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An IBM Proof of Technology

Discovering the value of IBM
Content-Centric BPM for Business Users


Lab Exercises

PoT.IM.08.1.067.03

© Copyright International Business Machines Corporation, 2008, 2009. All rights reserved.

US Government Users Restricted Rights - Use, duplication or disclosure restricted by GSA ADP Schedule Contract with IBM Corp.

Contents

Overview 2

Introduction 2

Icons 2

New Account Opening Scenario Overview 3

Actors 3

Content 6

Scenario 8

New Account Opening Workflow 10

Introduction to Business Process Management 13

Modeling 13

Process Simulation 14

Process Assembly 14

Business Rules 15

Process Deployment 17

Business Performance Management 18

Integration 19

Content 19

Active Content 20

Lab 1 Process Modeling for the Business User 22

Lab 2 Implementing the Process Model 32

Lab 3 Process Simulation 62

Lab 4 Real-Time Visibility into Business Processes 81

Lab 5 Agility and Flexibility through Business Rules 108

Lab 6 Bringing BPM to the Business with eForms 126

Lab 7 Enabling Rapid Implementation with BPF 146

Lab 8 Agile BPM Application User Interfaces 169

Lab 9 Continuous Process Improvements 208

Appendix A. Notices 219

Appendix B. Trademarks and copyrights 221



Overview


Through presentations and hands-on exercises, the Content-Centric BPM for Business Users workshop will demonstrate how you can automate and streamline your processes, leverage your existing investments in line-of-business systems by engaging them in the process, enable the people participating in the process to handle their work quickly and make decisions effectively with all of the relevant information on hand. The workshop will also demonstrate how you can monitor processes, improve processes and deliver better service to your customers meeting their service level standards.
Introduction

In order to benefit from these exercises you should have listened to the associated presentations. No additional technical knowledge is expected or required.
Icons

The following symbols appear in this document at places where additional guidance is available.

Icon

Purpose

Explanation



Important!

This symbol calls attention to a particular step or command. For example, it might alert you to type a command carefully because it is case sensitive.



Information

This symbol indicates information that might not be necessary to complete a step, but is helpful or good to know.



Trouble-shooting

This symbol indicates that you can fix a specific problem by completing the associated troubleshooting information.




New Account Opening Scenario Overview


The following details the actors, content, and scenario associated with the New Account Opening solution.
Actors

This scenario consists of the following internal and external actors.

Actor

Description

VP, Business Operations

(Victor)

Directs the development of all business operating and administrative strategies, policies, procedures and practices that provide support for the mission of Focus Financials. Also ensures that all business operating organizations, functions, and processes are optimized for effectiveness and to provide excellent customer service.

Victor will review performance indicators provided by the executive dashboard to target several areas for improvement.

Business Analyst

(Bill)

The business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems. The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.

Bill will document the New Account Opening process using Microsoft® Visio®. After initially importing the process into Process Designer, Bill will work with the process implementer.

Form Designer

(Frank)

The form designer is responsible for interpreting business and technical requirements into the design and construction of electronic forms and the integration of the developed forms into the overall application.

Frank will modify the existing form to support education accounts and will also make it more intuitive for self-service operations.

Supervisor – New Account Operations

(Sue)

The Focus Financials supervisor provides leadership and direction to maintain and improve customer service and departmental efficiency.

Sue will use her dashboard to monitor new account operations.

Supervisor – Fraud Review Operations

(Steve)

The Focus Financials supervisor provides leadership and direction to maintain and improve customer service and departmental efficiency.

Based on defined business rules, Steve will review specific applications for fraud. Steve is also responsible for handling service level agreement exceptions.

Sales Advisor

(John)

Sales advisors are actively engaged in the Focus Financials sales process. They seek to develop new clients and deepen existing client relationships through developing solutions and cross-selling Focus Financials products.

Customer Service Specialist

(Lisa, Laura)

Customer service specialists assist customers over the phone with the various financial products and services.

Lisa and Laura will review the investment account application and supporting documentation. She will work with the customer to resolve any issues.

Laura is responsible for education (e.g., 529) accounts. Lisa is responsible for all other accounts.

Content

This scenario consists of the following content.

Content

Description

Investment Account Application




Investment account application electronic form.

Properties:

  • Document Title

  • Account Number

  • Account Type

  • Amount

  • eMail Address

  • First Name

  • Last Name

  • Resident Status

  • SSN

Passport



Foreign applicants must provide a copy of their passport to Focus Financials.

Properties:

  • Document Title

  • Account Number

  • Document Type




W-8BEN



Foreign persons are subject to U.S. tax at a 30% rate on income they receive from U.S. sources and must provide a Form W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding) to Focus Financials.

Properties:

  • Document Title

  • Account Number

  • Account Type




Check



Image of the check used to fund the account.

Properties:

  • Document Title

  • Account Number

  • Account Type




Account Folder



The investment account application, passport, W-8BEN, and any other related account opening documents are organized using an account folder.

Properties:

  • Folder Name (Account Number)




Account Opening Notification



Customers are automatically sent an email notification when their account has been opened.
Scenario

In business environments filled with diverse forms of content, continually changing and complex business processes, and an array of different line-of-business interfaces, companies are looking for ways to gain operational efficiencies, reduce risk, and improve quality through exception management and end-to-end process visibility.

A New Account Opening solution will be used to demonstrate how value can be delivered across any business process by linking business processes to relevant business content, relevant business systems, and to the people that need to make business decisions.

Account opening inefficiencies hamper efforts to attract customers and cut costs. Driven by customer expectations and competitive pressures from market leaders, financial services companies are reassessing their delivery and customer management strategies. By eliminating inefficiencies, they are able to reduce costs and attract and retain customers. In particular, account opening processes represent a substantial opportunity to improve the productivity of a critical customer facing process - while driving down costs.

The account opening solution will:

  • Maximize the speed of account opening by accomplishing straight-through processing within the New Account Opening process.

  • Provide efficiencies in handling exceptions to normal straight-through processing that will inevitably occur.

  • Minimize operational costs by replacing paper-based manual processes with electronic forms that simplify data capture and eliminate keying errors.

  • Maximize responsiveness to customers and business productivity by leveraging a common content repository.

  • Manage risk and exposure to fraud by automating application processing.

  • Optimize costs and performance throughout deployment and ongoing operations by modeling and monitoring account opening processes.

  • Deliver better service to customers by meeting their service level standards.

  • Help deliver real business value with an integrated solution that transforms the account opening process.
New Account Opening Workflow



Step

Action

Features Demonstrated

1

A Focus Financials customer enters a branch office to establish a new investment account. To assist the customer, the Sales Advisor accesses the Focus Financials Workplace.

  • Workplace XT

  • Workplace XT Portlets

  • Configurable User Interface

2

The Sales Advisor works with the customer to complete and submit a new account application. Based on information supplied on the form, different processing will occur. Applicants that are not a resident of the U.S. are required to supply additional documentation (e.g., passport, W-8BEN). Also, initial contribution amounts of $10,000 or more require a fraud review.

The completed form will automatically be saved in the object store and launch the New Account Opening workflow.

  • Electronic Forms

  • eForms Scripting

  • eForms Lookup

  • eForms Electronic Signature

  • Active Content

3

If the customer is a non-resident, the new account application will wait on the process until both a passport and Certificate of Foreign Status (W-8BEN) form are received.

Supporting documentation may be scanned and saved in the object store using an entry template.

  • Active Content

  • Conditional routing based on data fields

  • Wait for Condition

  • Entry Template

4

When an account application is submitted, the New Account Opening workflow is launched, a folder is created and named with the unique account number, and the new account application is filed in the folder. Likewise, the supporting documents are also active content and automatically filed in the account folder.

The folder and contents can be observed from the Accounts portlet.

  • Active Content

  • Component Integration

5

Non-resident investment account applications and supporting documentation are reviewed by the Customer Service Specialist. They will work with the customer to resolve any issues.

The Customer Service Specialist will also need to contact customers that have elected to fund an account through wire transfer.

  • Work Queue

  • eForms Integration

  • Image Viewer

  • Conditional routing based on a user response

6

The next step of the workflow is a background check on the customer. This is accomplished using a published Web service that is provided by an outside vendor to aid in the processing of the application and to meet regulatory standards.

  • Web Service Integration

7

After the customer background check, business rules will be evaluated to determine whether a fraud review is required. This is accomplished through integration with an external rules engine.

One of the rules is to have a supervisor review applications with an initial contribution exceeding $10,000.

  • Business Rules Engine Integration

8

The supervisor has the ability to reassign the work to another user for their opinion, accept the work and have processing continue, or to decline the work. If the work item is declined, it will be sent to the Fraud Department.

  • Workflow Groups

  • Dynamic Work Assignment

  • Exception Handling

9

The Establish Account step of the process will update a line of business database with the new account information, send an email notification to the customer with information about their new account, and place the documents under records management control.

  • Component Integration

10

Accounts that have not been funded will wait until the appropriate funding documentation (e.g., check) arrives.

  • Wait for Condition


Introduction to Business Process Management


This chapter provides a general overview of Business Process Management (BPM) concepts and maps each concept to the corresponding IBM® FileNet® BPM component.

Processes define how you run your business and how you differentiate yourself from your competition. Simple or complex, hundreds of processes weave through your business every day, and set the pace of your operations. Managing the flow of work and information along these process paths determines the speed, agility and quality of decision making, and ultimately affects how well you are executing against business objectives and goals. Streamlining and optimizing these processes contributes to the success of your organization.

Business processes involve people, systems and content. Only when they work together in an automated environment can maximum productivity and value be realized. Furthermore, optimized processes strengthen your ability to react quickly to changing market conditions and customer requests while ensuring regulatory compliance. Bottom line, better processes continuously improve and enhance the performance of your business to give you a competitive advantage.

Many challenges need to be overcome before these objectives can be met. Many existing processes are still done manually, making them difficult to optimize and standardize. They may also be partially automated but locked within disconnected application silos. They are not easy to modify when conditions change. Worse, business managers who own these processes have little visibility and control over them. All of this limits productivity, slows cycle and response times, hinders regulatory compliance, and makes it difficult to accurately account for how decisions are made. Companies utilizing the right Business Process Management (BPM) capabilities are conquering these challenges to gain a true competitive edge by automating, integrating and optimizing critical business processes at every level of their organization.

In general terms, business process management technology provides the capabilities - the tools and infrastructure for explicit process management. That is,

  • The ability to model, simulate, and analyze business processes.

  • Given a process model, the ability to implement and run the business process.

  • For deployed processes, the ability to monitor their execution.

  • Finally, intrinsic to BPM is the principle of continuous improvement.

An important concept relative to BPM is that of process independence where business logic is separate from existing computer systems or applications. BPM allows you to separate ‘what you do’ from ‘how you do it’. Abstracting the definition of the business processes from how those processes are executed gives businesses greater responsiveness and flexibility. This separation allows for changes to the business process without significant reengineering of the underlying technology and conversely, it allows for changes to the technology infrastructure without impacting the business process.
Modeling

The business process modeling component provides the ability to design, model, analyze and simulate complex business processes. The business process modeling component can also support centralized access to business processes. This allows for collaboration during process model development and for communication and verification of the business process model. In order to automate the process models and facilitate implementation, the business modeling component supports the export of process models in formats that are compatible with workflow and development environments.
Connector for Microsoft Visio

This standard-based process modeling tool for business provides business analysts with a Visio-based, easy-to use modeling environment to define BPMN-based process models that can be directly mapped to process definitions in XPDL. The model created by the business team can then be used as direct input to the Process Designer. This speeds the design cycle for a new or upgraded business process.
Process Simulation

Process model simulation helps the organization to observe how a process will perform under the variations of input. This feature provides capabilities for varying the input, associating cost factors, and adjusting the resources/current allocations to simulate a real business scenario. These simulations could enhance the analysis on the critical path, shortest path, cycle time, and cost/time measures about the process model.
Process Simulator

FileNet Process Simulator enables simulation of processes based on real execution data or per assumed scenarios. It provides simulation animation and produces statistics on simulations that can be analyzed to identify process bottlenecks and optimize processes.

FileNet BPM’s tight integration allows organizations to get “process fidelity.” This means that what is being modeled is exactly what gets simulated and, in turn, is exactly what gets put into production. This avoids potential translation errors common with loosely bolted-on simulation tools.

Process Simulator not only drives productivity and cost optimization, it also serves as a critical tool for risk mitigation. By understanding the impacts of process changes, organizations can avoid implementing the wrong process change.

The simulation capabilities enable direct comparisons between actual data and predictive data. This allows organizations to make marked improvements in their existing processes as well as aptly forecast to prepare for future events. With a tested plan in place, these customers are much better equipped to deal with potential disasters that can threaten business operations by having well thought-out and disciplined responses ready to be implemented should a particular event take place.
Process Assembly

A process definition consists of multiple components. Modeling a business process involves the definition of the activities that comprise a process and the sequence of these activities. The sequence of activities may be affected by decisions and events that also need to be reflected in the process definition. Workflow solutions provide mechanisms for creating process definitions that range from scripting languages to tools that allow administrators to graphically design and represent a process.

The decisions that affect the order of process steps and the process activities themselves are often dependent on data relevant to the workflow. Some workflow solutions automatically maintain data associated with a process or a specific work item, such as priority, last activity name, or the date/time work arrived at an activity. Workflow solutions may also provide a way to define workflow data and the flow of data through a process.

While activities of a process may be automated, some steps will typically be processed manually. Given this, a process definition also needs to involve the definition of participants, the assignment of participants to activities and controls over what capabilities a participant has at a given activity.
Process Designer

Process Designer provides a rich process definition environment that can accurately implement highly complex, interrelated processes with comprehensive functionality. The versioning feature supports rapid deployment of improved processes while minimizing the impact on normal operations.

FileNet Process Designer is a standards-based and web-based process design tool that can read and produce portable process definitions in XPDL. It provides reusable step palettes that can be extended and customized for various groups and industries.
Business Process Framework

IBM FileNet Business Process Framework (BPF) reduces the time and expense associated with developing and deploying solutions based on IBM FileNet Business Process Manager by providing a highly configurable and customizable application framework for building the presentation layer or user interface (UI) of BPM applications. Configuration rather than extensive custom coding enables faster, more economical development and deployment. BPF leverages proven, reusable code that forms the foundation for all types of BPM application scenarios. This enables organizations to accelerate the speed of deploying new BPM applications, while minimizing development cost and the total cost of ownership (TCO). Here is a highlight of BPF functionality and benefits:

BPF includes:

  • Consistent and configurable web user interface for both private and public Inbaskets

  • Configurable case user Interface for work presentation

  • Case search capabilities

  • Configurable plug-in architecture for extendibility

  • BPF Explorer – A comprehensive configuration tool

  • Complete CE/PE integration to fully leverage all FileNet P8 Platform functionality.
Business Rules

Business rules engines provide a framework for implementing complex business logic, allowing business rules to be defined and managed separate from application code or process definitions. Externalizing the rules provides agility and flexibility by allowing analysts and other less-technical users to dynamically modify policies that have been defined without changing the process logic.
ILOG JRules BRMS

ILOG JRules provides a complete set of features for authoring, testing, deploying, and executing business rules.


Primary JRules modules include:

  • ILOG JRules Rule Team Server: A rule management server and repository with a collaborative web-based environment for authoring, managing, validating, and deploying business rules.

  • ILOG JRules Rule Studio: An Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) for technical staff which supports rule application development and debugging.

  • ILOG JRules Rule Scenario Manager: An integrated environment for testing, verifying correctness of rules, and simulating changes in business policies.

  • ILOG JRules Rule Execution Server: A J2SE- and J2EE-compliant rule execution environment which includes components for synchronous, asynchronous and web service-based invocation of business rules.
FileNet BPM Rules Engine Integration

FileNet BPM integrates with industry-leading Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) via Web services allowing the flexibility to integrate with existing rules engines in your enterprise.
Process Deployment

A workflow or process engine is responsible for controlling the flow of work and for keeping track of the state of the process and its activities. The runtime component navigates the process model, ensures work items are assigned to people based on the staff definition, provides a mechanism for users to list and work assigned tasks, and invokes applications assigned to activities.
Process Engine

The FileNet Process Engine provides software services for managing all aspects of business processes (also called workflows), such as process execution, process routing, rules management, process simulation and modeling, and workflow analysis. Process Engine components allow you to create, modify, and manage workflows implemented by applications, enterprise users, or external users (such as partners and customers).

The Process Engine includes the following services and management components:

Process Service – The core of the business process management system. It provides workflow services on behalf of Process Engine.

Email Notification – Enables automatic transmission of email to users when specified process-related events occur; email notification can also be used to track workflows.

Rules Connectivity Framework – Provides a framework for rules integration. A process designer or business analyst creates business rules (a third-party application purchased separately from Process Engine) and associates the rules with the steps of a workflow. When a running workflow encounters a rule, Process Engine sends a request to the Rules Listener to execute a rule set. Rules Listener executes the rules in the rule set and returns the results to Process Engine. The rules engine provider must implement a specific API in order to integrate with Process Engine.

Process Task Manager – Provides administrative tools for configuring and managing process-related services on the Process Engine server.
Business Performance Management

The business process monitoring component provides external visibility into the execution of a business process, typically through the use of dashboards. This component offers a management interface into the actual performance of the business process and supports continued process analysis and optimization by providing and reporting business-related metrics. The business process monitoring component also provides an operational view of what is occurring at runtime. It provides the ability to perform the administrative actions of the workflow as well as providing an enhanced alarm/alert system that can pinpoint problems and bottlenecks in an executing process.
Business Activity Monitor

Organizations desire a real-time view of operational performance in order to identify issues before they become problems. Key performance indicators or other metrics are tied to key business objectives and can help an organization determine how it is performing against its goals.

IBM FileNet Business Activity Monitor (BAM) offers real time operational visibility for organizations to closely monitor and respond to activity shifts. With this tool, managers are able to evaluate personalized views by role, job function or individual employee using rich, graphic dashboards that quickly relay critical information.

BAM is coordinated with other data sources and able to tie automatic alerts to workflows, promoting not only operational visibility but also immediate response to changing business circumstances. This connection enables actions to be launched automatically without the need for human intervention.
Process Analyzer

Organizations require a view of how the entire operation is performing against key benchmarks for business performance – cycle time, service level agreements, cost per transaction, etc. Process Analyzer allows root-cause analysis, problem identification and enables comparisons to historical trend reporting to help management fully understand the process under consideration.

At a macro level, it is a much more complex process to derive relevant information from the wealth of content available. IBM FileNet Process Analyzer provides Online Analytical Processing, or OLAP, that allows users to slice and dice data as necessary to retrieve information specifically suited to their particular line of inquiry. An extendable database design enables information to be tailored for user views, allowing the right information to be easily accessed at the moment it matters most.
Process Tracker

With Process Tracker, visibility is achieved at a micro as well as a macro level. At a micro-level, individual work items can be tracked in absolute real-time. This is a tremendous benefit to service initiatives. By enabling customer documents and transactions to be tracked at each point, organizations can easily implement self-service options that allow customers to pinpoint the status of their inquiry. This also permits management the opportunity to quickly ascertain how and why decisions are made.

Milestone reporting, on the other hand, supports a higher level status reporting including a linear view of complicated process execution graphs. This is ideally suited to business users that need to quickly assess how business is being managed.
Integration
Component Integrator

The FileNet Business Process Engine Component Integrator provides support for standard platforms protecting investments by integrating with other infrastructures using industry standards (J2EE, Web Services and XML).

The Component Integrator provides support for Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) integration via Web Services. Processes can consume Web services and be published as Web services as well. The Component Integrator supports Web services standards and includes UDDI registry.
Content

Many business processes require the ability to access or manage unstructured information. Business processes where content, such as electronic forms, images, or documents, is the primary focus are said to be content-centric. To support content-centric processes, business process management systems need to utilize and integrate with enterprise content management (ECM) repositories. Specifically, business process management systems need to be responsive to ECM events, surface content management actions (e.g., check out/in, view, edit, etc.) through the client interface, and enable ECM related operations as activities within a process. BPM systems that are tightly integrated with ECM and provide these features can more easily support content-centric processes.
FileNet Content Manager and Process Manager Integration

IBM FileNet Content Manager provides the framework for Active Content. Active Content is the basis of event-driven processing which increases the agility and responsiveness of business operations by automatically responding to transactions or business events as they occur.

FileNet Content Manager seamlessly manages, stores and shares content that is part of the business process without the burden of integrating third-party tools or custom programming.

FileNet’s BPM strength comes from its ability to manage content and support human activities within business processes. In addition, the process assembly components, Process Designer and Business Process Framework, are oriented towards business users. Given this, business users can easily develop or modify operational business processes.
Active Content

A key link between Enterprise Content Management and content-centric Business Process Management is “Active Content” - a term that IBM FileNet coined to describe how content and process work together in FileNet P8 and Content Manager. At its heart, FileNet P8 sits on top of an event-based architecture. This architecture allows FileNet to identify and automatically respond to virtually any event or action as it occurs. For example, as an item of content, like our New Account Opening form, is checked into FileNet P8 or promoted through its lifecycle, these events can be captured and utilized to launch specific business processes that enable the organization to respond to the event.

Content + Process = “Active Content”



Recognizes content related events, initiates automatic responses



The key elements to active content are provided as part of the ECM system. A trigger event is an event like those illustrated above. They are the actions that might be performed on a content object. They may be used to cause an event action to occur. An event action can be user defined computer code. A subscription is the ECM system object that registers interest in a trigger event happening on a specific content object or a whole class of content objects. It defines what event action should be called when a specific trigger event occurs. One specific type of subscription is a Workflow subscription. When a specific trigger event happens, a specific workflow is called.

FileNet P8 virtually eliminates the latency in business processes that results from workers waiting to realize that vital information has been received. With Active Content, FileNet P8 is able to automatically identify when information has been received or updated and instantaneously route it to the right person for immediate action.


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