A process model is a graphical representation of a process. The model or modeling can be based on various notations and standards, such as BPMN 2.0. With the help of the model created or frequently generated in Process Mining, optimization potentials are uncovered. Furthermore, process compliance and compliance with company regulations can be checked. A process model distinguishes between actual processes and target processes / model. The creation of a process model is an important part of business process management and the process management lifecycle.
Why is a process model important?
Process models are important because they illustrate and document processes. They document the existing processes and thus the process knowledge. They can also be used to train new employees and be expanded into work instructions. Process analyses and optimizations can also be carried out using process models, as they visually illustrate optimization potentials such as duplicate process steps or bottlenecks. Process models are also used for process controlling, for example to check whether process compliance has been adhered to.
How is a process model created?
The basic process of model creation and modeling is always similar and basically corresponds to the process documentation in the process management lifecycle. First, process information is required, i.e. information about the process flow as well as the persons and systems involved. To obtain this information, employees can be interviewed or observed, or process-relevant documentation can be used. In Process Mining, the process information is obtained from system data, the event logs. There the model creation is called Process Discovery.
The process is then mapped on the basis of the information obtained and in accordance with the existing modeling guidelines. Modeling can be done manually or with the help of an appropriate program. Finally, the created models are checked and released. In addition, entrepreneurial modeling guidelines must be taken into account during process modeling. If no guidelines exist yet, they should be developed for the creation of uniform and comparable process models.
The creation of a process model therefore proceeds as follows:
1. Creating modeling guidelines
2. Requesting or observing the process sequences
3. Modeling of the process models
4. Checking the models (technical and methodological)
5. Publishing the process models
Why do process models differ in appearance?
The representation of the process model depends on the prevailing modeling guidelines in the company. The modeling guidelines define the framework conditions for modeling in a company. These include, for example, the level of detail, the modeling direction, the modeling language used, and the objects used in the respective language. Models of the same process can therefore differ greatly because different languages or objects were used.
In the following, the example process “Eliminate Hunger” is shown: In the first example, the model was created using the common modeling language BPMN. The second example shows the same process, but uses the event-driven process chain (EPK).
Example 1 (BPMN):
Example 2 (EPK):