How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles

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Presentation at the BPMDS’08, Montpellier, France

Presentation at the BPMDS’08, Montpellier, France

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  • 1. BPMDS’08 MONTPELLIER, FRANCE How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles Dr Alexander Samarin
  • 2. The goal – easy evolution of business process lifecycles
    • Experience shows that business wants separate requests for change to be implemented quickly
    • These changes are typically small (from the point of view of the business) and unpredictable (from the point of view of IT)
    • To carry out these changes easily and in a managed way, BPM systems must be properly architected and implemented
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 3. BPM and BPM systems
    • Definition of BPM (as a discipline):
      • BPM allows you to model , execute , control , automate , measure and optimise the flow of business activities that span your enterprise’s systems, people, customers and partners within and beyond your corporate boundaries
    • Obviously, all enterprises have their own BPM system, but often a BPM system:
      • is a “problem” of its history,
      • suffers from problems of complexity, inefficiency
    • Not surprisingly, many enterprises want to improve their BPM systems
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 4. BPM view of the business (1)
    • The business is driven by business events
    • For each business event there is an associated business process to be executed
    • A business process coordinates the execution of business activities
    • The execution is carried out in accordance with business rules
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 5. BPM view of the business (2)
    • Each business activity operates with some business objects
    • A group of staff members ( business roles ) is responsible for the execution of each human activity
    • The execution of business processes produces audit trails , which are used for the calculation of key performance indicators
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 6. Architecting an enterprise BPM system (with systems thinking)
    • A BPM system is a dynamic set of artefacts
    • Artefacts are interconnected and interdependent
    • We have to anticipate potential changes:
      • policies, priorities, compliance, technology, etc.
    • Implementation of such changes necessitates the evolution of some artefacts and the relationships between them
    • It must be easy to modify all artefacts and relationships without causing any negative effects
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 7. Principal artefacts: services and processes
    • The business world understood a long time ago that services and processes are the backbones of most businesses
    • The IT world recently “re-discovered” and accepted the notion of services, and so emerged SOA
    • But IT is still not very comfortable with processes (often, an application is a mixture of data-entry and workflow-driven approaches)
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 8. Relationships between services and processes
    • All processes are services
    • Some operation(s) of a service can be implemented as a process
    • A process may include services in its implementation
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 9. All BPM artefacts
      • added-value chain
      • events
      • processes
      • rules
      • activities
      • roles
      • objects (data structures)
      • objects (documents)
      • audit trails
      • performance indicators
      • services
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 10. Main architecting principles
    • All artefacts must be evolved to become digital , external and virtual
    • All artefacts must be versionable throughout their lifecycle
    • All relationships between these artefacts are modelled explicitly
    • All models are made to be executable
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 11. Improvement of artefacts
    • Digitalised – available in electronic form
    • Externalised – available as separate entities with proper definition, naming, versioning, storage, security, traceability, etc.
      • e.g. transportation of objects between services
    • Virtualised – available independently of traditional IT resources (servers, databases, media, browsers) as services
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 12. Relationships between artefacts
    • Reveal all hidden relationships and structure them
      • Examples:
      • static (in design phase)
      • dynamic (in execution phase)
      • composition (from atomic artefacts to a composite artefact)
      • instantiation (from a template to instances)
      • compatibility (between different versions)
    • If possible, model relationships as formal, explicit, traceable, testable, secure, SLA aware and executable
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 13. Explicit and executable models
    • Process model is an aggregation of
      • events, activities, roles, objects, rules, audits, etc.
    • Versioning is vital
    • In an implementation, a model acts as a skeleton or foundation to which we attach services ( what you design is what you execute )
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 14. Synergy between BPM and SOA
    • SOA is an architectural approach for constructing complex software-intensive systems from a set of universally interconnected and interdependent building blocks, called services (stand-alone units of functionality)
    • BPM, by revealing the artefacts and the relationships between them, provides the necessary context (e.g. granularity) for the definition of services
    • SOA provides recommendations for the implementation, execution and governance of services
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 15. Role of architecture
    • Consider a complex and dynamic system with many artefacts, relationships, stakeholders
    • Understand the concerns of each group of stakeholders
    • Provide the step-by-step improvement of a system (like the Deming wheel)
      • Plan, Do (or implement), Check (or validate), Act (or refactor)
    • Consider together different technologies, such as BPM, SOA, ECM, EA and IT governance
    • Build an agile system in an agile way
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 16. An architectural framework for improving BPM systems
    • Considerable reduction of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
    v.1 v.2 v.3 v.4 Life-cycle TCO First BPM/SOA project Further BPM/SOA projects Maintenance approx. 80 % Initial development approx. 20 % Typical IT projects 2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 17. Modelling of executable business processes
    • Diagramming style in BPMN
    • A dozen practical patterns
    • Structuring for better “executability”
    • Modelling procedure
    • Tool for prototyping – Intalio BPM suite
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 18. Diagramming style in BPMN 2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 19. The modelling procedure
    • Its purpose is:
      • to analyse a building block (what it is supposed to do)
      • to synthesise its implementation (how it does this) as explicit coordination of other building blocks (processes or activities)
    • It is iterative: we can apply it until we only have left indivisible building blocks (i.e. activities)
    • Artefacts are constructed recursively, like Russian dolls
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 20. Four phases 2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 21. Blackboxing phase
    • The purpose
      • to analyse a building block as a whole
      • to discover its functional characteristics and some related artefacts
    • The method
      • the business story behind this building block should be carefully analysed to recognise its artefacts
    • Recommendations
      • don’t go into excessive detail for each artefact; this can be done later
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 22. Structuring phase (1)
    • Steps
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 23. Structuring phase (2)
    • Steps and artefacts
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 24. Re-construction phase
    • The diagram
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 25. Instrumentation phase
    • The diagram
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 26. Conclusions
    • The formal expression of relationships enables their automated validation
    • The aggregation or assembly of services becomes the main implementation activity
    • Small cycles “model–implement–test–refactor” considerably simplify both modelling and implementation
    • There is a good match between BPM (provision of the context for services) and SOA
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 27. Thank you!
    • Contact information:
    • +41 76 573 40 61
    • [email_address]
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 28. Principles of the modelling procedure
    • it treats human and automated activities equally
    • it is primarily for capturing the flow of control within a building block, but not for optimisation
    • it is a tool for both business and IT (maybe with coaching by a process analyst)
    • it provides validation by simulation
    • it provides validation by quick prototyping – real services can be invoked
    • it is visual programming
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 29.
    • An enterprise solutions architect
      • From a programmer to a systems architect
      • Experience in scientific, international, governmental and industry environments: CERN, ISO, IOC, BUPA, Groupe Mutuel, State of Geneva, Swiss federal government
      • Co-author of the book “The LaTeX Companion”
      • Have created systems which work without me
      • Practical adviser for design and implementation of enterprise solutions
    About me (1) 2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 30.
    • Current specialisation is improving business process management systems
      • effectiveness (“Do the right things”)
      • efficiency (“Do the things right”)
    • Knowledge how to use together the following technologies:
      • BPM, SOA, EA, ECM and IT governance
    About me (2) 2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 31. Pattern DBL Decoupled Business Logic 2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 32. Anti-Pattern PRF Process Realisation Faked 2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 33. Structuring phase (1)
    • The purpose
      • to analyse a building block from within to determine its internal structure and its major artefacts
    • The method
      • determine the main functional (or logical) steps
      • classify artefacts for these steps
      • add check-points between steps
    • Recommendations
      • don’t have more than 7 steps
      • avoid loop-back over check-points
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 34. Re-construction phase (1)
    • The purpose
      • to synthesize an initial version of the formal coordination: some kind of process skeleton
    • The method
      • add intra-step logic
      • start formalising the business objects involved
      • collect test scenarios
    • Recommendations
      • consider implementation of human activities as interactive forms
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 35. Instrumentation phase (1)
    • The purpose
      • to enrich the process skeleton by adding more automated activities
    • The method
      • add pools
      • apply different practical patterns
      • use a business rule engine if available
      • collect test scenarios
    • Recommendations
      • work iteratively (step-by-step)
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles
  • 36. An architectural framework for improving BPM systems
    • A comprehensive set of recommendations, models, patterns and examples of how to transform existing disparate IT systems into a coherent, agile and flexible BPM/SOA solution
    • Documented in soon-to-be-published book www.improving-BPM-systems.com
    • Further slides are examples of what this framework brings to different stakeholders
    2008-06-17 How to simplify the evolution of business process lifecycles