Defining and Simulating ITIL® Processes Using IBM WebSphere Business Modeler Advanced
IBM WebSphere Business Modeler (WBM) can be used in conjunction with an adoption of ITIL best practices. It is a full-featured process modeling and simulation tool that fits well with other IBM products that are used to define various service management processes and activities. In this white paper learn more about how WBM provides both the ability to visually define process activities and the ability to define detailed information about processes, including inputs, outputs, cost, revenue, roles and resources.
This white paper demonstrates the use of IBM WebSphere Business Modeler Advanced (WBM) to define, simulate, reengineer, and improve Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes, as well as some additional uses of WBM. Unless otherwise noted, this white paper refers to IBM WebSphere Business Modeler Advanced v. 7.0.
What is IBM WebSphere Business Modeler Advanced?
IBM's WBM is a process modeling tool that provides capabilities not found in many process modeling tools available in today's market. WBM lets users create, define, model, simulate, and analyze various processes in order to better understand how those processes work in a live business environment.
Most organizations have a need to define and understand how various processes used throughout their business work, and often need to make changes to those processes in order to increase business value. Unfortunately, there are very few methods available to make changes to a business process without risk of negative impact to the business. WBM not only provides a way to visually define process flows, but also a way to reengineer and simulate process flows. Simulation of process flows provides empirical evidence that lets decision makers modify and improve processes while minimizing the risk of those changes. In other words, WBM provides a way to demonstrate how a change will affect a process in a safe manner before that change is implemented in the live business environment.
Some of the key features of WBM include:
- Process modeling, simulation, and analysis. Not only does WBM provide the ability to visually define process flows, it lets organizations experiment with changes to those process flows and understand the effects of those changes through simulation.
- Process improvement based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Many organizations are faced with a regular need to change, adapt, and adjust various processes that support their business. Ideally, this type of change isn't done haphazardly. WBM provides the ability to understand performance of a process based on KPIs, resulting in an ability to make decisions using key metrics that are important to the organization.
- Alignment with the business. WBM supports collaboration with the business through both visual and Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) views of processes. WBM creates a shared understanding of critical process activities that transcends one part of an organization.
- Understanding of existing process flows. WBM works with common process modeling tools and can import existing process flows in numerous formats.
- Quick-start process design. WBM provides various templates that represent process flows and other assets that can be used quickly to save time and money during process design activities. Additionally, WBM makes it easy to copy an existing process and change it in response to business needs. WBM is a broadly functional, process design, modeling, simulation, and improvement tool. This white paper discusses many key features of WBM using a sample request fulfillment process. Request fulfillment is an operational process defined by ITIL that is common to service management programs throughout organizations.
While this paper primarily discusses how WBM can be used as part of an adoption of service management best practices, WBM is a tool that supports many uses in an organization and is often seen as part of an implementation of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).
What Is ITIL?
ITIL is a set of best practices that define various common activities that organizations perform. ITIL is the de facto approach that organizations delivering services follow. For example, ITIL defines processes such as change management, incident management, problem management, and request fulfillment, among many other processes, that are common processes that many organizations perform to underpin their business activities. Many adoptions of ITIL suffer from a lack of an ability to model, simulate, analyze, and ultimately improve these various service management processes, resulting in reduced efficiency and effectiveness of an investment in service management.
ITIL encourages organizations to be formal about how their services, processes, roles, and resources are defined and managed. Many organizations suffer from a lack of formality in key areas. This information often leads to inconsistency, and inconsistency in operational behavior tends to lead to increased costs of IT support and lower quality.