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The Two Key Reasons to Engage in Process Modeling

Sandeep Johal Sandeep Johal on April 26, 2016

Today we are talking about the purpose of modeling or as I like to call it the bedrock of everything to do with process modeling. Without it, don't even start.

There are many reasons why you would process model. Those reasons may range from the requirement of a visualization right to process improvement. Interestingly enough, there was a survey conducted about a few years ago by the good folks at BPTrends that looked at all possible aspects that managers, architects and the like of people in our profession do who conduct any kind of process modeling and why they would do such a thing.

It was clear to see to see that there were two winners in that space.

  1. People process model to communicate, and,
  2. People process model to improve processes.

So what can we learn from that? One thing's for sure. You need to be able to articulate what your purpose is.

Use those two aspects, communication and improvement as a way to inspire you to articulate your purpose. So that's important.

First articulate your purpose. So you might ask me, "Why even articulate in the first place? Why can't I just continue on modeling or start modeling for the heck of it and just keep going?"

Well, there's one very key element everybody needs to remember. The purpose of modeling forms the foundation to which you would apply things like the scope of modeling, depth of modeling, the use of architecture and so on. In fact, the purpose of modeling is the defining factor for all of us in the process modeling world to come up with our process conventions. Process conventions are important and process standards are important. These form the consistency of how processes are visualized. So I hope this convinces you that the purpose of process modeling is very important.

I have been asked in the past, "What will happen without a purpose?"

Two things that happen without a modeling purpose. There's a lot of unpredictability about the kind of effort required in process modeling. And without effort, it's very difficult to identify when you finish and when you come to some form of conclusion so you can go onto the next phase.

The second thing that most people notice without a purpose is that the granularity to which you should be process modeling is ambiguous. So you could model all the way down to the detailed task level and not even know that that's the end.

Without the purpose, there is no guidance.


So to wrap up – there are two reasons why any organization, team, a center of excellence engages in process modeling; to communicate and to improve processes,

You need to have your own purpose in order to guide everything else that builds on top of this purpose.Without the purpose, don't even bother to start. 

Remember, you create a model once, it's useful. Use it again, it becomes valuable. We're all in for valuable process models.

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