Simulation and Decision Making in Enterprise Architect 12.1

Webinar January 2016
In this webinar you will:
  • Preview the new simulation engine and BPSim capabilities
  • Configure a BPSim simulation against a BPMN diagram
  • Leverage new simulation reporting and charting capabilities.

This webinar showcases some of the latest Enterprise Architect 12.1 features, including new tools that significantly enhance business process simulation, reporting and decision making.

Scott Hebbard
Scott Hebbard

Explore the BPSim Example Simulation Model

We have provided the example Enterprise Architect model used in the webinar. The model contains a number of BPMN diagrams and BPSim artifacts that help illustrate .
BPSim Example Model: simulation-webinar.eap Download Enterprise Architect Example model for Simulation

Questions from the Audience

Click on a question to see the answer.

General

What version of Enterprise Architect was used throughout the presentation?

Enterprise Architect 12.1, Build 1226.

What is the BPSim Execution Engine?

BPSim is the common standard for parameterization and exchange of process analysis data. To run a BPSim simulation with Enterprise Architect you will need an appropriate execution engine that can understand the BPSim standard. Sparx Systems has teamed up with Lanner (recognized as the world's leading business process simulation and optimization organization) to provide you with the MDG BPSim Execution Engine, which enables seamless integration between model, configuration, simulation and results.

To learn more about pricing of the MDG BPSIM Execution Engine, visit the BPSim page:
http://sparxsystems.com.au/products/mdg/bpsim/

For more information, see the Help Topic on Business Process Simulation

Is the MDG BPSim Execution Engine part of Ultimate license?

No. The MDG BPSim Execution Engine needs to be purchased separately and is not part of the Enterprise Architect Ultimate Edition.

To find out more about pricing or to download a free trial, please visit:
http://www.sparxsystems.com/products/mdg/bpsim/

Can you configure BPSim without purchasing the MDG BPSim Execution Engine?

Yes. The Configuration of BPSim is available within Enterprise Architect.

Is the BPSim Execution Engine part of the any particular offering or is entirely different purchase?

The MDG BPSim Execution Engine needs to be purchased separately in order to run the simulation. You can, however, edit and configure your BPSim model in any edition of Enterprise Architect.

What should I buy to use this feature?

To purchase the MDG BPSIM Execution Engine, visit the BPSim page:
http://sparxsystems.com.au/products/mdg/bpsim/

Does the use of BPSim require a strong background knowledge in statistics?

No. A basic understanding of probabilities and business process modeling should be satisfactory to get you started with business process simulation.

The webinar used a Poisson distribution to generate the random number of issues found in each car. Enterprise Architect can produce random numbers using a number of standard distributions. To learn more about the Poisson Distribution, you can read the Wikipedia page below:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisson_distribution

Some of the key Benefits of using the MDG BPSim Execution Engine include:

  • Experiment with project variables to identify an optimal solution
  • Verify your expectations before committing funds to a project
  • Manipulate events and resources to understand how they impact your business process
  • Improve resource allocation and event timing
  • Eliminate bottlenecks and identify critical success factors

What do you need to install the BPSim Engine?

Enterprise Architect 12.1 and JRE 1.7 and above.

The MDG BPSim Execution Engine was developed in Java, which requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to run.

Where can I find the BPSim Artifact in Enterprise Architect ?

The BPSim Artifact is available from the Artifacts Section of the Toolbox.

To download a Trial of the MDG BPSim Execution Engine, please visit the page below:
http://sparxsystems.com.au/products/mdg/bpsim/

How can you estimate cost of business process realization? Is there any place to put the effort and costs?

The Lanner engine doesn't provide for calculation of explicit costs directly. In many cases, the cost is made up of the time spent by each resource (eg. resource time + pay rate).

For explicit costs associated with specific activities within a process, you can use a property parameter to sum up the fixed cost of each activity. For example, a property named "amountOfCost", initialize it to 0 at the start event, set a "amountOfCost" to be "{amountOfCost} + 10" for task1, set a "amountOfCost" to be "{amountOfCost} + 15" for task2. It is possible to use parameters to track effort and costs. You can use a property parameter to sum up the fixed cost of each activity. For example, a property named "amountOfCost", initialize it to 0 at the start event, set a "amountOfCost" to be "{amountOfCost} + 10" for task1, set a "amountOfCost" to be "{amountOfCost} + 15" for task2.

How can you add multiple sort of timings such as setup-time, wait-times, queue time and transfer time?

For information about adding multiple timings, please see the Help Topic on the Temporal Perspective.

What are the different perspectives in BPSim?

BPSim offers a Control, Resource and Temporal Perspective.

The Control Perspective targets how activity flows through the process, moderated by the likelihood of a sequence of events and the priorities of certain events when they occur.

The Resource Perspective targets the involvement of types and roles of workers and other resources in a process, reviewing the required numbers, combinations, costs and availability.

The Time (or Temporal) Perspective helps you to examine how the duration of one or more phases in the processing of an Activity influences the business process.

Does the validation check if all the outgoing probabilities sum up to 100%?

No. It only ensures that the probabilities entered are in the correct range, that is between 0 and 1.

Is there a 'reference guide' for the BPMN constructs which BPSim supports?

Yes.

The best reference is "BPSim 1.0 Specification" which could be downloaded from http://www.bpsim.org/ Chapter 7, entitled BPSim Parameters Applicability has a complete table for mapping of which parameter can be applied to each individual kind of BPMN construct.

Can you display the service time in a chart?

Yes. Enterprise Architect allows you to define the type of Chart, the data it presents, the source of that data and the appearance of the Chart. Simply edit the element properties for the desired chart.

The webinar outlined how you can take the results of a simulation (such as service time) and then display these results in a chart.

To learn more about charting in Enterprise Architect, please refer to the following webinar:
http://www.sparxsystems.com/resources/webinar/dashboards/charts-aid-decision-making.html

Can the simulation export the results/reports as Excel file for further analysis?

You can export the results to XMI. For information, please see the help topic on XMI Export.

How does the simulation work with calendar events?

BPSim can be configured to manage calendar events. Each simulation can define a number of different calendar events with recurrence rules. Most BPSim properties can then be overridden depending on the calendar rule currently active. Select the second tab on the Configure BPSim dialog and add each calendar event with start date, time and end time.

calendar configuration

Use the dialog below to quickly and easily model recurring events.

event recurrence