2010-02-16

BPM reference model - fragment 05 - Artefacts important for BPM

... continued from fragment 04

1.5   Artefacts important for BPM


As already mentioned in 1.2, processes and services are the principal artefacts (14.2.6) of enterprise business systems. But enterprise business systems operate in addition with the following artefacts which are important for the BPM discipline:
  • events (14.4.7) -- incidents of importance to the business; they occur within and beyond the enterprise boundaries and may give adequate reason for some action from the business (for example, receiving a customer's order, detecting a performance bottleneck, etc.);
  • rules (14.4.8) -- constraints and conditions under which the enterprise operates (for example, a claim for more than 10 000 CHF must be endorsed by a group leader, the working week is 40 hours long, etc.);
  • activities (14.4.9) -- elementary or indivisible units of work which constitute processes;
  • roles (14.4.10) -- sets of responsibilities (for example only a manager is authorised to approve a particular document);
  • objects (14.4.11) -- formal descriptions of real things and people which constitute the business [there are two big groups of objects: data structures (14.4.12), e.g. partners, products, etc., and documents (14.4.13), e.g. forms, reports, etc.];
  • audit trails (14.4.14) -- factual information about process instances (for example, when a particular activity has been completed);
  • KPIs (14.4.15) -- quantifiable measurements that express how well something or somebody is achieving its or his/her objectives.
Figure 1.6 provides an overview of how these artefacts are spread across different parts of the enterprise business system. The various artefacts are used to a different extent at different places within the enterprise; but taking into consideration that the implementation part owns the shared description part, figure 1.6 shows them only in the owner (or master) parts. These artefacts will be discussed in more detail in chapter 7.

In figure 1.6, the expression "processes (as templates)" means abstract descriptions (or models or plans) of processes; the expression "processes (as instances)"  means the results of execution of the corresponding templates. Usually, a process template may be used to produce many instances (similar to a blank form which can be copied to be filled in by different people, or similar to a document template from which documents can be derived).

The expression "services (as interfaces)" means formal descriptions of services which are available for their consumers, whereas the expression "services (as programs)" means implementations of services.
Figure 1.6   Some artefacts in the enterprise business system

To handle the complexity illustrated in figure 1.6, any process-centric enterprise needs to have its own BPM system (14.3.8): a portfolio of business processes of the enterprise, as well as the practices and tools for governing the design, execution and evolution of this portfolio as a system. In other words, the BPM system is responsible for ensuring that the functioning of the different parts of the enterprise business system occurs in synergy.

For any process-centric enterprise, the BPM system may not be perfect (e.g. some processes may be only documented on paper, some details may be "located" only in the minds of certain individuals, etc.), but it does exist. Any implementation of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System can be considered as an example of a BPM system.

... to be continued in fragment 06 ...

Thanks,
AS
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