Business process modeling, or BPM, aims to capture processes and interactions between different departments and identify unresolved issues and bottlenecks. Let’s take a look at the business process model structure. We can think of the process model as levels with a hierarchical structure that classifies all of the organization’s processes to make it easier to optimize the results. It includes a mega process that forms the core value, backoffice outsourcing, a major process that represents a collection of subprocesses, and then comes the subprocess itself. The next step is activity, and finally – a task, which is performed to complete an activity.
BPM Essential Tools
Let’s review business process modeling tools and techniques to understand what can actually help you ensure your business processes are consistent, effective, and goal-oriented.
- Role activity diagrams. This type of diagram is commonly used to delineate the expectations of a company about its future role, place in the market, behaviors, etc.
- Flowchart technique. Flowcharts demonstrate activities in business processes in sequential order from the very beginning to the outcome.
- Data flow diagrams. They visualize how information moves from one place to another.
- Role interaction diagrams. Business owners often need them to understand the interaction of various processes with each other in a system. There are two major types of diagrams that might come in handy in your business, namely, sequence diagrams and collaboration diagrams.
- UML activity diagram. Actually, the Unified Modeling Language activity diagram was created for the visualization, documentation, and specification of software systems. But now it’s also adapted to business model processes.
- Gantt charts. They display the total time spent on a specific project and allow tracking of the project timeline.
- Colored Petri nets. They categorize or highlight users, roots, and complex workflow steps.
- Pert charts. These tools not only show the critical path to be followed to achieve results but also help you define a realistic timeframe for a certain process.
Benefits to Consider
Among the key benefits you get from BPM, workflow optimization should be mentioned. BPM allows streamlining processes by up to 50% in just several days. It also allows for improving collaboration by about 60%. And 65% of the respondents in the survey conducted by the Technology Evaluation Center saw improvements in customer experience. And finally, BMP provides higher efficiency as cycle time is reduced by almost 50%, which is quite impressive, especially for small businesses.
Dedicated BPM Software
It’s not only your management but also the IT department that should be involved in designing and implementing your chosen BPM strategy. The point is without dedicated software, your attempt to improve your business operations might turn into a dreary and ineffective undertaking. To have an edge on your competitors and match the constantly changing digital ecosystem, you need to take advantage of BPM tools that were designed with businesses in mind.
There are plenty of free options out there that can help you define the current state of your business, outline possible solutions to unblock existing bottlenecks, automate certain tasks, enhance collaboration, etc. Among the most popular tools available on the market are Gliffy, Lucidchart, Modelio, Open ModelSphere, and others.
Still, despite the obvious advantages inherent in open-source software, you might want to give custom software development a try. You can develop a solution that will be tailored specifically to your individual business needs. And if you don’t have a team of in-house specialists at your disposal, you can always hire those who will help you design a truly effective BPM app for your business.
How to Create an Efficient Business Process Model?
First things first, you should define the process to be modeled in your business operation. Clarify who or what is responsible for each stage. Next, include the start point to illustrate the process. After determining each subsequent stage involving solutions in between, arrange those in order, track a real business process, and collate it into the chosen model.
The final stage involves designing your future business model. Here, you need to determine how to fix problems in the model, transform the proposed improvements into stages, and place them in a previous model. And finally, implement the newest model. Even slight improvements and processes help organizations operate more efficiently and give them a competitive edge. This makes business process modeling very important. And it can surely make sense for your business as well.