Sunday, November 3, 2013

Process Design vs. Process Modeling

Processes underpin business capabilities; capabilities decide business's competitive advantage. 

In a nutshell, Process Design may be described as the larger activity of creating new processes or improving on existing ones, while Process Modeling may be described as a part of the overall design phase which aids in process analysis. In designing the process the analyst would need to rely on a several tools and skills. One of them would be Process Modeling. This is where the analyst examines the “as-is” by making a graphical representation of the model using illustrations. After “drawing” out the process, the analyst would find it a lot easier to measure the relevant process metrics.

Process Analysis vs. Process Design vs. Process Modeling: A first distinction should be drawn between process analysis and process design. Analysis is conceptual (what is done, what is needed) and describes the problem and what can be done for existing "as-is" processes or for future "to-be" processes (what is needed). Process design is logical (how it is or will be done) and describes a solution. - It's more detailed than process analysis and is constrained by the requirements that come out of analysis. Design is usually only done on "to be" future processes because the existing "as-is" processes are already designed. Both process analysis and process designs are done using process documentation. This documentation should contain text, diagrams and numbers. The creation of this process documentation is called process modeling. The resulting process document contains "process models"
-Process Analysis - Document how an existing process works / flows
-Process Re-Engineering - Making improvements to an existing process
-Process Design - Creating a new process (one that does not exist in the organization already)
-Process Model: Documenting and getting process on a production environment. 

Designing and modeling are the two sides that make a bit of metal a coin. Design is figuring out what to do and how. Modeling is testing the practicality, efficiency and effectiveness of your design. Modeling is a means to capture and communicate design. Modeling and models can be also a driver for a thinking/design process, especially when done in collaboration. Design is the thinking part; modeling is the documentation part. Modeling is for getting the process on a production environment, design is the process to be understood by peers and stakeholders.

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These activities are continuous improvement cycle. Process design is when an analyst looks at how things are currently being done (as-is) in an organization and creates better processes. Process design means to identify existing processes and focus on the area like SLA, representation of the process flow, provide solution on bottlenecks during process flow etc. Then based on these factors, process professionals design the process and prepare the process design document. So outcome is theoretical design. Process Modeling means representing a sequence of activities, events, decision gateways, links the sequence from end to end and taking the theoretical design to implementation using BPM tool. These activities are cyclic; you design the process, then Model, execute, monitor, optimize then again back to design. It's continuous improvement cycle.

In context, Process Design is the blueprint for the selected implementation after you have modeled the process, evaluated and selected a design you are going with, your intent with design is to go forward with the implementation. Modeling can be seen as an evaluation activity (simulation and/or analytics review) prior, during or after the design phase. Process models allow analysts to manage large volumes of activities and run simulation events to identify areas in a process that can be changed and optimized. That said, modeling and design are not ONE shot activities. As soon as the design is implemented, the improvement team goes into a feedback loop to new evaluate models.  
You have to balance the art and science that goes back and forth between Process Design and Process Modeling in order to managing business process life cycle successfully.


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