Business process modeling is a crucial stage to the BPM methodology when we analyze the process and model it to the way we want it to be. To do that, some tools are available. One of them is the business process modeling notation, a method that illustrates the process in a clear and simple way, made for management personnel, analysts, developers, and staff.
What is Business Process Modeling Notation?
This method was firstly visualized to improve communication between sectors and people since it structures and shows the process. However, it does much more than that, allowing picturing the process in a way never done before. We can only change what we can understand, and we can only understand what we can visualize.
Business process modeling notation specifies the business process in a diagram or flowchart that is easy to read for both the technical users and the business users. It is intuitive and allows the representation of complex process details. Business process modeling notation serves as a common language, putting an end to the gap that usually happens between the process modeling and the actual execution.
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How is the business process modeling notation done?
The notation works with symbols that represent an action. Let us take for example a travel agency that received a question from a possible customer about a trip. The process of travel plan quote starts with the request, passes through the quotation of airline tickets, car rental, hotels and touristic tours. Then everything is put together and consolidated, finishing with the sending of the proposal. If accepted, a new process will start, with the sale. Each one of these steps described here is represented in the diagram by a symbol, making the process a standard in the company, and understood by all.
We can identify three kinds of flow elements that represent the process behavior:
- Activities – the work that is performed, something that is done (for example the hotel quotation), symbolized by a square.
- Events – the occurrences, something that happens (for example the start or end of the process, the request for the plan), symbolized by a circle.
- Gateways – decision points that determine the path that is going to be followed (for example the decision to consolidate all the information), symbolized by diamonds.
There are three ways of categorizing the elements in a diagram, and they are called swim lanes:
- Pools – represent visual categories and major participants in the process.
- Lanes – a pool has many lanes, which picture the roles, areas and responsibilities in the process.
- Artifacts – although they are not swimlanes, they bring more details to the diagram, allowing extra information to be shared.
The flow elements have to be connected to each other, and this is done by connecting objects. They also come in three types:
- Sequence flow – it shows in which order the activities are performed, and it is symbolized by a solid line and arrow ahead.
- Message flow – it indicates what messages flow through the process, and is represented by a dashed line, an open circle at the start, and an open arrowhead at the end.
- Association – it connects an artifact to a flow object and is symbolized by a dotted line.
Final information on Business Process Modeling Notation
It may seem complex to implement this way of modeling. It is not, however, the case. When the technicians, employees, and managers, internalize all the symbols and data it is simple to read and even modify the flowchart. The benefits that this will bring to your organization are many: a standard process, clear communication, and precise execution are some of them.
It is essential to count on a reliable software when implementing business process modeling notation in your company. It will set the difference between a successful project and a confused, useless modeling. Start to model your processes with the notation method and see the results in the numbers! Now that you know what business process modeling notation is, read more about what SaaS is and how it can help your company now.