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CIOReviewPBMedIn the February edition of CIO Review, Sparx Systems has been recognized by a distinguished panel of CEO's, CIO's, CMO's, VC's, analysts and the CIO Review editorial board, from a select group of over 300 companies as one of the "most promising BPM technology solution providers".

 

First awarded the honor in 2015, this is a continuing recognition of Sparx Systems' ability to provide technology solutions to streamline operations in a faster, less resource-intensive manner, while keeping costs under control. 

 

For more information regarding CIO Review's 20 Most Promising BPM Solution Providers - 2017, please view the PDF here.

 

An interview with Founder and CEO Geoffrey Sparks is also featured in this month's edition titled 'Architecting' Agile Enterprises, where Geoffrey discusses Enterprise Architect's unique market position as the go-to platform for enterprise-wide digital transformation. 

 

Read the in-depth article between CIO Review and Geoffrey Sparks here: Sparx Systems - Architecting Agile Enterprises (PDF)

 

The February edition of CIO Review can be read at the CIOReview website: http://magazine.cioreview.com/magazines/February2017/BPM

Published in News

Enterprise Architect User Group

London 2017; 18th - 19th May

EA User Group - London 2017The London

2017 meeting of the Enterprise Architect User Group sees a shakeup to the agenda in the form of an additional day being added to the roster. In additional to the traditional presentation day of User Stories, How to's etc the extra day added to the event is taking the form of a training day.

The training day adds to the event a selection of six, three hour training sessions on a variety of subjects from BPMN to TOGAF and Model Curation.


Location

Code Node, 10 South Place, London, EC2M 7BT

Get Directions

EA User Group - London 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Agenda; Thursday 18th May

EA User Group - London 2017

You can find information on these training sessions over at the EA User Group website.


Agenda; Friday 19th May

EA User Group - London 2017

You can find a synopsis for each of these presentations over on the EA User Group website.


How to buy your tickets...

Tickets for the event are available directly from the EA User Group website and are priced as follows:

  • Full two day event ticket; £550.00 +Vat
  • Friday only ticket; £75.00 +Vat

EA User Group - London 2017

Published in News

Digital Transformation is inevitable, are you ready?

Join us in our complimentary workshop to learn what the experts are saying about digital business transformation, and get a personal view of how Next generation Business Architecture and Business Process Management (BPMN, CMMN & DMN) tools and techniques are enabling stakeholders across the organization to bridge gaps and collaborate on the business transformation process

Date: Tuesday August 30 

Time: 12pm - 4pm

Venue: The Big Picture, Seattle, WA, USA

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/dmn-bpmn-cmmn-how-to-make-the-most-of-next-generation-bpm-in-your-digital-enterprise-tickets-27011203236

Published in News

Animated Banner eac2016 bpm2016 confStrategic IT Training organization IRM UK, will be hosting two co-located conferences in London during June 13-16.

 

IRM UK state that the EACBPM conference is "Europe’s only Co-located Conferences on Enterprise Architecture and BPM."

The event provides a unique opportunity to discover the latest approaches and innovative ideas to both BPM and EA and benefit from the synergies between them.

Sparx Systems is a sponsor for the event and senior Sparx representatives will also be in attendance to exhibit the Enterprise Architect platform.

For more information regarding EACBPM 2016, please visit the IRM UK website: http://www.irmuk.co.uk/eac2016/

Published in Events

At the start of this year, the training organization TwentyEighty Strategy Execution released a report titled The Top Ten Business Analysis Trends for 2016, which examined a number of the forces effecting change in the work of business analysts (BA). Amongst its findings, the report noted an increased focus on modeling and collaborative communication, which it attributes to an evolution from the BA's "traditionally tactical role to one of true alignment to overall business strategy to better meet customer needs.”

LinkedinPlus spirographBA

This finding mirrors much of the current commentary regarding BAs. Views from analysts and observers indicate an involvement of the BA in overall enterprise improvement. Moving away from “gathered and managed” requirements as indicated in the recent article on BA Times by the staff at Watermark Learning. Expectations of the role are changing from one of project-based software delivery, to one of overall strategy execution - resulting in an increased purview of people and processes, as well as technology.

From a quick review of the IIBA®'s Business Analysis Competency Model1, we can surmise this evolution is also indicative of the emerged BA career path, with senior BAs expected to perceive the "overall picture and how individual actions fit within it"1. This is no small feat, considering some of the factors which can hold progress back.

The TwentyEighty report notes the pressures for and against the evolution of the BA role. It notes there is often pressure to provide the weighty and static requirements documents that limit a BA's flexibility to evolve and adapt to ongoing business needs. This is where tooling can help.

Platforms such as Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect can help mitigate these pressures, by keeping BAs connected with and manage the changes within the enterprise. They can remain connected with business and IT teams, helping to produce flexible requirements documents using corporate-formatted templates, using just a few button clicks.

Further to this, modeling techniques such as BPMN, org charts, strategy maps, business rules, enterprise architecture frameworks such as Zachman and UPDM, in addition to balanced scorecards, help demonstrate meaningful links between corporate strategy and execution. They are then communicated with the teams responsible for development. When a platform is shared, its easier to be a part of the same team.

The execution of established strategy can be facilitated using a shared environment and communication tools, including in-tool 'model mail', cloud services, team review and document generation. Communication tools keep domains continuously connected across different geo-located teams.

Heatmaps, use case modeling, business process simulation and Enterprise Architect's tractability matrix can ensure corporate strategy is realized. The new Kanban diagrams in version 12.1, provide high level insights which allow analysts to zero in on potential gains by calling attention to standout processes.

ea121banner2

A free read-only version called EA Lite, is available to download from the Sparx Systems website making it a lot simpler to engage executive management in the progress of work items, helping to promote buy-in and keep a project on track by demonstrating its connection with business value.

In a new initiative to integrate business analysis best practices into the modeling environment, Sparx Systems has established a strategic partnership with the IIBA and is currently developing a BABOK® Guide v3 Reference Model to be delivered within Enterprise Architect.

As the role of the BA expands to take in so much more of a company's strategy and requires ongoing connectivity with many different teams - smart, integrated platforms can help mitigate some of those pressures and facilitate opportunities for innovation that can go otherwise unexplored.

Sparx Systems offers a free 30 day trial of Enterprise Architect from the Sparx Systems website: www.sparxsystems.com/try

 

1. International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®) (2011). Business Analysis Competency Model. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: International Institute of Business Analysis. 16.

Published in Sparx Insights
Friday, 26 February 2016 00:42

BPMN and the Digital Enterprise - Part 2

This is the second of a 2 part series - Read Part 1 here.

 

Internal Coherence:

The link between processes and value creation is the point of focus for business.  Processes are often the heart of how many organizations look to deliver value both inside and outside of the organization and the overarching organisational process is the value chain.

The BPMN standard developed by the Object Management Group (OMG), provides the ability to communicate both internal and external business procedures, in a graphical, standardised manner.  This core enabler of business process management supports both Business and IT, in that it allows the modeling of business processes and services, in a notation that is both intuitively understood by the Business Analysts, who draft the processes, while including the complex semantics - comprehended by Software Developers, who implement the technology - to execute these processes.

waves of change slice

 

Complexity and Risk:

An equally important aim of the BPMN is to ensure that XML, designed for business process execution - and BPML - can also be visually expressed in a common notation. The value of modeling is the capacity to assist the management of complexity and associated risk and to facilitate communication. The models produced, reflect the activities between businesses and their customers and provide explicit records of the agreed requirements for successful business processes.

 

Change Readiness:

To manage inter-organizational business processes, concepts for business process management (BPM) need to be adopted and extended. Formerly siloed key industries are being forced to collaborate, rethink their fundamental business purpose, envision the business they are in and will be in.  They are rapidly adapting from exclusive, to inclusive and from “me” to “we.”  In the “we” future of collaboration, success lies in how organisations use technology to improve their own internal processes, while tapping into exo-organisational ecosystems.

Mobile and automotive industries are collaborating, as are health, retail, and aviation. This requires the propagation of data between different organisations where sharing of standards based process models has a mutual benefit.

New cross-organizational processes need close coordination among networking partners and in this area the Schema Composer in Enterprise Architect 12.1 represents a key enabling technology.

 

Business Language:

cio review bpmJust as the value of a model, is the standards-based common view of a complex system that it presents to a variety of stakeholders, so being able to successfully construct messages from within the model is very valuable because the format or style of messages to be exchanged, can be designed and communicated in a standards-based way- between machine to machine or business to business.  

The Schema Composer provides all entities with mutual assurance via interoperability standards, as to how each entity will react, read and connect with respect to the message exchange and removes the concern to ensure that messages will be successfully exchanged - i.e received and understood - on key levels such as business, information, software etc.  

New business opportunities are realised through collaboration and interoperability. At the heart of any change, whatever it may be is a common standards-based reference frame that allows individuals and business to understand their industry goal, and their contribution and role in achieving the goal.

 

Collaboration:

Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard. In the face of the disruptive challenges, successful transition to optimised utilisation of strategic information technology is a priority for many organisations.  Collaboration supports group synthesis, enabling the enterprise to leverage the strengths of all its parts to increase the chances of success while reducing or eliminating process overlap and resource redundancy. The shared awareness of issues promoted through collaboration, encourages trust and builds confidence in group stakeholders, synergising the collective response to problem resolution.

Betsy Burton, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner said in a 2011 press release “Organizations that do not focus EA on their business strategy and on collaborating with business leaders will be greatly limited in their ability to deliver substantial business value. To achieve business outcomes and to drive business change, EA value must be collaboratively developed and supported within the context of the business direction, strategy and future vision."

The organization's enterprise architecture plays a key role in this transition. It is no surprise that in the current atmosphere of technology change collaboration in the enterprise architecture work space is growing.  A recent article in SD Times, reports from the 2014 Collaborative Development trends report by the Linux Foundation that collaborative development is on the rise. Nearly half of business managers surveyed said they got involved in collaborative development because it allows them to innovate and/or help transform their industry.  

A common reference frame that allows individuals to understand what the goal is, and their contribution and role in achieving the goal, is at the heart of any change, whatever it may be.

 

 

Viewing the Future:

BPSim is directly linked to (and extends) the Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) standard to enable easy exchange of models and analysis data required for simulation between platforms.

Business transformation projects are frequently initiated by enterprises in order to capitalise on market opportunities and boost profitability and a critical task is to create an accurate picture of exactly which business processes and resources are needed to deliver against future demand.  Furthermore, they must be sure that any business changes support optimised efficiency and a clear understanding developed around  the crucial timing of key asset investments.

Simulating business processes offers a view of future performance of new processes and the opportunity to validate changes to existing processes without disturbing current business operations.

 

Additional Resources:

Page: MDG Technology for Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)

Brochure: MDG Technology for BPMN

Platforms Page: Tools for Business Process Modeling using the BPMN

Resources: The Business Process Model

News Item: Sparx Systems - 20 Most Promising BPM Solution Providers 2015

 

For information about how Enterprise Architect provides essential support for all of the critical business change issues mentioned above, please visit Sparx Systems website at www.sparxsystems.com, where you can download a 30 day evaluation licence and test for yourself.

Published in Sparx Insights

BPMN GeneratorBPMN Generator

An add-in for Enterprise Architect from Dunstan Thomas Consulting

We have had our very own Phil Chudley busy beavering away at a new project which is now commercially available & already in use with DT's customer base.

Overview

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect has the functionality to create diagrams directly from Use Case textual scenarios, the most common of which is termed an Activity Graph. This Activity Graph is a simplified form of UML Activity Diagram. This works well, but many organisations have, or are in the process of, standardising the modelling of process flows using BPMN 2.0, and this form of diagram is not supported by Enterprise Architect. The BPMN Generator extension for Enterprise Architect has been developed by Dunstan Thomas Consulting Ltd to provide the functionality to generate a BPMN 2.0 process flow diagram from Use Case textual scenarios. A typical example is shown below:

Textual Scenario for the Basic Path

BPMN Generator - basic path  

Textual Scenario for the Alternate Path

BPMN Generator - alternate path  

Generated BPMN 2.0 Diagram

BPMN Generator - generated diagram


The BPMN Generator also provides the modeller with options to set:

  • The top margin of the generated diagram.
  • The left margin of the generated diagram.
  • The default height of each task.
  • The adjustment height of each task (used to ensure that text fits in a task).
  • Whether or not a new diagram and elements will be generated rather than overwrite any existing diagram and elements.

Watch the video below to see the BPMN Generator in action:

https://youtu.be/WhL9vEdvHF0 


The BPMN Generator is available from Dunstan Thomas Consulting at £85.00 +Vat per licence. If you would like additional information or to purchase licences for the BPMN Generator then please contact us.

Published in News
Monday, 15 February 2016 23:43

BPMN and the Digital Enterprise - Part 1

Schumpeters Gale:

Creative destruction or “Schumpeters Gale” describes the persistent process of change that internally renews the economic status quo, destroying the old and creating the new. Schumpeter’s description of the process of change - while describing economic forces - could aptly be applied to technology, specifically, information technology. Just like a gale, the disruption maelstrom can suddenly destroy markets, industries and businesses and their operations and processes.  The aftermath is the new “normal”.

 

Digital storm blur sliced 600x251

 

Value Chain:

Michael Porter first used the term “Value Chain” three decades ago, to describe how an organisational unit, can manage its business while gaining competitive advantage. Within that period, Business Process Management (BPM) has become a critical success factor.  While the cyclone of digital disruption grows in intensity, the time to adapt business processes to the tempest shrinks. This adaption is business process re-engineering, necessitated by the forces of change - cloud, social media, mobility, Internet of Things and data. See “Growing Business Agility to Create Competitive Advantage - Digital Transformation”.

 

Business Language:

BPM Notation, (BPMN) a core enabler of Business Process Management (BPM), is a  notation readily  understood by business users, from the business analysts that create the initial drafts of processes, to the technical developers responsible for systems implementation, that will execute those processes and finally to the business people, who will manage and monitor those processes.

The value of BPMN is that it simplifies the creation of business process models while addressing the inherent complexity of business processes. Enterprise Architect provides a full-featured implementation of the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) allowing business processes to be expressed in a standard graphical notation and traced throughout enterprise and system models. It can also be used, to automatically generate Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).

 

cio review bpmMobile:

The Mobile revolution is providing equity of access to education, health, government, banking, environment and business, for much of the global community. However, it is also challenging enterprise business models in every sector. It is here to stay and represents a disruptive influence on business that cannot be ignored.

 

Cloud:

The transformative power of Cloud is presenting opportunities to efficiently facilitate new revenue, services and business, as companies harness. It is collapsing the supply chain, creating more effective and timely interaction between clients and suppliers while delivering speed, agility and cost reduction to IT and other functional areas within the enterprise, such as HR and CRM.

 

Internet of Things:

The Internet of Things (IoT) will require organizations to master new business models, architectures, operating systems, tools, methodologies, databases, networks, middleware, and sourcing partners.  The explosion of the IOT will contribute to the generation of exponential data growth which threatens our current ability to cope. Without support from collaborative technologies that support highly automated processes, the time required to make this data re-usable is impractical. Meanwhile new data silos are spawned. Sparx Systems has provided a trinity of powerful tools to address this issue, - Cloud Service, Reusable Asset Service and OSLC.

 

Measured Success and Business Governance:

Meanwhile, systems integration is being challenged because legacy systems cannot integrate with the new force-driven technologies, as system documentation is often inadequate.  The inability to meet this challenge prevents many sectors from seizing the new opportunities created by change.  The success of this critical adaption and reinvention of core business processes is measured in the resulting digital value, consistently realised by customers, suppliers, partners and other stakeholders alike.

 

Essential Tools:

bpmn model with bpsim configuration

 Across different business sectors, an awareness of this “new business norm” necessitates the basic requirement that enterprise-class BPM principles are hard wired into operations.  To fulfil this fundamental governance requirement, Enterprise Architect and standards, including Business Process Modeling and Notation (BPMN), are essential tools. They can improve agility and flexibility and create leaner organisations, by assisting to integrate the business elements of the value chain.

 
While applying UML as the base, these techniques enable the enterprise to better understand and design its enterprise architecture and allow the organisation to react rapidly, with greater control over outcomes and governance obligations.  Enterprise Architect supports the direct mapping of these obligations to the enterprise architecture.

 

Additional Resources:

Page: MDG Technology for Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)

Brochure: MDG Technology for BPMN

Platforms Page: Tools for Business Process Modeling using the BPMN

Resources: The Business Process Model

News Item: Sparx Systems - 20 Most Promising BPM Solution Providers 2015

 

For information about how Enterprise Architect provides essential support for all of the critical business change issues mentioned above, please visit Sparx Systems website at www.sparxsystems.com, where you can download a 30 day evaluation licence and test for yourself.

 

BPMN and the Digital Enterprise Part 2: Read More Here

Published in Sparx Insights

Introduction

Straight out of the box, Sparx Enterpise Architect provides support for multiple modeling notations. Using a synergy of notations can result in a better description of business architecture. This article considers how ArchiMate, BPMN and UML can be combined into a model that is focused at a high-level of abstraction, whilst still allowing for some critical details to be explored.

Revealing layers of abstraction

As explained in Marc Lankhorst's book Enterprise Architecture at Work (third edition, p. 117), modeling notations provide a way to represent knowledge. The process of building, sharing and transforming the model can foster a new level of understanding amongst the participants. This refined knowledge is (at least) as valuable as the resulting model artifacts (the representation). Effective communication of that knowledge requires consideration for the target audience and an appropriate level of detail.

ArchiMate is good for:

  • People who have a job title like Enterprise Architect or Business Architect.
  • Presenting high-level and layered abstractions of the business itself, along with the software and technology that are used to support it.
  • Tracing and illustrating how the motivating strategy is realised by the business.
  • Planning the evolution and transformation of a business.
  • Supporting concepts that are similar to those found within TOGAF.

By design, the ArchiMate 2.1 specification does not (explicitly) provide for detailed:

  • Business process modeling
  • Data modeling

Meanwhile:

  • BPMN (Business Process Modeling and Notation) is focused on the detailed modeling of business processes; naturally enough, BPMN is increasingly used amongst the Business Analyst community.
  • UML Class diagrams may be used to detail data types, along with the relationships between data types; they are widely recognized amongst software developers, and a good alternative to using entity relationship diagrams for logical data modeling.

Coordinating multiple notations in a single model repository

UML is the native metamodel and notation of Sparx Enterprise Architect. Each additional notation (such as ArchiMate and BPMN) is provided as a MDG (Model-Driven Generator) technology within the tool. The UML specification provides for semantic extension of the UML through the mechanism of Profiles, Stereotypes and Tagged Values. Profiles are the heart of each MDG Technology, enhanced with Sparx tool specific details supporting new types of diagram notations and diagram toolboxes.

Using multiple notations within a single repository requires a disciplined approach in order maintain clarity. In brief, the best practice is to:

  • Restrict the elements of each notation to a separate root node.
  • Use the UML «Trace» dependency to provide an elegant way of relating elements belonging to different notations.

Add root node to your Sparx Enterprise Architect repository

You might not have realised that the File|New Project… menu option is something of a misnomer. Both EAP and FEAP files are actually self-contained model repositories, and can therefore contain multiple root nodes (just like a RDBMS hosted shared repository, whether accessed through an ODBC or Cloud connection). As a reminder, you can add a new root node into a repository by performing the following steps:

  1. If necessary, click View|Project Browser to open the Project Browser window.
  2. Right-click inside the blank (white) area of the Project Browser window and then click Add|Add Root Node….
  3. The Create New Model (root node) window is displayed. Type MyCorporation (ArchiMate) into the Model Name field.
  4. In a similar way, create root nodes for:
    • MyCorporation (BPMN)
    • MyCorporation (UML)

Create a «Trace» dependency between elements belonging to different notations

As stated in the Unified Modeling Language 2.5 specification (p246):

"Models can have Abstraction Dependencies between them: refinement (stereotyped by «Refine» from the Standard Profile) or mapping (for example stereotyped by «Trace» from the Standard Profile). These are typically represented in more detail by Dependencies between the elements contained in the Models. Relationships between elements in different Models generally have no direct impact on the contents of the Models because each Model is meant to be complete. However, they are useful for tracing refinements and for keeping track of cross-references between models."

ArchiMate for an architectural understanding

For example, an ArchiMate Business Process Viewpoint diagram for Purchase Item might look as follows:

 

business-process-viewpoint-purchase-items.jpg

This provides a high-level overview of a core business process, with enough detail to inform stakeholders and decision making at a whole-enterprise level of abstraction.

BPMN for detailing business processes

BPMN can be used to detail the ArchiMate Business Process concept, as follows:

 

bpmn-purchase-items.jpg

UML for detailing the data entites

UML Classes can be used to detail the ArchiMate Business Object concept, as follows:

 

logical-data-modeling.jpg

Usually, diagrams should only contain a single notation. In the examples above, multiple notations are deliberately used to visualise «Trace» dependencies between the ArchiMate, BPMN and UML elements.

How-to add «Trace» dependencies between elements model elements

Best practice for adding «Trace» dependencies using a diagram is to:

  1. Temporarily add the required elements of the foreign notation to a diagram.
  2. Draw the «Trace» depencies between elements.
  3. Remove the foreign notation elements from the diagrams, whilst retaining the traceablity links within the model repository. (So, delete the foreign elements from the diagram, but NOT the repository).

Alternatively, you could use the Relationship Matrix functionality of Sparx Enterprise Architect (click Tools|Relationship Matrix to get started).

Summary

The UML specified «Trace» dependency (relationship) is an elegant way of tracing between different modeling notations. Sparx Enterprise Architect provides a wide coverage of modeling notations, by leveraging the UML Profiles mechanism, and enhancing it with MDG technologies. In practice, this enables a synergy of the ArchiMate, BPMN and UML notations. Models can be constructed as layered abstractions, moving from one notation to another to suit the level of detail required by the user and intended audience.

Published in Tutorials

 

Hippo Software has extended Enterprise Architect and BPMN training materials to add Conversation and Choreography diagrams to existing Business Process and Collaboration diagrams providing complete coverage of the BPMN 2.0 standard.

 

More information is available at http://www.hippo-software.co.uk/pages/BPMN.htm

Published in News
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