Focus on a Feature

Victoria Glancy & Carma Cooper take a look at updating process properties - Part 1: Replace Data

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Replace Data

As you probably know, the Triaster Solution encourages and supports the capture of metrics or property data in respect of your processes. It is obviously important that the metrics or properties captured are specific to your organisation and relevant to the way you are working, otherwise they just won't be useful.

However, maintaining and updating all of the different properties being captured for each process can be quite a challenge, especially when it may only be something you do on an annual basis!

There are two main ways in which you can update your process properties without having to open and edit the Visio version of your process map. Both of these options are accessed via Triaster Process Navigator, our process mapping software. They are:

  • Replace Data
  • Excel Import Properties

In this article we are focusing on the Replace Data tool. In part two (next edition) we will focus on Excel Import Properties. Process Navigator 'Replace Data' can be found within the Edit options, directly accessed through the console.

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As with all Process Navigator functionality, in order to work with the data in your process maps, you need to select them first. Process Navigator makes it as easy as possible to select the specific maps that you wish to work with.

For example, if your 'Finance Director' has now been renamed 'Head of Finance', you can filter within your MapStore, via the Process Navigator console, to just the Finance maps. You can then quickly select and load them all by using CTRL+A and ticking one of the check boxes next to a highlighted process in the console.

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Once the process maps have been loaded, you can specify which data you would like to replace using the 'Replace Data' tool. Please note that the replaced data will be applied to all of the process maps selected. Therefore it may sometimes be appropriate to filter to an even smaller subset of maps within your MapStore or individually select the maps that you know need data replacing.

To replace the data, click on 'Edit>Replace Data'. A dialogue will appear (see below) where you can specify the property that you want to replace and what you want to replace it with. Please note you can also choose to push data into your maps where property fields have previously been left empty. To do this, leave the 'Find What' field blank.

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Once you have entered the replacement data, select the property field which you are replacing. In our example, this is the 'Process Owner' - a property normally located in the process map Node. You can also replace data across Deliverables and Activities.

To select the property, expand the 'All Properties' option under 'Properties to Replace', which is a dynamically populated tree-view of the visible properties in the Node, Activity (Decision) and Deliverable. You will then be able to navigate through the Node, Deliverable and Activity properties to find the appropriate property. If the data needs to be replaced within both the Activity and Node (in our example this would be the case if say the Finance Director is also accountable for some processes), you have the option to select both of these properties. This will update both the Process Owner and Accountability fields at the same time.

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The 'Match Case' option will maintain the case sensitivity of the words you have entered in the 'Find What' and 'Replace With' fields.

'Force Creation' will create the property in shapes where the property does not currently exist.

To run the 'Replace Data' select OK. Once it has completed you will be able to open your process map from within the Process Navigator console, right click on the map required and select edit in Microsoft Visio, to confirm the change has been made.

Quick Tip

Did you know that you can auto-increment a property value? For example, you may choose to auto-increment the revision value of a batch of processes that you have been editing.

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Select the maps for which you want to increment the revision value and then select Edit >Replace Data. Leave the 'Find What' field blank and type in '++' (without the quotes) in the 'Replace With' field. Select the Revision property (under Node) within the treeview. Click OK. This will auto-increment each revision value by 1. Version 4.0 will become 4.1 in one map and in another map version 2.6 will become version 2.7.

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