erwin Expert Blog

Business process management’s role in utilizing knowledge

Business process management’s role in utilizing knowledge is, in essence, about alignment, making sure you have the key pieces of knowledge from individual employees, departments and operations. This way, businesses can make better decisions with greater context, based on the full picture.

erwin Expert Blog

Getting started with business process modeling: Why am I doing this?

Getting started with business process modeling is better done sooner rather than later. Especially since business processes modeling is essential to a data strategy.

erwin Expert Blog

Business Process Management Provides Invaluable Knowledge

‘Knowledge is power’ – a well-known phrase and one that is especially true in the business world. Statistics show that Fortune 500 companies lose $31.5 billion each year by failing to gather and share knowledge effectively. So knowing the best way to undertake every business process you have will help drive your business forward.

erwin Expert Blog

Basics of Business Process Modeling

Business process modeling is becoming progressively more relevant. Everyday businesses aspire to make organizational changes that will boost their firms and drive them forward.

However to make a change that will really make a difference, you need to have a clear understanding as to what your business currently does – in every area.

As companies move expand quickly, few truly understand the way things are done, and that’s where business process modeling  is vital.

It’s a concept that some aren’t familiar with, so below we’ve summed up some of the frequently asked questions to get you started.

What is business process modeling?

A business process is an activity or set of activities designed to achieve a specific goal, and your organization has thousands of them!

For example, if your company delivers goods to customers, the business process is the numerous steps and actions taken to get the items from your warehouse to the customer.

If you don’t understand what your business processes are, there is a real risk that members of your organization all do things differently – some effectively and efficiently, but others in more time-consuming ways that don’t benefit  your business.

By modeling your business processes, you can know the activities being undertaken and identify the best way to do each one.

What are the benefits of business process modeling?

Most organizations understand what they need to do to get the results that they want, at least at a basic level. But clunky processes, inefficient teams, lack of information and poor communication frequently get in the way.

Employees who spend time fighting fires, hunting for data and reacting to unnecessary roadblocks are prevented from executing your strategic objectives. This is a huge factor in lethargic time to markets and stops businesses from effectively moving forward.

The aim of business process modeling is to standardize your processes and the ways in which people communicate, as well as to improve knowledge sharing.

By doing so, you have a much better understanding of what everyone is doing, you share best practices more effectively, and can implement business changes easier.

How can erwin help with business process modeling?

Working with the chief operational officer, the operations team and others, erwin’s consultants can assist in business process modeling by documenting existing business processes, designing an improved process flow, and building a plan for moving forward with organizational change.

erwin can help you do this simply and swiftly, so you don’t miss out on opportunities for growth. Our workshop approach – with our people and tools – lets us hold up a mirror and do a quick assessment.

We can capture the models and show you a picture of your organization far faster than you can and often in a way you’ve never seen before, giving a third-party objective perspective vital to moving your business forward.

If you would like help you with your business process modeling, get in touch with us today.

Importance of Governing Data

erwin Expert Blog

Why Data vs. Process is dead, and why we should look at the two working together

Whether a collection of data could be useful to a business, is all just a matter of perspective. We can view data in its raw form like a tangled set of wires, and for them to be useful again, they need to be separated.

We’ve talked before about how Data Modeling, and Enterprise Architecture can make data easier to manage and decipher, but arguably, there’s still a piece of the equation missing.

To make the most out of Big Data, the data must also be rationalized in the context of the business’ processes, where the data is used, by whom, and how. This is what process modeling aims to achieve. Without process modeling, businesses will find it difficult to quantify, and/or prioritize the data from a business perspective – making a truly business outcome-focused approach harder to realize.

So What is Process Modeling?

“Process modeling is the documentation of an organization’s processes designed to enhance company performance,” said Martin Owen, erwin’s VP of Product Management.

It does this by enabling a business to understand what they do, and how they do it.

As is commonplace for disciplines of this nature, there are multiple industry standards that provide the basis of the approach to how this documentation is handled.

The most common of which, is the “business process modeling notation” (BPMN) standard. With BPMN, businesses can analyze their processes from different perspectives, such as a human capital perspective, shining a light on the roles and competencies required for a process to perform.

Where does Data Modeling tie in with Process Modeling?

Historically, industry analysts have viewed Data and Process Modeling as two competing approaches. However, it’s time that notion was cast aside, as the benefits of the two working in tandem are too great to just ignore.

The secret behind making the most out of data, is being able to see the full picture, as well as drill down – or rather, zoom in – on what’s important in the given context.

From a process perspective, you will be able to see what data is used in the process and architecture models. And from a data perspective, users can see the context of the data and the impact of all the places it is used in processes across the enterprise. This provides a more well-rounded view of the organization and the data. Data modelers will benefit from this, enabling them to create and manage better data models, as well as implement more context specific data deployments.

It could be that the former approach to Data and Process Modeling was born out of the cost to invest in both (for some businesses) being too high, aligning the two approaches being too difficult, or a cocktail of both.

The latter is perhaps the more common culprit, though. This is evident when we consider the many companies already modeling both their data and processes. But the problem with the current approach is that the two model types are siloed, severing the valuable connections between the data and meaning alignment is difficult to achieve. Additionally, although all the data is there, the aforementioned severed connections are just as useful as the data itself, and so denying them means a business isn’t seeing the full picture.

However, there are now examples of both Data and Process Modeling being united under one banner.

“By bringing both data and process together, we are delivering more value to different stakeholders in the organization by providing more visibility of each domain,” suggested Martin. “Data isn’t locked into the database administrator or architect, it’s now expressed to the business by connections to process models.”

The added visibility provided by a connected data and process modeling approach is essential to a Big Data strategy. And there are further indications this approach will soon be (or already is), more crucial than ever before. The Internet of Things (IoT), for example, continues to gain momentum, and with it will come more data, at quicker speeds, from more disparate sources. Businesses will need to adopt this sort of approach to govern how this data is moved and united, and to identify/tackle any security issues that arise.

Enterprise Data Architecture and Data Governance