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New Post 11/19/2008 8:38 AM
User is offline Leslie
1 posts
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Process Analyst Help 

Hello;

I am currently new in the position of a Process Analyst, and have to admit ....am struggling. I have had no formal training - just a self-taught, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants situation. To date,all of the information I can find focuses on the BA / IT relationship for system development, but not enough about the business process side of the position.

Could someone point me in the right direction for finding information (tips and tricks) or training for Process Improvement focused individuals?

 
New Post 11/20/2008 5:50 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Process Analyst Help 

Hi:

Lets say that I need to implement a process to add together two single digit numbers.  Now I can implement this process using a variety of techniques.  I can:

*  Program a computer to do it

*  I can hire a person whose sole task is to add the two numbers

*  I can create electronic circuits

*  I can train a dog to add the numbers (yes, this can be done - I saw it on TV).

Whether I choose a computer to add the two numbers together or I choose Fido, the essential process (add toghether two single digit numbers) remains the same - only the means of accomplishing the process changes.  Now it is wildly popular to, if I use a person to add the numbers, call the task a process, and, if I use a computer, to call the task a function.   But, that largely is just a matter of  politics.

I myself have used data flow diagrams just as successfully to define software "functions" on web-middle-tier integration projects as I have used them to define manual "processes" on business process re-engineering projects.   So I say to ignore the forced, artificial partitioning of seeing IT as involving "functional" analysis and BPR as involving "process" analysis.    Focusing on the implementation techniques will only steer you down the wrong path. 

Instead, ask yourself: How do I define a process (function, task, etc.), irregardless of the implementation mechanism used.  Looking at it this way, a function is typically defined by its data inputs and data outputs.   I say choose a technique that is going to prod you to follow the data flows.  

Tony

 

 

 
New Post 11/21/2008 12:12 AM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster


Re: Process Analyst Help 

Ierdahl,

 

Before you get started, I’d suggest you create a simple process, like making Instant Coffee. And, for each of the modelling techniques described below create a process diagram for making instant coffee..

 

I’d suggest that you consider a few older processing standard first.

 

  1. IDEF0 (1993) is not a bad one to use.  Go to http://www.idef.com/idef0.html  and download the Idef02.doc (word document). Tis particular modelling technique has its pedigree in DFDs. If you are familiar with Structured Analysis Techniques, you’ll immediately notice the style of context diagrams, decomposing a process, balancing a process etc. IDEF0 teaches you a few things like a process has,

 

q       Inputs (eg. instant coffee, sugar, milk, )

q       Controls

q       Outputs (eg. Hot coffee)

q       Mechanism (eg. Kettle, cups, spoons etc.)

 

I’d skim read the IDEF documentation.

 

  1. Next I’d familiarise my self with DFDs – a dated modelling technique – but a very good one for mapping processes. DFD teaches you a few things like a process has

 

q       Sub-ordinate processes

q       Data Flows

q       Data stores

 

There are a few “seasoned” gurus out there, people like Ed Yourdon ,Gane & Sarson and Constantine. Check them out!

 

  1. Next, I’d have a read of the UML 2.0 activity diagramming technique. UML teaches you a few things like:

 

q       Process, Activity, Action (Events)

q       Process Flows

q       Data Flows

q       Complex AND, OR, XOR flows

 

Note: While you read this you’ll notice some IDEF0 concepts

 

  1. Next, I’d have a read of the latest BPMN stuff at www.omg.org. Now BPMN will teach you a few things about

 

q       Flow Object

q       Connecting Objects

q       Swimlanes (Pools and Lanes)

q       Artifacts

 

  1. Next, I’d have a read about process patterns – why re-invent the wheel when someone has already created one. Process patterns will teach you things like

 

q       Sequential patterns

q       Parallel patterns

q       All the Van der Aalst Patterns

 

  1. Next, we’ll do business process improvements – key assumption here is you already have a process. We’ll do that next time!

 

Warm regards,

K.

 

pS. Perhaps those in the forum could present a process chart/diagram for “making instant coffee” – no more than 10 activities, including a start and finish – using what ever technique you are familiar with.

 

 
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