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 in process mining, process modeling uncovers optimization potentials. Furthermore, process compliance and compliance with company regulations can be checked 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 life cycle.
Why is a process model important?
Process models are important because they document existing processes and thus process knowledge. They can also be used to train new employees and can be expanded into work instructions. Process analyses and optimizations can also 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 check whether process compliance has been adhered to.
How is a process model created?
A basic process model is created corresponding to the process documentation in the process management life cycle. First, process information is required (i.e., information about the process flow as well as the persons and systems involved). To obtain this information, interview or observe employees or use process-relevant documentation. In process mining, the process information is obtained from system data in the 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 an appropriate program. Finally, the models are checked and released. In addition, entrepreneurial modeling guidelines must be taken into account during process modeling. If no guidelines exist, they should be developed to support creating uniform and comparable process models.
Process model creation proceeds as follows:
- Creating modeling guidelines
- Requesting or observing the process sequences.
- Modeling the process models.
- Checking the model (technical and methodological).
- Publishing the process models.
Why do process models differ in appearance?
The representation of the process model depends on the prevailing modeling guidelines in a company. The modeling guidelines define the framework conditions for modeling in a company. These include, for example, the level of detail, the modeling direction, the modeling language used, and the objects used in the respective language. Models of the same process can therefore differ greatly because different languages or objects were used.
In the following, the example process “eliminate hunger” is shown. 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):