The Business Process Modeler (BPM) is a Microsoft tool within Lifecycle Services (LCS) that you can use to create, view, and modify process libraries, word documents and other artifacts for your implementation. The Business Process Modeler has multiple components – each component provides value individually but combined the value grows exponentially with each layer. Let’s discuss some tips and tricks for using each component of the BPM.
There are 5 layers to the BPM, let’s start by discussing some tips and tricks for the first layer: Business Process Model Structure:
- Plan structure in advance, keeping levels less than five deep where possible.
- Decide between the current and the updated user experience. Microsoft has developed an updated user experience for the BPM. Currently, both experiences are available and will remain available while there is still functionality from the old that has not been upgraded to the new experience. You can use both and toggle between the two. Here are some differences:
- Instead of creating a new BPM library, copy similar BPM library and then update the new library.
- Delete actually deletes the library, so devise a backup and restore plan for your BPM libraries. Currently, there is no security setting that can grant a user access to a project but you can lock down access to the Delete option. If a BPM library is deleted, it is gone and it is very difficult to get back. You can log a support ticket with Microsoft but whether they can restore it or not will depend on how long ago the library was deleted and you need to know the library number. Internally, we “publish” BPM libraries regularly with the notation BACKUP included in the BPM Library name. These libraries don’t get approved so they don’t become corporate libraries but remain accessible if a BPM library is accidentally deleted.
- Import business processes from other related libraries, instead of manually entering them. This option allows you to copy portions of one BPM and paste into a different BPM. When you import the library, all artifacts are imported as well. See “import” option in screenshot below.
- Use consistent naming conventions throughout the BPM. At our organization, we use title case for all BPM nodes and for our Tasks (the lowest level) we start the name with a present tense action verb.
- Use “reviewed by” to track progress. Reset “reviewed by” for new phases. Green Check Mark signifies that the business process or task has been reviewed. Orange Circle signifies that the tasks that make up that business process has been partially reviewed. Red Line signifies that it has not been reviewed. At our organization, we use the review process for each implementation stage. For example, once CRP1 is completed and all business processes have been reviewed, we reset all statuses to ‘not reviewed’ and execute the review process again for the next implementation stage. See the “Reviewed” column in the screenshot below.
- When adding new child business processes, ensure that no task guides are currently attached to the parent. This is a lesson learned. If you have a task in your BPM that has a Task Recording attached and then you decide to add child levels under it, you should not just add child levels. If you do, the task recording attached at the parent level will continue to be included in your Diagram counts, but it will not be accessible. You can only access the task recording if the task is the lowest level within your BPM Library. So instead of just adding child tasks, delete the task and add it fresh so that the task recording counts remain accurate and all task recordings can be accessed as task guides. See ‘Create Products’ task in screen shot below. If I add a child process to that level, then the task recording currently attached with be included in the Diagram count but the user will not be able to view those process steps or run that task guide any longer.
- Search using “quotes” to limit search results. For example, if you search for Quality Groups, you will find all business processes with either the word Quality or the word Group. If you search for “Quality Groups”, you will just find business processes with the string “Quality Groups”.
See Search bar in the screenshot below.
Don't forget to take a look at the next blog in this series that will discuss some tips and tricks of the next layer in the Business Process Modeler: Visio Flows.