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Business Process Modeling 101: Tools, How-To, and More

Business process modeling

Business process modeling is an essential technique for driving organizational change, automating business processes, and improving digital maturity, among other things.

Below, will examine our business process modeling can be used in conjunction with other essential business disciplines to drive organizational change, and enhance the business.

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How Business Process Modeling Leads to Business Improvement

Business process modeling refers to the graphical representation of a business in order to better understand it, analyze it, improve it, automate it, and more.

To understand the value of business process modeling, it is important to understand how this discipline fits with disciplines and techniques that focus on business process improvement.

A few of these include:

  • Business process management. Business process management, or BPM, is the discipline dedicated to understanding, managing, and improving business processes. The aim of this discipline, among other things, is to decrease costs, improve business process efficiency, and enhance business process outcomes. 
  • Business process redesign and reengineering. Business process reengineering refers to a business process management strategy aimed at refining existing processes or developing innovative processes from scratch. 
  • Business process automation (BPA). Many business processes can be performed with digital tools in today’s technology-driven environment. The use of business process automation tools, such as workflow automation platforms for robotic process automation (RPA) tools, can significantly decrease costs, improve efficiency, enhance organizational resiliency, and much more. 
  • Process mining. Process mining refers to the extraction of data about existing business processes, the analysis of that data, and the use of that information to enhance processes. This is an essential step in many business process improvement approaches. 
  • Digital transformation. Digital transformation refers to the enhancement of an organization’s digital maturity – that is, an organization’s overall digital capabilities, which includes everything from employees’ digital skills to IT infrastructure. 
  • Organizational change. Organizational change and transformation refer to any intentionally directed business change initiative, such as those designed to improve performance, organizational agility, or those otherwise aimed at helping the organization meet its strategic goals. Since many organizational changes include process changes, business process models are frequently used as part of this change process. 

Business process modeling, in short, can be leveraged to achieve many business goals, from minor process improvements to major organizational changes.

Business Process Modeling Tools

In the current era, business process modeling is largely a digital endeavor. Many tools exist to help model and refined business processes.

These can include:

  • Flow chart software. Flowcharts are one of the most basic ways to model business processes. They diagram business processes through geometric shapes, such as circles, squares, and triangles, then connect those with arrows that represents the steps needed to complete an activity. 
  • Simulations. Simulations can be quite complex business models. they are typically customized around specific types of business processes, such as engineering processes or supply chain and logistics processes.  
  • Workflow automation tools. Workflow automation tools, such as nokhod platforms, can be used to model, improve, and automate the day-to-day workflows for employees. some, by their very nature, include modeling functions and features, Removing the need for external modeling software. 
  • BPMN software. BPMN, or Business Process Modeling Notation, is a specific approach to business process modeling. BPMN software makes it easy to model processes with this notation style. 

These are a few examples of business process modeling tools.

When used to improve business processes, they are typically used with a wide array of other tools, such as data and analytics platforms that evaluate processes.

To better understand how business process modeling works, it is useful to examine this process in the context of business process improvement.

Business Process Modeling in 3 Steps

Let’s look at a general step-by-step approach to improving business processes, in order to better understand how business process modeling works.

1. Understand 

Defining the process is the very first stage in process modeling and improvement.

This involves defining the key steps in this process, outlining its characteristics, who is performing it, its outcomes, and other key aspects of the process.

In the case of business process redesign, this will involve analyzing existing processes through techniques such as process mining. 

In the case of business process reengineering, it will involve viewing the desired process from a “clean slate” and defining the necessary goals and actions of that process.

2. Measure and analyze 

Once the key elements of the process have been outlined, metrics and KPIs should be defined. 

Those, in turn, can be used to analyze the process. Or, in the event that the process is not yet designed, simulations can be used to predict process inputs and outputs. Typically, business process improvement tools, such as workflow management platforms, will be used to collect this data and measure the process. 

Once this is complete, business process managers can analyze the process and develop means for improvement.

3. Improve

Metrics should offer insight into what works and what doesn’t within a given process. 

That information, in turn, can then be used to develop processes that eliminate deficiencies, variability, defects, and inefficiencies. 

At this stage, among other things, business process managers can developing entirely new business models and processes that are more efficient, effective, and resilient.

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