|Issue 3, 2013||Download pdf|
webMethods Optimize for Process is a Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) solution that gives you real-time, actionable insight into process activity. See how processes are performing across your entire enterprise.
With webMethods Optimize for Process you have the flexibility to monitor fully orchestrated Business Process Management (BPM) processes or take a “Measure First” approach. The Measure First approach uses an external process that can be structured into process steps. A set of web service interfaces as well as a built-in Information System (IS) package are provided to enable you to send your process-related data to Optimize for Process.
Using either approach you can be alerted to potential issues and can immediately identify the culprit. You can even see how to correct the problem. You can set up alerts based on what the system knows as normal or at thresholds. The baseline (normal) calculation is automatically computed by webMethods Optimize for Process using data that is collects over time. Knowing the baseline for your business is critical when creating alerts to ensure the right people or systems take the corrective actions at the right time.
The following sections describe some ways that you can use Optimize for Process to improve your business process monitoring.
Key Performance Indices
Optimize for Process allows you to create custom Key Performance Indices (KPIs) in addition to the “Intrinsic Process Metrics” that are collected. You can also create a KPI for both process and custom data. For example, Optimize for Process automatically collects data for the “Step Cycle”. This is a valuable KPI, but it becomes more valuable when you add dimensions with custom data. By adding the customer name dimension, you can now look at step cycle time for a particular customer and then keep an eye on what is happening for a specific customer to make sure you are meeting their SLAs. This is important because SLAs aren’t the same across the board.
Do you have an SLA with some of your vendors regarding certain steps in the process? For example, take a simple process such as Order-Fill-Ship-Bill. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the fill step is taking too long and that the ship step won’t meet your SLA? Knowing that there is a problem before it happens help minimize your risk.
Optimize for performance can identify that a step transition is taking longer than normal and alert you about that behavior in real-time. You can also have the system automatically take corrective action. In this example, you may need to look at another supplier for the fill step. This helps your business run smoothly, keeping your vendors and customers happy.
Alerts can also be set up using escalation management. If a problem continues for multiple iterations, an alert can be sent to the appropriate people. When people are involved in resolving problems it is important that they have all of the right data available to troubleshoot. In a recent release of Optimize for Performance, a new user interface was added to improve process visibility.
Figure 1: Monitor process performance, drill down, and escalate in an easy-to-read dashboard
Using the data that is presented in the dashboard shown in Figure 1, you can look at your process performance today compared to the last 24 hours. You can also drill down into the instance. By clicking on Cycle Time you can see all the active instances today and, if needed, click to the actual instance to take the appropriate action.
You can also see the process volume and rule violations. You may question why the rule violations are important and what is different from the problems report. In the data that is presented, you can view all the instances of the rule fired during a 24-hour period. This can easily help you identify a problem area or point out that the rule needs to be adjusted to give more accurate notifications.
Another key feature of Optimize for Process is that you can create your own dashboards using ARIS MashZone. As you can see in Figure 2, you can choose the data that is important to you and highlight it on a dashboard. In this example, there are separate tabs: one tab includes data from Optimize for Performance and the other tab includes data from ARIS Process Performance Manager (PPM).
Figure 2: Customize your view with ARIS MashZone
There are many ways that Optimize for Process can help you gain visibility into your business processes. Monitoring is the key to ensuring that you are taking action before there is a problem in your business. With webMethods Optimize for Process you can correct issues before they become a costly outage or SLA violation.
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