In the context of Business Process Management process modeling has come to be associated with several ideas, concerned with particular abstraction types of models.
Descriptive modeling, active modeling, workflow modeling traditionally have differentiated between the business engineering and the software engineering use case. The value of descriptive modeling is improved business process implementation geared toward clearly defined corporate goals.
Modeling tools support the crucial questions for Business Process Reengineering: how far can we adapt the standard package of the software solution ? How much adoption is necessary or possible? How can we speed up the implementation projects and still keep track on what has been customized? SAP has defined three different levels of abstraction, working with process models: the process architecture model (ARIS for SAP NetWeaver), the business configuration & integration model (SAP Solution Manager, SAP NetWeaver XI) and the process execution model (SAP NetWeaver XI, SAP Business Workflow).
Let us see how SAP Solution Manager implementation content can serve as a catalyst to empower efficient process implementation.
Let us assume your project team has already gone through the exercise of documenting the strategic levels of the process architecture – from value chains down to scenarios. Your job is now to identify the two standard business scenarios coming from SAP as a reference for Allocation and Sales Order Processing. For this purpose, you will search the SAP Solution Manager content and add it to your project (for this purpose I created an empty project “SDN_BLOG” in TA SOLAR_PROJECT_ADMIN).
What do you get in your project? The business scenarios, processes and process steps with configuration information (link to IMG objects, implementation guides, documentation) and a descriptive graphical representation of the business process.
In ARIS for SAP NetWeaver, we will now transfer the project including the reference content from SAP Solution Manager.
I connect to the SAP Solution Manager system and choose my project.
Take a look at the result. The project has been transfered including the business scenario and process structure. All processes and process steps have SAP GUIDs assigned so that from this point in time you can use ARIS as the leading modeling environment for all the changes to the process model.
Now that we have achieved the initial connectivity between the modeling tool and SAP Solution Manager, we can drive the implementation project from ARIS and synchronize back and forth.
You might want to rename or delete process steps or add new components and process steps assigned to these components. All changes will be seamlessly reflected in the SAP Solution Manager project which serves as an “implementation and configuration hub” to all business applications. Note that in a real world scenario you have different options to initially maintain your ARIS process repository with SAP reference content, either via a complete download of the SAP Solution Manager’s business process repository, via a scenario download to build your own ARIS/ SAP scenario pool, or via single project transfer as described above.
Process models play an important part in different areas of our business. Model-driven does not all the time equal modeled execution or modeled documentation. You can very easily use reference content on the business configuration level and propagate these reference models to the business level modeling environment. From a procedural model, your project team also needs to define an integration strategy. This needs to answer the question how the different SAP components will be integrated with 3rd party or legacy systems. Once defined in ARIS, this strategy will serve as a scope for the integration project. In one of the next weblogs in this series of BPM blogs, the topic will be how SAP NetWeaver XI leverages process models for automated integration scenario configuration down to the executable integration process level.
Kind regards, Thomas.