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IBM Blueworks Live (BWL) helps you to understand how your company works, and to identify how to improve efficiency, improve reliability, and to save money and time. It supports your reorganisations and helps to maintain a detailed understanding of how things get done. It is the foundation to any serious business automation project.

This is especially important in today’s highly competitive environment organisations are constantly being challenged to make decisions quickly. Whether responding to regulatory measures, to the effects of economic change in the market, or to internal organisational restructuring, companies need access to the right information to make the right decisions. 

Products relevant to this point of view include IBM Integration, IBM Automation, Responsiv Unity, IBM DataPower, IBM Application Connect Enterprise (ACE), OpenShift, WebSphere, IBM MQ, IBM API Connect, IBM Business Process Manager, IBM Digital Business Automation (DBA), IBM Business Automation Workflow (BAW), IBM Operational Decision Manager (ODM).

As part of this decision-making a full understanding of the processes implemented within an organisation is vital.

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IBM Blueworks Live is a cloud-based process mapping software tool that allows organisations to discover, capture and document their business processes.

By providing a dedicated, collaborative environment, business analysts, subject matter experts, and other team members can work together to build and improve business processes through process mapping.

An intuitive web interface, accessible anywhere, means that the team can document and analyse processes to make them more efficient, and provides a single location for all business processes to live.

IBM Blueworks Live is constructed of three views:

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Process Discovery

IBM Blueworks Live allows you to capture the milestones and the activities associated with a particular process.

This view is primarily used to brainstorm, allowing business to capture the as-is state of the process.

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To perform the process discovery, all of your process experts contribute by giving a list of activities that they have to perform during the process which is being considered. As the users explain the activities, a business analyst will capture them onto the canvas. Once all of the activities are captured, they will then be organised under milestones.

https://www.blueworkslive.com/scr/docs/bwl/topics/process_diagram.html

Process Diagram

Once users have identified the milestones and the activities, IBM Blueworks Live will convert from the process discovery to the process diagram view.

The process diagram view includes flow lines and swim lanes, start and end

This enables the team to add more information to the process diagram and if the process involves a particular decision to be taken, then IBM Blueworks Live allows you to add gateways to the process diagram.

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IBM Blueworks Live allows you to include the following gateways:

  • Exclusive Gateway: This can be used to represent a choice between multiple paths. However, only one path can be followed.
  • Parallel Gateway: This can be used to represent when multiple paths are performed in parallel.
  • Inclusive Gateway: This can be used to represent when all the paths can be taken.

In addition, for each activity users will be able to record all additional information such as: participant details, activity details, time, cost, policies, documentation, attachments and comments. Using this method all business users will be able to access all the information in one single place.

https://www.blueworkslive.com/scr/docs/bwl/topics/process_diagram.html

Documentation

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An activity represents the work that needs to be performed in a process, either by a person or by a computer.

For each of the activities, users will be able to capture a large variety of information such as who performs it and how long it takes. This documentation view provides a convenient way to review all of the information that has been captured about the process.

By documenting decisions related to your processes, users are able to have a clearer and more accurate understanding of their business processes. Furthermore, capturing all of the information will allow the key stakeholders to make informed decisions.

Documentation provides an explicit understanding of how the process is implemented. Users are able to export documentation into MS Word, MS PowerPoint or to a printable format for sharing.

https://www.blueworkslive.com/scr/docs/bwl/topics/adding_details.html

Summary

IBM Blueworks Live is a cloud-based software tool that can be used by business users to capture their business processes within an organisation.

The user does not have to be technically advanced in order to facilitate this tool as the software does not require any programming skills. As a result of this, IBM Blueworks Live is suitable for users of all skill ranges.

Decision-making is at the heart of your business processes and it often involves multiple people working together. IBM Blueworks Live allows you to collaborate with your team members to capture, document and analyse your business processes. A cloud solution also means that you will be able to invite your team to review your process maps and quickly gain feedback, and all processes and the data associated with them, will be stored in one single repository.

Having your processes mapped in IBM Blueworks Live leads to the potential of then automating them through IBM Business Process Manager (IBM BPM). Using IBM BPM, allows you to automate the decisions your organisation makes, removing bottlenecks, eliminating redundant steps and performing parallel processing, giving your business the competitive edge, it needs.

Conclusion and next steps

Adoption of IBM Blueworks Live starts with an ideation conversation with Responsiv to flesh out ideas, consider the options, and decide whether it is right for you at this particular time.

We know that organisations have a great deal going on, and IBM Blueworks Live can be tactical or strategic, and can move from being tactical to strategic. Either way the initial implementation needs to deliver value and demonstrate the opportunity, otherwise what’s the point?

If you decide to give it a go, then we will start with a discovery phase. This involves reviewing the processes that may be candidates for automation, and identifying two or three that can be delivered quickly and that will demonstrate value.

Following discovery, a Responsiv “IBM Blueworks Live” expert writes a set of instructions that describe the process and facilitates refinement.

Any exceptions or escalations are reviewed and resolved by an experienced business user to be added to the automation or treated as exceptions.

We have no doubt that IBM Blueworks Live can bring significant efficiencies to your organisation and look forward to our first conversations.

Zoe Whyte
Zoe Whyte
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