One of the strengths of SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is the graphical modeling environment which is fully embedded in and integrated with all SAP Solution Manager processes. This environment allows you to extend the reach of SAP Solution Manager in implementation projects from the technical realization phase to the earlier phase of process definition. Process experts who in the past used stand-alone graphical tools to describe the company’s core process flows can now use SAP Solution Manager. SAP Solution Manager 7.2 thus allows customers to provide a common toolset to all stakeholders. Costly and tiresome integrations with 3rd party modeling tools are therefore not needed any longer. In a nutshell: The graphical environment strengthens SAP Solution Manager’s position as single source of the truth for customer solutions.
SAP Solution Manager 7.2 allows to describe processes graphically using BPMN 2.0 process and collaboration diagrams. With process diagrams you can describe the internal flow of activities (process steps). You choose diagrams to improve your process communication. BPMN helps diagrams to maintain a unified language to communicate processes. BPMN is a standard and easy to understand. You always define a diagram for an existing process. The actual process definition should be seen as a “bill of material” of process steps and interfaces of the process. The process definition is not expressed graphically but as a list. The BPMN diagram may use gateways to show activities that are supposed to be executed in parallel and which may or may not merge back. A BPMN diagram can easily show such kinds of variations; a sequential list cannot do this.
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When modeling processes it is essential to focus on the target audience and stakeholders of the models. This also defines the elements shown in the process, level of detail required and if a process is more business oriented or IT oriented. Since every information element generates effort and costs, unnecessary details shall not be modeled to keep the complexity in the models manageable. An efficient process documentation tool therefore allows customers to capture those processes or process parts in a re-usable format to facilitate efficient process documentation. In SAP Solution Manager 7.2, you assemble your processes from reusable building blocks such as reusable process steps or interfaces. You can further leverage the processes for testing, monitoring or training purposes.
In SAP Solution Manager 7.2 you can create multiple diagrams for a single process. Essentially, the diagram is only a graphical representation of the process defined by the purpose of the models given by the audience. So, multiple diagrams can exist for a single process, all diagrams sharing the same process definition but each diagram can use a different subset of process steps and can use a different visualization. You can define one diagram that is appropriate for discussions with business departments, another which has more details and therefore is appropriate for implementation and configuration purposes, and yet another diagram which is tailored to technical process monitoring.
Both the BPMN process and collaboration diagrams can use systems or roles as lanes. If you choose to organize your lanes by role, you communicate who is executing a process step. If you choose to organize the lanes by system you communicate the logical component group (and the system) that supports the activities. Again, for discussions with business departments lanes organized by roles are used in most cases. Technical people working on process monitoring may prefer diagrams organized by systems because they are interested in particular systems breaks for interface monitoring. Generally, all diagrams – process or collaboration diagrams; lanes organized by role or system – can be used for Business Process Monitoring.