New Book – Microsoft Visio 2010 Business Process Diagramming and Validation

For those interested in Process Design and Implementation using Visio 2010, David Parker’s new book Microsoft Visio 2010 Business Process Diagramming and Validation explains Visio diagram validation, the APIs behind it, and shows how to to build tools to make it all much easier!

The target audience for this book is the .Net developer community, Office users and technical folks but may still be of interest to those who wish to understand the depth and breadth of  features available in the new version of Visio.

As to be expected, the book is tutorial in structure and many demonstrations for creating Validation Rules, writing ShapeSheet formulae etc. The example code for these are all included and therefore is great for those who ‘learn by doing’ making the practical and immediately deployable examples very useful.

  • Download a free copy of Chapter 2 – Understanding the Microsoft Visio Object Model
  • Watch Visio 2010 Video

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BPM Centre of Excellence – Strategic & Tactical Value Explained

Foreword: Having recently completed the design and implementation of an operational BPM Competency Centre for a Global Insurance company, I thought I would share a bit of my recent experience on the subject. The Competency Centre initiative formed part of the extremely ambitious IT and Business Transformation programme that is fundamental in redefining the organisation and laying the foundation for its expansion strategy across Europe.

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Over the decades, the search for IT and/or Business ‘Excellence’ has led to a concept that is often misunderstood and can be very amorphous in definition and execution – Business/IT Transformation.

A term also commonly used in the same context is that of a Centre of Excellence or ‘CoE’ aka ‘Competency Centre.’  In this post, I will not attempt to redefine either, but rather explain a bit more about how the various constituent parts of a CoE can support Transformation projects and more specifically Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives.

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The purpose of a CoE is to act as a nucleus for promoting and managing the collaboration of people, processes and technologies around key organisational objectives by ensuring the application of best practices, education and training, support services and technology awareness.

In most organisations, this is an extremely complex challenge, especially if the level of organisational maturity is low and their existing operational model is disjointed. That said, more mature and integrated organisations find the exigency and necessary focus for adopting a CoE a challenge.

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IBM BlueWorks – Value Proposition & Overview

Since the news broke earlier in the year, there has been much discussion regarding what IBM BlueWorks is and what its value proposition is comparison to WebSphere. As can be expected, there has also been some confusion.

In the light of the Lombadi Software acquisition, I thought this brief overview would be useful for the uninitiated. More information can be found at the IBM Blueworks Community site and for an overview of Lombardi refer to this post.

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Model Oriented Architecure (MOA) – IASA Summit Presentation

A recording of the recent IASA E-Summit focussed on raising the understanding of MOA….

IASA has recently identified the need for an industry level education in Model Oriented Architecture which includes related concepts of Model Driven Architecture, Domain Specific Languages, code generation, Model Driven Development, Domain Driven Design and other architectural approaches that put the model at the center of IT initiatives. Conceptually this includes any process or framework that focuses on model as more than simply text and documentation.

As a part of this E-Summit series you will hear from practiced experts throughout the industry on MOA topics and concepts. This is the type of training you and your team can only get from practicioner based organizations like IASA.

The recording can be found here (may require registration)

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BPM Modeling Strategies Explained

I have made a couple of posts on approaches to process modeling and how benefits can be derived from using itterative methods over the last few months. Here is another one that I find very interesting as it explores the eternal question of  ‘BPM Model Preservation vs Model Transformation’.

The recent presentation (with embeded audio) given by Keith Swenson at the  2009 Process.gov conference in Washinton DC on June 19, explains how a process model may or may not change over its lifetime i.e. static business model to execution in a BPMS and what the various considerations and trade offs are.

Keith identifies 3 kinds of change that a process may undergo:

  • Business Process Enactment: – the business process as it moves from the beginning to the end of handling a single case. The process definition does not normally change here, only the process instance or context that records the state of a particular case changes.
  • Business Process Lifecycle: – these are the changes that a business process goes through from initial concept, to modeling, to integration, and finally to deployment into an enactment environment.
  • Business Process Improvement: – the change to a business process that occurs over time through repeated use of the business process lifecycle followed by analysis of how well that version of the business process worked.

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Free BPM Modeling Tools

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I was recently asked by a customer if I know of any free process modeling and automation tools. This got me thinking of how many vendors provide a free edition of their software for unlimited use i.e. no trial basis or try before you buy editions. After some research I came up with the following short list.

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 Free BPM and Process Modeling Tools:

I have not evaluated each application so could not comment on their strengths and weaknesses but would be interested to hear about other free BPM and/or Enterprise Architecture tools so I can add them to my resource list

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Information Worker – Application Design Guidance

User Experience Design is a concept that is fundamental to how we experience information and services in an electonic age.

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User experience is a term used to describe the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a product or system. It most commonly refers to a combination of software and business topics, such as selling over the web, but it applies to any result of interaction design – Wikipedia

I will not attempt to explain all the facets of this concept but further information can be found at:

What I did want to share was a very informative resource I found that focuses on helping product teams who are creating new or iteratively improving applications for thinking work.

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