In the current scenario of complex business situations, analysis and improvement of business processes require high levels of understanding and efforts before implementing the solution. This is where BPM or Business Process Models are used extensively. The usage of these process models in current business scenario has contributed to effective understanding of the processes and the involved activities. Read on to find out more about business process models, their history and about tools used for creating them.
Business Process Model – Definition
It is an activity approach that includes the schematic representation of processes that are involved in an organization. This schematic representation is used so as to gain a better understanding of the processes for analysis and improvement. The BPM techniques are widely used in software engineering and system engineering systems and are essentially carried out by business analysts and process managers. This model helps to derive better solutions for improving the efficiency and quality of the system.
The model helps in representing present scenario and also to depict proposed changes to a system. The proposed model is put into practice by means of change management systems. The advancement in the field of information technology has caused rapid progress in the tools and technologies associated with these process models. The present day process models are becoming more and more executable with simulation capability.
Business Process Model – History
Since the beginning of the 20th century, techniques were in place to model business processes. The Gantt chart was the initial method used for modeling the processes in the early 1900s. This was followed by flowcharts in the 1920s and the functional flow block diagram in the 1950s and the data flow diagrams in the late 1970s. The Unified Modeling Language (UML) or the Business Process Modeling (BPM) notations were added as the modern methods for the modeling of business processes.
The term ‘Business Process Modeling’ was coined in the 1960s by S. Williams who proposed the technique used for understanding physical control systems to business processes also. The term became more popular in 1990s when process oriented thinking became the new concept of businesses though it was only in 1995 that the first visually oriented BPM implementation was presented.
A business model is a framework that is used for depicting the economic, social and other value forms of a company. The term represents core aspects of a business which includes strategies, offerings, purpose, infrastructure, trading, policies and operational processes. It is a way in which a company’s method of revenue generation is depicted in the value chain.
A business model depicts the processes that are offered in a systematic manner in an organization. There are three major kinds of processes that are normally offered, Management Processes (Processes that govern the operation of a system), Operational Processes (Processes that constitute the core business values) and Supporting Processes (Processes that support the core business values).
A business process model defines the way in which operations are carried out in an organization. It can be based on the process workflow or can represent the integration between the many different business processes in an organization. A BPM often tends to remain an abstraction and hugely depends on the intended usage purpose. It can also be represented in multiple levels so as to show the complete process integration schematically.
Business Process Modeling – Benefits
These processes provide the users with extended ability to model the business process along with their implementation and execution. The models can then be modified or changed as per the previous executed data. This ensures that the models aid in bringing about changes for improving business processes. The models thus bring about two major benefits, transparency and centralization. The use of business process models in visualizing change implementation helps in creating transparency in the whole system and produces unbiased results. The models also create a centralization idea between corporate process models and execution metrics.
Business Process Modeling – Tools
The models main advantage is the ease of simulation when deciding upon change implementation. There are many simulation tools that allow for a ‘what-if’ scenario with regards to the business processes. The tools also enable metric analysis after post execution of the optimization change.