Business Process Modelling is a visual representation of how a company comes together and performs the work and services needed. It allows us to capture how the different parts of the organization interact with each other. They allow us to represent the current state, describe the future, and find gaps.
- Clears the steps needed in a process.
- Builds the understanding of how people and technologies interact to create the outcomes.
1. Context Diagram
It provides an understanding of how the organization fits within the outside world through a visual diagram. It provides a high level of detail, and each component can be drilled down for more details using other diagrams.
It is used to understand the relationships the organization has with external entities. This allows the company to identify any significant impacts of a change throughout an organization.
Context diagrams have three components: entities, relationships, and processes.
Organizations interact with external entities such as customers, suppliers, and contractors. These are represented as boxes in the diagram. A circle represents the primary entity, i.e., the organization.
Arrows show relationships between the organization and the entity. The direction of the arrow shows whether the interactions are incoming or outgoing.
2. Functional Flow Diagram
Once we have created the context diagram, we understand where the organization fits. Now, we need to understand each interaction the organization has.
It is a simple model showing each stakeholder internal to the organization and how they interact in the workflow. It starts with the external entity initiating the activity and captures the actions to complete the transaction.
These diagrams effectively show how data, activities, and information are passed between the organization’s functional areas.
The diagram is started with a stakeholder, usually the customer or an external entity initiating the interaction. The entity starts or triggers the activity, such as an online purchase. A functional flow diagram has one external entity that initiates the action and then has internal functional areas that complete the activity. Ovals represent all entities. Arrows are used to indicate the relationship between entities. The functions flow starts and ends with the initiator(external entity).
3. Cross-Functional Flow Diagram
It is used to capture and order the activities performed by the various functional areas. It illustrates a flow of events between the different functional areas. It is used to identify and break down complex business processes. It can be used to find where companies are inefficient and areas for improvement. It helps everyone understand who needs to perform what and in what sequence to complete a process.
It represents the different functional areas in a lane and encompasses all activities performed by that area in its lane. Only actors involved in the process are part of the diagram. It allows us to see who is involved in a process at a glance.
4. Flowchart Diagram
They are called process maps and document the activities a single actor performs at the lowest detail. It is used to break down complex processes and identify inefficiencies. It becomes the single source of truth for what needs to be done and in which sequence. It ensures the process delivers a consistent outcome.
A single activity performed by an individual is captured from start to end, allowing us to isolate each activity and refine and assess the activity. Flowchart diagrams should always trace back to their parent cross-functional diagrams.