Business Process Modeling (BPM) is one of the cornerstone techniques in electing and analyzing requirements from our stakeholders/customers. A Business Analyst can use the model to gain an understanding of the current system and “paint a picture” of the solution. In the IT field, we often describe this as modeling the “As-IS” process and modeling the “To-Be” process. We developed these models but what is the real purpose of the business process model? Are we taking our models far enough, so that we can have a positive sustained impact on our organization?
I suggest that before your start building a BPM; start with the purpose in mind. What are you trying to do with the model? We need to keep in mind the purpose of the model as we engage in the modeling process. Consider the following purpose for your model:
- Understand The Problem
- Find Solution(s)
- Evaluate Solution(s)
- Answer Question
- Solve Problem
Models can help us accomplish any of the five outcomes listed above. If our model address these outcomes and provide us with valuable information to satisfy our purpose, have we done enough to achieve success? Here are other factors we should consider.
We must create our business process models so that we do “What If” analysis.
These analysis can allow us to experiment with and evaluate different solution alternatives quickly. There are modeling tools that will allows you to convert your model into a simulation tool, which will give you the base to do simulations. The simulation tools can be your experimental testing environment to evaluate alternatives, so that you can determine the best alternative or in some cases the optimal alternative.
Some past projects where I used BPM for simulations and achieved value for my stakeholders were:
- Modeling Dental Office – Health System Research, University of Florida
- Modeling Emergency Room – Health Systems Research, U
- Modeling Tool Change Process – Automotive Manufacturing
- Modeling 24/7 Call Center – Non-Profit
The opportunity to do more with your BPM is on your laptop. Business Process Modeling will require an investment of your time and energy, but the payoff can be huge. What are you waiting on to get started with BPM? Don’t wait to get around to it. Get it done!