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Process Modeling Series V: Value Proposition for Enterprise Process Modeling

Oops....the big question - what are the benefits and value proposition of Enterprise Process Modeling and how one can sustain them? - More closer to questions like benefits of Enterprise Architecture or benefits of BPM or benefits of SOA which researchers, academics and practitioners are trying to provide concrete and up-to-date answers. We need to be a little clearer here on how process modeling fits into an organization's wider programs/initiatives. There are multiple theories wherein one can fit process modeling: process modeling can be fitted into business architecture which is again part of enterprise architecture, one can fit process modeling into BPM initiative, or one can fit process modeling as part of the business excellence function of the enterprise which is to ensure business processes are improved upon, or one can fit process modeling into any other initiatives like lean management, six sigma etc. So, wherever enterprise wide process modeling fits into, I can list a standard set of 18 value propositions that can be achieved out of process modeling:

1.    Ensuring Robust Architecture - multi level architecture drill down with standard set of symbols and elements through modeling business processes

2.    End to End Process Connections - create and develop various views through modeling - enterprise value chain view, function view, business division view etc for decision making

3.    Consistent terminology/methodology - utilize consistent approach if the enterprise is using various tools - Aris, Casewise or Visio etc to make people speak same language

4.    Repository Control & Governance - establish high quality repository through governance for better reporting out of the process modeling tool used

5.    Process Improvement - Structure process models for improvement and enable root cause analysis and knowledge management through stakeholder involvement

6.    Best Practices Pool - develop best practices pool for modeling standards and identify quick wins for process modeling effort and improvement projects

7.    Knowledge Management using process models - collaborate, idea management, best practice management and learning aids

8.    Business Intentions and Process Models - Pilot or model organizational wide upcoming scenarios through process models; develop a live scenario and represent them through models

9.    Document Customer Journey - Build process model for particular customer journey to see handshakes and communication gaps

10.  ERP Package Implementation - standardize ways of analyzing processes supported by ERP and non ERP applications

11.  Process Measurement - Charting, reporting out of the process modeling tool and for business intelligence as whole

12.  Process Ownership - identify an owner to the process

13.  Enterprise Architecture Effort - Technology Architecture is to be supported by Business Architecture or the vice versa - model business process to support technology decisions

14.  Simulation - Model first to simulate and identify critical paths (though the real time usage of business process simulation is less utilized in business enterprises)

15.  Impact Analysis - business impact analysis through process models and their associations

16.  Help define new processes - you need to model it to socialize it

17.  Process Reusability Scenarios - standardization and harmonization is possible through process modeling at first place

18.  IT Requirements modeling - surely will help for robust requirements and minimal missing requirements and I have practically experienced this

Without a clear picture on value of process modeling, it is definitely going to be a turbulent journey all the way - if organizations are starting with a process modeling journey it is advisable to have a structured 3 months, 6 months and 12 months goal and ways to achieve them. Without destination, the journey can take any path and might not be useful as it will not be there when it is needed. Ensuring that the "motivation" aspect of the process modeling framework that I have talked about earlier is in place will breed success for the effort. There are various other frameworks that practitioners can adopt including balanced scorecard, process maturity analysis framework etc to define and govern process modeling value proposition. Understanding the business scenarios which are to be tackled within the enterprise - M&A scenario, Business Unit Transformation scenario etc can further help define goals and utilize process modeling which definitely can be used to talk loud on value proposition. If process modeling and analysis is used for Enterprise Decision Management that is the ultimate trophy for process modeling effort; EDM mostly utilizes business analytics and intelligence stream for decision making.

Chart out your journey for process modeling and then ensure that value proposition is listed out all along the journey goals!

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