A Practical Introduction to Business Process Reengineering powered with Object Oriented Analysis
Advances in telecommunications coupled with new products and applications are changing the way we conduct business and perform work. Three areas are currently converging: process reengineering, information technology, and object oriented analysis. Individually, each of these areas can provide benefits to the work environment, but taken together they form a whole that goes well beyond the contribution of any single method.
For example, a sophisticated on-line database might provide a means for a company to become more efficient because it makes employees more knowledgeable and therefore more responsive to customer needs. However, it is not enough to simply automate tasks or to provide better access to information. Many companies have learned the hard way that providing workers with more information does not by itself make them more productive or increase company profits. Without a coherent plan, based on a well-conceived model, the sizable investment required to create and maintain the database will not produce the desired improvements.
This page describes how Business Process Reengineering (BPR), combined with the power of Object Oriented Analysis (OOA), can form an integrated, intelligence-based foundation for the conception, representation, development, and implementation of unique workplace processes which are responsive to a company's requirement to efficiently serve their customers' needs.
BPR has been formally outlined by Michael Hammer and James Champy in their influential book "Reengineering the Corporation". The works of James Rumbaugh, Grady Booch and Ivar Jacobson in their Unified Modeling Language (UML) have paralleled the innovations in BPR.
However, the urgent need to integrate these powerful business technologies into one methodology has not been explored or applied until quite recently. Exciting developments are now being produced by combining BPR with the well-established procedures of OOA. The application of OOA techniques to business process reengineering provides an effective and time-saving method for rethinking and redesigning business processes, thereby improving critical measures of performance such as cost, quality, service and turn-around. More importantly, applying these integrated techniques to the reengineering process quickly leads to the discovery of solutions that can be easily understood and quickly implemented at all levels of a corporation.
The first step of OO BPR is to ask fundamental questions about the organization, and not take anything for granted. We examine the rules and assumptions underlying the way a company or organization conducts its business. In many cases, these rules turn out to be obsolete, erroneous, or inappropriate when applied to a rapidly-changing business environment. Business Concept Modeling (see this topic below) provides the Domain Model which quickly reveals these key aspects.
The second step of OO BPR is to reinvent the business processes. We don't simply make superficial changes or tinker with what is already in place. Instead, we redesign existing structures and procedures and invent new ways to perform work. Like classical BPR, OO BPR is a process of business development, not just a process of business improvement, enhancement, or modification. This strategy is easily followed by using the business concepts delineated in the Domain Model. The reinvented business process is described in formal Business Process Map(s).
In the final step, we implement the new business process, using the above Domain Model and Business Process Maps. The underlying information system is also based and clearly defined by the above models.
All business problem domains are made of business concepts and their relationships. We use state-of-the-art tools to model these, based upon Object-Oriented Analysis with the Unified Modeling Language (OOA & UML). The key is to conduct this whole analysis in terms of business concepts, so that the resulting model is a clear, precise and powerful description of the business problem domain. This model is called the Domain Model, it reveals the most fundamental business requirements and underlying concepts. Getting to the root of things is a classical BPR strategy, the Domain Model immediately provides that, it is greatly simplified and very effective with this Business Concept Modeling technique we offer. This Business Concept Modeling technique covers: Problem Statement, Glossary of Terms, Use Case Analysis and Class Diagrams.
Powerful modeling tools are now available to describe the most complex business requirements and processes. The Business Process Maps and UML Business State Diagrams. When properly used they greatly reduce the map's complexity while increasing it's powers and flexibility. We make sure all our students master these tools.
This Business Concept Modeling technique greatly shortens the BPR process. That's because this approach is very quick at revealing the essential requirements and fundamental concepts. Traditional BPR analysts have to go through a very lengthy and strenuous process to reach the same type of results. An OOBPR project can often be completed within a few weeks, whereas a classical BPR approach would take several months. In this sense, OOBPR is a reengineering of BPR. In short, we've applied the BPR principles to the BPR process itself.
The powerful combination of business process reengineering and the Business Concept Modeling technique into one single methodology is a recent development our company, has been a pioneering for the last few years. We offer a five day course titled "Object-Oriented Business Process Reengineering" which promises to train anyone in a week to master this method and apply it into one's own business environment.