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InDetail

Innovator for Business Analysts
an agile Business Process modelling tool
An InDetail Paper by Bloor Research Author : David Norfolk Publish date : October 2011

Innovator 11 for Business Analysts is an effective way to exploit BPMN in practice, as it is focussed on the whole Business Analyst role (not just on BPMN) and is part of a larger family of tools that can re-use and extend its models
David Norfolk

Institutionalising business process modelling and exploiting it effectively for optimising and improving the business is facilitated by good tool support for modelling. allows these models to be used as part of the development of partly-automated business systems. together with a family of OMG model-driven development standards around UML. consistency and completeness checks (early removal of errors in the understanding of business processes is a key advantage of process modelling). in which a whole business process was analysed. People have to understand the need for modelling and buy in to it in practice. maintaining and using models easier than ever before. Luckily. increasing business complexity (driven by globalisation. if that is what the business wants. typified by Innovator for Business Analysts. In the past. Moreover. building a model was often as difficult as writing code. nevertheless. In essence. driven by business management’s strategic vision for the business. and model artefacts had to be retyped if they were used anywhere). Internet commerce and loosely coupled service-oriented architectures) has made the use of models for managing business complexity and business process optimisation almost essential. • Ease of use and the automatic formatting of diagrams for readability (the removal of crossing lines and so on) so that it is as easy to draw neat diagrams in the tool as on paper. In some ways. Still. that is. difficulty in building and sharing models (even with modelling tools. and a man-machine boundary identified a subset of its sub-processes for automation. It focuses on understanding the business process and optimising it for business outcomes. effectively and completely. • Timely support for changes to any appropriate standards (although any stable tool will lag behind the leading edge of the standards). models weren’t checked for completeness and consistency (a valuable aid to early defect removal) and business models rapidly became out date and didn’t reflect the operational business (or its IT systems) properly.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Executive summary These days. These days. The net result was that business modelling. modelling provides an effective way of understanding and controlling the complexity of business processes and systems considered as a whole (not just the computerised parts of the system). Automated validation of these models enables errors in understanding to be identified early on and addressed. in the 21st century. was used informally. A Bloor InDetail Paper 1 © 2011 Bloor Research . almost all business processes are partly automated—the business runs on software. a context diagram identified its inputs and outputs. The Object Management Group (OMG)’s Business ­ Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) provides an open-standard notation for building business process models that. although these tools are still only technology enablers. • Automated (and customisable) validity. and modelling has to become part of the organisation’s process. these issues have mostly been addressed. modelling often failed to live up to these promises due to a lack of effective standards. development of automated business systems has resided in an IT silo. they aren’t systems that satisfy a particular business need. thus removing defects before they impact the business or get set in stone in the computer code behind an automated system. The mantra in those days (the 1970s/80s) was that systems analysis could often tell you enough about what could be improved in a process to make buying more technology unnecessary. Business Process Modelling allows us to begin to address this issue. For too long. if used at all. Models provide a lingua franca. a good tool helps to institutionalise modelling and remove barriers to its use. have emerged. allowing all stakeholders in the business process to communicate effectively in pursuit of a business goal. however. The root problem was that modelling was taken over by the IT group. which focussed on technology models rather than business models. once you do get people and process on board. which make building. A good modelling tool will offer: • Low cost provisioning/de-provisioning options (that is. Standards are available for business modelling as well as for model-driven development. Too often systems are developed right—but aren’t the right systems. SaaS delivery and/or an evaluation tool with near full functionality). agile new tools. this marks a return to the original systems analysis concept.

• The tool is also part of a family of tools (including. so that its assets can be re-used elsewhere. This means that it is more than just a BPMN modelling tool and supports. ­ but is distributed and supported in the UK by Aptero Solutions. • This tool provides innovative features such as process animation (an animated representation of complex paths through a process) and a whiteboard (which allows different models and even teams to be active in one diagram). MID is committed to supporting the OMG’s BPMN standard. Innovator for Business Analysts is a BPMN modelling tool that addresses the needs of the Business Analyst role as a whole rather than just enabling BPMN modelling. via different views into a single model. a reusable asset library. • This tool supports the formalisation of the relationships between business roles and software models. • Support for team working. such as Innovator. and has features such as logical views and XMI-based metadata import/export. Innovator for Business Analysts is part of a larger Innovator tool-set supporting other roles (such as Software and Database Architects). distributed by Aptero Solutions worldwide and in the UK. with all these tools sharing a common model. is availA able for stand-alone proof of concept business modelling. a company with a strong provenance (many of its key personal come from the well-respected Select development tools company). or. A useful BPMN modelling tool. the better management of effective business outcomes. nor can they transform them into anything the business can use operationally. It supports most of the current OMG BPMN 2. to help you import the SAP processes from the SAP ­ Solution Manager and customise them to your own processes. © 2011 Bloor Research 2 A Bloor InDetail Paper . without conflict. • A free version of Innovator for Business ­ nalysts. Innovator for ­ Database Architects and Innovator for Software Architects) and which can share a common ­ model via a metadata repository. thus ensuring that the model and the business are kept in synchronisation. with several teams sharing the same model. satisfies ­ these requirements pretty well. It is important to distinguish tools like Innovator from tools such as Visio or PowerPoint. Fast facts Innovator 11 (Version 11 R4) for Business Analysts is a German product. Key findings In the opinion of Bloor Research. for example. the following represent the key facts of which prospective users should be aware: • Production (optionally) of executable models for operational use and/or links to tools that can generate executable code. which is also developing innovative plugins for Innovator. There is already a plug-in for SAP. from MID GmbH. • Innovator 11 (Version 11 R4) for Business Analysts is an effective OMG-standard BPMN modelling tool.0 standard and is committed to supporting updates to the standard as development permits. for instance. supports the business. This should help support development of effective business systems instead of mere models. which can facilitate user buy-in and collaborative modelling. for example. basic UML functionality as needed for this role. not just modelling it. which can draw pictures of models but which can’t automatically check models for completeness and consistency. MID’s Innovator 11 (Version 11 Release 4) for Business Analysts. It is also important to emphasise that BPMN modelling is not an end in itself but merely a means to an end: which is business process optimisation.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Executive summary • Integration with a set of tools that address other aspect of the business model (such as data structures). • This is a German tool but is being distributed and supported in the UK by Aptero Solutions. • This tool targets a role: the Business Analyst. supporting. A free Personal Edition of the tool is available for training and proofs of concept. with reduced functionality.

Innovator 11 (Version 11 Release 4) for Business Analysts is an effective way to ex­ ploit BPMN in practice. The free Personal Edition of Innovator for Business Analysts could easily support a significant proof of concept. Even building purely business models. once this becomes part of “how we do things here” for an organisation. Innovator then offers the possibility of building parts of the model as automated operational processes. be transformed into automation is a model that is truly part of the business and will be maintained as the business evolves.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Executive summary The bottom line Standardisation of BPMN by the OMG and an increasing need to understand and manage increasing business complexity has led to a renewed interest in modelling business processes with BPMN. the enterprise version of Innovator for Business Analysts appears to provide all the functionality necessary. in part. organisations can expect to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business processes as the model clarifies issues and poor process. as it is focussed on the whole Business Analyst role (not just on BPMN) and is part of a larger family of tools that can re-use and extend its models. A Bloor InDetail Paper 3 © 2011 Bloor Research . This is a real bonus as a model than can. Bloor Research recommends that any company should consider exploring BPMN modelling for business process analysis and optimisation.

Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Innovator for Business Analysts Product implementation Innovator 11 (Version 11 R4) for Business Analysts runs on Windows 7 (the earliest version supported is Windows XP SP3) and uses its own database. and provides notification to appropriate people when anything changes. and it is significant and important that they’re there. this should effectively encourage stakeholder participation. which needs its own license and Word 2007 or higher. although some of the integration features won’t work with Open Office.mid. but the availability of the Personal Edition for training.html. evaluation and proofs of concept probably renders SaaS less of an issue. Innovator for Business Analysts Innovator for Database Architects Innovator for Software Architects Innovator Team Server Figure1: MID Architecture Functionality Business-driven IT Although all the modules in the Innovator set are interesting. keeps external documents synchronised with the model. Innovator for Software Architects (supplemented with Innovator Office Integration)—all sharing common models. In any case. which seems to be a significant part of MID’s marketing strategy. and has no hotline support. This © 2011 Bloor Research 4 A Bloor InDetail Paper . is available for the Enterprise Edition). perhaps. The Enterprise Edition supports all of the Innovator for Business Analysts features.5 with Service Pack 1. We applaud this approach. copy & paste. this report just concentrates on Innovator for Business Analysts. in our experience. It is not particularly demanding of resources (the Personal Edition takes up just under 1Gb and can be installed from a USB drive onto an average netbook and works well-enough for training). Architecture MID Innovator is a suite of tools that brings together standards-based business process modelling and software modelling. including more complete integration with Microsoft Office. mask flow diagrams (a BPMN extension for requirements modelling). Innovator for Database Architects. Its models can’t be imported into the full-featured Enterprise Edition. if needed) is hosted by MID. with the exception of multi-user collaboration support. It currently consists of 3 independent standalone modelling tools—Innovator for Business Analysts. This is. printing and so on. who are usually familiar with MS Office. no data is stored locally and the repository (including configuration services and consultancy. as we believe that the participation of all stakeholders in the modelling process is vital and life is too short for the important business stakeholders to learn a new interface. although the Personal Edition makes this a bit superfluous. A SaaS-hosted implementation of Innovator isn’t available at present. It is perhaps a pity that Open Office isn’t supported explicitly (we don’t think that tying an organisation’s cultural toolset to a major commercial vendor is a great idea) but the MS Office interface is reasonably similar to the Open Office interface in practice. All versions can be downloaded from http:// www. Enterprise users. even with the Personal and Professional editions. It has an unlimited license. a pity. real-time collaboration. The Professional Edition adds the features omitted from the Personal Edition. The Personal Edition doesn’t support the UML features (Class Diagrams. Innovator works just like any other Office-based tool for editing. can add requirements and business rules to process models through Microsoft Word. As Innovator provides a specialised editor for each role. MID tells us that it will have a SaaS version of the Innovator repository available in 2012. the collaboration features (multiuser access. although a powerful PC and (in particular) a large screen is recommended. State Diagrams for analysing business objects. user and rights management). Use Case diagrams). This will mean that users who want to get started quickly will just have to install some 40 Mb of client application.de/en/products/innovator-for-business-analysts/downloads. requirements. It requires Microsoft . Generally. held on the shared Team Server. There’s also a 60-day demo licence. A 60-day demo license is available.NET 3. Innovator integrates strongly with the Microsoft Office environment (an Innovator Office Integration add-on to Microsoft Word.

business objects and use cases. BPMN. and when the process owner changes a reused process those changes are propagated to all places where the process is being reused. this might break models relying on the changing process. task flows. another OMG open standard. It can be used for abstracted. is an effective part of better business governance. we’d like to see something more sophisticated around full configuration management in later releases. not just on tools and technology. although the latest Innovator release has already introduced versioning on the server. high-level models that are intuitive for business users. It is important to distinguish a model with inherent structure from a mere picture. Innovator supports collaborative development of BPMN business models. Configuration management sounds like overkill until you think about the A Bloor InDetail Paper 5 © 2011 Bloor Research . it is always worth noting that raw BPMN. BPMN-aware business analysts should never underestimate the investment needed in selling modelling and its benefits to the business as a precursor to success.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Innovator for Business Analysts could be an important catalyst for businessdriven IT (which is really just IT which considers all of its stakeholders and is directed by the stakeholders who are paying the bills). no matter how business-focussed. it is an important part of achieving business outcomes. support simplified dialects of BPMN in a formal way and generally remove barriers between business users and the models. if the changes radically affect the process’ functional description. as well as building them right. In essence. and is intended to support business process management for a range of both technology. These diagrams use familiar flowcharting techniques and are similar to activity diagrams in the Unified Modelling Language (UML). used properly and with appropriate tools. It models business processes. they need not be. That is. as well as also accommodating complex process semantics at a level suitable for process execution.1). this is through a fairly simple ownership mechanism. that is to say. the IT group could well find business process models useful to help it to ensure that it builds the right IT systems. using (mainly) the OMG standards Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN 2. we believe that a model-driven approach to improving and optimising business processes (which may not always involve automating them. which ensures a measure of completeness and consistency. Obviously. Achieving this will need good management. Innovator displays re-used processes. it is worth repeating that although BPMN models can be taken to a level of detail needed to support automated business processes. the whiteboard diagram and process animation. with delivered business value. just because the benefits of BPMN modelling are obvious to themselves. BPMN focuses on business processes generally. Nevertheless. with a focus on business outcomes. see below). We believe that Innovator for Business Analysts makes a reasonably good attempt at achieving this (we note. Collaborative modelling and team working Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) is a vendor-independent open standard. without waste. requirements. However. However. is often not particularly to the liking of business stakeholders in practice. BPMN (like UML 2) is based on a proper underlying metamodel (written in the OMG’s MOF).0) and Unified Modelling Language (UML 2. needing just a mouse click and assignation of a version name. but in view only mode. focussing on the associated people and process issues. teams can reuse each others’ process or sub-process models. At Bloor. Of course. this has to be controlled and currently. supports effective knowledge transfer between all of the stakeholders in a business. in all its power. the critical success factor for BPMN modelling is that it is embedded in an organisation and used to support all aspects of model-driven business process optimisation.and business-oriented stakeholders. BPMN and UML For example. It is important that BPMN modelling tools support stakeholder-specific views into the models. some business users will see any attempt to define and improve what they do as an intrusion or a threat and may use the need to learn even a user-friendly tool as an excuse for not getting involved. Nevertheless. although it often will). for describing business process models in a business process diagram (BPD). The BPMN specification includes mappings to the non-graphical OASIS Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WSB­ PEL) standard. such as can easily be produced in Visio or PowerPoint. in particular. it is emphatically not intended just for processes running on a particular technology or just for the needs of the IT group. although BPMN is businessfocussed. maintained by the OMG (Object Management Group).

and might be essential when a model is part of a compliance story. roles and groups of similar users. Innovator does appear to have a decent security model and manages access to models by access rights. for conventional and web (e. • Managed access by different stakeholders.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Innovator for Business Analysts models driving the implementation of business process. and then a change in the rule definition in the document will automatically appear in the business process. Always being able to find out who changed what in a model. © 2011 Bloor Research 6 A Bloor InDetail Paper . Intranet) distribution. makes collaboration more effective. although future developments will no doubt improve support for regulatory functions further. This facilitates the use of consistent document styles. and you may still be optimising an old process after the migration to a new process has started. ‘Just enough’ modeling for requirements Regulatory support MID sees the changing regulatory environment (especially Solvency II. including usage well outside of the core modelling space. This is facilitated by. a business rule in a Word document can be easily assigned to an element in a business process by a drag & drop interaction. Innovator has a whiteboard diagram. one large telecomms company is attaching text specifications (in Word) to model elements in order to structure them: requirements then become snippets of text on model elements. and when. at least. say) and allowing the user to annotate the change set with a description of its purpose. auditors. thus providing a complete and effective audit trail for models. and technologists. Ideally you want the business (certainly not the IT group) to own the tool. Collaboration between regulators and business analysts is also well supported. where migration from old process to new process may take several years. say.g. Reporting • Strong access security. It is also facilitated by easy connections. The promised future support for configuration management will extend this further. which mitigate the overheads of sharing information using email. which seems to mandate maintenance of process models) as a key driver for the greater adoption of business modelling. department by department. An important metric for any modelling tool is usage. and it generates customisable Microsoft Word and HTML reports. Innovator has always provided good support for versioning. for example. For example. Innovator doesn’t force users to maintain heavyweight models if they are not useful. even across multiple teams. The whiteboard allows you to display several active models in the same space. is enough to be useful. This traceability helps to embed models in the general business process and makes managing change more effective. However the concept of change sets (introduced in Version 11 Release 4) provides a more effective audit trail by providing the possibility of grouping changes to the model (by objective. This is an example of ‘just enough modelling’ being useful—you don’t need to go all the way down to the OMG’s Object ­ Constraint Language if mere text. Models help to bridge the communications gap between business stakeholders. Of course. although we’re not sure that the need to merge files from an external configuration management system (an inefficiency Innovator claims to avoid currently) is all that much of an overhead in practice. with different teams owning parts of the whiteboard. different stakeholders can share models at the same time. • A secure audit trail for changes made to the model. regulators etc. even if they are in different locations. the CEO’s secretary using it to print organisation charts for his/her boss. and Innovator’s office-like user interface is an important factor here. Innovator also has a flexible documentation interface. Innovator for Business Analysts meets these requirements pretty well now. rather than asking someone else to do it. which is probably its key innovation in the collaboration area as far as its users are concerned. This needs a tool that provides: • Version management. which gives users rolespecific views on the underlying models. with a model providing structure. For example. together with the reality of business change.

Innovator’s whiteboard feature could also have a useful place in the review process. • The Innovator client can be extended with downloadable plug-Ins. e. Also. not very serious. organisation charts could be added but the assignment of organisation chart elements such as roles to pools. of course. There used to be some. limitations to the whiteboard: for example. for routine process. • Innovator has a configurable validation engine. so issues can be captured immediately. used only where it delivers real benefit. It also runs the MID Academy. communication and review An important aspect of modelling is its potential for identifying errors in peoples’ understanding of processes or conflicts in different stakeholders’ views. from http://www. This just requires a simple path definition and the animation zooms automatically into sub-processes. One of the problems with reviewing a model is that most ordinary people find it boring and miss issues. using simple declarative modification of both models and notations. UML and Agile training courses.de/en/support/forum. There’s a useful English language blog at http://blog. On the other hand. you may need extra validation for. • A review mode is provided to allow stakeholders to review processes.html.uk/training. Low-cost cosmetic changes to suit your culture can also help prospective users buy in to using the tool.mid. although no doubt English speakers could contribute (German speakers are usually better linguists than Americans or the English). so they are accessible to I all the collaborating stakeholders. Bending the tool to the process only makes sense if your particular process is giving you a competitive edge. MID seems to have got the balance about right for Innovator for Business Analysts: • Models can be annotated (in a similar way to how one would annotate a Word document).apterosolutions. de/en/academy/mid-academy. Luckily. We are in two minds about customising modelling tools. lanes & processes wasn’t displayed. Removing such limitations is a key improvement in Innovator version 11. you might as well adopt whatever commodity process is built into the tool. thus easing institutionalisation of modelling.. This can ease adoption and extend usage to wider and less-involved stakeholders. especially at the system level. We believe that ‘just enough’ customisation. of course). Release 4.0 is about making sure execution is possible if needed).Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Innovator for Business Analysts QA. • Simple BPMN dialects can be defined. useful models need to be correct.com/. as far as is necessary for the uses being made of them (pursuing accuracy beyond the point where it is useful is a waste of resources. in English. although manually added dependencies can be displayed. it is good to be able to minimise any barriers to adoption (but Innovator already has an Office look and feel) and you don’t want your tool to drive your process just because it is too inflexible to cope with what you want to do. Aptero provides a useful series of BPMN. matching gateways that are needed for automated execution of business process models (BPMN doesn’t mandate sufficient detail for execution but a lot of BPMN v 2.apterosolutions.g. customisation takes up resources that are better used for addressing business optimisation and can provide a continuing overhead every time a new version of the tool is released. at http:// www.NET language. Of course. and the whiteboard now supports full visualisation of both UML and the relationship of conceptual to physical database design. offering a rich training resource. Customising Innovator for Business Analysts • For advanced users. • These annotations are managed by the ­ nnovator server. where you would expect several different teams and stakeholders to be involved. MID offers consulting services and hotline support (both email and phone) from its website. is the best approach.html—if (in practice) you speak German.html and also supports the MID solutions it resells. A Bloor InDetail Paper 7 © 2011 Bloor Research .mid. Product support There is an active Innovator support forum at http://www. as the review proceeds. the Innovator API can be accessed by scripts written in Java or any . which enables an animated representation of complex paths through a process.co. Innovator addresses this with ‘Animator for business processes’.

In terms of other proper modelling tools.uk/academic-support. user interface flows and information modelling. add-ins for integration with Office and SAP are a symptom of this. http://www. The most used modelling tools (in reality. • Innovator for Software Architects/Innovator Object provides component-based objectoriented development based on the OMG standard Unified Modelling Language (UML 2. • Innovator provides automated model checks that validate the model. Innovator is based on formally defined models that have structure. the de facto business office suite standard. • Innovator supports relationships. thus bridging the gap between business and IT. for example: a ‘lane’ in a process can be assigned to an organisational unit. co. Innovator Office Integration lets you create. with Innovator BPMN. Innovator for Business Analysts is built as part of a complementary suite of modular tools on a common platform. even when another team. supporting the usual enterprise DBMSs: IBM DB2/Informix. sharing a common model/ repository and each targeting different roles: MID’s biggest competitors for Innovator. At present. Innovator for Software Architects is based on Innovator Object—a proven IT-oriented UML 2 tool. free—for academic organisations such as universities and their students. there are two add-ins addressing existing de facto standard business technology environments. transformed into an automated system/subsystem. for example. is working on the model.html. MID is nurturing.apterosolutions. Microsoft SQL Server. an agile. However.1). an IT developer can take a BPMN process from a business analyst and model its use cases in UML for a service implementation directly connected to the BPMN process. It also helps you visualise how the SAP Solution Manager workflows can support your own business processes. Oracle DB/MySQL. customisable tool that can be extended with add-ins. MID’s differentiator is that it is more than just a BPMN modelling tool but one that addresses a whole role. a new generation of business analysts using modelling as a matter of course Differentiators Supporting products Innovator for Business Analysts is. using Word. if there is sufficient demand. essentially. • Innovator for Database Architects delivers flexible data modelling using the OMG’s Information ­ Management Metamodel (IMM). update and maintain requirements from within Innovator models. are the “do nothing” option (adopted by people who don’t understand the need for modelling) and ordinary office productivity tools. Innovator has a properly modular architecture. that of business analyst. We think this is extremely forward-looking. The SAP Solution Manager plug-in lets you compare both SAP-standard and customer-specific processes using BPMN models. ideally. helping users to avoid making mistakes and introducing inconsistencies across teams and users. these are just tools for visualising models) are probably textual tools like Word and pictorial tools such as Visio. renaming a process element renames the element in any process where this element occurs. It is a full-featured database modelling tool. this facilitates the customisation of SAP standard solutions to customer-specific needs. see. business object models can be linked to the design models used by IT. Similarly. For example: • Unlike with Visio diagrams. in practice. with luck. We’d probably like an add-in for Open Office too—but there’s no technology barrier to providing this. a picture (even a verbal one) is not a model. ­ etc. at a different location.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Innovator for Business Analysts An academic license and support is available— effectively. in conjunction with the Personal Edition. It supports both reverse and forward engineering: in other words you can implement a physical database from Innovator or © 2011 Bloor Research 8 A Bloor InDetail Paper . which means they can be automatically checked for completeness and consistency and. Entity-Relationship Modelling (ERM) and Structured Entity-Relationship Modelling (SERM). It therefore has an Office look-and-feel and extends BPMN and UML modelling with powerful additional diagrams such as organisational charts (which can be connected with business processes). Using this.

Conceptual data modelling using standard notations (such as ER/Chen and UML) is supported and MID sees this as an opportunity to exploit Oracle’s dropping of support for conceptual modelling. The conceptual models can be viewed in various ways. A Bloor InDetail Paper 9 © 2011 Bloor Research . thus assisting with change and impact management. suited to different stakeholders. meaning that these stakeholders can use a familiar user interface and employ the information in Innovator to support enterprise architecture. business intelligence and master data management activities. which MID believes has left some Oracle customers rather unhappy. Innovator can also map conceptual models onto physical designs and compare ‘asis’ physical database designs with ‘should be’ and future designs. from an existing physical database.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Innovator for Business Analysts capture information (it supports the ISO IDEFIX notation for physical database description) as a basis for future database changes.

are subsequently represented on diagrams. and a better return on the investment in modelling. and includes documentation of the roles represented by the various process lanes. Webb is fully aware that some people will see this as merely moving pictures from a familiar environment to diagrams in a less familiar one. from the calling of a process on one diagram to the full visual representation of that process on another. Conclusion Using the public APIs of Microsoft Visio. or as a generated and customised HTML website. The solution • This brings all stakeholders together and makes process improvement (optimisation) both easier and more error-free. “Visio is perhaps one of the most commonly used tools for drawing process workflows. and this encourages agility. which makes renaming or changing a description a simple activity. Textual descriptions of processes and process steps (tasks in BPMN-speak) can be viewed just by clicking on the process or task. © 2011 Bloor Research 10 A Bloor InDetail Paper . from pictures to models Background and links to other elements. Benefits As a result of migrating from Visio pictures to Innovator BPMN models: • Both the pictorial and descriptive information is in one place. According to Webb. Aptero Solutions has been able to build a Visio-to-BPMN migration utility. from use of a proper modelling tool with automated completeness and consistency checks. Each diagram is complemented with a separately-maintained Microsoft Word document.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Customer stories/case studies As is common with the financial services and similar organisations that make up MID’s customer base. This organisation has invested considerable resources in producing a large number of Microsoft Visio process diagrams. The problem • Processes can be rolled out to process users through Innovator itself. which holds a detailed step-by-step process description. MID’s worldwide distributor/partner. Microsoft Word and Innovator for Business ­ Analysts. with descriptive information The migration makes life easier for all involved and. although the investment need not be wasted. in the longer term. which translates pictures of process models in Visio to be valid Innovator BPMN models. Phil Webb of Aptero Solutions. Processes are now defined once. or through an integrated process report in a generated Word or PDF document. but also an immediate gain in both accuracy and lower maintenance overheads. I aim to continue to persuade people that using a BPMN modelling tool like Innovator instead can make a significant improvement to the costs and usefulness of building and distributing valid process descriptions”. which visu­ ally describe its processes. • Analysts and process users can navigate between process workflows. if the people and process aspects of BPMN modelling are managed properly. Roles can be modelled in an organisation chart and associated to lanes or processes. • The visualisations and textual descriptions are tied together through Innovator—where model elements. as it allows easier migration to more powerful and costeffective modelling tools. through Innovator’s neat annotations—open the BPMN diagram and the annotations show you where and what the problems are. even down to unique identifiers for each step and gateway. has been working with an international banking group to improve its modelling and development processes. Webb concludes that. However. as Webb says. the customers involved in the case studies below asked to remain anonymous. However. whether they are the result of incorrectly linked connectors in Visio or misnamed items where matching descriptions could not be found in Word”. more use of the models by a wider community. A translation case study. as the Visio pictures and Word documents are pretty much in synchronisation. This has been professionally implemented and maintained. “a significant benefit of the migration was that we were able to highlight problems with the original Visio diagrams and Word descriptions. this should facilitate greater buy in to the modelling process. but he maintains that the organisation will not only see benefits for its process analysts and their process users. “imagine clicking on your role in an org chart and being able to immediately navigate to the processes or tasks that are the responsibility of your role”. rather than having to refer to both Visio picture and Word description. this involves a significant overhead for its process analysis activities.

A proof of concept for Innovator for Business Analysts is now available as a basis for possible wider deployment in future. so it is a large enterprise. It now wants to convert this into more structured. Implementing business process modelling for process A Bloor InDetail Paper 11 © 2011 Bloor Research . Benefits Structured. Our contact. • An early start on productive modelling with Innovator for Business Analysts is possible—there’s no 1–2 week barrier while you put underlying structures into the tool and get to understand its workings. Innovator for Business Analysts helps to improve IT governance and this project has improved both this and the organisation’s understanding of the use of tools such as MID Innovator for Business Analysts. for code generation etc. together with motor insurance. The organisation has a strong departmental structure and the Computer Science department has submitted a proposal to senior management for extending the use of Innovator for Business Analysts to business departments but this hasn’t been accepted as we write this. Conclusion The Computer Science department has been engaged on a 2-year project analysing IT processes in the interests of better governance and has produced extensive Word. private liability household insurance and occupational pensions. understands that. “you must always consider the level you want to work at— we’re working at a high (ITIL process) level and delivering something useful. more important. so they were familiar and there is potential for future integration (although this hasn’t happened yet). for instance. The organisation now has its structured documentation in Innovator for Business Analysts.500 employees. but more detailed models. This organisation claims success from using Innovator for Business Analysts to improve the structure and quality of its high-level IT process documentation as a basis for process improvement. it can standardise and evaluate its models and look for opportunities for process improvement. In a mature organisation there are lots of people (cultural). could be useful—just not yet”. In essence. There is a general feeling that business process management is already being satisfactorily managed by different parts of the organisation anyway. maintainable documentation. business process modelling. where effective process governance is at a premium. process and organisational barriers to expanding its use. Innovator for Business Analysts can deliver immediate benefits to a large. it has a matrix of work groups to process relationships and can optimise this. PowerPoint and Visio documentation.5 million customers and around 8. The solution Innovator for Business Analysts was chosen for this project after a comparison exercise with other tools: • The organisation already had other ­ Innovator tools.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Customer stories/case studies An IT process management case study Background A manager in the Computer Science department of a large German insurance company told us about starting the journey with Innovator for Business Analysts. For example. life insurance. although whether there are sufficient benefits to justify doing this are under discussion with the groups responsible. for general governance—but this hasn’t started yet. and possible integration with other MID Innovator tools. This company manages property and casualty insurance. health insurance and home loans for private clients. It has over 9. maintainable documentation is now available as a basis for process improvement/optimisation in the Computer Science department.. • BPMN modelling promises to be a futureproof standard. The tool is being used within the IT department and it sees possibilities for expansion of the tool into the business arena. mature organisation and provides lots of opportunities to exploit both the tool and. The problem It also sees a potential for bringing IT process in line with business process. • Little up-front training is needed for ­ nnovator for Business Analysts (its Office I look and feel helps but isn’t the only aspect of this).

but it is a journey and you must plan to deliver immediate benefits and gain acceptance for the tool. A low barrier to entry with a tool that can be used immediately to deliver something practically useful is key to successful implementation. this case study shows that the. if you are to get more from it in the future. not insignificant. barriers to adoption of BPMN modelling by a Computer Science department can be overcome.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Customer stories/case studies improvement across the whole organisation might be useful. Nevertheless. © 2011 Bloor Research 12 A Bloor InDetail Paper .

take on your challenges and get your systems doing what you want them to do”—taken from its website. MID GmbH currently has about 110 employees. in the UK. de/en/company/management. has been given a mandate for the long term development of high-quality solutions. Aptero Solutions places great emphasis on working at the business level to solve business issues: “We are committed to deliver software solutions to your business requirements.mid. all sharing the same repository.mid. More than just focussing on tools. Stuttgart and Munich.com) is MID’s worldwide distributor and partner. Many of its key personnel are ex-Select employees As its name suggests. In addition. At a business/technology level it supports: • Model-driven application delivery. Intellectually. M3. Aptero Solutions is an informal child of that well-respected producer of softwareautomated business solutions. however.de/ en/company/modeling-magazine. It is ISO 9001 certified.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool The vendor Vendor background MID Gmbh is a Nuremberg software and consultancy agency with many years of experience with methodology and project management incorporated in its MID modelling methodology. The MID management team can be reviewed at http://www.mid.html. MID Gmbh web site: www. but not controlled by MID—a development which we at Bloor heartily welcome. who takes an active interest in both MID and in software development generally. We pin down your pain point. Jochen ­ Seemann. The overall goal of this toolset is to help organisations to bridge the gap between business process description and optimisation and conventional technologyoriented systems development. Worldwide distributor Aptero Solutions (www. • Cloud application management. Customers MID GmbH targets blue-chip enterprise customers with large. As well as its relationship with MID (for business-driven software engineering). the MID Academy offers an extensive training program. • Process performance management. and the different tools are appropriate to different roles (such as data and business analysis). it specialises in facilitating and managing change. It is now delivering a next-generation roleoriented and business-focussed development platform supporting a range of standardsbased (BPMN and UML) modelling tools. The company isn’t being obviously micro-managed by the money people and the MD responsible for Product Development and Management. there are significant possible synergies between these approaches. and has about 20 employees and associates. These customers choose MID because it is small enough to be a manageable partner whilst still being able to demonstrate technical competence and the successful delivery of large projects. as business users expect these days. • Component software engineering.de A free subscription to MID’s Modelling Magazine can be downloaded at http://www. MID is privately owned by a Swiss equity investor with an engineering background. in co-operation with its clients. long-running projects across a range of industry sectors.html.apterosolutions. Public sector customers: • Bundesagentur für Arbeit • Ministerium für Ländlichen Raum und • Bundesministerium des Inneren • Bundesministerium für Migration Flüchtlinge. It has branch offices in Cologne. Select. that MID consultancy is not being treated as a profit centre (although it no doubt pays for itself) but as a way to ensure customer satisfaction and to develop long-term relationships with large companies. and has its headquarters in Germany. Verbraucherschutz. These tools have a Microsoft Office look and feel. supported by. for example. Baden-Württemberg ­ und A Bloor InDetail Paper 13 © 2011 Bloor Research . as well as in-house qualification courses tailored to a particular company’s needs. • Business-driven software engineering. This means. MID’s User Group has been recently reorganised as an independent and self-sufficient user community. Aptero has relationships with tool vendor Mendix (for model-driven application delivery). Aptero has offices in Cheltenham.

It also integrates with the JDeveloper rules engine (although Oracle’s best rules engine. Business Innovator. SAP Insurance customers: • HUK Coburg • HanseMerkur Versicherung • Barmer GEK • AXA Winterthur. For example. Partners MID’s partners are listed at http://www. Academia Both MID and MID’s partner. System integrators: • T-Systems • Siemens IT Solutions and Services. Academic site licenses for educational use are available for all its commercial tools and Aptero. In our opinion. Aptero Solutions. it should be easier to get started with Innovator than with many large-vendor tools (partly because of the breadth of user requirements and extreme scalability some of the customers of large vendor solutions require. allowing MID Innovator to provide efficient. Competitors MID’s competitors for Innovator for Business Analysts are the large vendors of complete development solutions including BPMN modelling (such as IBM and Oracle) and smaller vendors of specialist BPMN tools. The M³SAP profile provides a special DSL based on the SAP NetWeaver terminology. maintain strong relationships with universities and colleges throughout Europe and North America. is getting traction and visibility outside of its customer base. Telecommunication sector customers: • Deutsche Telekom AG. as part of developing its SAP Solution Manager plug-in to Innovator for Business Analysts and its MID Modelling Methodology for SAP (M³SAP). This means that the personal edition of MID’s BPMN modelling tool. Oracle MID is an Oracle partner. MID’s defence is probably that it supports a business-level role. de/en/company/reference-list/partner. Appropriate SAP best practice solutions and existing processes can then be reused in the SAP Solution Manager. What this means is that you can abstract your business requirements in BPMN and compare them with standard SAP processes at a similarly abstracted level and then implement the SAP solution that best fits your needs. originally the Haley Ruleburst engine from Australia. Commercial sector customers: • Witt Weiden (Otto Group) • Migros.html. in particular. offers to share its experience of commercially available tools with legitimate students. generate portfolio and potential analyses from these scenario models and then use them to carry out business evaluations and comparisons. is now in Siebel and not really accessible to MID). and partly because of their legacy support issues). which provides a domain specific language (DSL) specially designed for the SAP world. the business analyst. which has patents around linear scalability in limited areas. KG • Hella KGaA & Co. Against smaller specialist vendors. Financial sector customers: • DATEV eG • Deutsche Wertpapier Service Bank AG Embedded systems customers: • Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. The ­ Innovator system modeller can create SAP-specific architecture and design models and automatically generate SAP ABAP program source from these. You can model alternative SAP selection and implementation scenarios at the technical level using this DSL. rather than just the BPMN modeller.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool The vendor Industrial sector customers: • Daimler AG • Siemens AG. and that it has integrations with tools supporting other roles in the organisation. M³SAP is completely geared towards the SAP ASAP implementation methodology and can be used as a part of it. © 2011 Bloor Research 14 A Bloor InDetail Paper .mid. Of particular interest are: MID is now an accredited SAP partner (and has invested a lot of resources in getting there). MID integrates with Oracle’s execution engine via BPEL and can generate Oracle ADF GUI code. transparent decision and implementation support for the life-cycle management of SAP solutions.

org/en/ asqf-ev.V. it is free of the pressures a public company faces from the market and its shareholders to respond to technology fashions and to take short-term. On balance.omg. as it makes it easier to take the long-term view and target customer (as opposed to shareholder) satisfaction. for example. Financial information MID is 100% privately owned. MID is subject to the risk associated with the possible impact of one person’s decisions. we think private ownership is a good thing. MID also faces the issue that many developers are (erroneously.V. . decisions. business automation needs both top down and bottom up thinking). The former is an international standards body and the latter is a “network of excellence for the software development industry in German-speaking European countries”.Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool The vendor Standards bodies MID is an active member of the Object Management Group (OMG . but MID has side-stepped it neatly by targeting the business and business analysts. (ASQF e. This is an area where interest in modelling is increasing and. with a single Swiss equity investor and its current revenue is around 18–19 million Euros.html). as Seemann points out. bottom-up development as replacing modeldriven approaches and top-down development. However.V. This is not the place for a discussion of this issue. the business is always most comfortable thinking top down (in practice. MID works with ASQF e. Current issues As a 100% privately owned company with a single equity investor. MID is also targeting the sort of large customer where it faces strong competition from companies like IBM—where the business practices it faces may be as big a competitive problem as any competing technology issues. On the other hand.org) and Arbeitskreis Software-Qualität & Fortbildung e. of course. Its current profit margins are healthy with a considerable investment in its new software products.https://www.http://www. A Bloor InDetail Paper 15 © 2011 Bloor Research .isqi. on. it does seem to have a strong position in its German home market to build from. share price focussed. we think) seeing agile. certification standards such as Certified Requirements Engineer.

and its support for integration with tools supporting other roles in the business process story. its possible integration with the Microsoft Office environment and the SAP environment. Reasons to consider buying this product include its focus on standardsbased (BPMN) business process modelling from the business’ point-ofview (instead of from an IT point of view). All this adds up to a modelling tool that can promote desired business outcomes and help to bridge the gap between IT and the business. Further Information Further information about this subject is available from http://www. forwardslooking tool for the business analyst role—oriented towards business stakeholders (rather than mainly targeting IT).Innovator for Business Analysts an agile Business Process modelling tool Summary With Innovator for Business Analysts. helps to improve communication between all stakeholders in the business process. and can be used (but doesn’t necessarily need to be used) as a basis for automating business processes. It helps the business analysts in a business to manage complexity and optimise its business processes. with all stakeholders sharing a common model through rolespecific interfaces. MID offers a modern.BloorResearch.com/update/2110 © 2011 Bloor Research 16 A Bloor InDetail Paper .

• Look at the whole market and explain all the solutions available and how they can be more effectively evaluated. even when programmed by very clever people. We explain how to bring greater Agility to corporate IT systems through the effective governance. tailored research services. Of particular interest is organisational maturity as a prerequisite for implementing effective (measured) process and ITIL (v3) as a framework for automated service delivery. and was taught to program in FORTRAN.Bloor Research overview Bloor Research is one of Europe’s leading IT research. Developing a Network Computing Strategy and Corporate Desktop Services (for Business Intelligence). at various times holding positions in DBA. network management. David then returned to his UK birthplace (1982) where he worked for Bank of America and Swiss Bank Corporation. Founded in 1989. We have built a reputation for ‘telling the right story’ with independent. David is a past co-editor (and co-owner) of Application Development Advisor and associate editor for the launch of Register Developer. Since then he has written for many major computer magazines and various specialist titles around the world. In 1992 he started a new career as a professional writer and analyst. document and photograph the CMMI Made Practical conference at the IoD. . which he runs from his home in Chippenham. internal control. • Understand how new and innovative technologies fit in with existing ICT investments. About the author David Norfolk Practice Leader Focus Area: Development/Governance David Norfolk first became interested in computers and programming quality in the 1970s. systems development method and standards. Integrated Development Environments (IDE). Online Banking (for FT Business Reports). intelligent. His ongoing interest in all things related to development has culminated in his joining Bloor in 2007 and taking on the development brief. has a somewhat rusty NetWare 5 CNE certification and is a full Member of the British Computer Society (where he is on the committee of the Configuration Management Specialist Group). and is currently executive editor for GEE’s “IT Policies and Procedures” product. we have spent over two decades distributing research and analysis to IT user and vendor organisations throughout the world via online subscriptions. technology risk and even PC support. automated data analysis tools and metadata repositories. He has an honours degree in Chemistry and is a Chartered IT Professional. Development here refers especially to automated systems development. It also covers the processes behind them and the people issues associated with implementing them. management and leverage of Information. events and consultancy projects. where his spare moments (if any) are spent on photography. requirements modelling tools and so on. well-articulated communications content and publications on all aspects of the ICT industry. We believe the objective of telling the right story is to: • Describe the technology in context to its business value and the other systems and processes it interacts with. Here he discovered that computers could deliver misleading answers. analysis and consultancy organisations. the Business Implications of Adopting Object Technology (for Elan Publishing). David Rhys Enterprises Ltd. He helped plan. We are committed to turning our knowledge into business value for you. London in 2005 and has written many industry white papers and research reports including: IT Governance (for Thorogood). sailing and listening to music. He was instrumental in introducing a formal systems development process for the Bank of America Global Banking product in Croydon. • Ensure all our content is available through the most appropriate channel. This covers technology including acronym-driven tools such as: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). Model Driven Architecture (MDA). working in the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University. He has his own company. • Filter “noise” and make it easier to find the additional information or news that supports both investment and implementation. His early career involved working in database administration (DBA) and operations research for the Australian Public Service in Canberra.

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