Understanding business processes is crucial for any organization aiming for efficiency and effectiveness. One of the best ways to visualize these processes is through Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) diagrams. In the first part of assignment 2, you will be tasked with creating a BPMN diagram based on a case study involving MMC, a company that follows a contract-based manufacturing model.
Step 1: Read and Understand the Case
Before diving into the diagram creation, it’s essential to read the case study thoroughly. Understanding the intricacies of MMC’s business model will provide you with the insights needed to create an accurate BPMN diagram. Consider breaking down the case into sections and summarizing each one to make it more manageable.
Here is the case:MMC manufactures widgets for many industries around the Montreal area. It follows a contract-based manufacturing model where each order goes through approval by a contract agent and legal analysis by the legal department before it is fulfilled.
When the customer submits an order online, the sales department receives the request and enters it into the system. Next, the contract agent logs into the system and reviews the order. If the contract uses standard terms, the agent approves the order and sends it to the warehouse department. If the contract does not use standard terms, then the agent requests further approval from the legal department.
The legal department determines if the contract is acceptable and makes the required changes. If it is acceptable, the legal department notifies the contract agent and the agent approves the contract. If the contract is not acceptable, the legal department notifies the agent to cancel the order.
The agent then cancels the order, notifies the sales department to inform the customer. In this case, the order is never shipped. After receiving the approved order from the contract agent, the warehouse department creates the order package, updates the system, and sends it to the delivery department for shipping it to the customer.
Step 2: Identify the Actors and Their Roles
In BPMN, actors are entities that perform activities. In the case of MMC, actors include the Sales Department, Contract Agent, and others. Each has a specific role in the business process, and identifying these roles is crucial for an accurate diagram.
Step 3: Identify the Activities and Business Processes for Each Actor
Activities are the tasks performed by the actors, and they form the backbone of your BPMN diagram. For example, the Sales Department receives and enters orders, while the Contract Agent reviews and approves or disapproves them. List down these activities for each actor as they will be the primary elements in your diagram.
Step 4: Identify Any Decisions or Gateways That Need to Be Included
Decisions or gateways are points in the process where a choice must be made. In the MMC case, such decisions include whether a contract uses standard terms or needs legal review. These gateways help in directing the flow of the process and must be clearly indicated in your diagram.
Step 5: Identify the Swimlanes That Are Required
Swimlanes help in organizing your BPMN diagram by categorizing activities under the actors responsible for them. In the MMC case, each department or role would have its own swimlane, making the diagram easier to read and understand. Remember what we said in class: these can be horizontal or vertical, depending on the format of the media and how you can best use the space available, both are fine.
Step 6: Create the Diagram in Visio
Microsoft Visio is a powerful tool for creating BPMN diagrams. This is what was selected for this assignment. It is available to all students on uCertify. Here’s a guide to help you:
- Go to uCertify and open Visio. You will find it in Hands-On Labs, under Visio Sandbox (item 3.1) in the labs section.
- Start the Visio sandbox in the VISIO menu on the bottom left hand side.
- Select Visio on the desktop and click twice
- Ignore any licensing message
- Open a new Visio document and select the BPMN template.
- Use the shapes pane to drag and drop elements like actors, activities, and gateways onto the canvas.
- Connect these elements using arrows to indicate the flow of the process.
- Add swimlanes by selecting the swimlane shape and placing it on the canvas. You can then drag and drop the activities into the appropriate swimlanes.
Once your diagram is complete, it’s crucial to validate it to ensure its accuracy and completeness. Consider conducting peer reviews or using Visio’s built-in validation features to check for any inconsistencies or errors. You might also consider asking ChatGPT to help you validate your diagram.
Creating a BPMN diagram is not just an academic exercise; it’s a skill that can significantly aid in understanding and optimizing business processes. This guide should provide you with a structured approach to tackle the MMC case assignment effectively.
For further reading and examples, you may consider attending tutoring sessions for the assignment (see the schedule on Moodle) ou use online tutorials and forums on Microsoft Visio.