Defining Business Process Steps

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From the Plan phase of the USoft Approach onwards, you can describe business process steps. For each business process step you supply at least the following information:

An ID that uniquely identifies the process step among all other Process Steps and other Business Rules.

A unique Name, e.g. Car Reservation, Quote Price or Confirm Reservation.

A textual Definition. For example, the definition of the process step Return Car could be "Customers return rented cars to the agreed return branch on the return date stated in the contract."

A Sequence Number that indicates at what point in the overall process the business process step is performed. For example, in the overall process of Car Reservation, the first step could be Customer Registration, the next step could be Quote Price, followed by Sign Contract, Match Car, and so on.

Sequence Numbers are mandatory for Process Steps, but if a Sequence Number is not meaningful or important at entry time, you can set it to some default (e.g. 10) for the time being.

Business process steps may be implemented by columns in database tables, constraints on data manipulation, menu and screen elements, authorization rules, communication with other software, and many more. The relationship between process steps and their implementations can be documented in USoft TeamWork in the form of Implementations.

Defining and sequencing business process steps is the best way of providing an overview of what the various system modules do. In early phases this will help developers understand what they are trying to build, and in later stages it will be an invaluable help in tracing an operational system's structure and functionality.

Business process steps are a Business Rule subtype, i.e., they are seen as a special type of Business Rule. Consequently, they have all the characteristics of Business Rules, such as implementations, motivations and classifications. In addition, and unlike other Business Rules, they have a Name and a Sequence Number.