"4 Ways to Write Business Proposals That Get Accepted Every Time"
www.Klariti.com Business Process Models: Using Graphical Notations Remember to get your Business Process Design Templates here (MS Word with free Excel and Visio templates) We’ve been talking about business process modeling for the last few weeks and I've had some emails asking for more information on the graphical elements used in process maps. So, let’s take a look. [Business process analysis design templates] A Business Process Model consists of several graphical elements which are used by most all Business Analysts and Process designers: Flow Objects Flow objects are used to define the behavior of a Business Process. These include: Events Activities Gateways Connecting Objects Page 1 of 4 www.klariti.com www.Klariti.com You can connect Flow Objects to each other with: Sequence Flows Message Flows Associations Swim-lanes [Learn more about these templates here] You can group the primary modeling elements through swim-lanes, which are: Pools Lanes Artifacts You can use artifacts to provide additional information about how the process works. There are four standardized artifacts, including: Data Object Group Annotation Page 2 of 4 www.klariti.com www.Klariti.com The core modeling elements depicted by these notations are: Description Element Event Notation Think of an event is something that “happens” during a process. Events affect how the process ‘flows’ and usually has a cause (something that trigger it) or an impact (an end result). Events are displayed as circles. They have open centers so you can add markers to differentiate different triggers or results. Furthermore, there are three types of Events: Start, Intermediate, and End. Activity An activity is a generic term for any type of work that the business performs. For example, in a bank, you might have activities, such as print a statement, post a check book, or check customer statements. An activity can be: Atomic (as small as it can be) or Non-atomic (compound) Activities found in a Process Model are Process, Sub-Process, and Task. Tasks and Sub-Processes are shown as rounded rectangles. Gateway Gateways control the divergence and convergence of Sequence Flow. This means it will determine branching, forking, merging, and the joining of paths. Sequence Flow A Sequence Flow shows the order in which activities are performed in a Process. Message Flow A Message Flow shows the flow of messages between two parties. Association An Association associates information with Flow Objects. Text and graphical non-Flow Objects can be Page 3 of 4 www.klariti.com www.Klariti.com associated with the Flow Objects. Pool A Pool acts as a ‘swimlane’ and is used to partition a set of activities from other pools. Lane A Lane is a sub-partition within a Swim-lane / Pool and extends the entire length of the Pool, either vertically or horizontally depending on how you design your process flows. Data Object Data Objects are considered Artifacts because they do not have any direct effect on the Sequence Flow or Message Flow of the Process, but they do provide information about what activities require to be performed and/or what they produce. Group A group is used to box a group of objects, usually for documentation purposes. Grouping activities does not affect the Sequence Flow as it is generally used for documentation or analysis purposes. Text Annotation You can add text to the diagram to provide additional information for the reader. About the Author: Ivan Walsh is a contributing editor to the Klariti Small Business Centre. Ivan also shares Business Plan tips for SMEs on his business plan blog. Follow him on Twitter. Page 4 of 4 www.klariti.com