Process Improvement
August 7, 2019

The Secret to Success with Business Process Modelling

There’s always something to improve on when it comes to business and day-to-day operational practices. To strategically reduce where inefficiencies lie and also create the proper pathways to redefine the process, business process modelling can help inform better business practices.

What is Business Process Modelling?

Also called process modelling, business process modelling is the use of illustrations to depict an organisation’s processes. It’s used for business process management.

Business process modelling looks at the current state of affairs rather than what can or will be in the future. It begins with outlining the processes on paper and then moves to digitisation. The primary goal is to show how things work now so you can establish what needs to be improved upon.

The Benefits of Business Process Modelling

If done correctly and with the right business process modelling tools, process modelling can help organisations by delivering the following outcomes:

Improved Efficiency:

  • When the process is outlined and clearly understood, inefficiencies can be quelled. Modelling allows for decision-makers to put in place procedures to align operations, improve process communication and overall operational effectiveness and efficiency.

Enforce Best Practices:

  • Anything measured can be managed.When you have a way to see and control processes, it is more likely to achieve consistency as the beginning and end of a process is clearly defined. Furthermore, those who are responsible for different pieces of the puzzle can be held accountable.

Process Agility:

  • The nature of business is ever-changing, so when a new regulation comes down the pipeline or technology is updated, you can naturally place these pieces into the process model to quickly adjust to the respective changes. This is especially true if you use business process automation software.

Transparency:

  • Within organisations, one of the top priorities for proper functioning is communication between departments and external stakeholders. When everyone can be on the same page, quite literally, there is a clear picture of how things work, which helps to avoid confusion or process delays.

Beat the Competition:

  • Ultimately, your goal is to deliver the best product and service on the market, which comes with being able to beat your competition. If your processes are flowing smoothly and you can operate at optimum efficiency, you will steer yourself ahead of competitors.

Business Process Modelling Perspectives

Process modelling approaches are structured based on the perspective. There are several identifiable aspects, including:

Functional:

  • This modelling focuses on describing the dynamic process, for example through data flow diagrams. Four symbols denote the process, namely: process, store, flow and external entity. This is a typical perspective for software and systems engineering.

Behavioural:

  • This perspective showcases the states and transitions between the states of the process. Events trigger state transitions. Real-time systems and telecommunications often rely on this modelling.

Structural:

  • The primary focus of this perspective is an entity, whether that be an object, concept or thing. It looks at the connection between the entity its relationship among other entities, as well as the attributes, or a value for the dynamic between an entity and its relationships.

Organisational:

  • The model outlines who and where the aspects of a process are completed.

Informational:

  • This showcases where information is produced and analysed.

Business Process Modelling Techniques

There are many techniques to approach business process modelling. Here’s a look at some standard paths to make it work:

Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN):

  • Makes use of lines, arrows and geometric shapes that symbolise the nuances of a process. Although it’s a relatively simple language, it still requires someone who knows how to interpret the meaning of the symbols to understand.

Universal Process Notation (UPN):

  • Intuitively, UPN provides a checkbox system to show who is responsible, when a task should be completed in the process and the completion of the job through the use of a check mark.

Flowcharts:

  • Flowcharts depict the input and outputs of steps in a process.

Gantt Chart:

  • Similar to a flowchart, a Gantt Chart also outlines an entire process, but rather than being described in chronological order, a Gantt Chart gives a more holistic overview by including the time taken for each piece.

Petri-Nets:

  • This model uses colour coding to categorise users and routes in different colours for easy understanding.

How to do Business Process Modelling

Ready to get started on your own business process modelling? Here’s your quick path to success:

  1. Model existing process: Use one of the methods mentioned above to outline current business processes (on paper or with software).
  2. Identify Inefficiencies: Question where and how the process could be improved.
  3. Design To Be Processes: Once you identify where the inefficiencies lie, you can put in place an approach to improve the process.


What is Needed in Business Process Modelling Software

The use of technology in the form of process modelling software can significantly alleviate the strain of process modelling off of any one individual. With the use of automation, deep analytics, and easy to read reports, you can leverage the modelling software tool to do the heavy lifting for you. The best software is:

  • Easy to learn.
  • Simple for teams to communicate with each other.
  • Inexpensive and industry compliant.
  • Able to simulate workflow before implementing it.

A Symbiotic Relationship: Business Process Modelling and Process Automation Tools

Business process modelling works with process automation tools to improve business functions. Having one without the order is like having a car without gas. With process modelling, you have the structure of how a process should work, but you need the automation tool to get the process moving from A to B in the most efficient manner.

Process automation tools are the application of how to take the theory of business process modelling and put it into action once you’ve used process modelling to assess how your business functions, you’ll want to use automation tools to achieve process improvement and maximise outputs.

For example, if you run a financial institution, you may outline the process of how a credit application gets approved. It may be a slow, tedious and repetitive task on behalf of an employee who must go through multiple steps to sign-off on one applicant. At the same time, they have to be concerned about compliance and compliance risk. So, you realise that a process inefficiency and fraud or human error danger lies in manual labour.

To improve the process, you can use a software automation tool like SolveXia which utilises robotic process automation (RPA), or a robot that can be trained to follow the steps the human takes to do the same work in less time with more accuracy. According to McKinsey & Company, the return on investment in just the first year of RPA can offer between 30-200% on labour savings.

Benefits of Process Automation on Business Process Modelling

With an automation tool in place, you can easily optimise and streamline business processes. The tool allows a robust overview of how current methods are being implemented and managed, and it also can provide reporting and dashboards to deduce the success of an ongoing process. When you’re ready to roll out a new processor update an existing practice, you can integrate the steps automatically and see its effects in real-time so that if you do fail, you can fail fast and revert until you redefine the process.

Furthermore, to optimise process automation itself, you can use business practice modelling to see who needs what data and compliance methods. The two work hand-in-hand to support one another in optimising business functions.

The Bottom Line

In effect, regardless of how you choose to implement business process modelling, you will move your business forward by enacting process improvements. Such improvements can be most efficiently deployed, managed, organised and analysed through the use of automation tools and software such as SolveXia.

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