Process documentation involves recording the existing actual processes and target processes. To save this information, process models are usually created. Internal company guidelines or general standards, such as BPMN, ensure that the process models are uniform and comparable. Process documentation is part of the process management life cycle.
The reasons why companies document their processes can vary greatly. On the one hand, processes are documented to record knowledge about the processes and their procedures. Work instructions can be derived from documented processes and used to train new employees. On the other hand, good documentation allows the modeled processes to be analyzed, and thus bottlenecks and optimization potentials to be found. The documented models also provide an important insight into the degree of standardization of business processes. It is also conceivable to assign responsibilities and plan capacities on the basis of the process models. If necessary, requirements for new software can also be derived from the processes and the individual work steps.
First of all, it must be established at which level of detail processes are to be documented. This depends on the process strategy and the process architecture derived from it. Subsequently, guidelines for creating models must be formulated. Such guidelines can include modeling direction, modeling language, or objects being used. If an existing modeling language or notation is used, such as BPMN or EPK, the creation of modeling guidelines becomes easier.
But the human component should not be neglected here. The executing personnel have in-depth knowledge of the detailed process flows, and conversations and interviews can decode and document this knowledge. Only then does it make sense to model the processes in accordance with the guidelines.
In order to ensure the models represent the respective processes correctly, a person with specialist knowledge and a person with knowledge of the modeling guidelines should review them again. After these quality assurance tasks are complete, the process models can be published.
Related terms: Process Management Lifecycle, Process Model
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