performance?

 

References

Harmon, P 2007, ‘Using Balanced Scorecard to Support a Business Process Architecture’, BPTrends Advisor, 16 October, Volume 5, Number 17.

Higgins, L, Hack, B 2004, ‘Measurement in the 21st century’, American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC), White Paper.

Kellen, V 2003, ‘Business Performance Measurement: At the Crossroads of Strategy, Decision-Making, Learning and Information Visualization’, retrieved from http://www.kellen.net/bpm.htm.

Tregear,   R   2009,   ‘The   Problem   of   the   Question   Mark’,   BPTrends,   8   September,   retrieved   from  http://www.bptrends.com/publicationfiles/SIX%2009-09-COL-Practical%20Process-Tregear%20sep09%20v1-

 

Topics: BPM - Business Process Management