Lombardi Blueprint Eases the Path to BPM

It tries to do two basic things:
  • Link processes to business problems and goals
  • Simplify collaborative building of process models
Blueprint is a hosted service. No software to install, no servers to maintain. The models are online and shared in real time by your project team. Modeling a process is essentially making a list of activities and their component tasks, not drawing a diagram. Each activity can be linked to business goals and problems, and assigned a problem severity and frequency score. The tool then guides you to the processes with the most significant business impact, for further modeling.


The visual metaphor for model-building is not Visio drag-and-drop but a web version of Powerpoint outliner. You list out the sequence of activities and their component tasks in the outline view (above, lower left). You link each step with a performer role. Blueprint automatically creates the diagram (above, right). As someone who has done more than his share of dragging and dropping in creating my BPMN training, I can attest that Blueprint is a lot easier. No it's not BPMN, at least not in this view. In the simple process view, the process is just a horizontal string of boxes with a column of task boxes under each one. But you can generate a BPMN view as well (below):


At this point it's just skeleton BPMN, but Blueprint is a full BPMN editor, so you can add more complex gateways, events, and other BPMN doo-dads if you like. You can also export into Lombardi TeamWorks, which is the BPMS, either to automate the process or to monitor the KPIs. The connection to TeamWorks is round-trip. Blueprint can sync up with model changes in TeamWorks, and I believe the performance monitoring is also accessible through Blueprint as well. Going the other way, for executive presentations, you can export the model to Powerpoint. That's not rocket science, but it removes a lot of the busywork of real-world process modeling.

Lombardi originally planned to offer a free version of Blueprint limited to a single user and 2 processes, and the real version at a cost of approximately $50 per user per month. Check their website for the current deal. Current status of the product is "public beta." Click here for more details. There's a webcast about it on ebizQ tomorrow.