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Communicate Process Design with Stakeholders, Using PostMania

Communication is one of the most important aspects of agile software development. Be it through the phone, via email or face-to-face meeting, by getting stakeholders involved in a project as much as possible, you have more chances to know their needs and to incorporate their feedback into the software product, minimizing the risk of developing faulty features.

Compatible edition(s): Enterprise, Professional, Standard, Modeler

  • August 26, 2016
  • Views: 13,289
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Communication is important, yet, it's not always easy to gather different stakeholders for a meeting. PostMania is a tool to help.

PostMania is design-based communication tool tailor designed for agile project teams. By using PostMania, team members can share business process design with stakeholders online. Stakeholders can view and confirm the design anytime and anywhere, raise questions, challenge design decisions by posting their feedback to the diagrams, or even to a specific shape in a diagram. Team members will be notified. Changes and replies can be made quickly.

The use of PostMania can bring several benefits. First, the conversation between development team and stakeholders are all made around diagram, or even around a shape, which ensures that the communication is unambiguous. Secondly, the post messages are kept with the project, which provides a way for team members to trace back important discussions made before.

Preparation

In order not to mess up your production data, we have prepared a project file for you to walk through this tutorial. Please download the project file Delivery Services.vpp and ask your server administrator to import it into the server. By the end of this tutorial, you may ask the administrator to delete the project file from server.

This tutorial will show you how you can communicate with the stakeholder using PostMania. While the tutorial is written from the perspective of a business/system analyst, the final section will show you how a stakeholder can start viewing a process design and leaving comment.

Enabling PostMania on a project

In order to use PostMania on a project, administrator must enable the 'PostMania' option on that project in VPository or Teamwork Server, depending on the hosting option your team use.

  1. Login VPository/Teamwork Server as an administrator, in a Web browser.
  2. Open the Projects tab at the top of the page.
  3. From the project list, select the project Delivery Services. We are assuming that you have already imported the sample project to server as we instructed in the previous section. If not, please read the previous section again.
  4. On the right hand side, click on the PostMania tab.
  5. Check Enable PostMania. If it's been checked, just keep it as-is.
    Enabling PostMania
  6. Click Save.

Enabling viewer invitation

You will need to invite stakeholder to join PostMania in order for him/her to view your design. The invitation involves sending email. Therefore, mail server has to be configured first. If you are using VPository, we have already done this for you so you can skip this section and carry on to the next section. For Teamwork Server users, please click on the [Enable] link as shown in the screen below. Then, enter the mail server configuration and click Save.

Enable mail server

Sharing a process design with stakeholder

Let's say you have just finished a business process design and you want the user to review it. In this section, you are going to share the diagram with the user.

  1. Start Visual Paradigm.
  2. Open the project Delivery Services from server. You can open a project by selecting Project > Open from the application toolbar.
    Opening project
  3. Open the Business Process Diagram (BPD) Delivery of Shipment (Local).
    BPD example
  4. Open the action bar by clicking on the tiny button on the right hand side of the diagram.
    Opening action bar
  5. Click on PostMania Topic Pane on the action bar. On the right hand side of the diagram you see the PostMania Topic Pane. The PostMania Topic Pane is where discussion topics and content listed.
    Opening PostMania Topic Pane
  6. At the top of the PostMania Topic Pane, click on the Share button and select Invite Viewers... from the popup menu.
    Invite viewer
  7. In the Invitation window, enter the email of the user to invite. In this tutorial please enter an email address that you can access. You may invite multiple person by separating their email addresses with comma. Press Enter to confirm the entering of email(s).
    Enteirng invitee email addresses
  8. Click Send Invitation Email.

Posting a comment by stakeholder

Once you have invited someone to view your process design, he/she will receive an invitation email, telling him what PostMania is and how to view your process design through the PostMania. Now, let's play the role of your user to see what he has to do to view your process design.

  1. Check the email. You can find the invitation sent by VPository.
    PostMania invitation email
  2. Click on Accept Invitation in the email.
    Clicking on Accept Invitation
  3. A web browser is fired up. Input the display name, password and click Accept Invitation to continue. Profile avatar is optional.
    New Viewer form
  4. You are presented the BPD shared in the previous section. You can now study the process design. You can scroll, pan and zoom the diagram. You can also click on individual flow element to read its description, if any.
    PostMania screen
  5. Let's say you want to say something about the task Notify Customer by Email. Click on it first.
    Task selected
  6. Click on the purple button above the task to post a topic.
    New post on task
  7. Enter post content: Please change to notify by SMS.
    Entering post content
  8. Click Post at the bottom to send the message.
    Post message

Follow-up stakeholder's comment

The previous section shows you what the stakeholders will do to verify and comment on your work, using PostMania. Let's say you are now the analyst. Do the steps below to follow up on the client's comment.

  1. You should see a notification at the bottom right of the status bar in Visual Paradigm. Click on it.
    Clicking on notification message
  2. You are brought to the PostMania page. The post created to you are listed on the left.
    The PostMania page
  3. Click on the post to open it.
    Opening a post
  4. The post is shown on the right. You may give a reply at the bottom of the screen but let's open the diagram to check the problem in detail. Click Open at the top right corner.
    Opening diagram
  5. The BPD is opened, with the task Notify Customer by Email automatically selected, and the post message presented.
    BPD opened
  6. Let's correct the design. Rename the task to Notify Customer by SMS.
    Renaming task
  7. Commit the changes by selecting Team > Commit from the application toolbar.
  8. Let's inform the post creator about the correction of design. Click on the Click here to reply field at the bottom of the PostMania Topic Pane and enter: Design corrected..
    Entering reply
  9. Click Post. When your client visit PostMania again, he will receive notification about the change you've made. He can review your work again, and let you know his comment.
    Reply received



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