The Personal Process Management concept describes the “birth to death” processes that are common to us all. Whilst these processes may occur infrequently in a person’s lifetime (acquisition of property/vehicle, application for employment, marriage/divorce), they are typically complex and time consuming. Due to the high importance individuals place on these long term transactions and the demand for their easy consumption via web 2.0 services, there are now multiple opportunities for the engagement of service providers to support these processes (Finance/Insurance/Govt).
In an effort to visualise the potential for the automation of a process on the birth-to-death value chain via a web service or mobile device, the “purchasing a property” transaction is represented in the below value chain.
The scope for our automation piece is to “deliver an innovative, portable (web/mobile/media device based) application designed to assist with the purchase of a residential dwelling. With each process step, opportunities for commercial engagement of service providers will be supported where possible by automated emerging technologies”.
Some Process Drivers
* Property and lifestyle questions can be weighted for importance – a 5th bedroom may be more important than a pool or proximity to transport.
Several opportunities and issues were then identified whilst discussing these process drivers, and were grouped into three distinct categories –
1. Social Drivers
2. Technical Challenges
3. Commercial Opportunities
A quick SWOT analysis was then undertaken to assist us in recognising our objectives and risks:
From this review, we then developed some “off the cuff” innovation ideas –
– Utility providers etc
– location preferences
– Property value range $
– Property features –> # of bedrooms/bathrooms/features reqd
– Proximity to work/schools/hospitals/transport
– Recreation details – sports/hobbies
– Entertainment/what’s on – theatre/movies/restaurants
– “How far are you prepared to travel”
* This mashup is returned to the Purchaser as a property shortlist combining data from numerous sites
* This step is automated & handled via email – triggered by Purchaser action & focused on a quick turnaround.
* The ability to create & retain a digital artefact will aid the selection process & is valuable for future reference.
– Building & pest inspection
– Utility connections etc
* Concept of reverse auction where Vendors bid for the work required. Could also be ranked based on customer feedback – eBay style
* Improved transparency of Finance steps and retention of loan agreement documents.
– Utility companies
* All process steps are now recorded and retained for future reference
Now, the next challenge is to develop a prototype gui for the web/media devices/mobile phones along the lines of iTunes Cover Flow or similar, and then market this application in an ever expanding range of mobile applications.
A business process could be defined as the self-contained, logical order of activities, that are executed for the transformation of an business object with the goal of accomplishing a given task.
As key business processes are typically valuable corporate assets, process modelling can be used to define, analyse, improve and even automate these tasks, all of which support the business process management (BPM) process. Effective process modelling makes use of a common naming convention and methodology, shows the integration of processes with systems, organisations and data, and supports process walkthroughs for validation.
These models, as represented above in swimlane format, represent the benchmark process flow upon which further “what-if” analysis can be measured and in turn supports process reengineering for the introduction of improvements and efficiencies.
One approach to process modelling is to use a modelling tool such as ARIS from IDS Scheer that applies a defined Grammar (syntax, semantics, notation) and supports a proven methodology (conventions, lifecycle, process). A modelling grammar provides the set of principles and rules against the use of a defined set of symbols used to visualise entity relationships. The modelling methodology typically follows accepted standards specifying the syntax, semantics and notation applied through the modelling process lifecycle.
The best modelling tools also offer reference models and lifecycle management tools to facilitate the modelling process. A step further is for the application to offer workflow modelling and execution, such as YAWL.
So what really contributes to the success of a process modelling exercise?
In addition to the actual “process of process modelling” (conducting interviews. workshops etc) and the use of an effective modelling application, other key success factors include the level of senior management support for the project and access to staff with sufficient application domain knowledge. One point to always remember though is that different stakeholders (model designer v contributor v consumer) will always have a differing view of the process due to their organisational role and skill set eg. Business or IT focus. Factors of difference will include the perceived usefulness, ease of use and overall satisfaction of the models intended use.
And finally, a view of the process modelling roadblocks and the current issues identified in a study by Indulska, Recker and Rosemann from both an academic and practitioner perspective. Through this study it became clear that academics typically concentrate on the functional process modelling properties whilst BPM practitioners are more concerned with process adoption issues.
This disconnect between academia and process application is further highlighted in the following perceived benefits of process modelling table:
So where does that leave us now? Ready to discuss model governance and process execution…..
Big thanks to Professor Michael Rosemann and Dr Jan Recker of the QUT BPM group for the use of the information contained in this post! 🙂
Highly recommended reading:
Becker, Kugeler, Rosemann. Process Management. Springer-Verlag, August 2003. ISBN 3540434992
Factors and measures of business process modelling: model building through a multiple case study. Wasana Bandara, Guy G Gable and Michael Rosemann. European Journal of Information Systems (2005) 14, 347–360
Indulska, M., Green, P., Recker, J., Rosemann, M. (2009): Business Process Modeling: Perceived Benefits. The 28th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling. Springer, Gramado, Brazil
Indulska, M., Recker, J., Rosemann, M., Green, P. (2009): Business Process Modeling: Current Issues and Future Challenges. In P. van Eck, J. Gordijn, and R. Wieringa (eds.): Advanced Information Systems Engineering – CAiSE 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 5565. Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 501-514.