7 Simple Tips to Triumph With Business Process Modeling
Business Process Modeling is a tool designed to show steps, activities, and milestones within a process. It’s a visual representation behind a singular process. And we know businesses rely on many processes that move tasks from point A to Point B.
But it doesn’t take long for a business process modeling map to become complex. When more steps are added, it can quickly turn into the visual representation of a rat’s nest. Process modeling maps should highlight steps of a map at a high-level. But that’s only the first step.
The second requires using the map to optimize steps and enhance the process to be more efficient, agile, and results-focused. But when this second step doesn’t happen, the map is just a pretty thing to have.
And entirely useless to help the company.
Here are 7 tips to ensure your business process modeling is on track to better the business.
1. Understand the Why
Why are you creating a process modeling map? What is its purpose? And what information are you going to convey with this map?
Building a map is one thing. It’s the easy part. But to see results, you must address the reasoning behind the decision. Because you want to assess the amount of detail put in the diagram.
2. Keep things simple
Overtly complex maps are difficult to follow. They tend to cause confusion rather than the clarity you seek. If possible, you want anyone who is shown the map to know off the bat exactly what it’s trying to accomplish.
How does this process work? We’re trying to answer this one question with process modeling.
3. Business details come first
Focus on showing the details of your business in a process modeling map, rather than implementation information. Remember, we’re trying to keep it simple. At least at the start. So choosing which details are most important plays a role here.
4. Clone maps
In programs like BlueWorksLive, you can clone a map. After completing a map at a high-level (it allows teams to create a process design quickly before moving down into the details), you’ll clone the map and build upon it. This is where you can show implementation information, optimized processes (perhaps adding automation at a step) and further modification details.
The original map will show your “as-is” scenario. While the cloned map shows the “to-be.”
5. List roles early
Roles are people assigned to a task. If a step requires approval by a Manager, the Manager is assigned to the role.
Other steps that require customer input will assign the role to the Customer.
While you can add this later with most applications, it’s easiest to define roles early on. If they must be changed, that’s OK.
6. Set objectives early
Should you include manual steps in a process or automated steps? It depends on your objectives.
Completed maps should express how the process works from start to finish. But if your goal for the map is to only highlight steps that use automation, then you wouldn’t include manual steps. And vice versa.
7. Understand Word Order
For clarity, implement these best practices when naming processes, events, and outcomes from events and steps.
Business names should follow a verb and noun order: Approve (verb) Applicant (noun).
Events that end processes should follow a subject then verb then object form: Applicant (Subject) receives (verb) application results (object).
- Set objectives clearly from the start
- Keep maps simple in the beginning
- But ensure they’re clearly defined so those seeing it for the first time can understand
- Clarify process steps, events and outcome with specific language
- List roles early to reflect the full capacity of the process