10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (2022)

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Aug 07, 2020

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (1)Read time: 5 mins

Business process modelling isn’t a new concept. However, when implemented effectively it can help optimise business process and identify any challenges in your established systems. Business process modelling gives you the opportunity to map out all of the steps in your business process, giving you a visual reference so that you can better understand, analyse and improve workflows.

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In his white paper ‘10 Perilous misconceptions of censuring current state mapping & analysis’, James Proctor debunks a number of misconceptions about business process modelling, such as “[w]e already know what we do, let’s just skip to what we need to be doing going forward – so no need to map and analyze existing processes.” He explains that business process modelling should begin by answering five questions that will provide a framework to start thinking about how you do business.

These questions are:

  • What are you currently doing?
  • What are you currently doing that is not needed?
  • What are you currently doing that can be improved?
  • What are you not doing that you know you should be doing?
  • What are you not doing that you don’t know you should be doing?

When it comes to describing what your business does, you could probably sum it up in a matter of sentences. However, the reality is that it can only achieve its purpose by your team working together to complete a series of tasks in succession, in order to produce a final result. Business process modelling allows you to map out all of these steps into a visual representation, so that you can better understand, analyse, and improve the workflow or process.

Fundamentally, business process modelling involves identifying, defining, and representing a process in its entirety, in order to aid communication of that process. It also has the following benefits:

  • Allows you to identify tasks that are redundant and remove them
  • You can spot bottlenecks in the process and improve process efficiency by eliminating them
  • Efficient processes can be identically repeated, even when a new staff member must perform that part of the process

There are several techniques in business process modelling:

1. Business process modelling notation (BPMN)

Business process modelling notation (BPMN) is comprised of symbols that are used as a representation of tasks and workflows. Any symbols can be used in your business process, but using standardised ones allows you to collaborate with outside analysts more easily, and it spares you from having to invent your own visual language.

BPMN symbols fall into the following categories:

  • Flow objects. Shows the flow of the process and are represented as follows:
    • Circles. Events are displayed inside of circular shapes
    • Rectangles. Activities fit into rectangular boxes
    • Diamonds. Control points or gateways are represented as diamond shapes
  • Connecting objects. Used to show how tasks are connected, and in what sequence they occur
    • Solid lines. Shows task transfers
    • Dashed lines. Shows messages
  • Swim lanes. These make provision for subprocesses that share responsibilities and how they interact. The swimlanes are the people or departments that the subprocess impacts on

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (2)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (3)

  • Artifacts. Used if you have additional information that isn’t a sequence flow or message flow, but that will further explain the process
    • Dotted lines. These point to the flow object that the extra information expands on
    • Squares outlined with dots and dashes. These group related elements in the diagram
    • Square bracket. Text annotations are added here

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (4)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (5)

2. Unified modelling language diagrams

Unified modelling language (UML) is a more modern approach to modelling and documenting processes. UML was initially developed by software developers, but has been successfully used in business process modelling, with a more object-oriented approach to its 14 UML diagram types.

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (6)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (7)

3. Flow chart technique

This is a graphic representation of something that is manufactured or produced, which gives people involved in the project or process a single reference point. Flow charts use basic shapes and arrows to define relationships, such as processes, decisions, or data.

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (8)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (9)

4. Data flow diagrams

Data flow diagrams (DFDs) show how data enters a system from external sources, how data moves internally within the system, and how the data is stored. DFD symbols vary slightly, but are mostly based on the same principles:

  • Squares. These show external entities, which are either the source of data, or the destination
  • Rounded rectangles. These represent processes that receive data as input, interact with it, and then produce an output
  • Arrows. These show the flow of data, either as electronic data or physical items
  • Open-ended rectangles. This represents data stores, and include electronic stores like databases or XML files, as well as physical stores, such as or filing cabinets or stacks of paper

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (10)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (11)

5. Role activity diagrams

Role activity diagrams (RADs) are used to map out the intangible roles or ideas of behaviour that are desired within the company. These can often be functions within the business, systems in IT, or customer and supplier roles. RADs are easy to read and understand, and often provide a different perspective on a process, which helps support communication.

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (12)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (13)

6. Role interaction diagrams

Interaction diagrams are business process models that graphically illustrate the interaction of various processes with each other within a system. Interaction diagrams come in two forms: sequence diagrams and collaboration diagrams. There are two types of interaction diagrams typically used to capture the various aspects of interaction in a system:

  • Sequence diagrams. A sequence diagram shows the interaction between objects in the sequence in which they take place. Sequence diagrams describe how the objects function within a system, and in what order, and are often used to document and understand what is required for new and existing systems

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (14)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (15)

(Video) Process Mapping

  • Collaboration diagram.15 Collaboration diagrams are used to define and clarify the roles of the objects that carry out a certain flow of events in a visual format, and serve as the main source of information when determining class responsibilities and interfaces

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (16)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (17)

7. Gantt charts

In the late 19th century, Gantt charts were the gold standard, and are often the go-to business process model for companies preparing for projects with distinct timelines, or that have time-sensitive processes that need to be captured and tracked. Gantt charts make it easy for people involved in different parts of a process to see when they are meant to start work, and by when each task should be complete, and to check whether all the subprocesses are on schedule.

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (18)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (19)

8. Integrated definition for function modelling

Integrated definition (IDEF) for function modelling displays when parent activities give rise to child diagrams. There are 15 forms of IDEF and each addresses a different type of flow for functions, information, data, simulation model design, process description capture, and so on.

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (20)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (21)

9. Coloured Petri nets

When a system has numerous processes that interact and synchronise with each other, then coloured Petri nets are ideal. This modelling technique is used to design, specify, simulate and verify systems.

Petri nets are unique in that they can represent both a state – such as passive, unsent, or waiting – and an action – such as send, receive, or transmit – in the same diagram. Coloured nets use colours to differentiate their symbols, and use a formal, mathematical representation with well-defined syntax and semantics.

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (22)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (23)

10. Object oriented methods

The object oriented method of business process modelling is more than just modelling with objects: it encompasses message-passing, encapsulation (where internal detail is hidden), inheritance from class to subclass, and polymorphism (where the same procedure can operate on different data types).

10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (24)10 Business Process Modelling Techniques | GetSmarter Blog (25)

Which business process modelling technique will you select for your business? Find the one that will ensure those involved in the system or process carry out their tasks in a consistent and efficient way, producing a predictable, measurable outcome.

Think more strategically about your business process designs

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  • 1 (Nd). ‘The why and how of business modelling’. Retrieved from KissFlow. Accessed 22 April 2019.
  • 2 Proctor, J. (2018). ‘10 perilous misconceptions of censuring current stat mapping & analysis’. Retrieved from Inteq Group.
  • 3 (Nd). ‘What is BPM?’. Retrieved from Workflow Management Coalition. Accessed 22 April 2019.
  • 4 (Nd). ‘The why and how of business modelling’. Retrieved from KissFlow. Accessed 22 April 2019.
  • 5 Pearson, S. (Nd). ‘9 best business process modeling techniques (with examples)’. Retrieved from Tallyfy.
  • 6 Pearson, S. (Nd). ‘9 best business process modeling techniques (with examples)’. Retrieved from Tallyfy.
  • 7 Ceta, N. (Nd). ‘All you need to know about UML diagrams: types and 5+ examples’. Retrieved from Tallyfy.
  • 8 Pearson, S. (Nd). ‘9 best business process modeling techniques (with examples)’. Retrieved from Tallyfy.
  • 9 Rouse, M. (Aug, 2008). ‘Flowchart’. Retrieved from TechTarget.
  • 10 Ambler, S. (Nd). ‘Data flow diagram (DFDs): an agile introduction’. Retrieved from Agile Modeling.
  • 11 Bangerter, J. (Jul, 2017). ‘Data flow diagram symbols, types, and tips’. Retrieved from LucidChart.
  • 12 (Sep, 2018). ‘Business process modeling techniques with examples’. Retrieved from Creately.
  • 13 Jain, A. (Nd). ‘Unified modeling language (UML) | Sequence diagrams’. Retrieved from GeeksforGeeks. Accessed 22 April 2019.
  • 14 Jain, A. (Nd). ‘Unified modeling language (UML) | Sequence diagrams’. Retrieved from GeeksforGeeks. Accessed 22 April 2019.
  • 15 (Nd). ‘What is UML collaboration diagram?’. Retrieved from Visual Paradigm. Accessed 25 April 2019.
  • 16 (Sep, 2018). ‘Business process modeling techniques with examples’. Retrieved from Creately.
  • 17 Pearson, S. (Nd). ‘9 best business process modeling techniques (with examples)’. Retrieved from Tallyfy. Accessed 25 April 2019.
  • 18 (Sep, 2018). ‘Business process modeling techniques with examples’. Retrieved from Creately.
  • 19 Jensen, K. (Jun, 2005). ‘An introduction to the theoretical aspects of colored Petri nets’. Retrieved from Springer Link.
  • 20 (Sep, 2018). ‘Business process modeling techniques with examples’. Retrieved from Creately.
  • 21 (Nd). ‘Object oriented methodologies’. Retrieved from Career Ride.

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FAQs

What are business process modeling techniques? ›

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) encompasses a set of more than 100 standardized symbols or objects that visually represent various workflows and tasks in business processes. This technique was created specifically for modeling and is considered by many as the gold standard for business process modeling.

Which techniques would be most useful when designing a new business process? ›

Although there's some debate about which approach is best for business process modeling, most experts agree that BPMN is process oriented while UML is object-oriented and that this makes BPMN better for business process representation.

What solution can you use to document model and simulate business processes? ›

There are many different business process modeling tools that can be used to improve workflows, making them more efficient and cost-effective.
  • SIPOC Diagrams. ...
  • Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) ...
  • Unified Modeling Language (UML) Diagrams. ...
  • Value Stream Mapping. ...
  • IPO Model. ...
  • Gantt Charts.
15 Sept 2020

What is the importance of business process modeling? ›

Business process modeling gives organizations a simple way to understand and optimize workflows by creating data-driven visual representations of key business processes.

What are BPM tools used for? ›

BPM tools are used to design a systematic approach to optimize business processes. They are used to model, implement, and automate business workflows with the goal of improving corporate performance by minimizing errors, inefficiencies, and miscommunication.

How business process modeling can help improve efficiency? ›

Benefits of Modeling

Improves Efficiency: Proper implementation of business processes allows companies to see a significant decline in their cost with rising levels of productivity. Constant assessment of the processes can lead to high performance and efficiency.

What are the benefits of using process modeling? ›

A process model allows visualization of business processes so organizations can better understand their internal business procedures so that they can be managed and made more efficient. This is usually an agile exercise for continuous improvement.

Why is it important to model business or application before implementation? ›

It increases productivity of existing resources and staff and so allows the team to do more with less. It facilitates risk free experimentation and encourages exchange of process improvement ideas. Process simulation allows modeling of process designs before actually implementing them thus minimizing disruptions.

What are the steps of modeling process explain? ›

The steps of the modeling process are as follows:
  1. Analyze the problem. We must first study the situation sufficiently to identify the problem pre cisely and understand its fundamental questions clearly. ...
  2. Formulate a model. ...
  3. Solve the model. ...
  4. Verify and interpret the model's solution. ...
  5. Report on the model. ...
  6. Maintain the model.

What is business process with example? ›

Operational processes (core business processes) are those that bring direct value to customers and the company itself. They are the processes that directly create revenue. Examples include: product manufacturing, order to cash process, and delivering products to customers.

What is a business process model diagram? ›

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), also called Business Process Model and Notation, is an open standard to diagram a business process. It is like a flowchart and uses standardized graphics to represent the participants, choices and flow of the process.

What is the goal of the modeling step of business process management? ›

The primary objective of business process modeling tools is to analyze how things are right now and simulate how should they be carried out to achieve better results.

What are the diagrams used for process modeling? ›

A flowchart is a diagram that represents a process and can be created with readily available software. Flowcharts contain a starting and ending point. Typically, symbols such as circles, squares and diamonds represent events or activities, while arrows indicate sequential flow and associations between steps.

What are the benefits of business model? ›

It identifies the products or services the business plans to sell, its identified target market, and any anticipated expenses. Business models are important for both new and established businesses. They help new, developing companies attract investment, recruit talent, and motivate management and staff.

What is the biggest benefit of using BPM technologies? ›

In the short term, BPM helps organizations decrease costs and increase efficiency. This can mean more revenue and growth for companies, as well as increased speed, organization, and efficiency for government agencies. In the long run, BPM helps create competitive advantage by improving organizational agility.

What BPM is best? ›

A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness.

What are BPM activities? ›

A business process is a set of activities that help a business reach a specific goal. Using BPM, you can evaluate your existing processes to find ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs and errors, and support digital transformation efforts.

What is BPM with example? ›

BPM is usually defined as a discipline or practice, but it is also an umbrella term to describe tools. Here's a fundamental example: BPM is usually defined as a discipline or practice – similar to DevOps, for example – rather than something you buy or otherwise simply implement and complete.

What is one of the primary purposes of process modeling? ›

Process Models are graphical representations of existing or planned processes and are excellent resources for understanding what functions are performed and how those functions interact. A primary purpose of a Process Model is to facilitate the discovery of information needs within the enterprise.

How does a process model help you create a new process product or system? ›

Process models have a clear beginning and end, intended outcome, order of activities, and different results based on the decisions that you make through the course of the process. The intent of the model is to provide a representation of the process that allows understanding, analysis, and decisions.

How does a business process diagram help your business? ›

A business process diagram breaks down each step of a process, which can help you identify automation opportunities and lower operating costs.

What does business process modeling require? ›

Business process modeling is the graphical representation of a company's business processes or workflows, as a means of identifying potential improvements. This is usually done through different graphing methods, such as the flowchart, data-flow diagram, etc.

What is the purpose of processes? ›

The purpose of process is to ensure consistency. A good process is like a checklist that ensures the right things get done by the right people at the right time. Unfortunately, sales is a discipline that often lacks documented processes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the business process modeling? ›

First, that process modelling is useful, primarily for understanding and documenting business processes, but also for planning implementation projects. The major downside of process modelling is the risk of over analysis.

What is modeling write steps to create a good model? ›

Developing Simulation Models

Step 1 − Identify the problem with an existing system or set requirements of a proposed system. Step 2 − Design the problem while taking care of the existing system factors and limitations. Step 3 − Collect and start processing the system data, observing its performance and result.

What is modeling explain few Modelling techniques in short? ›

Answer: Techniques that involve collecting data from one or more sources and developing a comprehensive representation of the data in a model. Modeling involves making a representation of something. Creating a tiny, functioning volcano is an example of modeling.

What is business process in simple words? ›

A business process is a collection of linked tasks that find their end in the delivery of a service or product to a client. A business process has also been defined as a set of activities and tasks that, once completed, will accomplish an organizational goal.

What are the 5 core business processes? ›

At the core, every business is fundamentally a collection of five Interdependent processes, each of which flows into the next:
  • Value-Creation. Discovering what people need, want, or could be encouraged to want, then creating it.
  • Marketing. ...
  • Sales. ...
  • Value-Delivery. ...
  • Finance.

How do you create a business process? ›

Follow these eight steps to develop an effective business process.
  1. Review the current business process. ...
  2. Start by defining the goals of the business process. ...
  3. List activities and look for inefficiencies and places to automate. ...
  4. Develop a process map. ...
  5. Assign process tasks and management. ...
  6. Test and implement the process.
27 Apr 2022

Which statement best describes business process Modelling? ›

Which statement BEST describes business process modeling? Business process modeling is a series of financial agreements that help your company become more profitable.

What are four categories of BPMN? ›

Common BPMN symbols

BPMN diagram symbols are categorized into four main groups: flow objects, connecting objects, swimlanes, and artifacts. Read this comprehensive guide of BPMN diagram shapes and their meanings below.

What makes a process successful? ›

the process must do what it is supposed to; it must be simple and make life better for all concerned. It must demonstrably deliver value to the customers. It must satisfy and delight them. In satisfying them, it must meet their needs and fulfill the contract or agreement that has been made with them.

How can business processes be improved? ›

Make your business process more efficient in 5 simple steps
  1. Identify what's working—and what's not.
  2. Set your baseline and your goals.
  3. Leverage your team and build a roadmap for success.
  4. Look for opportunities to automate.
  5. Roll out your new process and continue to gather feedback.

How do you improve process performance? ›

How To Improve Your Work: 7 Steps To Improve Processes
  1. Select a process to improve. ...
  2. Assign responsibility for the change effort. ...
  3. Write down your current steps within that process. ...
  4. Identify bottlenecks, roadblocks, and issues. ...
  5. Find ways to resolve the issues. ...
  6. Test your new process.

What are Modelling techniques? ›

Modeling techniques are based around the use of algorithms - sequences of instructions for solving specific problems. You use a particular algorithm to create that type of model.

What is process modeling in business analysis? ›

Business process modeling (BPM) in systems engineering is the activity of representing processes of an enterprise, so that the current process may be analyzed or improved.

What are the basic shapes of BPMN? ›

Basic BPMN shapes

While there are many shapes as outlined in the BPMN guide, there are four main shapes that set the foundation for describing processes: activity, event, decision, and flow.

What are the three models in OMT? ›

Object Modeling Technique (OMT) is real world based modeling approach for software modeling and designing.
...
There are three main types of models that has been proposed by OMT:
  • Object Model: ...
  • Dynamic Model: ...
  • Functional Model:
11 Mar 2019

What are data Modelling techniques? ›

Data Modelling is the process of analyzing the data objects and their relationship to the other objects. It is used to analyze the data requirements that are required for the business processes. The data models are created for the data to be stored in a database.

What are the steps in the modeling process? ›

The steps of the modeling process are as follows:
  1. Analyze the problem. We must first study the situation sufficiently to identify the problem pre cisely and understand its fundamental questions clearly. ...
  2. Formulate a model. ...
  3. Solve the model. ...
  4. Verify and interpret the model's solution. ...
  5. Report on the model. ...
  6. Maintain the model.

What is business modeling in ERP? ›

Business Process Modeling Definition

Business process modeling visually represents operations and workflows. The objective is to map out “as-is” processes as well as “to-be” processes—in other words, to graph current, unchanged processes along with future, improved processes.

What are the 4 phases of OMT? ›

The entire OMT software development process has four phases: analysis, system design, object design, and implementation of the software.

Who invented OMT? ›

The object-modeling technique (OMT) is an object modeling approach for software modeling and designing. It was developed around 1991 by Rumbaugh, Blaha, Premerlani, Eddy and Lorensen as a method to develop object-oriented systems and to support object-oriented programming.

What is the strength of OMT? ›

The primary strength of the OMT methodology is that it allows a complete specification of a system, covering it's static structure, dynamic behaviour and functionality.

What are the 4 types of models? ›

Formal versus Informal Models. Physical Models versus Abstract Models. Descriptive Models. Analytical Models.

What are the 5 steps under data modeling? ›

CASE STUDY:
  • Step 1: Gathering Business requirements: ...
  • Step 2: Identification of Entities: ...
  • Step 3: Conceptual Data Model: ...
  • Step 4: Finalization of attributes and Design of Logical Data Model. ...
  • Step 5: Creation of Physical tables in database:
23 May 2020

What are the 3 steps of data modelling? ›

There are three stages of data modeling, with each stage pertaining to its own type of data model – conceptual data models, logical data models and physical data models.

What is an example of modeling? ›

Modeling involves making a representation of something. Creating a tiny, functioning volcano is an example of modeling. Teachers use modeling when they have a class election that represents a larger one, like a presidential election. Modeling is anything that represents something else, usually on a smaller scale.

What are process models Why are these important? ›

Process models are typically used to represent and analyze a series of activities that occur repeatedly and on a regular basis. Process models can be used to model the flow of work in or between people and departments in an organization, or the flow of activities in a computer system or application.

How business process modeling can help improve efficiency? ›

Benefits of Modeling

Improves Efficiency: Proper implementation of business processes allows companies to see a significant decline in their cost with rising levels of productivity. Constant assessment of the processes can lead to high performance and efficiency.

What are the benefits of using process modeling? ›

A process model allows visualization of business processes so organizations can better understand their internal business procedures so that they can be managed and made more efficient. This is usually an agile exercise for continuous improvement.

What is an example of a business process? ›

Operational processes (core business processes) are those that bring direct value to customers and the company itself. They are the processes that directly create revenue. Examples include: product manufacturing, order to cash process, and delivering products to customers.

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