Practical Process Patterns: FRAP

Functional roles are pools (FRAP)

BPMN pool is normally associated with a participant. Often such a participant is associated with an organisational role, e.g. CFO. Obviously, an organisational role may include more than one functional role. As the result, within the same business process an organisational role may participate with different functional roles to carry out different activities. This looks like a typical use of swimlines, but the question – are those activities from same process instance?

Consider the following process:
  • periodically (e.g. monthly), a manager orders several service-engineers to visit several clients for carrying out some work
  • a service-engineer contacts the assigned client, plans a visit and reports back to the manager the visit details
  • the service-engineer pays a visit to the client
  • after the visit, the service-engineer submits to the manager a report about the work done at client's site

How many pools and instances?
  1. Manager as a work planner – 1 instance (as quick as possible)
  2. Manager as a report validator – N instances (usual duration is a few days) 
  3. Service-engineer (actually, per visit) – N instances (usual duration is a few weeks)

So, pools should be associated with functional roles.



Bruce said...

I discovered this from Anatoly's blog. I disagree with FRAP from perspective of business management of the process portfolio. If each actor is a pool, that means that each actor defines a separate BPMN process. Now think about naming each one and maintaining hundreds of them in a repository. Impossible. FRAP only works if the unit of model management and governance is what BPMN calls a collaboration not a process. I doubt if modelers (or BPM tools and repositories) are doing that.
--Bruce Silver

Alexander Samarin said...

Thanks Bruce for your comments.

I don’t think that existing limitations in some BPM tools/repositories should block the better understanding of processes. Naming, managing of many artefacts is rather doable. Also I found that the power of multi-BPMN-pools processes is the main advantage of BPM technology vs old workflows.

Maybe the wider acceptance of such processes will lead to eliminating of the artificial BPMN separation between collaboration and process because we may need both of them in business processes.