Process Modeling: how to begin?

Process Modeling: how to begin?

Process modeling isn’t only about mapping existing processes and activities and documenting them, but rather understanding and analyzing them in a way that can optimize resources, reduce waste, meet customer demands and identify activities that can be automated.

Considering the definition from the BPM CBOK, process modeling encompasses the set of processes and skills that enable people to understand, communicate, measure and manage business process components.

This practice emerged in the 1960s but became popular when information technology areas and resources underwent modernization.

Why use this methodology?

If your company has survived so far without BPM, you may be wondering why it’s so highly recommended. However, it’s possible to survive without BPM, as long as you are aware that you may be wasting resources and hindering the growth of your own business.

With mapped and modeled processes, bottlenecks and other problems can be identified more easily, allowing the team to take essential measures for correction and subsequent recording of these changes.

Without knowing the organization’s processes, it isn’t possible to identify automation possibilities, a resource that can streamline employees’ routines, enabling them to engage in other activities that add value to your product or service.

And speaking of employees, it improves communication among people within the company, promotes a shared vision of the process and aids in the development and training of new collaborators.


Where to start?

Begin by studying the subject; the essential reading is the BPM CBOK, mentioned above, which is the basic guide for Business Process Management – Common Body of Knowledge. If your company lacks professionals skilled in processes, an option is to turn to specialized consultancies.

1) Define the approach

Once this is done, define the approach that will be used, which best fits your reality: top-down, middle-out or bottom-up. This decision will guide all subsequent decisions. If you aren’t familiar with the approaches yet, don’t worry, as the BPM CBOK explains the subject very thoroughly.

2) Information gathering

Gather the maximum amount of information possible about the activities and workflows to be designed. This information can be collected through individual interviews, group dynamics, routine observation or analysis of existing documents.

3) Process diagramming

After collecting the information, it’s time to diagram the processes. It’s important to identify and establish some rules such as the representation standard and a set of symbols to illustrate the information. For example, circles may identify an interaction with another area; triangles, interactions with customers, among others.

4) Documentation and validation

It’s time to document and share with others involved, allowing for validation to ensure that what has been identified and diagrammed aligns with the reality applied in the routine. Remember to save the created documents in a place where everyone can access them when needed; a more practical option is cloud storage.

It’s important that processes are periodically reassessed, and if necessary, improvements should be implemented according to changes and customer needs.

The PDCA Cycle can assist you in evaluating business practices; this management method is used worldwide and is the ideal tool for controlling the continuous improvement of processes.


Extra tip:

Use the Interact Flow tool to model your processes!

The tool is completely free, intuitive and easy to use. With it, you can optimize everything that matters in your daily routine, as well as improve results.

After structuring your processes, you can also conduct a maturity assessment according to process management, based on Pedro Robledo’s model.

Among its features, we can highlight that it allows you to design processes from scratch and create flowcharts. After modeling, you can also download your processes.

And if you encounter difficulties with the platform, you can find explanatory videos on our YouTube channel.


Also, read:

Ishikawa Diagram: map problems and find solutions 

Process management proposes modernization in companies 




Bianca Wermann

Journalist, Communication and Marketing Analyst at Interact.

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