Management Wednesday: BPM Modeling - not charts anymore #bpm

After one has accomplished the scoping phase, then the team should move on to modeling. Due to the large amount of time spent scoping, many scenarios will come to light: “What if I have 50% of the resources to accomplish the same task?” “What if we were successful only because of a natural disaster which caused our competition’s supply to dwindle?”

One’s team will model how the process(es) might operate under different assumptions, and multivariate scenarios. Thanks to the birth of the transistor, it is becoming reality to be able to complete round-trip engineering and simulations. Back in the 20th century, entities utilized PERT diagrams, Gantt charts, and other interesting flow chart visual aides. A thought leader took S. William’s 1967 article about business process modeling to create UML. UML is Unified Modeling Language. UML is commonly found in the software engineering landscape. It wasn’t until the 1990s when universities started to teach UML. Personally, I use Octave in conjunction with probabilistic graph modeling (statistical analysis tool and methodology,) BlueWorks (SaaS based software,) and WebSphere (application) to get the information my team needs at their finger tips whenever they need to “play with the numbers” at any time / place.

At the most basic level, a capitalistic business process model is the base model by which a corporation defines how a company generates revenue by its’ position in the value chain. Younger organizations will not spend much time modeling because they are too busy trying to raise capital. Mature organizations will spend too much time modeling. To what degree depends on the analytical executive personas. “What if we spent X% more on lead generation?” “What if we cross sold to our partner channel while reducing sales commissions on our direct sales?”

A common business process model relies upon resource scenarios, capital scenarios, and other multivariate analysis. Which will then feedback into previous internal and industry metrics. The nifty part about modeling: as a result, there will be transparency into business processes, as well as the centralization of business process models and execution metrics. This is extremely useful during mergers and acquisitions. With this clean slate, the organization is able to fundamentally rethink how they accomplish their work to improve some metric(s.) A few metrics one can look over; operational expenditures improve customer satisfaction, remove redundant overhead, increase competitive intelligence, and more. An interesting multiplier in this clean state phase is the use of mature information services. Technology allows entities to crunch numbers and crunch them fast. No longer does one have buildings full of accountants to take over your competition with their sailboat building.  Beware though: just because your models are sound does not mean they will happen in real life.