Process Modeling & The Tools You’ll Need

If you have a business in 2022, understanding organizational structure and hierarchy may seem complicated enough, but have you considered whether or not your processes are working to their maximum efficiency?

Process modeling allows you to visualize your business processes and better understand how well your current methods are working. By incorporating process modeling, businesses can be managed more effectively and made more efficient. 

Benefits of Process Modeling 

Business process modeling is divided into several key steps, such as process mapping, discovery, simulation, analysis, and improvement. By giving you a holistic understanding of your processes, you can improve the quality of your product and the efficiency of your work. There are quite a few benefits of process modeling, which include:

Improving organizational communication

A multitude of organizations are victims of rapid growth and disconnect between departments. Although initially having departments that run effectively, many companies have departments that currently work in silos — separated from each other unless there is a bottleneck within the organization. After process modeling occurs, team members should clearly understand each other, the roles each person plays, and who should be contacted in the event of a bottleneck.

Documentation provides a common, unified language and methodology for communicating processes information and guidelines for existing processes. As an organization shifts and changes, improved organizational communication through documentation gives every new employee a baseline understanding of how the company structure works. 

Increasing operational efficiency 

To find what is working, you have to identify what isn’t. By documenting each business process, you’ll be able to identify bottlenecks and their root cause — not just an employee issue. Noting redundancies in time or time lost to manual task management can be better observed and resolved by increasing operational efficiency through process modeling. 

By decreasing operational hurdles, you can increase productivity by giving your employees the bandwidth they need to complete tasks and track their progress through shared goals proactively. 

Increased transparency 

Do you think it would be more effective if everyone understood how your business worked? Business process modeling allows each member of your organization to think holistically and understand where issues are arising. If some departments are overloaded while others have downtime, you can address the problems of the challenged department by eliminating repetitive work and errors, increasing labor, or integrating automation. 

Additionally, if one department is more successful than another because of their processes, you can use process standardization techniques and implement company-wide changes to optimize your internal procedures.

Gain a competitive advantage 

By documenting, simulating, and improving business processes through process modeling, your business can be better prepared to adapt to changes. With only 52% of companies occasionally reporting that they do process modeling, organizations that process models have a distinct advantage over those that fail to. 

Organizations that have taken advantage of the methodology can track the benefits of new implementations or understand where they are facing inefficiencies within the company. In contrast, businesses without any type of process modeling are essentially playing a guessing game. 

Every day, new innovations and technology market themselves as business “fixers”, but only those businesses that have an idea of their current process model can fully understand if a new technology or innovation is helping their bottom line and its employees. 

Process Modeling Techniques

Process modeling isn’t easy. First, you need to understand your options, evaluate your necessary tools and bandwidth, and then finally implement the business process management that your organization adopts. There are a few different business process modeling techniques you can choose from.

Business process modeling notation: BPMN is a relatively straightforward approach that uses symbols to represent business processes. As the technique is intuitive, it is preferred by organizations with both technical and non-technical personnel. BPMN works based on flow charts and graphical notations divided into flow objects, connecting objects, swimlanes, and artifacts.

Unified Modeling Language: UML is a modern approach to modeling and documenting processes. The main distinction between UML and BPMN is that UML is object-oriented, whereas BPMN is a process-oriented approach.

Flowcharts: Flowcharts are an entry-level introduction to anyone who has had to manage some business process. Although flowcharts are straightforward, they can only showcase one business process at a time. Therefore, the drawback of this favored approach is that it can not give you a holistic view of your organization. 

Gantt Charts: Gantt charts are a popular tool for business process modeling. They are used to visualize and track the progress of tasks, making it easy to see which tasks depend on each other and identify potential bottlenecks.

Gantt charts can be created using software such as Microsoft Excel or online tools such as Smartsheet. To create a Gantt chart, you first need to list out all of the tasks that need to be completed, along with their deadlines. Then, you can start assigning each task to a specific team member or individual. 

However, Gantt charts are individual-based, meaning they should not be a source for creating an overhaul of your business process strategy. 

Implementing Business Process Modeling

Implementing business process modeling into action is easier said than done. Not only will you need to create the entire business process model from scratch, but you’ll also be tasked with maintenance and ensuring that there are no bottlenecks. If you implement new processes due to the modeling procedure, you’ll also have to track the effectiveness of each new process. 

Not to mention, implementing a business process change is influenced by decision after decision. From software, like process engines and business analytics automation to collaboration tools and content management, business process modeling is no small feat. 

Partnering with a Process Modeling Expert

Finding the right partner is essential to improving your current processes. Many organizations don’t realize that they’re paying for outdated services, trying to implement new technology with limited working knowledge, and increasing their organizational silos. 

Populus Technology has guided organizations in successfully creating custom process modeling and management solutions instituting new technologies for years. If you want to position yourself for success, consider reaching out to Populus today. 

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