"Any process that starts with a form or data entry screen being completed or, for example, by an email or text message can be turned into a computerised system using business process modelling techniques.”
Forms and data entry screens are used to record information so that it may be shared with other people and worked on. Up till now, computer systems have concentrated on capturing data, storing and retrieving it, but there has been less emphasis on how the data is 'worked' - who does what, when and how - in other words, the business processes involved.
Business process modelling is about documenting those actions and responsibilities and automating them while interacting with human participants efficiently and consistently.
BPMN 2.0 is the latest revised standard for the representation of business processes as diagrams that can be turned into a working computer system.
- Automation reduces sources of error and ensures that tasks are tackled consistently and with reduced completion times.
- Task progress may be monitored and measured, giving a birds eye view of company performance minute by minute, day by day.
- Inbuilt functionality that allows a user to easily modify workflow sequences means that a BPM based system promotes continuous improvement and optimisation of business processes, leading to maximised efficiency, predictability and flexibility of operation.
- Unify-BPM’s effective utilisation of plant and people maximises efficiency and productivity.
Effectively an extension of flowcharting techniques, a computer based workflow engine will interpret symbols within the diagram into automated processes that it will follow, while communicating with the human user through a variety of means such as email, worklist and sms.
A BPMN 2.0 business process diagram may be exposed to, and therefore modified by, any system user with suitable access rights using drafting tools that are similar to Microsoft’s Visio package.
This ability to update processing sequences at any time brings an unprecedented agility to any system installation so that changes involving, for example, new products, re-engineered processes or changing legal requirements may be tested and implemented without redevelopment of the host software.
Process designs and actual instances of workflows being executed may be viewed and easily interpreted by the user. This visibility, along with automated collaboration, exception and escalation handling allow the highest degree of control and monitoring of work place activity.
Automated resource allocation techniques deliver clarity of responsibility and accountability while enabling and controlling task ownership and delegation. Users can interact with workflows in many ways including Windows systems, websites, Sharepoint installations, Outlook, email and sms.
How does Oyster Bay’s BPM solution work ?
A drag and drop flowcharting tool that can be accessed by any authorised user allows a business process to be computerised in a very simple and clear way.
Each block of the diagram represents some form of activity – a business rule that can be automated, an escalation timer, an interaction with a human participant via email and so on.
- A company’s own specific processes are easily set up because, unlike legacy systems, the software changes to suit the business.
- Improved communication of the right information to the right people, at the right time means that no job or customer contact will be lost or forgotten.
- One of the most outstanding features associated with BPM technology is the speed with which it can be adapted to reflect business change through use of the simple visual flowcharting tool.
Once the process model has been drawn up, it can be invoked at any time as a live activity to be managed by the permanently operational workflow engine. The workflow can be triggered automatically at set times, or in reponse to some external activity such as a data entry screen being ‘sent’, an email or text message being received, and so on.
Simple document based BPM tasks may be configured and run entirely within the Unify-BPM system environment without any programming, however, Oyster Bay’s system is unique in that it may also be embedded seamlessly into any of our Microsoft.NET software applications.
Information may sent by the running workflow in many forms to a human participant , for example by email, sms or through the BPM console task queues.
When specific responses are required, the familiar Outlook ‘accept reject’ controls may be extended to include other commands to be fed back to allow the workflow to continue.
One of the more powerful user access options is the BPM console that monitors relevant workflow activity, hosts the individuals work queues, and manages the interactions through inbuilt ‘forms’.
From here, the user can drill into a message, and take any appropriate action that is required to allow the workflow to continue in the background.
The entire process is audited from top to bottom, and the status of any particular workflow may be monitored if required, which is particularly useful for identifying inefficiencies and ‘black holes’ at the process development and improvement stage.
Robust Audit trails provide detailed information on all aspects of the systems activity, delivering traceability and compliance. One of the most outstanding features associated with BPM technology is the speed with which it can be adapted to reflect business change through use of the simple visual flowcharting tool.