Configure Your SAP Signavio Solutions

Explaining Process Architecture and Lifecycle for Admins

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Understand the lifecycle of business processes
  • Understand how to define process levels and their architecture
  • Understand the value of visualizing business processes

Process Lifecycle and Architecture

Process models always have a lifecycle - ideally an iterative one, to get constantly improved.

Process Lifecycle

Process Models are created to be viewed and executed by other people. Hence, every process follows an iterative lifecycle, which usually starts with documentation.

Process Lifecycle Phases

Process Documentation

Process Analysis

Process Execution

Knowledge Check

Process Architecture Example

Process Architecture Example

High-level value chains are quite common today as a starting point for organizations.

They help to structure, organize and control the business processes of the whole company and allow to drill-down into separate business areas to determine the final processes.

Note
Value chains are just one concept to provide an entry point to processes. Sometimes, companies also use traditional organizational charts or customer journey maps in order to link to the affected processes.

Process Architecture Concepts

Value Chain

Process Areas

End-to-End Processes

Sub-processes

Process Architecture Levels

Number of Levels in the Architecture

The actual number of levels depends on the complexity of the business areas. Sometimes it's useful to create an additional level if a further grouping of related processes is required.  Some companies also create intermediate layers that represent process variants from different locations or entities of a business. A recommended (and also often found) number of levels in a value chain is between 3 and 5.

Creating a High-level Entry Point (to Processes and Business Areas)

High level value chains can show the business related services across different areas. Here is an example of what such a value chain could look like.

Subject-related Navigation

An entry point to processes and business areas can also be provided by a specific map including clickable icons. Such an entry point can be aligned to product lifecycles, company / customer journeys or any other company specific journeys.

Customer Journey Maps (for Customer-related Processes

Dedicated journey maps allow linking to affected business processes, coming from the customer perspective. Behind each step, the corresponding business process could be linked.

Operational Business Processes

Operational Business Processes

Quote from George E.P. Box

Do You Know Your Process?

The quote above brings it to the point. Models can never show the entire complexity of the reality and this is also not intended. In a business context, the purpose of a process model is to provide an understanding of the process to all business users - and ideally enable them in executing the related business tasks.

Virtualizing Business Processes

Process models provide information about business tasks, responsibilities and points of interactions. All internal employees should get a common understanding of the current process just by looking at the model and following the process flow. This is even more important for employees who are new to the organization for onboarding cases.

Process Implementation

Process Documentation - Making the Invisible Visible

Every process journey starts with documentation. More specifically, it starts with modeling the AS-IS situation in order to get an initial visual overview of the process. It doesn't matter how good or bad a process is at this stage - the only goal is, to make the process 'visible' in order to use this visual version as a basis for discussion / improvements. The captured BPMN diagram mainly provides information about individual process steps and the sequential flow of activities. Furthermore, it enables an understanding of process triggers and results, and even some decision points.

Firstly: Capture the Frame of the Process

The first activity is to capture the 'frame' of the process, which includes:

  • Name
  • Purpose
  • Goal
  • Process owner
  • Additional process information

Name

Does the process name reflect the purpose and content?

Example: 'Hiring of new employees' or 'Hiring-to-employment'

Purpose

Does the process description include enough information, to provide a high-level understanding of what the process is about?

Example: 'This process covers all required tasks from publishing a new job post to…'

Goal

In the described goal of the process reflected correctly in one sentence?

Example: 'After completing the process, the open position has been filled.'

Process Owner

Who has the responsibility of the overall process and is interested in its successful execution?

Who sets the KPI and is interested in its performance - and improvements?

Example: Head of HR

Additional Process Information

Who has the responsibility of the overall process and is interested in its successful execution?

Who sets the KPI and is interested in its performance - and improvements?

Secondly: Add Additional Information Focused on Process Execution

The second activity is to add additional information, focused on process execution:

  • Responsibilities
  • Tasks and Descriptions
  • Systems
  • Data
  • Risks and Controls
  • Key Performance Indicators

Responsibilities

Which roles are involved for executing the tasks?

Example: HR Team / SME

Tasks and Descriptions

Tasks: Which tasks are required?

Example: Confirm order, create new customer contact

Descriptions: In the case of tasks which need to provide more detailed information to be executed, what information is required and needs to be provided in a dedicated task description?

An example of a task could be: "Create new customer contract":

  • open customer account in CRM system
  • click on 'new contract' and assign services

Systems

What tools or applications are used to complete the tasks?

Examples: SAP, Salesforce, and so on

Data

What data or documents are consumed or created?

Examples: Work contract, Order confirmation, and so on

Risks and Controls

Are there any risks in certain tasks?

Example: Customer data not verified

Are the risks covered by corresponding controls?

Example: Authentication via check with customer database

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Which KPIs are suitable for the process to measure the performance?

Examples: Cycle time, Number of applications per region, and so on

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