Markus von der HeidenMarkus von der Heiden HP PPM Best Practices – From an Idea to a Specification

04/21/2008 by Markus von der Heiden

Optimal preparation for development
The blog post “HP PPM Best Practices – The Key to Success” deals with the preparatory steps which are necessary to develop a solution based on HP’s BTO tool suite. These steps are a prerequisite for working out a specification. The present blog presents a best practice approach to the transfer of ideas into real specifications for development and configuration of HP PPM solutions.

HP PPM consists of several modules which amongst others cover the following business areas:

Requirements – digitizing the processes
In the phase of gathering ideas it is recommendable to digitize all processes that will be involved in the realization of the project. This requires that all processes are identified, indexed and specified. As a best practice method, the following approach has proved to be successful:

  • Mapping the total process in a BPMN (business process modeling notation). This includes the individual process activities and the roles involved.
  • Defining the status transitions by means of a state diagram in UML (unified modelling language). This represents the individual statuses and their interdependencies with the upcoming decisions.
  • Defining use case diagrams (UML) which support the activities and statuses from the above concepts. This involves the description of a defined process from the users´ perspective, written down as a continuous text. It must be ensured that all terms used in the concepts are synchronized.
  • Defining a service catalog. The service catalog facilitates the modularization and consolidates business-oriented services.
  • Summarizing the above concepts in a product requirements document.

Preparing implementation
After mapping the requirements by following the above steps, the implementation must be prepared. In terms of PPM this means:

  • Evaluation and transfer of the preparatory steps described above
    Evaluation in this context means to project the business-oriented requirements onto the level of the tools which are used. The focus is on the interconnection between the individual business processes. Status transitions and interfaces should be specified. To map process as a whole, BPMN has proven useful. In addition in this step automated activities are mapped.
  • Definition of request types and attributes
    Processes in HP PPM are controlled by forms. The definition of these forms (request type) must be related to the business processes. This implies to keep a field list including the attributes required for implementation.
  • The state diagram must be adapted to the technical conditions
    Statuses in HP PPM are not mapped in a 1:1 relation. On the one hand, they serve to control the information displayed in the form, on the other hand to analyze the progress of the involved business process. In most cases, some “technical” statuses must be added.
Business Process Parameter Information Notes
Input Information Field List Defined fields must be filled before the activities are started
Activity Process Information BPMN, Field List The fields to be displayed and automated processes
Output Information Status diagramm, field list Results of activities, maybe controlled by information in the fields


Summary

Sound preparations lay the foundation for the definition of the requirements. For changing ideas into requirements it is recommended to digitize the involved processes, which means identifying and describing them by means of BPMN and UML. Afterwards, the concepts can be evaluated, the request types (forms) and the attributes can be defined and the status diagram can be adapted to the technical conditions. Experience gained from successful projects has shown that this is the best possible way of describing the specification and of preparing the subsequent implementation of HP PPM.

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