A process model is a graphical representation of a process. Process modeling can be based on various notations and standards, such as BPMN 2.0. With the help of the model created or generated from process mining, process modeling uncovers optimization potential. Process compliance and compliance with company regulations can be documented and monitored through process modeling.
A process model distinguishes between actual processes and target processes. The creation of a process model is an important part of business process management and the process management lifecycle.
Why is a process model important?
Process models are important because they document existing processes and provide process knowledge. They can also be used to train new employees and be expanded into work instructions. Process analyses and optimizations can be carried out using process models, as they visually illustrate optimization potentials, such as duplicate process steps or bottlenecks. Process models are also used for process controlling, for example, to ensure business processes are compliant.
How is a process model created?
A basic process model is created using the process documentation in the process management lifecycle. Process information (i.e., information about the process flow as well as the persons and systems involved) is gathered by interviewing or observing employees or using process-relevant documentation. In process mining, process information is obtained from system data in event logs. The model creation is called process discovery.
The process is then mapped on the basis of the information obtained and in accordance with existing modeling guidelines. Modeling can be done manually, or with the help of low-code, drag and drop features, so you can customize your workflows, and incorporate the people, systems, and data you need, when and where you need them.
Finally, the models are checked and released. Entrepreneurial modeling guidelines must be taken into account during process modeling. If no guidelines exist, they should be developed to ensure uniform and comparable process models are created.
Here are the steps in creating a process model:
- Create modeling guidelines.
- Request or observe the process sequences.
- Model the processes.
- Check the model (technical and methodological).
- Publish the completed process models.
Why do process models differ in appearance?
The representation of a process model depends on the prevailing modeling guidelines. In other words, the modeling guidelines define the framework conditions for modeling. These include the level of detail, modeling direction, and language used as well as the objects used in the respective language. Models of the same process can differ greatly when different languages or objects are used.
In the following two sample processes, the process to “eliminate hunger” is modeled. In the first example, the model was created using the common modeling language BPMN. The second example shows the same process, but uses an event-driven process chain (EPK).
Example 1 (BPMN):