Teams define business processes, not a single person. You set up a series of meetings, get everyone in the room you think is involved in the process, and you start talking. Someone, typically a business analyst, stands at the front of the room and attempts to whiteboard the conversation with the goal of eventually walking away with a complete process flow diagram.
It seems straightforward, but it can be time consuming. Getting everyone together for not one, but a series of meetings is challenging. Then try to get agreement on the process steps as quickly as possible based on a complex diagram a business analyst created out of the discussions.
Is There an Easier Way to Do This?
There is. Our intelligent business process management system everteam.ibpms v8.0 introduces the Analyst Workbench. Analyst Workbench is a process design tool for non technical people. Users do have to understand the elements of BPMN 2.0 process notation at its basic level, but it doesn’t require in-depth knowledge or IT to create process diagrams.
So How Does It Work?
You create a process diagram then invites others to collaborate. You can specify if your collaborators can edit the actual diagram or make comments that you then read and adjust the diagram as necessary.
There are many benefits to using the Analyst Workbench. It does away with trying to get everyone together in a room for a series of meetings. Users can view the diagram on their own time and provide edits or feedback. It also enables knowledge capture in a way that business users can easily understand.
Often a process flow diagram is complex, and business users struggle to read the diagram and know it’s saying exactly what they expect. Analyst Workbench allows you to get your process documented in a way your team understands. Once they have approved the diagram it can then be exported out of the Workbench and into the BPMS where a technical analyst will create the final process diagram.
Spending time designing your business processes before you involve IT is a good idea. It allows you to take the time to think about how your process needs to work before you have to think about the complicated IT processes required to implement it.
Modeling Non IT-focused Processes
But Analyst Workbench isn’t just for technical business processes.
You have business processes for just about everything you do; you just don’t need a BPMS to manage them all. Analyst Workbench is a great tool to map out processes that aren’t used within a BPMS. Have an employee leaving the company or switching to another department? Use the Analyst Workbench to model all the processes they follow so you can pass them onto the next employee.
Create process models to train new users or simply document the way you do something so everyone can easily see what their roles and responsibilities are. Sometimes we think we know how a process works, but once documented, we find we’ve missed an activity or performed a step wrong. Having a visual process map is extremely useful for anyone involved in a process.
We often think of business process modeling as this complex activity that requires IT. Many processes are complicated and do require IT to implement them in a BPM system. But before IT gets involved, it’s practical to define the process as the business sees, before it’s IT-enabled, allowing business users to easily collaborate as necessary.
You could even use the Analyst Workbench to model a business process that is already enabled within a BPM system to help you analyze if the current implementation is what needs to happen. Processes often get improved or updated based on changes in the industry, regulations or company business objectives. Modeling the changed process helps IT to see where they need to make changes in the final process model.
Analyst Workbench is the perfect tool for business and helpful for IT, enabling them to join the modeling process after all the discussions have completed and the process ironed out.