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Business Process Management in a Manufacturing Enterprise - page 7 / 10

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Earlier the steps to develop or make changes to business processes the old fashioned way were shown. The time and effort to make the same changes using BPM is substantially easier and faster.

Step 1. Step one still requires identifying what the revised process is to do, the necessary process steps and logic, data sources, and necessary human intervention. BPM brings nothing new here until we have a library of processes to review, modify, and reuse.

Step 2. Model the process using graphical icons representing the steps and flows within the process and between the process and all resources. Flow is modeled by using icons representing different activity types. The model is created graphically and saved in a process modeling language that is also used to generate the runtime components. Modeling the process does not require programming or significant IT skills. My preference is that the modeling should be done by operations people that best understand the context behind how the process is to function.

Step 3. Simulate the process in operation and make changes using the graphic icons. At this point the logic of the process has been fully developed with no code development. Identifying and connecting to the process resources is likely to require IT presence depending on the breadth of the new process but most of the software to make the connections should exist in the library of the BPM system supplier. Simulation allows viewing the process under operating conditions and provides an environment where changes can be made prior to actual use.

Step 4. Run the new process. The BPM system comes with modules that convert the model to an operating process and run the process. The process can be managed, viewed, tracked, changed and measured. There can be any number of instances of the process and the full history of the process lifecycle is available. Instead of specific software coding the process now is similar to any document, available for reuse or revision as necessary.

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