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OCEB Certification Guide: Business Process Management - Fundamental Level

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Overview

OCEB Certification Guide delivers expert insight into BPM from one of the developers of the OCEB Fundamental exam, offering full coverage of the exam material for both the business and technical tracks. The first study guide to prepare candidates to take and pass the OCEB Fundamental exam, it explains and builds on basic concepts, focusing on key areas and testing knowledge of all critical topics with sample questions and detailed answers. Suitable for practitioners and those newer to the field, this book provides a solid grounding in business process management based on the authors’ own extensive BPM consulting experience.

  • Covers all of the topics on the Fundamentals exam, eliminating hours otherwise spent in research and prep time
  • Includes sample test questions in each chapter with all answers in the appendix
  • Expert authors provide a solid overview of business process management (BPM)


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book covers the entire spectrum on OCEB. The audience will have a good idea of how BMP is used, evaluated and fits into an organization. I don’t believe there is such a book today."Robert Lario, Software and System Developer

"This study guide for the Object Management Group's OMG Certified Expert in Business Process Management examinations provides detailed information on the enterprise architecture planning, evaluation and management skills necessary for passing this business modeling and management exam. Topics discussed include principles of business management, business modeling, modeling business processes using BPMN and framework development skills. Chapters include numerous organizational charts, illustrations, and tips, as well as practice questions for each test subject area."—SciTech Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780123869852
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 9/22/2011
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Weilkiens is a Managin Director of oose Innovative Informatik GmbH. He is the author of numerous books and other publications and content development of the OCEB certification program.

Christian Weiss is a Managing Director of oose Innovative Informatik GmbH and a well-known expert in business process management.

Andrea Grass is a consultant of oose Innovative Informatik GmbH and works on many business process management projects.

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Read an Excerpt

OCEB Certification Guide

Business Process Management Fundamental Level


By Tim Weilkiens, Christian Weiss, Andrea Grass

Elsevier Science

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-12-387017-9


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Getting Started


This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Winston Churchill


SENSE AND NONSENSE OF CERTIFICATIONS

Since you are holding this book in your hands, presumably you think that certifications make sense—at least the certification OMG Certified Expert in Business Process Management (OCEB) of the Object Management Group (OMG). The subject of certification is discussed rather controversially and emotionally. The goal of this section is to take an objective look at the pros and cons of certifications. The subsequent sections are then dedicated to the OCEB certification and its contents.

The arguments in favor and against certifications are representative for certificates with automated tests without any initial requirements. Certificates that not only examine knowledge but also test skills—for instance, in the course of an oral examination or by demanding initial requirements, like a proof of practical experience—may have different arguments.

These certificates basically involve a measurable proof of knowledge. Let's assume you want to hire consultants in the area of Business Process Management (BPM). How do you determine in advance which BPM knowledge the people have? Professional qualifications rather prove holistic skills than topic-specific knowledge such as BPM. An OCEB certificate is a tiny little piece to solve this issue. Of course, you must not consider the certificate separately, and even less does it replace a one-to-one interview.

Knowledge is subject to half life—you forget things that you don't use regularly. For this reason, there are certificates that have an expiration date. After this expiration date, you must repeat the examination and pay for it to renew the certificate. This is very profitable for those issuing the certificates, and everyone may have his or her own opinion as to what extent these repeated examinations make sense (for instance, for pilot licenses), or whether the date of the first examination and some knowledge on the projects implemented are sufficient to get a good idea of how up-to-date the knowledge actually is. In any case, the OCEB certificates are valid indefinitely.

In real life, certificates are frequently misinterpreted and occasionally misused. Someone who doesn't know anything about the content or implementation of a certificate may easily be misled by alleged knowledge, skills, and experience, which most certificates don't prove at all. For example, an analyst requires the ability to abstract, analytic power, excellent communication skills, and other soft skills.

These skills are not covered by the OCEB certificates, and they could not be checked by any other multiple choice test. This way, skills can only be verified to a limited extent or not at all. A certificate like OCEB is only a measure for knowledge—no more, no less.

It can be clearly perceived that the demand for certificates has increased in recent years. Certificates exist because there's a requirement for them. They don't grow on trees. One of the requirements has been shown previously—the requirement to make knowledge measurable. But there are further interests and the associated stakeholders.

The person certified possibly doesn't want to be measured at all. Maybe he wants to use the certificate to increase his value in order to increase his prospects for a good job or a profitable assignment. Or he perceives the certificate as a privilege. E-mail signatures frequently provide a proud list of all certificates achieved.

Supervisors are also stakeholders in the certification business. Maybe they want to use the certifications to upgrade their teams to the outside to be more successful in customer acquisition. As trainers for various certifications, we often see that supervisors want to use certifications to test their employees or make target agreements that are relevant for their salary. When the participants introduce themselves during our preparatory course they often say, "My boss wants me to do this." Alternatively, there are also managers who don't pay for their employees' certification because they dread fluctuation or higher salary demands due to the gain in status of the employee.

The list of stakeholders wouldn't be complete without the certification organization itself. For OCEB, these include OMG and UML Technology Institute Co., Ltd (UTI), which developed the certification program and assume responsibility for it. There is no financial interest here. The revenues are to cover the costs for developing the certificate. However, OMG provides certificates to enable its members to earn money, for instance, with preparatory courses and consulting services in the topic area of the respective certificate. Persons running test centers also earn money. All examinations of OMG and thus OCEB are done in Pearson VUE test centers.

A certificate is only one tiny little portion of many factors to assess a person. Depending on the context, it can be an important or unimportant little piece or simply the final touch to round off a person's image.


THE OCEB CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

The certification program, OMG Certified Expert in Business Process Management (OCEB), offers five certificates that prove expertise in the BPM area. It is the third certification program of OMG after the OMG Certified UML Professional (OCUP) and OMG Certified Real-time and Embedded Specialist (OCRES) certification programs. The standardization consortium is primarily associated with UML, Model Driven Architectures (MDA), and Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA). That's where you can find the roots of OMG. In the meantime, however, a considerable tree of standards has grown out of other areas. Besides systems engineering with OMG Systems Modeling Language (SysML), the consortium has also moved into the discipline of business process management. OMG is responsible for many significant standards from this area including Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), Business Process Maturity Model (BPMM), and Business Motivation Model (BMM).

These and other BPM standards provide support to discover, incorporate, optimize, and implement business processes. The goal of OCEB is to provide a measure of this knowledge. The certification program has been developed by a team of international experts. These include, for example, the OMG's project leader, Jon Siegel, Stephen White from IBM, as well as Markus Klink and Tim Weilkiens from oose Innovative Informatik GmbH. You can find a full list of participants on OCEB's official web site, http://www.omg.org/oceb.

OCEB not only addresses standards of OMG, but also asks questions on general knowledge of project and business process management, business administration, business rules, and quality frameworks like Basel II or Six Sigma.

Accordingly, the reference list not only comprises OMG specifications, but also various articles and books. The list is rather comprehensive because, so far, no individual book has been published that covers such a wide range of topics in the area of business processes. But don't worry, only individual sections from these books are referenced and not all hundreds of pages. Moreover, you are holding a preparatory book in your hands that fully covers the topics relevant for OCEB Fundamental. You only require the official references if you want to read the original or require additional information.

There are five OCEB certificates in total (Table 1.1). The Fundamental level covers basic knowledge. This forms the basis from which OCEB branches into technical and business tracks. The technical certificates are intended for IT employees who implement business processes in systems; that is, architects, designers, and developers. Topics include, for example, detailed modeling aspects, information security, and architectures such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). The business certificates address analysts, architects, and also employees of specialist departments. Topics comprise, for example, change management, process improvement, and the management of business processes.

The following sections briefly present the individual levels. Starting with Chapter 2, we deal only with the topics of the Fundamental level.


OCEB Fundamental

The lowest level of the certification program bridges the gap between the IT department and the analyst teams or specialist departments. It creates a uniform understanding for terms, concepts, methods, and modeling of business processes. The following topic areas are covered. The percentages each indicate the weighting in the certification process.

* Business goals, objectives (8%)

* Business process concepts and fundamentals (11%)

* Business process management concepts and fundamentals (10%)

* Business modeling (16%)

* Business process modeling concepts (16%)

* Business process modeling skills (24%)

* Process quality, governance, and metrics frameworks (15%)


The enterprise goals topic area covers concepts of business administration, marketing, and project management. Anyone who works in the business process environment should have basic knowledge of organizational forms of enterprises, market environment analyses, marketing, financial key figures, and business analysis methods.

Independent of standards like BPMN, the topic areas concepts and fundamentals of business processes or business process management require basic knowledge of business processes. Not only the What, but also the How is important; for example, how to discover business processes or present business process hierarchies, and how to handle the various degrees of abstraction in the description. By aligning the business processes with the enterprise goals, a link is established between the first and the third topic areas.

The business modeling topic area is the first to address the OMG specifications. The BMM is a standard to describe business plans. It defines the basic business concepts, their characteristics, and their interrelations. This includes vision, mission, strategy, business rules, objectives, influencers, and appraisals.

The business process management concepts and fundamentals topic area deals with the handling of business processes in enterprises, the impacts of process-focused structures, and the various approaches of business process management such as Business Process Reengineering (BPR) or Total Quality Management (TQM). Another topic covered here is the OMG standard, BPMM. This is a maturity model for business processes, similar to Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) for software and system development.

With 40 percent, the business process modeling concepts and skills topics assume the largest part of the OCEB Fundamental certification. The OMG standard, BPMN, predominates here. BPMN fundamentals and the diagram elements of Business Process Diagram (BPD) are required here. You not only need to know what a specific element represents, but also must be able to interpret a BPD. You must be able to answer questions on BPD with real subject-matter knowledge.

The last topic area of the OCEB Fundamental certification deals with process quality, governance, and metrics frameworks.


OCEB Business Intermediate

The Business Intermediate level comprises six topic areas:

* Intermediate business motivational modeling (10%)

* Organization structure (5%)

* Business process modeling with BPMN (34%)

* Business process management knowledge and skills (20%)

* Process quality and governance frameworks (17%)

* Business rules approach (14%)


Topic areas from the Fundamental level are repeated here. They are further advanced. For example, the various topic areas are supplemented as follows: further concepts of BMM in business modeling; additional elements and concepts of BPMN in business process modeling, for instance, patterns, choreography, and orchestration; and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) or more detailed topics on Six Sigma for process quality and governance frameworks.

The organization structures topic is new. In addition to general questions, this also involves an emerging OMG standard, Organization Structure Metamodel (OSM). The business process management knowledge and skills topic deals with measuring and optimizing business processes using Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Critical Success Factors (CSF), and Balanced Scorecards. It comprises the documentation and simulation of business processes, the monitoring of statuses and results of business processes (Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)), and the basics of a Business Process Management Center of Excellence (CoE). The business rules topic covers general approaches, but also concrete OMG standards such as Semantics Business Vocabulary and Rules (SBVR).
(Continues...)


Excerpted from OCEB Certification Guide by Tim Weilkiens. Copyright © 2011 by Elsevier, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Elsevier Science.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Basic Concepts of Business Administration Chapter 3: Basics of Business Processes Chapter 4: Basics Business Process Management Chapter 5: Business Modelling Chapter 6: Business Process Modelling with BPMN Chapter 7: Process Quality, Governance, and Metrics Frameworks Appendix 1: Coverage-Map OCEB Fundamental Appendix 2: Glossary Appendix 3: Solutions

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