Mint tea

Collaboration or Contract: A Decision of Flow

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Transformation

Ask anyone who’s been involved in any significant implementation and they’ll have come across the waterfall approach. It typically leads to a contractual relationship between one team who are working on artefacts that are then handed over to a subsequent team. While the flaws of waterfall have been well-documented, this concept of contract versus collaboration extends to many areas of work. Example Let’s use a brief story as an analogy for the concepts of contract and collaboration. It’s an incredibly simple story, but even with the simplicity, we can see the complications that can arise from a contractual relationship. My wife and I walked into a coffee shop. I was left to order the drinks at the counter. So I’d asked what drink did she want. “Mint tea please” She orders a lot more hot drinks than I do, so […]

Fundamentals of Process Mapping

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Articles

I’ve written before about the elements involved in a process map. In this series of articles, I want to start at the basics and explain what a process map should contain. I’ve seen a fair few methodologies come and go. Fortunately, methodology seems to be settling down with a few interesting branches appearing. I’ve also seen and used a lot of different process mapping tools at different levels, some more like CASE tools, some more like business process management tools, some just diagramming tools. The aims of this series I want to work with better-written process descriptions. I want to pass on best-practice as I’ve seen it after working with a lot of process and business analysts. I’ll discuss why following the methodology is not enough on its own, nor is just creating process maps on their own. I am not […]

Issues with Process Mapping

Posted Posted in Articles

I’ve been using process mapping for over a decade now. I’ve probably been the recipient of more process maps than I’ve created, as I’ve had to implement changes that have already been designed by others. I’ve also had to talk many business users through the intricacies of their redesigned processes, especially if they (wrongly) hadn’t been designed by them. The most common scenario for me is where I’m asked to review process maps and assess how easily they could be implemented, bringing together knowledge of people, processes and IT/ICT. Over that time, I’ve seen many sides for and against process mapping. I’ll discuss some of the issues and some of the methods for mitigating the risks associated with mapping processes. 1. Takes too much time Mapping a process takes a long time. If that’s the only method that’s being used, […]

Use Case Diagrams for Documenting Scope

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Use Cases I embraced UML as a communication tool some years ago and have found it successful in being able to convey messages in a simple manner. I don’t use every type of diagram – some are too strange for the average business user. I do use Use Case diagrams. These are great and, with a small amount of education, are suitable for use with business users. Use Case Diagrams for Scope As a communication tool, Use Case diagrams are great at showing who does what at a very high level. They’re good at showing system solution scope, types of actors and ownership of integration points. In one diagram, I can show the scope of the system in a way that users will understand. Now that’s a powerful tool. Depth of the Scoping Use Case Ideally I like to have […]