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Resolving the Modeler's Dilemma

Sandeep Johal Sandeep Johal on May 16, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome once again to the process sessions. In this video I'll be talking about resolving the process modeler's dilemma. What is the dilemma? You might ask. It's a delicate balance of conformance, accuracy, and fit for purpose for every single process model you have.

Imagine this you have to create a process model for your senior management group and you decide to put in a process model that they can understand easily. Chances that that process model is fit for the purpose of your presentation, but it may be thin on details such as granularity. It might also not conform to those standards that the organization conforms to. Now it may be the case that that's happened, and if it has ever happened to you, or if you can imagine it you're not alone. That's why you need to resolve the modeler's dilemma.

Semantic, Syntactic, and Pragmatic

 I call those three quality semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic. Semantic refers to how accurate your process model is. Syntactic refers to the conformance of your process model to your organizational standards. And finally, pragmatic, how fit for purpose it is. When a model lives up to all of those three aspects you've got a great valuable model.

ModEx_-_Resolve_Modelers_Dilemma.00_00_08_10.Still001.jpgYou want to resolve the modeler's dilemma because you want to create high quality process models that have high integrity. You want to create process models that are consistent across the entire organization. You want to create models that will be used, and for those reasons alone you need to be able to resolve the modeler's dilemma. There are many ways to the resolution of the process modeler's dilemma. One of the key ways in which I do it is to make sure that I've got the right stakeholders guiding me through all three aspects of quality.

For the semantic review, I look upon the subject matter experts to give me guidance on how accurate a process model technically is.

For syntactic standards, I look upon a power user across the organization who can give me clear guidance on how good a process model informs to the standards.

Finally pragmatic quality, I look upon the users and consumers of the process models to then get an understanding of whether this model fits that purpose or not.

When you gather input from all three areas you have a good idea of who the kind of balance that you need to employ in all your process models to make them valuable and successful.

To summarize, the process modelers dilemma is real. Your models could be skewed towards pragmatic or towards semantic or towards syntactic or potentially a combination of. Find a way to balance the right aspects and you can do so by approaching the right stakeholders and getting them involved in your modeling journey. I wish you the best for your modeling efforts and I'll see you at the next one.

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