Common Business Process Modeling Techniques

An imperative factor of Business Process Management (BPM) is business process modeling techniques. The techniques are the visual representation of business processes within an organization. The depictions are useful for reflecting current processes (the ‘as-is’) thus allowing for future process improvements (the ‘to-be’).

Seeing how an organization function allows BPM strategists to make educated improvements that will benefit the company in many ways. Such as an increase in productivity, agility, visibility and reduction in delay times.

Techniques and tools of the trade

Companies invest in business process modeling techniques to improve productivity, efficiency, and accuracy of their methods.

Using visual guides helps easily identify problem areas more than relying on written documentation. Seeing issues makes it easier to create a plan of action. It also can allow for easier changes, depending on the tools used.

Business process modeling uses several standard tools as a visual representation.

Flow charts

A common method is flow chart software as it’s often readily available.

Flow charts utilize conventional symbols like circles for events and arrows to explain the direction or “flow” of the process. It is one of the simpler modelling tools to use but has limitations compared to other methods.

PERT Diagram

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (or PERT) diagram identifies the minimum timeframe required to complete projects.

Processes may follow a strict set of steps. If one is not completed, another activity can’t start. This prevents the process from completing. PERT declares the shortest and longest time it takes to complete a step within a process.

Gantt Chart

Illustrated with bar charts, the Gantt charts highlight tasks within a process, against timelines.

Activities and process have a specific relationship, and this table reflects how one may depend on the other. Its purpose is to show whether projects are on schedule, falling behind, or jumping ahead. From there, teams can determine and correct issues in the process (if it’s behind schedule).

Functional Flow Block Diagram

While flow charts focus on solutions, functional flow block diagrams (FFBD) address the technical architecture of a system. It identifies specific elements like equipment. Sequencing, specific functions, elements and how they are related.

Control Flow Diagram

Unlike other diagrams, control flow diagrams introduce limits and possible restraints. Its job is to highlight conditions and how certain inputs can affect processes. For example, adding new data or equipment may change a flow’s results.

Business process modeling techniques are necessary

We use business process modeling techniques to visually understand the current state of organizational processes. Without efficient processes, businesses fall behind the competition. They experience delays and unhappy customers who do not want to wait for products.

To unravel kinks and ensure the system is agile, companies turn to business process management and operational decision management. All three help firms make accurate decision, automate repeatable tasks, and ensures a business is efficiently optimized.

This piece originally appeared on Capital BPM’s blog: Here.

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