Business Process Modeling 101

Business Process Modeling is a subset of Business Process Management (BPM).  It is a very powerful methodology.  Here’s how you can model your critical business processes on the cheap. #DIY

  1. DIY - Do it yourselfStart with a “day in the life of my customer” exercise.  You will need a scribe.  The scribe should be a critical thinker with a quick pen and an eye for small details.  Walk in their shoes for a day and have your scribe take copious notes.  You just think and talk out loud.
  2. Discover YOUR “events” and “triggers”.  An event is something that happens in your business on a fairly predictable basis (i.e. a daily delivery, morning report).  A trigger is something that happens in your business that is fairly random but necessary. Think of a 1950s retailer’s door.  The one with the old fashioned bell above the door that would ring when the door opened.  Random but necessary.  As the come to you, write them down.  Keep events and triggers separate for now.
  3. Start asking yourself and your employees the “decision checkpoint” (DCP) questions.  Example: What if he hasn’t paid his bill in 90 days?  Don’t worry about the answers just yet.  But document your DCP questions as they come to you.  Just tell Siri to do it 🙂
  4. Document your EXCEPTIONS.  They are all around you.  You deal with them everyday.  You just need to document them.  The easiest way to identify an EXCEPTION is ask yourself and/or your employees the following question OFTEN: “This always works EXCEPT when _________________?”
  5. Pull all of the above together one night or weekend and try to make sense of it.  Put it on a big board if necessary.  Maybe you can use your iPad or Laptop to DIAGRAM the process.  Hence the term “process modeling”

You can thank me later:-) If you need me, you know where to find me or you can just click HERE.  Have fun with BPM.  She can be a great friend to your bottomline.

Written by John Rector

John Rector is the President at Social Media Target, LLC. He is the co-founder of E2OPEN. His original works (videos, images and blog posts) are seen by millions of social media users daily. At IBM, he implemented Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions at the top 50 electronics companies in Asia, The Americas and Europe. He is the winner of six Golden Circles.

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