Business Process Modelling is the new standard to model business process ﬂows for capturing and graphically documenting the processes of an organization to know how they conduct their processes. It is the second step of the Business Process Management (BPM) life cycle which typically describes in a graphical way at least the activities, events/states, and control ﬂow logic that constitute a business process. It has been practiced within organizations for a long time for a variety of purposes, such as documentation or workﬂow implementation and to deconstruct organizational complexity.
Business Process Modeling Languages:
As business process modelling is based on a variety of graphical elements, different languages have emerged from the many initiatives that deliberately focused on this purpose. This was an inevitable result of the recent increasing interest from industry, academic faculties and research groups in languages and tools to supplement the (re)design of business processes under the banner of BPM. Out of these different initiatives, the BPMN and EPC languages have had the most attention from industry and academic groups.
Before I start talking about BPM languages, this clip explains what is Business Process Modeling Notations as first language of Business Process Modeling
1-Business Process Modeling Notations (BPMN):
BPMN was released to the public in 1994 by BPMI. It was a result of two years of hard effort by the BPMI Notation Working Group. White (2004) states that BPMN “defines a Business Process Diagram (BPD), which is based on a flowcharting technique tailored for creating graphical models of business process operations. A Business Process Model, then, is a network of graphical objects, which are activities (i.e., work) and the flow controls that define their order of performance”. The basic goal of BPMN was to provide a modelling language that is readily understandable by all business users. Furthermore, BPMN is meant to unify many types of modelling and allows the creation of end-to-end business processes.
2- Event-Based Process Chains (EPC):
On the other hand, Event-driven process Chains (EPC) is another significant modelling language that was introduced by Keller in 1992. Luke defines Event-driven process Chains (EPC) as a “graphical model for representing business process from an organizational point of view”. Furthermore, this modelling language is targeted to depict the level of business logic of the processes, not necessarily diving much into detailed levels. As EPC is used in tools such as SAP, which is the leading enterprise system industry with 7500 companies, and ARIS, which is the leading BPR market product with 7000 licenses, the technique has become popular among business process modelling languages.
Benefits of Process Modeling:
Business Process Modelling is a “modern term and methodology” which evolved via “different stages and names, beginning during the ‘division of labour’ of the late 1700s”. Moreover, it is a technique to develop the effectiveness and quality of the organization. It has several benefits:
1- Grows productivity between employees and mitigates head count.
2- Generates discipline among employees and increases the level of motivation between them .
3- Maximizes operational efficiency or minimizes errors, expenses and management time .
4-“Facilitate[s] automated and efficient process flow” .
From these benefits, it can clearly be seen that business process modelling aims to improve “business performance by optimising the efficiency of connecting activities in the provision of a product or service”.
Challenges of Process Modelling:
1-Lack of strategic connection:
Process modelling is supposed to contain a confirmable connection to one or many significant business issues. Otherwise, it is considered as a form of waste and this does not support process work.
2-Lack of governance:
Appropriate organizational roles, duties and responsibilities to align rewards and lead actions in process modelling should be adopted by governance. If not, there will be poor knowledge of the owner of the process, no evaluation of success, and a lack of clarity.
3-Lack of qualified modelers:
A business process analyst needs more than an advanced modelling tool. Organizations pay great attention on explaining the keystrokes of the modelling tools rather than training the next generation of process modellers. However, what business process modelling needs are specific skills, which are different to the classical profile of a business analyst.
4-Lack of details:
The limitations of the selected modelling language and tool that derive from the history of these modelling techniques result in annoying constraints about what parts of a process can be modelled.
5-Lack of complementary methodologies:
Many tool vendors do not offer a comprehensive, accepted and investigated methodology. It is essential to get a methodology that can support the whole business process lifecycle.