Issue 2, 2016
Adding new dimensions to business process analysis
By Josèphe Blondaut, ARIS Product Marketing, Software AG
and Dr. Peter Müller, Lead Software Engineer, ARIS R&D, Software AG
If businesses want to succeed in the digital market, they must move into the mobile space with responsiveness and speed. Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Process Analysis (BPA) are key areas where you can reduce costs and improve productivity by leveraging mobile apps.
Consumers are accessing more content on mobile than ever before. Arguing that it is a trend, even a growing trend, does not reflect the real relevance of mobile. Mobile is no longer a trend; it’s a fact of life. We live in a culture that expects speed and efficiency. Our needs and habits as consumers create new expectations and requirements for businesses. If businesses want to succeed in the digital market, they need to leverage mobile as soon as possible.
Figure 1: Mobile—THE Game Changer for Business
BPA transforms as well
Mobile affects every single topic and business area. Just look at BPM and BPA to see the transformational effect of mobile. Carrying personal mobile devices all the time, process stakeholders rely less on the PC and desire better access to process information on their mobile devices. Your enterprise needs to empower these process business users with the right tools.
Your business users want the right information, at the right time, in the right place while, at the same time, to capture and contribute process content on the go.
Your employees expect to get the right information in their ad-hoc work context. Ad-hoc business context can be time-based, location-based or product-based (e.g., production processes differ from plant-to-plant and from car-to-car). You can even make it more specific by using a machine- or workplace-specific QR code that leads to the dedicated process information. All the business content and value collected in your ARIS database makes this approach a realistic and easy scenario to implement.
Your employees can also contribute to process improvements, capture and contribute content on the go, and view and share best practices from anywhere. Keep reading to see some real-world examples later in this article.
ARIS Mobile brings new dimensions to BPA
ARIS Mobile Access leverages ARIS capabilities and content for mobile use and facilitates the creation of your own ARIS applications (mobile or non-mobile) tailored to your needs and specific use cases.
Figure 2: ARIS Mobile Access
ARIS Mobile Access, based on the ARIS Mobile Access Infrastructure, offers an Application Programming Interface (API) that enables bidirectional, synchronous access to ARIS data on databases, groups, models, objects (definitions) as well as model objects. It is also possible to create/update model connections within an “update model” operation.
You can develop ARIS Mobile Apps as diverse as your ARIS use cases. Your apps may tackle Governance, Risk and Compliance, Enterprise Architecture, BPA and much more. With access to standard ARIS capabilities provided by ARIS repository, ARIS Document Storage and ARIS User Management, you can rest assured your mobile apps are secure.
The ARIS Mobile API is a server-side API that complies with current Web standards supporting all mobile development strategies (native, Web-based and cross). This means that all kinds of clients can use the API if they are capable of making HTTP/HTTPS requests and can handle the creation and processing of data in JSON™ format. The API is accessible via the load balancer of a typical ARIS Connect/Design Server installation.
As the API is primarily meant to be used by mobile devices, its focus is on low-volume, single request-response patterns; it is not meant for server-to-server integration nor to replace other APIs (e.g., the ARIS Report API).
The API is based on REST principles and uses the full spectrum of HTTP operations (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE). The client makes a series of individual requests in order to achieve the intended results of the ARIS Mobile App. Each request is stateless and isolated and either succeeds or fails.
The API allows you to work with typical ARIS assets such as models, groups, objects, attributes and assignments. Depending on the user's ARIS licenses as well as further ARIS mechanisms (e.g., method filter and access privileges) the user can create, update and delete data in the ARIS repository.
Of course, it is also possible to retrieve information from the ARIS repository. Items can be requested by their unique ID (GUID) or by certain search criteria (e.g., by type number or by specific attribute values). Furthermore, the API offers some support to run queries that navigate along the net of ARIS objects and their connections in order to handle complex search scenarios.
Reach process efficiency with ARIS Mobile
The ARIS Mobile App “Process Guide” delivers process-specific information, related multimedia content and trains employees at one stop. It gives dedicated process and work instructions based on specific QR codes or geo-information in context of the pending work task. Employees can access relevant application metadata, handbooks and documentation at the exact time and exact situation needed.
Figure 3: Get the right information at the right time with the Process Guide.
Imagine a new employee in a packing or producing situation. Time is short to train him and he needs to be productive in a very short time. Using the Process Guide, this employee can scan a QR code on the (packing) machine that leads him to the information he needs. The working instructions may include multimedia content, such as videos, working instructions and plans (including pictures), and may go even further into detailed IT-related or process-flow information.
Figure 4: Process Guide Examples
The Idea Manager demo app enables your employees to create and submit process improvement ideas and requirements at any time and track the status of their ideas’ evaluation.
Let’s assume an employee is discussing a specific business situation with colleagues. They develop an idea on how to improve the process and avoid challenges in a specific business area. Instead of writing it down on paper, searching for the responsible person then sending an email or calling the employee, they simply start the idea manager app and create a new idea.
Figure 5: Capture and contribute on the go with the Idea Manager demo app.
The team can specify the idea, add some multimedia content such as pictures and then search for the corresponding process. Once finished with the idea, the idea owner can submit it. This creates an idea object in the idea inbox of the corresponding ARIS database AND starts a workflow going to the process responsible. The process owner responsible can then evaluate the idea, and where necessary, implement the idea. The app will inform the idea owner about the status of his idea, based on ARIS Process Governance.
Figure 6: Idea Manager Demo Examples
The Risk Catcher demo app gives your employee the opportunity to report risks directly from the field; he simply takes a photo on his mobile device. Then he adds additional information like the “hazard,” the “event to prevent,” and the “possible consequences.” The demo app makes it even possible to link the risk to the related process (where the risk occurs) simply by scrolling through the ARIS database process list and picking the right one.
Figure 7: Identify risks from the field with Risk Catcher.
Once the risk is submitted, immediate action is taken by ARIS Process Governance to notify the process owner to take action. This real-time action can save millions by preventing negative events and injuries. The Risk Catcher demo app, a co-innovation of Software AG and Centrica (www.centrica.com), was presented live for the first time at Innovation World 2015.
Figure 8: Risk Catcher Demo Example
The Picture-to-Model demo app enables you to take a picture of a flip board process sketch after workshop sessions and automatically generate a process model directly into the ARIS database.
Figure 9: Picture-to-Model for Innovative and Fast Process Design
The workshop leader or participant can start the Picture-to-Model demo app and take a picture of the process sketch. The demo app recognizes the structure of the process, based on dedicated matrix modeling, and reads (via OCR) the text in the objects. The user can then verify that the object type and text were recognized correctly and make changes as necessary. The process is then transferred into ARIS and can be viewed and further refined.
The Picture-to-Model demo app saves time for process experts who previously had to take workshop results and model them in ARIS after the workshop.
Figure 10: Picture-to-Model Demo Examples
With ARIS Mobile Access, you can enable your employees to better interact with process information in real time wherever they are. You will realize increased process efficiency and shorter process transformation times as well as additional benefits depending on your specific use case.
Beginning process documentation will receive better acceptance and processes will integrate into dynamic business reality more easily. With 24/7 access to process information, stakeholder satisfaction will improve and real-time process engagement of stakeholders will increase.
Furthermore, the data quality and accuracy will improve by spreading process access and process self-services will lead to reduced costs. You can also expect enhanced productivity as your employees will have constant, dedicated access to up-to-date process knowledge enabling them to make greater use of it.
In a nutshell, ARIS Mobile Access brings processes closer to your employees!