A Model-Driven Approach to Align Business Processes with User Interfaces


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Presentation of how business process models are aligned with user interfaces in order to solve traceability issues for large enterprise applications.

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A Model-Driven Approach to Align Business Processes with User Interfaces

  1. 1. A Model-Driven Approach to Align Business Processes with User Interfaces Kênia Sousa Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) Louvain School of Management (LSM) Information Systems Unit (ISYS) Belgian Laboratory of Computer-Human Interaction (BCHI)
  2. 2. Issues <ul><li>Weak correlation between business process and UI design; </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties in understanding business process documents; </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties to understand, find, and keep updated information spread in different artifacts; </li></ul>“… receiving only screen shots not linked with the process makes our work very difficult. ” Business Analyst System Analyst “… docs are too detailed… no prior training… they use a tool we do not have… we wait for updated docs…”
  3. 3. Issues <ul><li>Product knowledge owned mostly by business analysts; </li></ul><ul><li>Design is done mainly by example, not based on processes; </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties in doing impact analysis after changes. </li></ul>UI Designer “ we are overloaded to stop and read these documents…” All: “changes impact hundreds of screens…we spend lots of times on meetings to decide what to do…”
  4. 4. Main Goals <ul><li>Provide a communication means between these two domains </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain consistency between business processes and user interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Predict the impact of changes on business processes and user interfaces </li></ul>(Smith, 2007)
  5. 5. UI –Business Alignment Task Model Business Process
  6. 6. UI –Business Alignment Task Model User Interface
  7. 7. Why task models? <ul><li>Its hierarchical structure provides an overview of the user interaction; </li></ul><ul><li>Decomposition and temporal operators deliver the flexibility that users need. </li></ul><ul><li>It is closer to business process structure ; </li></ul><ul><li>Using task models to bridge business processes and UI design addresses the user perspective; </li></ul><ul><li>User interaction has increased its importance in making IT add value for organizations. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Roles, Artifacts, Tools
  9. 9. Traceability Business Process Data Model Task Model Domain Model Abstract UI Business User Interface Screen group Screen Screen fragment Screen element Decompose the task model in containers sync
  10. 10. Traceability Screen group Screen Screen fragment Screen element Abstract UI Title of page Task Model Task Model Task Model Task Model Task Model Label of field Label of field Label of field Name of fragment Name of fragment Concrete UI Final UI A concrete UI can be inspired in an abstract UI Java Swing HTML Style Guide
  11. 11. Business Process Process = 10 sub-processes Sub-process = 17 activities Activity = 30 tasks Task = 99 business rules
  12. 12. Associate tasks and screens
  13. 13. Grouping tasks in screens One subprocess can present one screen. Screen 1 Screen 2 Screen 1 But the same subprocess can also be decomposed into several screens.
  14. 14. Forward Example <ul><li>Different activities had tasks related to personal data of the applicant. </li></ul><ul><li>Some tasks from the activity ‘present insurance’ were moved to the activity ‘inform applicant’ </li></ul><ul><li>Screen fragment ‘personal data’ (for activity ‘inform applicant’) had to add the screen elements ‘marital status’ and ‘birth date’ and deleted f rom the screen fragment ‘insurance data’ (for activity ‘present insurance’). </li></ul><ul><li>Easier for bank agents to interact with customers because related information were better organized. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Backward Example
  16. 16. Examples of rules <ul><li>Change the business process; </li></ul><ul><li>Update the task model; </li></ul><ul><li>Find out what kind of change is necessary in screens based on comparing BP and task model: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add screen/SF - new activity in the BP not in TM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delete screen/SF – task in TM, but deleted from BP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add screen element – new task in BP, not in TM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delete screen element – task in TM, but deleted from BP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change order of SF – order act. in BP <> order in TM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change order of SF – order tasks in BP <> order in TM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple review - new description, rule, but same structure in BP and TM </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. BP to TM - Relationships Business Model Task Model Sequence Flow Enabling Sequence Flow + Data Object Enabling + Information Passing Rule Intermediate Event + Link Intermediate Event Suspend/resume Exclusive decision Deterministic choice Inclusive decision + Exclusive merge Non-Deterministic choice Cancel Intermediate Event Disabling Ad-Hoc marker in sub-process Independence Parallel gateway Concurrency Parallel gateway + Data Object Concurrency + info passing
  18. 18. BP to TM Activity Attribute Task Property Conditional Flow Optional Standard Loop Iteration Multi-Instance Loop + MI Condition Finite Iteration Process Task Type Task Type User Interaction Service Application Manual Single User None Abstract User + Attribute Performers Multiple Users
  19. 19. Tool Support
  20. 20. Intended Results <ul><li>Continuity – Models are derived one from each other with aligned and consistent result. </li></ul><ul><li>Traceability – Models are synchronized to propagate changes when needed. </li></ul><ul><li>User centered – The user experience is considered in alignment with business needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Efficient communication – designers use specific models for each goal. </li></ul>
  21. 21. This is an on going work <ul><li>Since we recognize UI models are not widely known in the business environment, study the cognition aspects of the models applied on the business context. </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement of: transformation rules from business process into task model through another concrete example from a prospective case study. </li></ul><ul><li>Specify metrics to quantitatively demonstrate the impact of mapping models and keeping track of changes. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Thank you for your attention http://www.isys.ucl.ac.be/bchi BCHI Lab http://www.isys.ucl.ac.be/bchi/members/kso/ http://www.programalban.org Program Alban http://www.usixml.org UI extensible Markup Language
  23. 23. References <ul><li>SOUSA, Kenia Soares; MENDONÇA, Hildeberto; VANDERDONCKT, Jean. User Interface Development Lifecycle for Business-Driven Enterprise Applications. 7th International Conference on Computer-Aided Design of User Interfaces CADUI’08, 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>SOUSA, Kenia Soares; MENDONÇA, Hildeberto; VANDERDONCKT, Jean. Addressing the Impact of Business Process Changes on Software User Interfaces. Proc. of 3rd IEEE/IFIP International Workshop on Business-Driven IT Management (BDIM 2008), 2008, pp. 11-20. </li></ul><ul><li>SOUSA, Kenia Soares; MENDONÇA, Hildeberto; VANDERDONCKT, Jean; ROGIER, Els; VANDERMEULEN, Joannes. User Interface Derivation from Business Processes: A Model-Driven Approach for Organizational Engineering. Proc. of 23rd  Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing SAC’2008, ACM Press, New York, 2008, pp. 553-560. </li></ul>