Business Process Modeling – A Perspective

Lets start with some definitions first :

Business : The occupation, work, or trade in which an individual is engaged: e.g. the wholesale food Business Process Modeling.

Process : A sequence of actions, changes, or features bringing about a outcome: e.g. the process of digestion; the process of obtaining a driver’s license.

Model : A schematic description of a system, theory, or phenomenon that accounts for its known or inferred properties and may be used for further research of its characteristics: e.g. a model of generative grammar;

“cited from : process. (n.d.). The American Heritage┬« Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved April 30, 2007, from website”

So Business Process Modelling might be defined as a schematic illustration of activities and functions carried out by an organization to achieve success of their trade and services offered to the market and customers.

I’m positive that there can be a variety of gaps in above definition, if we try and make it full but one thing might be inferred clearly : For a Business to go about doing its business and supply the correct services and merchandise to its buyer, its understanding and control on how they carry out and operate is crucial and infact in current age, a aggressive edge.

Hence, Enterprise Process Modeling can be viewed as a really critical activity each from a enterprise and know-how perspective. The reasons for doing process modelling will be many, but we are able to define the same into following:

Process Documentation : Need for group to document their business processes

Process Improvement Train: Organizations in search of performing an analysis of current processes and how the identical will be improved. Process modeling here could be just a part of the approach in this case. Typically a BPI exercise would contain evaluation of present as-is process, refinement of processes based mostly on six sigma, lean etc. and coming out with a revise To-BE process.

Enterprise Methods Implementation : Although some may call it a myopic view to process modeling, nonetheless traditionally and even at the moment many organizations have carry out process modeling work earlier than implementation of main IT system for e.g. ERP, CRM, Order Management methods etc. This definetely is a sensible choice considering that many of the enterprise programs being deployed has an impact on how you carry out your enterprise going forward. Once more details of finest practices in this area generally is a separate dialogue itself. Especially the dialogue round need for doing process modeling/analysis first or selecting the programs after which pursuing process modeling. I had a discussion with certainly one of my purchasers once in which it was latter and my basic question was now will you modify your process for the system or vice versa and whether the whole selection of the system would have been totally different in the event that they already had an thought of their processes which wanted automation help. Anyways there are pitfalls each sides.

Enterprise Architecture : Many organizations have a separate Enterprise Architecture practices and one area of EA is Process/Enterprise Architecture. So organizations do perform process modeling work as a standalone aspect to achieve a decent view. Nevertheless in this case process modeling might be a really abstract representation of processes as a result of high stage view typically required from EA viewpoint. Organizations might go into details, but in my expertise its not simple to get funding for doing Process modeling work just as a project without linking it to some particular enterprise associated project/budget. Thats a pity, generally as EA groups can add real worth given the sources to do detailed evaluation of Enterprise’s architecture. Infact with SOA becoming essential approach within many EA groups, I think process modeling intimately provide larger value and assist in figuring out the proper service mapping.

BPM : Process modeling can be the starting point for a Business Process Administration projects. Typically BPM tools will present their own modeling instruments, so care have to be taken to establish the need for process modeling. Whether it should be just for the particular BPM projects or its maintained in some greater/central process repository. I favor a central Process repository for all process fashions for e.g. in tools like Telelogic system architect, aris, case wise etc. and picking out process for BPM implementations from central repository or better nonetheless create BPEL from the process models directly. However this aspect of product integration just isn’t essentially the most mature and care is required earlier than use.

Okay, I am sure there are lots of more advantages of process modeling and I might get time later to elaborate in other articles/blogs.

Lets move into some points of easy methods to build better process models. A number of the pre-requisites for process modeling are as follows:

1) Individuals: You could have good abilities within the group from various views, you need good enterprise analysts to undertand what needs to be modeled and interact with enterprise users accordingly. You also need a very good scribe or modeler who understands the right way to map the necessities into models. As we are limiting it to modeling house, you might not require folks with six sigma, lean,simulation skills though they might take part at appropriate phase in analysis.

2) Tools : you would want acceptable instruments to mannequin the enterprise processes. It may begin with fundamental word processing tools like word, move into graphic instruments like visio to sophisticated tools like aris, system architect. Selection of instruments would depend on requirements and objectives for modeling and obviously different factors like cost, ability units etc. I personally feel that modeling efforts in tools like word and visio is a myopic view to modeling and processes are assets of any organizations and needs to be available centrally to be up to date constantly. It is best to consider a repository based mostly software which helps customary modeling and reporting methods to offer long term benefits.