ARIS methodology. Business Process Modeling

Table of contents:

ARIS methodology. Business Process Modeling
ARIS methodology. Business Process Modeling

The ARIS methodology focuses on the stages of analysis and definition of requirements in the design of information management systems. It is a layered, multiple view approach that focuses on business-related issues. Each view is further detailed with reference to the software life cycle stages in the level requirements definition, design specification, and implementation description. Process chain diagrams support the integral description of business processes at a comparatively aggregated level.

ARIS Framework Model

ARIS Framework Model
ARIS Framework Model

The concept of ARIS (Architecture of Integrated Information Systems) by August-Wilhelm Scheer is aimed at creating an enterprise information system that fully meets its business interests and modern economic requirements.

The structure is based on the creation of a presentation model and description levels, which allows you to describe individual elements using specially designed ways. The ARIS methodology is a promising direction in the development of systems for optimizationbusiness. They are displayed for each view of the description at the data processing level, from the issue of business management to the sale of goods and services.

Business process reengineering
Business process reengineering

ARIS relies mainly on its own five-view architecture - "ARIS home". These five views are:

  • organizational model;
  • managerial model;
  • data model;
  • functional model;
  • output(service) model.

The classification is made in such a way as to break down the complexity of the model into five aspects and thereby simplify the modeling. Each representation of the ARIS (architecture of integrated information) systems concept demonstrates a business process model in a certain aspect:

  1. Functionally - actions, groupings and the hierarchical relationships that exist between them are described in the function representation, for example, in the function tree.
  2. Organizational - provides an overview of the company's organizational structure, including human resources, machinery, equipment and their relationships.
  3. Informational (data models) - all events that generate data about the environment, such as correspondence, documents, and others.
  4. Service - provides an overview of the entire portfolio of products and services, including services, products, finance.
  5. Management - a kind of process that connects all other views into a time-logical schedule, such as event-driven workflow or BPMN.

Business Process Reengineering

Reengineering business processes is a key issue for companies to regain competitiveness and profitability in increasingly volatile markets. Customer-centric businesses should be structured according to their core processes and strongly value-driven.

Workflow management is increasingly based on collaborative, distributed applications that, on the one hand, need to be reengineered to be effective, and on the other hand, use models as a specification to control its execution.

The lack of powerful tools, as well as methodological shortcomings, especially when it comes to capturing the logic and dynamics of complex processes, are major barriers to successful business process reengineering.

The ARIS approach provides not only a common and well-documented methodological framework, but also a powerful modeling tool that supports the reengineering process through life cycle stages. In a research project, it is integrated with a prototype workflow management system to improve model reuse for application implementation.

Life cycle concept

Business process modeling methodology frameworks and life cycle concepts have emerged in various application areas such as Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), office automation, and information systems design.

concept of lifecycle
concept of lifecycle

Methodologies and frameworks are often based on implicit assumptions about their scope, purpose, and level of detail. But there is another aspect that leads to a wide variety of approaches. It is the fact that the ability of the ARIS methodology is very dependent on the goal.

Some effort on it may be descriptive in nature, while in other cases an optimized implementation solution is required. In the latter case, process analysis must be supported by formal assessment tools such as modeling. This requires an unambiguous description of the process and the collection of information about the business process.

Dynamic behavior

Now there is a need to harmonize different approaches, identify commonalities and combine different methodologies and structures.

Dynamic business process modeling will become increasingly important in the future. The shift from mass production to mass customization of IS design and the growing interest in low-level system specifications require well-defined models.

For this, it is necessary to have an understanding of the nature of the processes in order to modify and reconfigure them. They help identify and correct flaws in logic and can also serve as a process specification for information system design software.

Dynamic Behavior
Dynamic Behavior

The dynamic behavior of business processes clearly shows "organizational bias". Models are superimposed on human behavior. It's behavioraldistortion can only partially be represented by formal modeling approaches originating from the IS domain. The ARIS methodology should include aspects such as human roles, responsibilities and informal communication.

Reference model

Another aspect of business process modeling that requires further research is the topic of reference models - a block of partial modeling. It is an incomplete representation of the system from this point of view, serving a specific purpose for specific users. Reference models are the organization's information resource and form the know-how base. Benefits of Models: Accelerated modeling processes, cost and time savings, improved quality highlight the need for application.

Process models are the basis for developing enterprise applications. While they describe the structure and logic at the type level, the workflow application supports the execution of individual processes at the instance level. The definition of a structure in database management systems (DBMS) leads to a particular DB and models to a workflow application. Unlike the generation of code from models, as envisioned in classical CASE approaches, application development is based on the configuration of existing software building blocks and therefore supports software reuse.

Workflow Development

The ARIS hardware platform supports the development of workflow applications. The definition of requirements follows the main business-oriented, not technical goals. During the definition of requirements, aspects such as time, cost, frequency, redundancy and others are considered.

Workflow Development
Workflow Development

After analyzing the current state, various alternatives are developed describing how improvements can be made. Depending on what solutions are considered to achieve the chosen alternative, one can distinguish between organizational, personal or technical approaches or their composition.

From a technical point of view, models can be explored as to what kind of information system is needed. Based on the models, you can specify the type needed to support the process: document management, database application integration, and others. Therefore, all views must be integrated into the process model: data, organization, and functions.

Process Model
Process Model

Because exception handling is a central concern in applications at the requirements definition level, exceptions can be addressed through the definition of a custom diagram. Once process models have been defined and approved as input for developing workflow applications, they can be refined to the next level.

Project specification

Functions to be automated by the application must be specified at the detailed level. If the functions are performed by the program, there is no need to specify them in great detail. Manual functions should be specified in the form of task lists. Therefore, function trees are used, which should be shown as a referenceinformation in the app.

The data flow is described at the requirements definition level, mainly in the form of clusters and functions. During project development, these clusters should be defined in more detail with respect to entities. To describe the data flow in detail, it is necessary to define a data flow diagram.

In organizational units, the processes described in the model are often at an abstract level. Workflow applications use the concept of a role. Roles describe the capabilities that a person must have in order to perform a particular job function. According to these roles, during the execution of the application, people can perform certain steps. This concept needs to be considered.

In addition to the aspects described, it is important to accurately define events and decision nodes, as well as specify parameters for program integration.

Implementation description

At the implementation description level, it is necessary to adapt this information infrastructure to a distributed integrated workflow application concept based on the model resulting from the design specification.

Models are used to customize the application. They can be understood as a graphics program. Through this reuse, manual programming of program code is reduced.

Not every model supports graphical application definition. Implementations emerging from the description can be used as the basis for "normal" work done by programmers. Instrumental simulation support requirescomputer tools for the presentation and processing of reference models. The main functions of the model control system are:

  1. Building and storage model.
  2. Selection/search and analysis of models.
  3. Model configuration.
  4. Model integration.
  5. Adaptation and modification of the model.
  6. Evolution and change of the model.
  7. Model of performance and interpretation.

Basic rules of the ARIS methodology

Typically, a developer starts with an event when building an EPC. A number of activities may follow an event. It has been said in the past that events and activities should alternate. This leads to very long process models with a lot of detail, so today it is suggested to add an event only if important state changes need to be documented.

Recommendations for using events:

  1. At the beginning of the process or after the launch interface.
  2. At the end of the process or to the end of the interface.
  3. Decision events for XOR or OR connectors.
  4. For important occasions like project milestones.
  5. Actions or events must not have more than one outgoing or incoming connection.
  6. The process control flow is modeled using Rules (gateways).

The rules can be used as follows:

  1. Several outgoing connections follow from one incoming connection (SPLIT).
  2. Multiple incoming connections result in exactly one outgoing connection (JOIN).
  3. Possiblesequence of Rules.
  4. Er the model usually closes with the same statement as it was opened and ends with an "EPC Event".
  5. Logical operators.

The following rules can be used in EPC:

  1. Split - processing steps that follow the rule occur in parallel and must be completed.
  2. Connection - all processing steps for incoming connections must be completed so that the processing steps that follow the rule can be executed.
  3. SPLIT - exactly one of the following rule processing steps must be performed.
  4. Delimiter - at least one of the following rule processing steps, or several, or all processing steps must be performed.
  5. For logical operations between events and actions, there are special rules that are shown in the ARIS Express model.

ARIS: Toolkit

ARIS: a set of tools
ARIS: a set of tools

The ARIS-Tool set provides comprehensive computer simulation support. Four modules provide tools for automated analysis, planning and implementation of management information systems. This approach covers the entire modeling life cycle. Let's take a closer look:

  1. ARIS-Modeler specializes in system modeling. Based on the meta-structure of the ARIS platform for PCs, species-specific methods are presented, including advanced entity relationship modeling, as well as process and stimulus-response chain diagrams, as well as functional and organizational diagrams.hierarchy.
  2. ARIS-Analyzer provides a means to study and evaluate the existing system in terms of key performance indicators. Weakness analysis can be carried out for each kind of simulation. In addition, an idealized integration concept can be obtained, including the objective function and data models. Standards are an integral part of ARIS-Analyzer.
  3. ARIS-Project Manager is used to manage projects. It is designed to plan, control and monitor the entire project at all its stages. ARIS-Project Manager defines all the tasks that will be solved in the process of modeling business processes.
  4. The purpose of ARIS-Navigator is to provide computerized documentation for the corporate model developed during the simulation steps.

Express. Official Software

"ARIS Express 2", er model - a program released for operating systems based on Microsoft Windows. It also works on other operating systems such as Mac OS X or Linux.

To download the program:

  1. Go to the profile site.
  2. Select boot method for OS.
  3. Be part of the ARIS community, accept the License Agreement and the Software AG Export Rules in order to be able to download the software.
  4. Read the installation instructions no matter which download is selected.
  5. Get familiar with the system requirements to be sure that the user's PC will be able to run the program.

The program has a very advanced free ARIS Cloud feature. It is a complete business process analysis product, provided as a service free of charge for research and educational purposes. It supports collaborative process improvement projects and is available to 1,000 concurrent users around the world. With the free trial version of software ag ARIS Cloud, the free subscription lasts for 30 days. With AERIS Cloud for students, the free subscription lasts for 3 months.

EPC offers many ways to model processes, analyze them and identify improvement potentials. The EPC model is directly embedded in the Interactive Model Viewer. You can download it and edit free models in ARIS Express 2 er. You can also use the provided video tutorials to find an easy way to the world of ARIS.

Modeling process:

  1. Download ARIS Express.
  2. View model examples or video tutorials.
  3. Start modeling.
  4. Join the ARIS community.
  5. Get a free copy of the "cheat sheet". To do this, click on the picture on the profile site to enlarge it and download the document in PDF format.

Processes for converting to XPDL

Processes for converting to XPDL
Processes for converting to XPDL

ARIS version 6.2 is used to model processes to be converted to XPDL.

When installing and configuring ARIS, launch the ARIS Toolset program:

  1. Choose File-> New from the menu bar and then the model in the next dialog box.
  2. Another dialog box will appear in whichchoose the place where the ARIS model will be stored. You can select, for example, LOCAL-> Demo62-> Main group.
  3. After clicking the "Next" button, another dialog box appears. You must check the "Processes" box and select the eEPC model type.
  4. A dialog box will appear asking you to name the new ARIS model.
  5. Enter a name and press the "Finish" button. The window will show the edit area for the new model.
  6. ARIS simulation uses only the toolbar items marked with a red circle.
  7. The element placed in the upper right corner in the toolbox is called a function in ARIS, it will be displayed in the Activity/Task in XPDL, so it is used to define tasks in the process.
  8. The element is called an AND rule in ARIS and maps to a dummy action (route) in XPDL using AND Split or Join depending on how the user connects it to tasks.
  9. Also, if you want to define some meaningful identifier for other action and transition objects, you should change the same attribute in ARIS for the corresponding objects. To do this, you need to double-click the object, insert it into the plot and edit the Identifier attribute.
  10. Make sure the data contains only alphanumeric characters or the characters "_", "-", ".".
  11. After creating a model in ARIS, you can export it to XML.
  12. To do this, find the process definition in the ARIS tree view, right-click on it and select "Export/Import->Export XML…”.
  13. After clicking "Export XML", the user will be asked to enter the language to use and then select the location and name of the XML file to be generated.
  14. Click on the corresponding icon to convert this.aml file to XPDL.
  15. Send the XPDL file to the repository, later you can load it into the engine through the "Package Mng" section of the application.

There are no shortcuts or shortcuts to truly integrated businesses. Unjustified simplifications at the stage of business process analysis and integration are a significant risk for the implementation of integrated systems.

ARIS version 6.2
ARIS version 6.2

ARIS tools consolidate methodological structures, which is an important prerequisite for full integration from business reorganization to information systems implementation. These processes are described in detail in the book of August Wilhelm Scheer "Modeling business processes". Learning the basics helps to create an information model, which is the cornerstone of a systematic and intelligent method of developing application systems.

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