sstein's picture

ProcessWorld 2010 live bloggingNow after lunch, the final 3 sessions of ProcessWorld 2010 in Berlin take place. First, Dr. Jung of Deutsche Post DHL presents his experiences of multi-regional modelling projects. DHL is a big German logistics company. It doesn't just provide mail items, but also global forwarding of freight and supply chain management. Interestingly, and I didn't knew that before, DHL doesn't own any planes or ships, but just take care of organising the transports.

The nature of DHL creates challenges for multi-regional modelling projects like global teams with different cultures and needs. The overall goal of their effort was establishing global standards for business processes. Of course they wanted to harmonize their processes, but also their enterprise architecture and the way they interact with customers.

Dr. Jürgen Jung of Deutsche Post DHL at ProcessWorld 2010 in BerlinThey use end-to-end scenarios to facilitate business process modelling. This ensures that they take a customer view on the processes. Each scenario focuses on a business object flowing through the company. In their process architecture they got 4 levels. On top level they name the end-to-end processes. Below are 2 levels of value-added chain diagrams. On the lowest level they use the EPC notation.

In EPCs they only use functions, events, rules, and process interfaces. As far as I can see from the screenshots, they have their own colour scheme. They are also using IT applications in their process models. They don't link to existing applications, but to more generic IT application classes. If I understood it correctly, they use information carriers to transport business objects. Looks like a straight-forward adaptation of the EPC notation.

They had 3 modelling teams located in North America, Europe and Asia. Each modelling team was responsible for modelling a set of key scenarios. After 6 months they integrated the models created, reworking them several times so that they are not just applicable for operations in the region they were created in. Here, it was a challenge to schedule joint phone conference due to the different time zones.

By the way, they completely skipped modelling as-is processes, but instead focused on how it should run ideally in to-be processes. This focus on to-be processes was a challenge, because often process owners tried to motivate why the process is running as it does today.

They also distinguished between end-to-end processes and reference processes. However, I must admit that I was not really able to understand how they differentiate both. For example, an end-to-end process might reuse elements of a reference process. It might be that in their understanding end-to-end processes are instances of reference processes.

Dr. Jung said an important lesson learnt was to decouple end-to-end processes. One end-to-end process might call another one, but then the second end-to-end process must be finished completely before the calling one proceeds.

Another challenge for them was defining a common terminology. They modelled terminologies and distributed those models, too. They put in place modelling guidelines in advance, but they still encountered that additional synchronisations are needed. It was an ongoing task to them to ensure the quality of the models they created. They scheduled regular virtual meetings and they created a group responsible for quality assurance.

Another very interesting customer presentation. I think they achieved a lot, because it took them just about 1 year to implement the program creating 500 EPC models.