Process Modeling--Tool Selection

Subject: Process Modeling--Tool Selection
From: "Montgomery, Kevin" <kmontgomery -at- LOGICON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 1995 10:41:17 PST

A previous posting was correct in saying that the technical writer
should not decide which tools to use for process modeling. There are,
however, some concerns you should be aware of and voice.

I'm in the middle of a business process reengineering project using
using IDEF0 and IDEF1X modeling tools - Knowledge Based Systems, Inc.
(KBSI) and Erwin. Modeling tools create graphic models of business
processes and data. The graphics are accompanied by text, e.g., an
activity decomposition diagram will be followed by descriptions of
individual activities. My current project has about 400 pages of
output from the modeling tool in appendices describing the As-Is and
To-Be business processes. Additional diagrams are scattered throughout
the main sections of the document.

The tools' printing capabilities are very limited, so my project
needed to be produced in Word. Unfortunately, most modeling tools
cannot write their graphics to files that word processing, graphics,
or DTP software can import. They can only print hardcopy from within
the modeling program. That leads to an enormous amount of manual
paste-up! Also, while the text can be dumped to an ASCII file, it
cannot be dumped in the same order that the tool would print it out.
So, I've had to import the disordered ASCII file into Word, assign
header styles to the activity names, and sort the text using Word's
Outline function.

Ask whoever is charged with selecting the tool to look for one that
can easily export soft copies of its product to a word processing
package. You may save many hours of labor!

-Kevin Montgomery
kmontgomery -at- logicon -dot- com

--My opinions, not Logicon's!--


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