Allowing stakeholders to experiment a new system at the early stages of its development enables better communication and therefore minimize misunderstandings in the development team that are usually very costly to correct at the end of a project. When a non-desirable behaviour is identified in the project the last mile, it could drive to project unsuccess and stakeholders dissatisfaction. The reasons for unsuccess are manifold. Some examples are misunderstanding about desired system’ behaviour, bad communication or documentation, failure in the requirements elicitation, regulatory changes during project development, among others.

Combining our collaborative business processes discovery and enrichment solution with the ability to produce on-the-fly prototyped business processes that are executable and could be really experimented by stakeholders leverage a whole new way of achieving a common understanding among all the project’ participants. Furthermore, our solution allows the dynamic adjustment of business processes design, for instance, adding a rejection situation, and then an immediate prototype’ update is delivered and ready to be experimented again.

Let us have a look at a step by step example:

1. Design your business elements in Atlas collaborative canvas

Atlas collaborative canvas allows discovering your business process [1], capturing the specific details from the business perspective using a simplified business language composed only by the involved actors, the activities each actor is responsible for, and the events triggering the collaboration between actors. A collaborative canvas facilitates the drag and drop of elements directly to any actor (see Figure 1) without the need to learn a new specification language. Moreover, you can specify the business objects that are already identified as being of core importance for your business.

Misalignments and misunderstandings are easier to identify and solve due to the simple representation used.  Discovery also enables the communication between business analysts working remotely, avoiding the exchange of multiple business process models but providing a single point of trust.

Figure 1. ATLAS collaborative canvas.

2. Generate the happy-flow business process model in BPMN

The provided detail in this collaborative canvas is used to discover the existing business transactions between actors on the fly automatically (see Figure 2) using the language most widely used by industry – the BPMN specification language [2].

Therefore, discovery facilitates creating a shared semantic understanding between the different business analysts of an organization. A change in business is only a matter of changing the canvas and re-generating the BPMN model.

Figure 2. Viewing the generated happy flow in BPMN.

3. Export the BPMN model and deploy it in the Camunda engine

Next, load the BPMN model (see Figure 3) in Camunda modeller (provided by the Camunda Platform Community edition) and then deploy it. The deployed model can be consulted in the camunda cockpit (see Figure 4). Integrations of Atlas with other platforms are foreseen.

Figure 3. Loading the BPMN model and deploying in an execution engine

Figure 4. Listing all the deployed BPMN models.

4. Instantiate the deployed BPMN model and try it

This is the step where you are able to experiment directly with your generated business processes without any interference. To that end, instantiate the BPMN model (see Figure 5) and use Camunda tasklist and Camunda cockpit to follow its execution (see Figure 6). We also suggest you to view the brief demonstration that is available in movie format here.

Figure 5.Viewing the execution state of each business process instance.

Figure 6. Consulting the user assigned task list

5. Enrich the happy-flow business process model

After that, the business process enrichment generates a business process model enriched with an inherited business process pattern [3]. In step 2, the model discovered is only based on the elements previously captured in Atlas collaborative canvas, but it could now be extended by the choice of the business analyst (see in Figure 7). Enrichment leverages a controlled and known management effort to increase the complexity of the designed business processes.

With enrichment, the exceptions situations can be added to the model by request and on the fly. It is also recognized that BPMN defines clearly how to articulate its concepts but usually involves the investment of learning a new language that entails extra costs. With this approach, learning BPMN is needless.

Figure 7. Business process enrichment, selecting the desired extensions to generate a new enriched model

6. Repeat steps 2. to 5. as you need, with this on-the-fly prototyping creation solution.

 

A brief demonstration is also available in movie format here.

We are available to discuss how this solution can be used in the context of your organization’s business processes. Please contact us by email at hyperautomation@linkconsulting.com

 


SOURCES:

[1] ATLAS Link Consulting (2021). https://www.linkconsulting.com/what-we-do/products/atlas8/

[2] BPMN 2.0.2 specification (2011). URL https://www.omg.org/spec/BPMN/2.0.2/PDF

[3] Guerreiro, S., & Sousa, P. (2020). A framework to semantify BPMN models using DEMO business transaction pattern, eprint=2012.09557, https://arxiv.org/abs/2012.09557