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How To Explain BPMN To Business Users


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Slides from a webinar that I presented on June 9, 2010, as part of the Active Endpoints BPM Summer Camp series.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • I perfectly agree. Especially on the position taken wrt users.
    And that’s actually our experience. In large industrial cases:
    - analysts collected requirements from business users (managers)
    - analysts built the models
    - we showed them the models -- and we showed the end users only running prototypes
    - and we collected feedback.
    Guess what? Most of the feedback came from the prototypes.. hence, the business users understood the models but still were not able to focus on the issues (especially related to exceptional cases).
    And: the models we showed them were just including simple and (a few) descriptive concepts.

    [btw, we will present our experience at BPM 2010, Hoboken, Sept 15th, 2010]
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How To Explain BPMN To Business Users

  1. 1. How to Explain BPMN to Business Users<br />Sandy Kemsley<br /><br /><br />@skemsley<br />
  2. 2. DON’T PANIC<br />Replay and slides will be available<br />
  3. 3. Agenda<br />What’s all this BPMN stuff anyway?<br />How much do we really need to know?<br />What advanced bits might come in handy?<br />
  4. 4. Recap from February: BPMN Is Simple...<br />Activity<br />Gateway<br />Event<br />Data<br />
  5. 5. Source:<br />
  6. 6. The BPMN 2.0 Problem<br />More than 100 elements<br />Unlikely to be fully understood by most experts, much less users<br />Unlikely to be fully supported by most vendors<br />Has led to rejection of BPMN in favor of “simpler” modeling paradigms<br />
  7. 7. The BPMN 2.0 Solution<br />Not everyone needs to learn everything<br />Group BPMN elements into sets used by different personas<br />Business user<br />Business analyst<br />Architect/developer<br />Each level adds more detail to model<br />
  8. 8. COMPLETE<br />Plus 50 elements<br />DODAF<br />Plus 29 elements<br />DESCRIPTIVE<br />Pool<br />Lane<br />messageFlow<br />userTask<br />serviceTask<br />Re-Usable subProcess<br />dataObject<br />dataInput<br />dataOutput<br />textAnnotation<br />Association<br />dataAssociation<br />dataStore<br />messageStartEvent<br />messageEndEvent<br />timerStartEvent<br />terminateEndEvent<br />SIMPLE<br />sequenceFlow<br />Task (none)<br />subProcess(embed)<br />exclusiveGateway<br />parallelGateway<br />startEvent (none)<br />endEvent (none)<br />BPMN 2.0 Subclasses:Early Version<br />Source: Workflow Management Coalition’s “Update on BPMN Release 2.0”<br />
  9. 9. BPMN 2.0 Subclasses: Recent Version<br />Descriptive<br />Visible elements for high-level models<br />Used by business analysts<br />Analytic<br />All of Descriptive plus elements for DoDAF enterprise architecture models<br />Commonexecutable<br />All of analytic plus elements for executable models<br />
  10. 10. Descriptive Subclass<br />participant (pool)<br />laneSet<br />sequenceFlow (unconditional)<br />messageFlow<br />exclusiveGateway<br />parallelGateway<br />task (None)<br />userTask<br />serviceTask<br />subProcess (expanded)<br />subProcess (collapsed)<br />callActivity<br />dataObject<br />textAnnotation<br />association/dataAssociation<br />dataStoreReference<br />startEvent (None)<br />endEvent (None)<br />messageStartEvent<br />messageEndEvent<br />timerStartEvent<br />terminateEndEvent<br />documentation<br />group<br />
  11. 11. Source: Workflow Management Coalition’s “Update on BPMN Release 2.0”<br />Pool<br />Message<br />Flow<br />Data<br />Object<br />Sub Process<br />(Collapsed)<br />User<br />Task<br />Lane<br />Message Start Event<br />Message End Event<br />Data<br />Association<br />Call Activity<br />(Collapsed)<br />Service<br />Task<br />Text<br />Annotation<br />Association<br />Descriptive Subclass Example<br />
  12. 12. Data<br />Store<br />Source: Workflow Management Coalition’s “Update on BPMN Release 2.0”<br />Descriptive Subclass Example<br />
  13. 13. Analytic Subclass<br />sequenceFlow (conditional)<br />sequenceFlow (default)<br />sendTask<br />receiveTask<br />Looping Activity<br />MultiInstance Activity<br />exclusiveGateway<br />inclusiveGateway<br />eventBasedGateway<br />signalStartEvent<br />signalEndEvent<br />errorEndEvent<br />message<br />Plus: Intermediate events<br />
  14. 14. Analytic Subclass: Intermediate Events<br />Catching message<br />Throwing message<br />Boundary message<br />Non-interrupting Boundary message<br />Catching timer<br />Boundary timer<br />Non-interrupting Boundary timer<br />Boundary error<br />Non-interrupting Boundary escalation<br />Throwing escalation<br />escalationEndEvent<br />Catching signal<br />Throwing signal<br />Boundary signal<br />Non-interrupting Boundary signal<br />condtionalStartEvent<br />Catching conditional<br />Boundary conditional<br />Non-interrupting Boundary conditional <br />
  15. 15. The Analyst’s Dilemma<br />Descriptive is a manageable subset <br />Analytic is too much, except for serious process experts<br />Some of the event concepts in analytic subset are required for analysis and modeling<br />
  16. 16. Oh Yeah...<br /> ...we left the business users out<br />
  17. 17. What Do Business Users Really Need?<br />Smaller subset of elements (?)<br />Depends on user skills/aptitude<br />Comprehension of BPMN without necessarily being able to model:<br />Work with analysts to capture processes<br />Review and approve models, with a cheat sheet or generous annotation<br />
  18. 18. And back to Alex…<br />Sandy Kemsley<br /><br /><br />@skemsley<br />