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Transparency is one of those words that can mean anything or nothing. Within agile development, an objective definition of transparency, according to the Scrum Alliance, is related to respect in communication: understanding technical issues, bringing in different team members for prioritization, communicating clearly when there are project changes, bad news, or new priorities. Transparent communication between business and IT teams creates an environment that is more agile, better grounded in business priorities, and more effective. But the question is ... how do you get your business and IT teams together to begin with?
Today’s business environment presents an increasing number of challenges in consistently maintaining an organization’s business processes efficiently. You may be facing challenges to grow your business and stay competitive:
- No visibility into the automated systems to understand how, where, and when decisions are being made.
- Existing systems which don't allow you to make changes quickly, yet introducing new products and services requires changing rules and processes.
- Lack of consistency in making critical decisions. Sometimes, decisions are left to chance.
Business process management (BPM) provides a way to tackle these challenges by enabling collaboration between business and IT users to bring transparency, agility and consistency to the organization’s workflow.
Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite is an open source solution that combines business process management and business rules management. It enables users to to model, deploy, and execute processes and rules all at one place.
It also provides business users tools to modify business logic and business processes without requiring the assistance from IT personnel, hence increasing the transparency and ability to quickly adapt to changes in the market.
Example: Process-based solutions in the loan industry
Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite can be deployed to automate business processes, such as automating the loan approval process at a retail bank. This is a typical deployment that might be the first step in a wider adoption of BPM throughout an enterprise. It requires the use of both BPM and business rules technologies.
A bank offers several types of loan products each with varying terms and eligibility requirements. Customers requiring a loan must file a loan application with the bank, which then processes the application in several steps, verifying eligibility, determining terms, checking for fraudulent activity, and determining the most appropriate loan product. Once approved, the bank creates and funds a loan account for the applicant, who can then access funds. The bank must be sure to comply with all relevant banking regulations at each step of the process and needs to manage its loan portfolio to maximize profitability. Policies are in place to aid in decision making at each step, and those policies are actively managed to optimize outcomes for the bank.
Step 1. Business analysts at the bank model the loan application process using the BPMN2 authoring tools (Process Designer) in JBoss BPM Suite.
Step 2. Business rules are developed with the rule authoring tools in JBoss BPM Suite to enforce policies and make decisions.
Step 3. Rules are linked with the process models to enforce the correct policies at each process step.
The bank's IT organization deploys JBoss BPM Suite so that the entire loan application process can be automated. The entire loan process and rules can be modified at any time by the bank's business analysts. The bank is able to maintain compliance with changing regulations, and is able to quickly introduce new loan products and improve loan policies in order to compete effectively and drive profitability.
Trying it in real life
Need help in modeling business processes and identifying your business challenges? Take the first step with a complimentary Red Hat Consulting discovery session.
About the author
Deon Ballard is a product marketing manager focusing on customer experience, adoption, and renewals for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the foundation for open hybrid cloud. In previous roles at Red Hat, Ballard has been a technical writer, doc lead, and content strategist for technical documentation, specializing in security technologies such as NSS, LDAP, certificate management, and authentication / authorization, as well as cloud and management.