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What BPM solution do you recommend for very small projects?

Jean Kaplansky
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 10, 2008
Posts: 3
I am a one woman development/business process architect developing a workflow for a very small team.

I want my work to be scalable, but I need to keep things on the small and cheap side for the moment.

Is there something out there more than Visio, but less than a full blown $900 SaaS or enterprise solution?

Thanks very much for answering this question.

-Jean K
Jim Arlow
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 11, 2004
Posts: 38
Hi Jean,

There are actually quite a lot of low cost possibilities. My favourite is MagicDraw Cameo Business Modeller.

http://www.nomagic.com/products/cameo-business-modeler.html

You probably only need the Analyst version. All the BPMN 2 figures in my book were done in Cameo - it produces attractive diagrams. I think its advantages are:

  • Very good price/performance ratio (only 120 Euros).
  • If you need full UML at any point, you can easily transition to MagicDraw UML with the Cameo plug-in for BPMN 2.
  • Full support for the BPMN 2 specification. This is a true BPMN modelling tool that enforces BPMN syntax and semantics. It is not just a drawing tool with a BPMN template.
  • Very accurate BPMN 2 models - syntax and semantics appear to be spot on. Some other low cost tools allow you to create syntactically or semantically incorrect BPMN, and you really don't want that.
  • Very quick and easy to use. I often site down with a stakeholder and create a model during an interview.


  • As I say, there are other tools as well, but I have had no reason to try them out because Cameo serves me so well.
    Jean Kaplansky
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jun 10, 2008
    Posts: 3
    Thanks very much for your reply. I'll go check it out.

    Regards,
    jean K.
    Campbell Ritchie
    Sheriff

    Joined: Oct 13, 2005
    Posts: 39409
        
      28
    And welcome to the Ranch after 4 years.
    Jean Kaplansky
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jun 10, 2008
    Posts: 3
    Thanks! Finally had a question worth the asking that couldn't be easily answered by a book.

    BPMN might be overkill for my current project, there will be very little automation involved other than shuttling content from on person to the next through the various stages of completing documents.

    I think the powers that be would be happier if I just stayed with Visio, but I still need to know this stuff for my own good. I had some epic battles with Information Architect a couple of years ago, and I'd rather go with something a bit more than Visio, but quite a bit less than IA.

    BPMN with training wheels is probably the right level of complexity required.
    Jim Arlow
    Author
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 11, 2004
    Posts: 38
    BPMN might be overkill for my current project, there will be very little automation involved other than shuttling content from on person to the next through the various stages of completing documents.


    BPMN is cerntainly very appropriate for modelling manual document flow. You can model documents as Data Objects that flow between the activities. These can have a state, so you can model the state changes the document undergoes as it traverses the process. See slides 112 to 114 of this:

    http://www.slideshare.net/jimarlow/introductiontobpmn005
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: What BPM solution do you recommend for very small projects?