What is Business Process Modeling and How to Implement it?

Every business has to perform to its full potential all through the year and the performance is tested multiple times during the year. Continuous business growth can be achieved only by a full understanding of how the business works. A picture speaks a thousand words, and a pictorial representation of all facets of the business, including sales, marketing, engineering, and support, is essential for a business to be successful.

Definition of Business Process Modeling

The term Business Process Modeling refers to creating a graphical representation of the different workflows in an organization that captures the processes and the interactions between various departments. A clear picture of the current processes helps in identifying the backlogs and bottlenecks so that a better and more efficient process can be derived.

There are different tools to create a graphical view of your workflows. An organization may not need to use multiple tools but can find the most appropriate one that brings the most effective change to the processes.

What are the Different Business Process Modeling Techniques?

At a glance, a business may seem like a bunch of simple tasks combined to achieve a primary goal such as procure more customers or sell more goods, based on the type of business you run.

However, when you take a closer look, you will understand that there are a number of small yet important processes involving multiple stakeholders that need to work in unison towards a common goal.

A better understanding of workflows can be achieved through Business Process Modeling and here are the most widely accepted BPM techniques. 

1. Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)

The pictorial representation using the BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) method comprising of standardized symbols to represent different activities and interactions is popular among large enterprises around the world.

bpmn symbols

Source: https://methodandstyle.com/

The BPMN method is being mentioned in the first place because it is primarily designed for process modeling, unlike all other methods whose original intent was different from process modeling.

Business analysts, financial experts, and process consultants choose BPMN to design processes as it is the standardized and widely acclaimed method for process definitions.

Here are the types of symbols and signs used in BPMN-
  • Flow Objects – Circles are used to represent events in the Flow objects category while rectangles with rounded corners represent activities and diamond shapes showcase decision points.
  • Connecting Objects – A dash, combined with the long line, is used to represent a task that has been transferred from one point to another while dashed lines signify a message in between two processes.
  • Swim Lanes – When two or more people have to coordinate and share work to complete it, swim lanes are used to represent them. Pool signifies the task while lanes denote people or teams.
  • Artifacts – These are used to fill in the missing information. Dotted lines show how additional information is added, squares outlined with dots and dashes help group elements and a square bracket is used in annotating text.

2. UML Diagrams

UML Diagrams are one of the popular techniques of Business Process Modeling. UML stands for Unified Modeling Language which was originally developed for software development.

UML is an object-oriented representation chart that depicts the relationship between the “actors” and “systems” and has different types such as Use case diagrams, Sequence diagrams, Communication diagrams, and so on. 

3. Flowcharts

Flowcharts are probably the only type of modeling in this list that needs no introduction and people are instantly familiar with the concept.

Creating a flowchart is simple and most business users will feel right at home. The only drawback is that flowcharts are useful for simple representations but lack the ability to model complex interactions in a single diagram. Flowcharts can showcase multiple workflows separately and need to be consolidated to truly represent the entire business process.

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4. Gantt Charts

Gantt Charts are used by business experts as it helps break down a complex task into multiple sub-tasks clearly linked by their dependencies. Each one of these subtasks has a specific time frame within which the task needs to be completed.

Gantt Charts are best for representing tasks that are driven by tight deadlines as each task should be completed within a specific timeframe to achieve the desired results. It is also easy to edit and see the effect on timelines and dependencies. Companies that work on strict deadlines can easily keep track of workflows to make sure there is no delay.

5. PERT Diagrams

PERT Diagrams are widely accepted in the business community right after BPMN. They are abbreviated as the Program Evaluation and Review Technique, PERT.

A major advantage of using this technique is that instead of creating theoretical solutions, it is used to represent a realistic timeline for a process to be completed. Here, users can create workflows using multiple methods and sources to identify the method that will help them complete the tasks in the least time. 

What are the Advantages of Using Business Process Modeling?

Here are some scenarios where you might want to try one of the methods used for Business Process Modeling.

  • Implementing a completely new process or project
  • Identifying bottlenecks in current processes and get rid of them
  • Check the cycle times and resources used for further optimization
  • Identify redundant processes and consider automation solutions 
  • Find where investments and expenses are high in order to reduce wherever possible 
  • Improve overall product and service quality by improving process efficiency

Advantages

  • Get a clear picture of the entire organizational processes
  • Identify the interactions in processes and bring about improved workflows using a graphical representation
  • Make important business decisions after a thorough review of current processes
  • Understand the need for automation and stop redundant tasks from eating into your workforce’s precious time 
  • Create a better workflow process for the business to perform better and pave way for future improvements and expansion

Cflow – An Automated, Easy to Implement Business Process Modeling Software

Cflow is primarily a workflow management software that also comes with a Business Process Modeling tool that is easy to use and ideal for business users. Cflow provides proprietary and intuitive visual workflow builder for designing workflows instead of Business Process Modeling Notation. Cflow is fast and effective in automating business processes for SMBs as well as large organizations. The workflow templates are readily available and you can automate most of your daily tasks in a matter of minutes. 

Cflow has the power to quickly bring your workforce under its magical charm of automation. With automatic email reminders, cloud-based file access and integrations with external systems, the business process modeling software has the power to help you get things done more efficiently than ever before. You can make use of the modeling tool to visualize and automate complex processes much faster.

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