Business processes are usually represented by industry-standardised formats such as the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). Process Models enable the import BPMN representations to automatically generate simulation-ready Digital Twins. Process models can also be linked to a new element called FTE pools, enabling FTE (Full Time Equivalent) resources to be set and shared across steps in Process Models.
Some aspects of BPMN, such as subprocesses, are not yet supported by Process Models. It also requires unambiguous process maps to generate valid Digital Twins. We would greatly value your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Creating a Process Model
A Process Model is an element in a Silico project that encapsulates an imported BPMN model. To add a Process Model, right click on the Model Builder canvas and select "Create Process Model". Alternatively, press "R".
You will now see a modal with three different options. The first option creates an empty Process Model. The second option enables you to import a process diagram from ARIS. The final option allows you to directly import a process from a .bpmn file.
Import from ARIS
Select "Import from ARIS" to select an existing ARIS connection in Sync. Then click "Continue". You will now see the Import from ARIS form. Select the Database and process diagram for the process you want to import and click “Import”.
Silico will now fetch the process map from ARIS and automatically convert them into a simulation-ready Digital Twin of the process. Silico will display an error message if it cannot get the BPMN model from ARIS. In such cases, please review your ARIS integration in Sync.
Import from BPMN
Select the "Import from BPMN" option and then click "Continue". You will now see a different form. Click on "Select File", select a `.bpmn` file from your file system, and then click "Continue".
Viewing Process Models
When a Process Model is imported from ARIS or a .bpmn file, you will be automatically redirected into the Process Model. To navigate into the Process Model View from the main model, double click on a Process Model element. Note that Process Model elements are shown as parallelograms.
Viewing Imported Process Models
Process Model Views offer two visual representations: Process and Simulation. The process view visualises the structure, start events, steps, branches and end events similar to a process map. The position of steps in the process view and elements in the simulation view is fixed and cannot be altered.
The simulation view visualises the simulation model generated based on the imported process. The simulation view is collapsed by default, allowing you to compare the imported process to the simulation model easily. Each process step can be expanded to investigate the simulation model created based on the process map. You can view KPI elements by using the toggle "Show KPIs" in the top left corner.
Creating an FTE Pool
FTE Pools are simulation elements enabling FTEs to be set and shared across steps in a Process Model. To add an FTE Pool, right click on the Model Builder canvas and select "Create FTE Pool". Alternatively, press "E".
FTE Pools are functionally similar to variable elements. Clicking on an FTE Pool element displays the inspector, where its name, stub, and formula can be specified.
FTE Pools can be linked to any process step of a Process Model by selecting the FTE pool name as the input in the step parameterisation menu.”FTE Pool 1” is selected in the example below:
Refer to Parameterising Process Models for further information.
Parameterising Process Models
Elements that live outside a Process Model can be referenced from anywhere inside the Process Model. For example, the arrival rate of a Process Model can be parameterised by an external variable. The example below shows a variable called “Case Volume” with the value 50, feeding into the Process Model.
Clicking on an element in the process view opens the step’s inspector, allowing us to parameterise the relevant inputs for this process step. For example, clicking on the Start Event allows us to specify the “Arrival Rate” and reference simulation elements outside the Process Model. External elements are referenced using the syntax “Location” -> “Case Volume”, where Location refers to the model main or panel where the variable is located. In the example below, the “Arrival Rate” has the value of the Case Volume variable created on the model main.
Similarly, clicking on any step in the process view opens a step level parameterisation menu. For example, the inspector allows specifying the automation rate, manual processing time, and FTE Pool of a step identified as requiring manual processing. Below we have specified that the task takes 1 hour per case, is 50% automated, and is executed by FTE Pool 1. Inputs should be completed on all process steps to enable the simulation to run accurately.
Elements from Process Models cannot be altered directly as part of scenarios or dashboards. However, those simulation elements affecting the Process Model can be altered as part of scenarios and be used as dashboard inputs. Feeding values into Process Models also enables expanding Process Models; for example, through a volume forecasting module.
Extracting Values from Process Models
Elements inside Process Models can also be referenced in simulation elements that live outside of those process models. The syntax to refer to elements on Process Models is “ProcessModel” ->” ProcessStep -> ElementName”. If no element name is provided and only a step is specified, the outflow of that step is extracted. In the example below, “Process Model 1”->”Create purchase order” is the outflow of the purchase order creation step.
Variables referencing elements in the Process Model can be used as outcomes on dashboards or in further calculations.