Posts Tagged ‘modelling tools’

Sharing process knowledge

Posted in Business Process Consulting, Practice Areas on September 24th, 2009 by Stephanie Chung – Be the first to comment

We believe in the continuous learning cycle and for us, a big part of that is sharing the learnings in an open forum. Every month, we hold lunch sessions to provide snippets into what we know that others may not. This month it was my opportunity, and we generated the dialogue around business process management.

This presentation is an introduction to basic BPM – the tools and techniques we use in business process modeling projects.

Our clients find the process and outcomes from BPM provide a solid, focused foundation for projects and organisational change.

Modelling tools

Posted in Business Process Consulting on July 10th, 2009 by Jason Edlin – Be the first to comment

The previous blog looked at why you would model but how do you choose or even find an appropriate modelling tool. In this short blog I do not propose to promote one modelling tool over another or even give a listing of all available tools. I am pretty certain if I tried to do that this blog would become the size of the local library! Besides others already do a better, and far more admirable, job of that than I ever can. What I can do is point you towards a few options that exist and where to find more information.

The range of Business Process Modelling tools is vast and as varied as the possible applications that they can be used for. Some are focused on pure business process and some more attuned to IT functionality. As the old adage says, “Different horses for different courses”. Tool selection depends firstly on what you want to do and secondly on the amount you are prepared to spend. Prices can vary from free to a million dollars or more! Ouch!

In general cost is proportionate to capability. If it is your desire to only produce basic models on how your business functions then costs for that level of software would be significantly lower. If, on the other hand, you want to have models that allow you to simulate or record business processes in real time and produce a current and active dashboard of your business in real time, expect to pay a bit more.

What suits a smaller company with a turnover of less than a million dollars a year is going to be vastly different from the big corporate that turns over in excess of $200M per year. Luckily BPM tool vendors provide tools for all markets and requirements.

For some smaller businesses, and sometimes even larger ones, all that is required is MS Excel or MS PowerPoint. For something a little more complex MS Visio is more than adequate.

A further aspect to consider is that if the models are to be used to develop systems and/or workflow in IT then it would be handy for the tool to have Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) language capability.

To find out about some of the options just look up BPM tools on the internet. Ooops, lots isn’t there?

Don’t despair. The internet is a great way for finding details on any number of tools but would obviously be time consuming. There is a couple of better ways:

  1. Look up Gartner or Forrester Groups on the internet. Both of these companies have already done the hard work and produce overviews on the most of the up to date tools available each year and where they sit in relation to each other. See or
  2. The second, and by far the easiest, is to ask a BPM consultant. They might not be across all available systems in the world but they will most certainly be aware of what is available in your area and, most importantly, what would suit your situation. After all isn’t that what you are trying to do?

In the end it is what you are going to use the tool for that is the most important aspect of all.

I have one word of caution: If you are looking at spending good money on purchasing a BPM tool then you also need to make a commitment to maintain and update the models as necessary to keep them current with your business.