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An Overview of Business Process Modeling

Rashida Khilawala
Business process modeling is a way to explain a process non-verbally to the ones who need more than just words. If this description confused you a little bit, this story is just for you.
Business process modeling is a pictorial representation of the working of a certain business model. Basically, it facilitates making the inner workings of the process more apparent and easy to understand. It is mostly in the form of graphs and flowcharts, that simplify things to a great extent.
One important thing that needs to be kept in mind while creating a business process model is that, no aspect of the process can be eliminated from the model. As such, it ain't an easy task to undertake.
Before we get to the model, let's understand a few important inclusions in a business process. A business process has to primarily have a goal. Secondarily, it has specific inputs and outputs. In order to attain these inputs and, consequently, the outputs, certain resources are required, along with specific activities in a specific order. And lastly, one cannot afford to forget that the customer (internal or external) will be affected majorly, that, in turn is bound to affect you.
Now coming to the crux of the title. In order to have an effective business process model, one needs to achieve a clear understanding about the business process in the first place. It needs to be clear cut as to how this particular business process will impact the others, and how will it be impacted by the others.
More so, it needs to have a set objective. Like, for a billing queries solutions process model, the objective can be, "To resolve customer queries regarding payment so that the clients will pay their bill." Clear? Not yet? Alright, fret not. Basically, every business process has an objective, the main task to be accomplished by the model is to explain this objective in totality.
Once the business process model is approved by the stipulated company authorities, that process can start to come into place. Hence, it is obvious that a business process model, is the first step to be taken to start, or make a change in, a business process. So, clearly, it is a very important step in business process management.
Let us see the uses of a business process model.
  • To understand what is to be done and put it down in black and white.
  • Make a decision about and get a fair understanding about future plans.
  • Identify the systems and pin-point their start and end points.
  • It helps in training the staff.
  • It acts as a knowledge base for future reference.
  • Identify the links of one process with the others.
The first step to using a business process model is understanding its purpose. Once you have found the ability to do that, you will be able to understand the model. Then the rest of the journey is a walk in the park.
There are several tools and software that can be put to use, whilst you design a business process model. So, the essence lies in the understanding of the process and the desired output from the model.
A business process model will help you come to plausible conclusions about "what to do now" and "what to do in the future". It aids your business intelligence strategies. So, in case you are planning to start a new process, the first step is "Model!"