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Software Components

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Ref: 20100623
Last Edited: June 23rd, 2010
 

In this section, detail is given on the Triaster software supplied with the Triaster process library solution.

Triaster software is summarised in the table below:

 

Software

Major Capability Delivered

Process Navigator

Process capture:

  • Extremely easy to use process mapping software, used to create and update process maps
  • Enables library content to be produced using the mapping environments of Excel and Visio and imported XLS data (or XML data in Process Navigator 11.1 and previous).
  • Powerful management and maintenance software, most frequently to batch updated library content.

Publication Server

Process sharing:

  • Auto generates Process Navigator maps created in Microsoft Excel™, Microsoft Visio™ and imported from XLS (or XML in Process Navigator 11.1 and previous)
  • Auto generates planning chart, hierarchies and off page connectors to create process flows
  • Auto publishes all process maps to multiple libraries (each one with an associated sandpit, and Prelive library) from a button click within the process library
  • Auto generates search and management reports

Browser Toolkit

Server

Process use:

On-line process library containing:

·         Software tools and services to publish, administer and quality control the process library

·         Management information reports and Google style search capabilities for the general use of end users of the process library

Improvement Workbench

Process improvement:

  • Cloning of sites and libraries and the comparison of one site with another
  • Tools to produce a business case for process change and to track and implement that change
 

Process Navigator

Process Navigator is extremely easy to use process mapping software, used to create and update process maps. It is desktop software, which will work when disconnected from the corporate network, so can be used on laptops as well.

Process Navigator is built on Microsoft Visio™ and hence harnesses the power of the Microsoft VisioTM graphic’s engine. The interface is standard Microsoft Office™.

Process Navigator is the easiest way for a user to create or update a process map, “if you can drag and drop you can use Triaster”.

As well as delivering such an easy way to create process maps, Process Navigator also enables library content to be produced using the mapping environments of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Visio and imported XML data. In addition Process Navigator content can be exported to Microsoft Project in the form of a Gantt chart

More detail on each of these interface facilities is set out below:

Microsoft Excel

The Microsoft Excel™ interface facility allows maps to be generated from an Excel XLS file, and exported to an Excel XLS file (or XML in Process Navigator 11.1 and previous). Maps can therefore be round-tripped through Excel.

 

Some of the significant benefits and capabilities enabled are:

  1. The ability to publish process maps containing ‘live’ data drawn into the Excel workbook from other sources. This enables performance traffic lighting and actual performance measurements to be pulled through and published to the process library.
  2. The ability to store processes in a brand-independent repository. This enables the maps to be re-created in alternative branding, and hence opens up the ability for organisations to share their processes or for standard process libraries to be generated again and again for different organisations in different brands.
  3. The ability to generate maps in different languages. Language translation strings stored within the Excel file are exported to the maps as attributes. Each process element therefore carries with it the ability to display itself in any number of different languages.

Microsoft Visio

The Microsoft Visio interface facility within publication server allows maps to be auto imported from a Visio VSD file and exported to a Visio VSD file.

 

Some of the more significant benefits and capabilities enabled are:

 

1.  The ability to almost instantly take all existing Visio Based documentation and have it published to the process library and available through the on-line search tools.

2.  The ability to convert UML, BPMN and flowchart format diagrams into the Triaster noun-verb format.

Microsoft XML™

Process Navigator can generate diagrams from XML Catalogue format as well as export to XML Catalogue format. Maps can therefore be round-tripped through XML.

 

This is technically motivated functionality to enable deeper integration with other XML based applications if required. For example, the XML Catalogue could be generated from any system that also uses processes, such as a workflow engine, or a performance measurement or balanced scorecard type tool. Once in the Catalogue format, the corresponding maps will be automatically generated and published.

 

The XML Catalogue format can also be used as a convenient back-up tool, or as a way of sharing maps between different organisations. It is not however a format that users can directly edit very easily, unlike the Microsoft Excel interface.

Microsoft Project

Process Navigator enables any set of Process Navigator maps to be exported into the corresponding Microsoft Project™ format.

 

Import from Microsoft Project™ is currently not possible. The reason for this is that Triaster requires Deliverables to be used in properly formed process models, and Microsoft Project™ generally only uses Activities.

 

 

Process Navigator is also a powerful tool to help manage and maintain all of the process maps produced. It is most frequently used for the purposes of executing batch updates to the library content (for example, replacing all hyperlinks that currently point to a decommissioned server), and can publish to HTML, although as the publication server does this automatically, you would not normally use this Process Navigator functionality.

Triaster Server

Publication Server

The Publication Server automatically publishes process library content to multiple processes libraries. Each library is set up with 3 sites as follows:

  1. The Sandpit Site – a drafting area where processes can be developed and tried out. The Sandpit is generally available only to the process authors.
  2. The Prelive Site – this is the site that is used to develop the work-in-progress version of what will ultimately become the Live Site. Change Control and Routing and Approval of proposed processes are executed on this site - it is essentially the ‘sign-off’ and ‘test and validation’ site before process changes actually go live.
  3. The Live Site – this is the final version of the Process Library that is available for viewing by all staff to whom you wish to provide access.

The Publication Server works with library content generated from a number of sources as follows:

    • Process Navigator maps drawn by users.
    • Microsoft Visio content generated using the Process Navigator stencil and template.
    • Microsoft Excel™ content generated using the Triaster stencil and template.
    • XML imported data.

As it is configured to work with your e-mail server, when publication tasks have been completed, notification is e-mailed. Triaster support is also e-mailed if any difficulties are encountered during the publish.

 

The Publication Server automatically generates process maps from the Microsoft Visio™, Excel™ and XML data and then applies the same functionality to these as the maps created by users. This is as follows:

·         Planning chart generated

·         Process hierarchies generated

·         Version numbers are automatically incremented – giving map version control

·         Off-page connectors are refreshed

·         Publication logs are created

·         Hyperlink targets are converted to their HTML equivalents

Browser Toolkit Server

The Browser Toolkit is the on-line process library. It contains a set of tools and reports that Triaster is constantly adding to and refining. These are in 2 categories:

 

1.      The essential software tools and software services necessary to be able to publish, administer and quality control the process library.

2.      End User software tools providing management information reports and search capabilities for staff trying to access content in the process library.

The essential software tools and software services necessary to be able to publish, administer and quality control the process library are as follows:

 

  • Publication Services, the tool that enables a process library to be published from within the site itself. When using this tool, the publication server is automatically configured to:
    • Contact the site administrator (or any set of administrators) by e-mail each time a publish is carried out. The e-mail contains a full log of all changes made during the publish.
    • Contact Triaster by e-mail should any content in the site fail to publish (for example, because a user has locked one of the files in the site, or the file server is no longer visible on the network….). Triaster’s support team can therefore proactively address publication issues in real-time.
  • Site Admin, the tool that enables the look-up lists in the site to be amended.
  • Priority Mismatch and All Mismatch, the tools that report on the logical errors in the flows between processes
  • Publish Checklist, the tool that reports on all things that need to be done before a site can ‘go live’.
  • What’s changed, the tool that reports on differences between any two sites between publications. It can report on either the difference between stages or different dates.

The library end-users tools and reports provide, for example, keyword search and RACI reporting. The Browser Toolkit does not need to be installed on a person’s machine in order for them to be able to use it as its functionality is available through the browser. The individual tools are as set out in the following table:

 

Tool

Description

Search and Quick Search

All the text within the process maps is completely searchable to provide quick and easy access. Enables Google style search within a number of categories at the same time and a separate results table will be displayed for each category. This powerful search functionality grants immediate access to information.

Roles

A complete RACI (Responsibility, Accountability, Consulted & Informed) analysis of all activities is available in order to show who needs to know what within the organisation. This enables search capabilities specifically for a given job role and lists all activities in which that role is involved.

An invaluable aid for both recruitment and staff induction the RACI analysis gives a better understanding of resource commitments and requirements.

Ownership

Enables search capabilities for all the process maps that are owned by a given department within the business and also provides an understanding of what proportion of the processes are mapped within each area.

Revision History

Report showing changes within the process library and who made the change. Reporting in this way enables process analysts to track changes and will also satisfy auditors regarding change control.

How to

An easy way to find information. An alternative search method to using the search tool. Report showing a list of 'how to...' tasks and links to the processes that explain them.

Process Tree

Provides an activity hierarchy view of all the process maps within the process library.

Improvement Launchpad

The Improvement LaunchPad enables identification of opportunities for improvement. Provides tables and graphs showing the most significant bottlenecks and opportunities.

Systems

Search tool for computer systems enabling identification of which systems are required to produce key deliverables. Also facilitates impact analysis of replacing systems.

Table of Contents

A report listing all Activities, html locations, node names and map owners for all process maps within the library.

Help

Quick access to information regarding: how to use the process library, key to symbols, how to draw a map and process library administrator help/support contact details.

Print

A very user friendly way of printing process maps and reports directly from the web-powered process library.

Improvement Workbench Server

The Improvement Workbench enables the cloning of your on-line process library and the comparison of one site with another. Over time the Improvement Workbench will contain all of the tools needed to produce a business case for process change and to track and implement that change.

Software support services

Changing business circumstances, operating system upgrades and changes to external regulatory requirements are examples of situations that arise every day in the modern workplace. Under these changing conditions, on-going access to knowledgeable and helpful support professionals can save a great deal of time and the support services supplied by Triaster provide this help.

A telephone and e-mail support service is available for anyone with a current support contract in respect of Triaster software. The support service escalates queries, so that where detailed technical support is required, this is delivered by experienced Triaster staff who have detailed technical knowledge and experience of all aspects of the relevant software. All queries will receive an initial response by the next working day at the latest.

 

Need further help? Contact the Triaster Support team by e-mailing support@triaster.co.uk or by calling us on +44 (0)870 402 1234.
 
Do you have any feedback or suggestions that you would like to share with Triaster? We would love to hear from you! Please e-mail feedback@triaster.co.uk 
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