Business process modeling

Started by bebran, July 21, 2017, 08:29:39 AM

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My company is going to select notation, method and tooling for doing business process modeling and the best practice seems to be based on BMPN 2.0, which I find very comprehensive/complex with +120 elements (incl. variants) for business process modeling alone. As we (the majority of the organisation) are at a fairly immature state, I expect we will only be using a very limited subset of the BPMN elements. It would fairly easy to provide the same message/presentation from using standard ArchiMate elements, and then have the benefit from an EA perspective to get a 'cleaner' and more complete picture of the business. Keeping everything in one notation would make analysis far easier, e.g. who (role) uses application X and updates information Y.

Does anyone use ArchiMate for modeling operational business processes (workflows / activities) at a level used for training and/or as part of a management system, where checklists, operating procedures, etc. are attached to the individual activities?



BPMN is better for process modeling than Archimate, because it is specialized
However process are only part of the picture
The strong point of Archimate is to be able to describe the full Enterprise at different levels and point of view

Eero Hosiaisluoma

As mentioned, BPMN is more powerful for modelling detailed processes. However, ArchiMate can be used for high-level process modelling, as shown here:


Bebran, I'm using archimate for modeling process, you may find the idea here: There are some tools using notation similar to BPMN and Archi. The idea is also to let thouse (commercial) tool vendors to accept Archimate XML or csv for model publishing purposes. Archi provides great start, but sometimes approach to models have to bi "tricked" to look nicer for management and end users.



I have been using Archi and Archimate for business modelling business processes a lot.

I think that Archimate is more abstract than BPN and it will difficult to build the same detailed process charts as BPN. This is a blessing and a curse.

When I do GDPR-analyses I need to identify and describe all processes and no one wants like me to spend to much time on it. Using Archimate I can do just that, identify the actual business activities without go into to much details. I am still an architect and have an architects view, and as such I will not need to be to detailed. My customer rarely have the detailed diagrams anyway and would never oblige to them so there is no point of making it to detailed. Thinking of it I cant recall I have been subject of the kind of detailed process steering throughout my career, not even the med-tech part (but I never manufactured and actual equipment).

The blessing of this is the speed of which one can capture an enterprise. One can draft a process with nonabstract business activities that could be further described but is concrete enough for an actor to carry out without further instructions and opens for the doer to be a bit creative and grow in the task. One can frame the activity, tell what comes next and the role that shall do it. One can capture how it processes personal information (and other information) to evaluate it is complies with GDPR. It is also a way to help people organize as youi can draft a decent usable process description in a minute and there is at least something for the receiver to feed back upon.

I have successfully used this concept together with a process designer using BPN to capture a business value chain in terms of business activities.
What I did was to take the BPN chart and identify coherent areas of BPN activities and define the block as an Archimate Business Activity. The motivation is that each of those archimate business activities consumes IT services which we needed to identify. This way I was able to create a (from architecture standpoint) quite low level architecture design of the business flow in terms of business activities, the application services they needed and the expected application activity behind it.

The purpose was to identify existing applications in the landscape (IKEA is a huge enterprise) and any gaps where new applications need to be acquired. I think 11 applications was involved in the flow from start to end, each with a set of application services.

I was also able to identify the information consumed and produced by each business activity, used to identify corresponding digital information in the application landscape and how the digital information will need to flow to support the business value chain.

Some architects would argue that the detailed level is not architecture, I fall into those discussions a lot. They might be right but that is mostly a problem for "excell and visio architects" suffering the loss of model based architecture like with Archi. The structure of Archimate with tool support from Archi gives great support to mix architect abstractions with nonabstract elements and cope with it. I call this "down to earth architecture" and I think there is a lot of benefits for it.