BusinessOptix’s Scenario capability enables business analysts to simulate changes in the business process model and resource profiles to quickly understand whether the change requested creates the desired business outcome before you invest in making the change in your operational business or technology platform.
In a Business Process Scenario you can understand:
- whether the availability of resources (including employees, external suppliers or technology platforms) is causing process bottlenecks?
- if additional resources are required to handle additional business process volume from a successful sales campaign or unexpected increase in customer service requests?
- whether a change in working patterns/shifts will reduce process cycle time?
- if the use of less experienced and lower cost resource that take longer to complete an activity and have a greater higher rework rate will be more cost-effective?
- when will I get a return on investment from automating business process activities through Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) or other system changes?
- will this business process change result in increased revenue as well as reduced cost?
There are three key components to BusinessOptix Scenario capability:
- Process Model whether an existing one modelled in BusinessOptix or a new one
- Process Transformation allows you to model changes in the process by adding, modifying or dropping activities and also changing the process metrics associated with activities and decision gateways. Some of the process metrics around routing
- Process Scenarios allow you to model and simulate the impact of changes in resource usage (staff or equipment) by process activity, resource availability and resource costs.
Once the Scenario Extension is installed in your library you should start to explore the sample process model called "Scenario Demo".
The sample process is for an Accident and Emergency (Emergency Room) Admissions and includes four scenarios that would allow a hospital administrator to understand what impact a change in staffing would have on costs and the patient experience. The scenarios include the ‘as is’ situation and then what happens if consultants work later in the evening; if nursing roles are merged; and finally what happens if there are more consultants and fewer nurses.
- Open the Process Scenario Analysis Output
- Press the Play button to start the simulation. The simulation will run all of the scenarios for a configured time of 14 days.
- While the simulation is running the red bar that appears on each activity box allows you to easily see how much work there is at each step in the process.
- Switch between scenarios and quickly see whether your changes are having an impact.
- Let the simulation run to completion and then view the detailed results. For each of the scenario’s, there is a summary of:
- How many processes have started, completed and are still running
- Statistics on the cycle time and waiting time
- Costs and associated revenue
- Select a specific scenario and you can explore it in more detail.
Configuring Process Metrics
In order that BusinessOptix knows how often to take each path through the process model, some baseline metrics need to be captured.
- For each Gateway ensure it has the correct type, such as Alternative Paths if the process can conditionally go in different directions.
- Then for each link, the Gateway confirm whether the path is unconditional, conditional or the default.
- For conditional and default paths on the metrics tab, enter the probability (0 – 100%) of this path through the process being selected. If you don’t enter a probability then BusinessOptix may randomly select paths out of the gateway.
- For activities, there are some simpler process data that you can use to inform business case development before using the more advanced capabilities offered by process scenarios. On the metrics tab, these include the wait time before this activity is started, the working time and the FTE cost, non-FTE unit cost and unit revenue. Except when explained below in Process Scenario or Process Transformation you do not need to capture the metrics on this tab.
Configuring Process Transformation
Process transformations are configured through the activity, gateway and link Properties Inspector and allow you to document and understand a future state process transformation.
- If as part of process improvement you are designing a future state that requires you to add an activity or other BPMN element that doesn’t exist in the ‘as is’ model then add it from the component menu as normal and then configure all the information about the element on the transformation tab
- Alternatively, if you have an element that is changing or no longer required in the future state then mark it as such and complete the transformation tab details.
- When the new BPMN elements have been added you need to add links to connect them to the existing process. If the link is coming out of a gateway then you will also need to add metrics to the new link.
- If you select the process in the table of contents on the transformation tab you then have the option of visualising the current state, future state and the change state. The change state is a representation of the current and future state in a single view.
- Also at the process level, there is the option of recording the cost of change and any on-going costs associated with the change.
If you are starting to develop a business case for change then select the Process Transformation Output and you can start to explore the costs and revenue associated with the process and also understand the return on investment and payback period.ß
Configuring Process Scenarios
- Open the process model in Author.
- From the Components, menu add a Scenario and give it a name and description
- From the Components menu add a Volume and configure the days, time and volume data to model the work arrival rate. When you have work arriving at different rates by either day of week or hour of the day add additional Volume items
- From the Components menu, add a Resource to the Scenario and configure the hourly rate for the resource. Think about whether this is salary/wage or the fully loaded rate/fully burdened labour cost for the resource and keep it consistent throughout the scenario.
- Resources need shifts so that BusinessOptix knows when they are available to carry out work. Select the resource and from the Components menu, add a Shift. If the resource has a differing availability by day of week or hour of day, then add more Shifts as appropriate.
- If you have piecework or equipment that has a finite capacity (e.g. hospital only has a limited number of beds) then model this as a resource. If there is an hourly cost associated, then complete that in the same way as for staffing. If there is a cost per unit then in the process model and from the Metrics property tab add a Per Unit Cost.
- If you need to record the cost of consumables (e.g. printing or mail out) that have an unlimited supply then in the process model and from the Metrics property tab add a Per Unit Cost.
- Now associate Activity from the process model with the Scenario by selecting Scenario Activity from the Components menu. Then pick from the dropdown list. Do this for all the activities that have resources associated with it.
- Specific Resource(s) needs to be associated with the Activity. From the table of contents select the Activity name from the list of steps and add a Resource Assignment. In the Resource Assignment provide details of how much of the resource is consumed by this activity. If you have multiple resources required to complete the activity, then add as many Resource Assignments as required.
- If an activity has revenue associated with it (e.g. getting to this stage in the process results in a fee being collected) then select the activity in the process model and on the Metrics property inspector fill in the Per-Unit Revenue.
- From the Output menu, select the Process Scenario Analysis HTML.
- Run the simulation and view results.
Combining Process Transformation and Process Scenarios
These two powerful change and transformation components can also be combined to provide additional analysis capabilities. When the process model has a transformation and scenario applied the transformation will be automatically applied to the scenarios you have defined. When you run the simulation BusinessOptix will automatically execute a new ‘future’ state scenario as well as the current state.
If you have already explored the BusinessOptix process transformation capabilities and you already have process metrics captured at this level and you want to add the enhanced scenario capabilities you will find that some metrics can now be captured in two places. You do not have to keep the metrics synchronised, when the metric is not available in the scenario BusinessOptix will take it from the transformation metrics and when you have captured it in both places BusinessOptix will take it from the scenario.