This video describes the the different types of modeling diagrams and the purpose of each one.
- Throughout the world, organizations use models and modeling as a cost-effective way to share and demonstrate the concepts and designs to large audiences to receive feedback on what is to come. You may know this as prototyping. Organizations use business process modeling tools in the same way to determine what is being performed today in our current state and what is planned as the expected future state. Process modeling captures the interrelationships between the people, processes, activities, and systems in delivering the expected outcome.
I want to share with you the four most commonly used business modeling tools at a high-level overview. The first tool is referred to as the context diagram. The context diagram provides the high-level framework and interaction of an organization. The context diagram depicts the organization that is being analyzed as shown as a circle, the external entities that connect to the area or system being analyzed represented by boxes, and lastly the relationship of interactions between the organization and the external entities.
These are shown as the arrows. The context diagram is commonly used in understanding and documenting the interrelationship between those outside of the organization, namely the external entities, and the touchpoints into your organization. As can be seen by the diagram, our focus here are the interrelationships and activities that are either initiated or needed by the organization. We now arrive at our next diagram, the functional flow diagram. The functional flow diagram is a simple model showing the functional areas or stakeholders internally to our organization and how they interact in a logical overall flow of work.
The functional flow diagram always starts with a stakeholder, usually the customer or another entity external to the organization, initiating a transaction. Stakeholders and internal functional areas are captured in the ovals. Then the appropriate relationships and workflows are drawn between these stakeholder groups. As we continue our journey down into the next level of detail, we start creating cross-functional flow diagrams as a way to capture and sequentially display the activities that are performed.
The stakeholders are also referred to as actors in the process. Remembering an actor can be a person, system, or functional area. Cross-functional flow diagrams are also referred to as activity diagrams and swim lane diagrams. These diagrams organize activity sequences that displays the process in the context of the actors responsible for performing the work. This added structure makes it very easy to read and quickly identifies the individual actor's work as well as cross-functional interactions needed.
These diagrams are very effective in visually sharing a process is performed from start to finish and what each and every stakeholder or actor needs to perform to enable completion of the activity. Finally, we come to the fourth type of modeling known as process flowcharting. These traditional process flow models show the sequential flow of activities, decision points and other interactions. Process flow models are used as a way to capture the step-by-step procedures and activities performed by an individual actor.
These process describe who and what has to be involved in fully responding to an event or how people in the enterprise collaborate to achieve a goal. These process workflow models are the lower-level detail not represented in the cross-functional swim lane models. By visually starting with the big picture, we cascade into finer detail and create the fourth business process modeling diagrams, the context diagram, the functional flow diagram, the cross-functional flow diagram, and the process flow chart.
These four business process models should now form the basis of your business process modeling toolbox.
- Using common modeling tools
- Determining when to use a particular modeling diagram
- Avoiding the pitfalls associated with each diagram
- Creating diagrams
- Leveraging key stakeholders