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Business Process Modeling: The “Why”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 by Slaughter Development

Business Process Modeling (BPM) software is becoming more and more popular in large organizations. A writer for ebiz helps explain why these tools are gaining traction.

In a brief article, Scott Cleveland offers three reasons why people consider business process modeling solutions:

1) It takes too long for things to move through their process

2) The process appears to be error prone

3) Compliance

Each of these examples are spot on, and are worthy of an entire blog post in themselves. In the case of a slow business process, there may be redundant steps or a lack of resources.  If there are business process errors, the result can be frustration or outright failure. And if a there are government requirements surrounding process compliance, there could be serious ramifications if not followed.

Cleveland also outlines two essential outcomes of business process modeling: control and visibility. He writes:

Control - If you have dictated that there will be 10 steps in a process, there will be 10 steps. The software makes sure that all 10 steps take place. There are executive over-rides, but if they are taken the software will show who did it and when.

Visibility - At any time in a process, people are able to see what step is being worked on and whose desk it is on. You will be able to gather ‘wall time’ and see potential bottlenecks. This allows you to ‘tweak’ your process to make it more efficient.

In the case of large organizations, it may be wise to consider purchasing business process modeling software. But for any company or non-profit, the important step is to actually conduct business process modelingInstead of just winging everyday business activities, why not take the time to try and draw out the sequence, the steps and the major decision points? Why not try to understand what you are actually doing?

Here at The Methodology Blog, we’ve congratulated BPM software vendors before. But at the same time, software may not be the answer. To quote ourselves:

The challenge is not that we don’t have good software applications for conducting detail business process modeling work, but rather that most employees do not have a process-oriented mindset. Instead, stakeholders at all levels tend to be outcome-oriented.

You may want to consider purchasing business process modeling software. But first: model your business processes! And if you need help, call on the business process modeling experts at Slaughter Development.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

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Summit: Power Modeling - Self Training - The second session at the Indianapolis Productivity Summit was dedicated to Power Modeling, a series of techniques for self training on technology tools. Read on »
Process Automation and Morale - The local Indianapolis telephone services company, Interactive Intelligence, has announced “communications-based process automation.” The offering sounds great for management, but what about for employees? Read on »

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