When we created our Business Flows reference model and set of best practice methodology over three years ago, our objective was to provide a simple process repository for everybody. The challenge we saw, was finding the right balance of being specific as well as being relevant for a wide range of customers.
The use cases and feedback from customers show that we accomplished this job well, but also let us think about what we can do developing it further.
Since the beginning of the year we have been working on upgrading model contents, conventions and methodologies and are now happy to announce the new release. version 3, of Business Flows.
The main points we have changed or added for the current release are
Additional Content (Domains, Scenarios)
We now cover several additional domains:
- Lead to Opportunity (L2O)
- After Sales and Services (ASS),
- Forecast to Plan (F2Pl) and
- Master Data Management (MDM)
Especially ASS and MDM are hot topics as many industrial companies strategically want to transform their business model more towards offering services and solutions rather than just products. This in combination with ever shorter product-innovation-cycle-times and growing markets has a massive impact on master data processes.
They need to become better integrated, faster and more reliable in order to facilitate the core processes.
Simplified role model
We have decided to discontinue the roles on BPMN level and just provide the department role on process level.
The feedback on the value of roles associated with individual processes and process steps was ambivalent as most customers have very individual organizations and corresponding role definition and naming. The added value of having an example was diminished by the discussions on how best to adapt to the actual situation.
Also, frequently - depending on size of departments and organization the role model has to be more differentiated or sometimes less differentiated.
Use case related content in detailed process charters in BPMN
We encounter two main types of use cases for the most detailed process level modeled in BPMN:
- Act as a modeling template to be copy/adjusted rather than starting on a white modeling canvas.
- Provide content on the main activities, the degrees of automation, inputs/outputs etc in order to facilitate process workshops and business requirements sessions.
We think the latter use case is of greater value to Business Flows users for which we provide the BPMN processes and have decided to focus on accumulating relevant information into dedicated sections. We call this the process charter.
The models still comply with the BPMN notation but are now structured according to the fixed scheme shown below.
Each process charter contains two core lanes representing the Happy Flow and the Exception Handling.
Where the Happy Flow indicates the best practice processing, the Exception Handling supports process workshops as they indicate the essential questions to be clarified prior to a detail design.
Additionally where available, stewardship documents covering essential business requirements such as policies, guidelines, risks and controls are included.
The accounting impacts of business operations are often unknown or unclear to business professionals from purchasing, production planning, and sales & distribution. By the same token, experience has shown that Finance & Controlling departments are repeatedly left in the dark during process design phases of major business transformation initiatives.
Value Flows represent the impact of business activities and events in Finance and Controlling to trigger the discussion between Operations and Financial and Managerial Accounting.
Value Flows enrich process documentation by establishing cross references between Key Value Flow topics within a business such as ‘Cost Of Goods Sold’ (COGS), inventory postings, and related E2E scenarios.
Value Management Framework
Business transformation is all about operationalising strategies. With our Value Management Framework we offer a structured approach on how to derive and prioritize your business drivers from your companies strategy and identify the appropriate scope and value drivers in order to achieve your objectives.
Our framework is inspired by SCOR performance attributes (strategic pillars) and metrics. Business Drivers represent trending industry hot topics for each strategic pillar. Whereby Value Drivers represent industry best practices required to achieve transformation objectives. Last but not least, System Capabilities (S/4 HANA) provide the foundation for your solution design.
Although the content of the above mentioned features are all prepared not everything is already available in the customer portal yet. We shall be publishing it step-wise over the next weeks in order to have finalized the publishing by mid September. Just in time for our customer event.