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How to Keep Process Models Consistent

Sandeep Johal Sandeep Johal on May 19, 2016

Models created by different people in different parts of the organization with a different set of skills often create very, very different models. Now, this can be a problem because you are trying to keep models consistent. 

Why would you want to keep process models consistent across different areas of your organization? Well, one simple reason. You want to keep widespread use of your process models.  That's what makes them valuable. And in order to get that widespread use, people in different parts of the organization need to be able to understand these process models. Take for example our language. You're able to understand me because we agreed that the English language is spoken in a certain way with certain structure, certain grammatical tense, and because of that, I'm able to communicate. Same way with process models.

ModEx_-_How_to_keep_process_models_consistent.00_00_06_00.Still001.jpgSo the big question is how do you keep a whole set of process models produced in different parts of the organization or even by different people consistent? Well, just like the English language, I'd encourage you to look at modeling conventions and standards as your key to resolving this issue. Modeling's conventions and standards are actually the set of rules that govern and and show consistency across the look and feel of your process models. So modeling conventions allow you to define the look and feel of your process models, establish the relationships that are important between the objects within your process model. For example, every process step has to have to have an application that supports it to set the levels of granularity as to what you require to see at different levels of your process modeling. And, they tell you about notation.

So what kind of language are you going to use in your process modeling? Examples of notion include, BPMN, DMN, EPC, and the list goes on. Those are not the only things that the modeling standards and conventions are supposed to do. There's a whole raft of other stuff that you can include in those conventions and standards. Very often modeling standards and conventions are stored in a document or possibly even included and embedded in your process modeling tool. Many modern day tools have this capability built in, so that it minimizes the amount of creativity. To develop conventions and standards,

To summarize, the consistency of process models is crucial. Crucial so that you can promote widespread use between two different parties within your organization to understand the same thing. That's the only way to keep these models valuable. You can do that through a set of modeling conventions and standards, which are usually in the form of either a document or embedded in a process modeling tool. And, be sure to tune in next time for the video where I talk about the six key steps of great modeling conventions. 

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Topics: BPM - Business Process Management, The Process Session, Process Modelling