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How to Use Process Models

Sandeep Johal Sandeep Johal on May 23, 2016

Have you thought about how process models will be used in your organization? If you have, that's great. Have you thought about the second time they'll be used, the third, or the fourth time? Here are some tips on how to ensure continuous use of your process models.

There is no point in creating process models without a purpose. The point is now how do you ensure that the second and the third time that you use your process models, it's just as effective as the first time. I go back to my mantra which says, create a process model once, it's useful. Use it again, it's valuable. The secret sauce in making sure that any organization uses process models over and over again is not scientific except it's just about making sure that these process modeling activities are well embedded in existing organizational methodologies. Some of the methodologies that I'll be talking about today include change management methodology, process improvement methodology, and project management methodology.

Process Improvement Methodology

First, let's talk about the real obvious one, which is process improvement methodology. This is a no brainer to most. Any time that you conduct any form of transformation in your organization where you go from an as-is, to a, or current state to a desired to-be state, you do some form of process visualization, so it makes sense to have process models at that time. Continuously use them, you know, and change them in order that additional buy in and usage. You'll end up using and reusing process models for anything between communication, as well as, uh, getting people to buy in to a single vision.

Reuse_process_models_Make_models_great_again_1.00_00_08_05.Still001.jpgProject Management Methodology

The next methodology that is pretty common in most organizations is project management methodology. You would have come across some flavor or some form of this methodology in your organization. Some of the more common ones that are used today are PMBOK, which is the project management book of knowledge, or PRINCE 2 methodology. These methodologies also talk about a transformation from current state, an as-is state, to a desired state or to-be state. Their objective is a little bit different. It is to deliver the project on time on budget. However, you can fit some modeling, key modeling activities across that life cycle. Look for points at which, again, you need visual confirmation from your stakeholders and where there is transformation and you can point out the delta in the change. You immediately become valuable, and, of course, so do your process models.

Change Management Methodology

Lastly, we'll talk about change management methodology. Now change management methodologies can come in several flavors, including the traditional Kotter's eight step change methodology, as well as Deming's Plan, do check and act. Change methodologies, or change management is particularly prone to needing visual aid to understand where processes are currently and where they will be in the future. What will that project change? Is that an IT project that will change a system? Is it a process improvement project that will then insure that going forward processes and organizational performan-performance is continuously improved.

Whatever it may be, process models have a part to play and it is your task to identify key points in that methodology that you include process models activities, and, most importantly, inlcude the appreciation of the value of the process models.

Essentially, there are two key take aways  from this video.

  1. One is, if you're going to analyze transformation from an as-is to a to-be state, you need process models. You need process models more than once, at least two times.
  2. The second key point to take note is that whenever you need any kind of visual buy in or agreement between a set of stakeholders, that is when process models shine, so look for any organizational methodologies that incorporate these two things and you will ensure that your process models will be used once, twice, three times, and so on.
Remember creating a process model once makes it useful. Using it again makes it valuable.

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