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Microsoft Visio 2013 : Creating and Validating Process Diagrams - Creating subprocesses

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1/28/2015 3:36:15 AM

As you document, define, and refine a business process, you will typically add more detail and additional steps to your process map. At some point, your map is likely to become unwieldy and difficult to read and maintain.

One common solution for a cluttered process map is to select a group of related process steps and replace them with a single subprocess symbol. You then move the selected steps to another page where you have room to spread them out and continue to work on that section of the overall process. Visio Professional 2013 includes several subprocess buttons that automate much of the work of creating subprocesses.

Important

You will use the subprocess functions in this exercise with a BPMN diagram, however, you can also create subprocesses in conventional flowcharts and swimlane diagrams.

In this exercise, you will add additional detail to the theater ticketing example by defining a subprocess for two of the existing tasks.

  1. Draw a bounding box to select both the Print tickets and Send or hold tickets shapes.

  2. On the Process tab, in the Subprocess group, click the Create from Selection button. Visio does four things for you: it replaces your selected shapes with a subprocess shape; adds a new page to the drawing; places your selected shapes on the new page; and builds a hyperlink from the new subprocess shape to the subprocess page.

    Tip

    The plus sign at the bottom of the new shape is the BPMN notation for a subprocess.

  3. With the Subprocess shape still selected, type Fulfill ticket order.

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  4. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the Print and fulfill ticket order shape to move to the subprocess page where you will discover your two original activities on the new page.

    image with no caption

    In the remaining steps of this exercise, you will define a more complete subprocess.

  5. Drag a Gateway shape from the BPMN Basic Shapes stencil, and drop it on the connector between the Print tickets and Send or hold tickets shapes. Visio inserts the new shape and moves the Send or Hold Tickets shape to the right to make room.

  6. With the gateway still selected, type More than 7 days ‘til show? and then press Esc.

  7. Draw a bounding box around the Print tickets and More than 7 days ‘til show? shapes, and drag them down until their top edges are approximately aligned with the bottom edge of the Send or Hold tickets shape.

    image with no caption
  8. Click the arrow leading to Send or Hold tickets, type Yes, click the Send or Hold tickets shape, and then type Send tickets.

  9. Point to the AutoConnect arrow on the right side of the gateway, and from the Quick Shapes menu, add a Task. Depending on the precise location of the Gateway shape, the new task may appear directly to the right of the gateway or it may be below it. If necessary, hold down the Shift key and drag the new task down so its top edge is just below the bottom edge of the gateway.

    Tip

    Holding down the Shift key while dragging a shape constrains shape movement to a single direction.

  10. With the New Task shape still selected, type Hold tickets at box office, and then press Esc.

  11. Right-click the Hold tickets at box office shape, point to Task Type, and click User.

  12. Click the arrow leading to Hold tickets at box office, type No, and then press Esc.

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  13. Drag an End Event shape from the BPMN Basic Shapes stencil and drop it to the right of the two new tasks.

  14. Drag the AutoConnect arrow on the right of the Ship tickets task and connect it to the End shape; then do the same thing for the Hold tickets at box office task.

  15. Drag a Text Annotation shape from the BPMN Basic Shapes stencil, attach it to the End shape, and type Tickets processed.

  16. Double-click the Page-2 page name tab and type Print and Fulfill.

  17. On the Process tab, in the Diagram Validation group, click the Check Diagram button to open the Issues window. The messages that appear in the Issues window result from a deliberate omission in this exercise: there is no Start event. A BPMN subprocess that includes an End event should also include a Start. You can resolve the error by adding a Start event.

Tip

Because of the potential complexity of BPMN diagrams, the text of many BPMN issue descriptions is longer than the width of the Issues window. However, if you position the pointer over any item in the Issues window, Visio displays the full text in a pop-up message.

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Note

CLEAN UP Save your changes to the Theater Ticketing Process drawing, and then close it.

Your completed BPMN diagram now shows the main process flow on Main Process and the detailed subprocess on Print and Fulfill.

Tip

In this exercise, you created a subprocess from existing tasks. The Subprocess group on the Process tab includes two additional subprocess functions:

  • Create New To create a new, blank subprocess page, select any existing Task. When you click the Create New button, Visio inserts a new page and names it using the text from the selected task. Visio also creates a hyperlink from the selected shape to the new page.

  • Link to Existing You can create a hyperlink to any existing subprocess page, whether it’s located in the current drawing or another one. To do so, select any task, and then click the Link To Existing button. Visio presents a list of the pages in the current diagram as well as two options: Browse To Other Document and Edit Link. The former lets you link to any existing document; the latter opens the Hyperlinks dialog box so you can edit an existing link. The end result of selecting any of the Link To Existing menu items is a hyperlink to a page or document.

 
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