Business process analysis is a fundamental activity in support of critical change efforts, whether you are defining changes to existing business systems, improving your business processes, or acquiring, merging, or splitting business units. Every business is searching for better ways of getting work done. Improving efficiency, decreasing costs, increasing productivity and customer service are goals that are universal. This course provides a business analyst a tool for understanding their core business processes so that they can provide alternative solutions which meet core business needs and consider IT impacts. Management can then evaluate each alternative for its potential return on investment and the cost of implementation.
Innovation is critical in today’s environment and the need to take solutions to market faster is critical. Doing things the way they’ve always done is comfortable, but may hamper operational agility in the future. This course provides students with techniques to help your business look at how things are being done and create solution options to improve the business processes. Creating AS IS and TO BE workflows gives the business analyst a strategic view of business architecture which is essential in Agile, SOA, BPM, and any type of process improvement or COTS project. Workflows are also the foundation for documenting Six Sigma, Lean, and Value Stream process maps.
Evaluating the business process may result in software changes, procedural changes, organizational changes, personnel changes, etc. The best way to improve business operations is to: 1) study the current procedures, 2) find the core or essential work being done, and 3) define how this essential work will be accomplished. This course teaches a proven approach which gives the business analyst the confidence and credibility to offer and promote the right solution to solve the business problem or opportunity.
Students will learn to:
- Initiate a process modeling effort with clear objectives and an agreed upon goal.
- Define key terms used by the business domain to improve communications within the business.
- Ask detailed questions to get a complete understanding of current business procedures, business rules, information use, and events that impact the business processes (AS IS).
- Identify and document complex business process steps in an easy-to-review diagram using industry standard notation, BPMN. This notation was specifically developed for more effective communication with business stakeholders.
- Identify areas for process improvement by reviewing AS IS models.
- Develop process re-design strategies and present them for approval (TO BE).
- Decompose complex processes into lower level tasks and sub-processes.
- Identify the most important business component: Essential Processes.
- Conduct a review of a process model to assure accuracy.
Introduction to Business Process Analysis
- Define business process analysis.
- Solidify strong project objectives and goals.
- Learn the importance of the glossary to process modeling.
AS IS Workflow Analysis
- Utilize workflow analysis to understand the current business process (AS IS).
- Discuss key terms in process modeling and their subtle differences (process, sub-process, function, activity, essential process, task, procedure).
- Discuss the reasons for creating AS IS diagrams and models.
- Learn to create detailed Business Process Models.
- Learn the key BPMN symbols and their usage (tasks, connections, events, gateways).
- Discover and analyze tasks in the business domain.
- Identify events within the business process including delays, communications, and triggers.
- Decompose complex processes into sub-processes and create related diagrams.
- Use data artifacts to collect and analyze information currently used by the business
- Collect metrics or measurements to establish the business process baseline.
- Learn an approach to managing your workload on a large business process modeling project.
- Workshop: Create an AS IS Business Process Model for the course case study and present it to the class.
Discovering Business Rules
- Learn to listen for business rules when eliciting business process requirements.
- Learn to ask detailed questions to clarify business rules.
- Consider several approaches to organizing, documenting and getting confirmation on business rules.
- Overview of the Decision Model.
- Use decision tables to represent complex business rules.
- Workshop: Identify business rules from case study.
Essential Business Process Modeling
- Learn to identify essential business processes. An essential business process is a core requirement of the business area necessary to re-design the process for improvement. Each process must be clearly defined, consistently named, and completely described.
- Learn to extract essential processes from detailed user descriptions and the AS IS process models.
- Learn to identify redundant and reusable processes.
- Use an interviewing template to document business narratives for each essential process.
- Learn to organize essential business processes in a process outline or decomposition diagram.
- Learn several techniques to define business processes: top-down, bottom-up, and event driven.
- Learn to decompose business processes into sub-processes and tasks.
- Workshop: Identify and present essential processes for the class case study.
TO BE Workflow Analysis
- Review BPMN AS IS Models and transition to a TO BE Model.
- Evaluate the business value of each process step following the principles of Six Sigma, Lean, Value Stream Mapping, etc.
- Identify areas for improvement from the AS IS Models.
- Use root cause analysis to find the true reason for each problem.
- Review current process metrics.
- Examine handoffs and communications between process participants.
- Prioritize areas for improvement.
- Brainstorm on TO BE alternatives.
- Create TO BE models with a re-design or the business procedures supporting the essential processes.
- Collaborate with stakeholders to develop alternative solutions and evaluate each one.
- Use a solution table to define desired functionality and priorities. This table can be used as the backlog for future projects.
- Perform gap analysis to analyze gaps between the AS IS Process and the recommended TO BE Process.
- Identify transition requirements.
- Workshop: Create a TO BE Business Process Model for the course case study and present it to the class.
Develop Your Action Plan/Course Summary
- Develop an Action Plan with next steps on the student's current project.
- Student questions/discussion topics.