Design collaboration and the BPXer
Hello everybody. I’ve been back in the office for a few weeks after an extended vacation but have been buried with with annual startup activities. I wanted to ask this community about how BPXers should collaborate with developers around executable process models, like those designed with NetWeaver BPM. In our next version, we plan to deliver an Eclipse perspective tailored for a business analysts. In future releases, we’re thinking about how we can give business analysts a world class modeling experience without all the overhead of the full Eclipse framework. Stay tuned on that one.
Anyway, I think we should look very seriously at embeddeding the collaboration experience in the IDE. Imagine a business analyst creating a BPMN diagram and marking it up with rich annotations (probably richer than the simple annontation element defined today). I think of electronic stickies that provide guidance to the developer. I can even imagine these stickies supporting threaded discussions. The developer would open this diagram in more technical perspective but would, of course, see the comments left by the business analysts.
To me, the following features would need to be available for such collaboration features to have critical mass:
Associate rich content (at least rich text) with specific elements in the diagram, e.g., electronic sticky notes attached to an activity in a workflow diagram
Ability to have threaded discussions within the IDE
integration with real-time collaboration tools, e.g., chat
In the future, I can imagine other features line diagram red-lining etc. We also think about how we could enable workspace-centric scenarios like publishing a diagram and its metadata to a collaboration site where business users could provide feedback. We’re also looking into things like Mylan as we know that developing a composite process is itself a process!
Would really love to hear your thoughts on design collaboration.