There are many ways to illustrate the processes that we use in the companies we work for, in the projects we’re completing, and in our everyday operations. But one highly effective method is through process modeling and analysis. As a Business Analyst, you may have heard of these terms, but if you’re not aware of their dynamics and their utility in the business world, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Not to worry though, I’m here to help with that!
In this article, we’ll introduce and explore both process modeling and process analysis separately, and how they work together. Let’s start with process modeling.
Modeling, as the term implies, refers to a pictorial representation of facts and figures, along with their context. All the data given regarding a process is fused together to build a model of the process they’re connected by to make the process more comprehensive and easily describable.
Process modeling is actually everywhere in business analysis. Technically speaking, the rough flowchart you depict to your colleague on a scrap of paper to convey an idea is also an example of process modeling. However, professionally speaking, business process modeling involves using symbols, shapes, graphs, color variations, and dozens of similar features.
In short, process modeling is a merger between theoretical working and practical visualization of any business process. It can be fiscal management, employee onboarding, resource allocation, energy efficiency, and so on.
How Process Modeling Works
Process modeling takes place in the following sequence:
Process modeling is based on the representation of alphanumeric data. Although a lot happens when a process is outside the written framework, process modeling attempts to boil it all down to words, numbers, shapes, and lines. Data gathering and compilation occur for this purpose.
For any single process, there are numerous possibilities when it comes to modeling. However, each process model has many pros and cons, which become visible only when you attempt to construct them. Trial and error are present at each stage of business planning, and process modeling is no exception. In order to get a model that is most technically, literally, and contextually correct, business analysts often have to design multiple models.
Processing the Final Model
Once you’ve decided on a model, it can be added to the company’s portfolio and also serve as a guideline for your own projects in the future.
The Benefits of Process Modeling
Process modeling expands your vision of the process you’re dealing with. It offers clarity and allows you to perceive a bigger picture beyond the current model. Here’s how process modeling can help business analysts:
1. Align Your Business Model With Strategies
Since business process modeling takes into account the particulars of a certain project, it helps us understand its trajectory when it comes to your goals. It also allows for a bit of tweaking and adjustment if something seems out of range or incompatible with other strategies.
2. Communication Pipelines
Communication is vital for any process to be successfully accomplished and operated. While everyone has their own method of communication, there are often entire business processes that keep lagging due to haphazard communication models.
However, process modeling is one of the most effective ways of depicting the demands and the flow of communication at all levels of the process. Since the model also elaborates on the dynamics of the process, it helps everyone involved understand and explain their perspective on and progress with the process.
3. Well-Planned Working Mechanism
Process modeling also helps put everything in perspective. Every plan needs a visual depiction of how things will proceed from start to finish.
With a well-designed process model, the investors, admins, creatives, logistical staff, and other concerned departments are able to integrate their utility and power more visibily. Simply put, building a business process model allows you to conceptualize a working mechanism that suits everybody.
4. Helps Eliminate Faults
If high-tech machinery gets infiltrated with even a bit of debris, it can significantly downgrade its efficiency in terms of cost, energy, and time.
Similarly, unless you build a working plan of a process, you won’t be able to pinpoint the problem areas that may remain unnoticed without a visualized model. The process model represents all streams of input, workflow, and output to figure out where there’s a lack of efficiency.
5. Increases Organizational Competence
A process model enables business analysts to demonstrate how the organization can maximize its communications, efficiency, resource management, and improve collective efforts in order to work on larger, long-term business goals.
Enough about process modeling. What about process analysis?
Process analysis refers to the analysis of the business process model. This stage builds upon the previous one, and all analysis is strictly dependent on the context and the depiction evident in the model. Process analysis offers a deeper understanding of the layered complexity of seemingly simple processes.
Here’s how it works:
Method of Process Analysis
The process model poses all strong points, weak areas, and the chain of events that connect the various components of the model. All the data of the model has a main role in the analysis.
Interpretation is partly dependent on the model presented for analysis and is partly influenced by the analyst’s tendencies. Interpretation of the model enables business analysts to highlight potential issues and root their causes within the model.
3. Problem Solving
The final step is value-addition to the current model. This includes redirection of workflow, fiscal re-arrangements, timelines, and so on. A quality process analysis of a business process model is only possible when the process model is correct in all literal, contextual, and business terms.
Benefits of Process Analysis
There is a range of benefits when it comes to process analysis. Here are just a few:
Improves business process models.
- Provides suggestions to boost efficiency and eliminate faults.
- Allows you to experiment in new ways by redesigning process models.
- Provides key suggestions in figuring out long-term goals.
- Sheds light on ways to grow in all sorts of market conditions.
Some Final Words
As you can probably see, process modeling and analysis are two very important skills to have in the world of business analysis.
As a business analyst, knowing these two skills makes you more employable and valuable to a firm. Not to mention, it improves your business analysis skills considerably.
If your knowledge of process modeling and analysis is a bit lacking, consider learning more and then banking on these skills to boost your business analysis career.
If you think that this type of visual mapping is an area that you can improve in, check out my course ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Process Flowcharts’ to learn more!
– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, The BA Guide