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What is business modelling and why is it important for all sizes of business?

Importance of Business Modelling

Depending on size and nature, every business endeavour has its basic transactions(activities and duties that ensure customers are satisfied, resources are optimized, and profit is made). Without this process, your business can not grow or even survive. Even when your business is doing well, good management would constantly research ways to make it better. 

You want to reduce waste, eliminate redundancies, and ensure that resources and tasks are of utmost efficiency. To do this you would have to evaluate all your current practices and processes to determine what modifications would best impact your efficiency. This is where Business Process Modelling comes in.

What is Business Process Modelling?

Business process modelling is an analytical chart that displays the stages, resources, and steps involved in a business process, and is used to make evaluation-and improvement. The charts used in business processing modelling varies, but usually takes the form of flowcharts or data-flow diagrams. 

Business process modelling is used to make an analytical comparison between the current state of a business process and the future result after modifications and adjustments have been introduced. This way management can test the theoretical effects of any changes made to the system, with few attendant risks.

A related term, which is used interchangeably, is business mapping. This is both methods make use of similar charts and graphical representations to evaluate and improve business processes. Both BP mapping and modelling are important methods of identifying and eliminating redundancies and improving process efficiency. One very important difference is that:

Business process mapping is used with different levels of process mapping. This process is very general in approach and without definite focus.

Business process modelling is very specific and deals with low-level mapping. It is used specifically for making modifications and improvements.  Business process modelling is used along with other tools to ensure a successful evaluation and optimization process. The effectiveness of each tool contributes to the success of the whole. Such tools include Business Process Management (BPM). 

This method involves constantly evaluating and improving current processes to increase efficiency. The essence of BPM is that it is a continuous process that should be carried out regularly. Apart from this quality, it is quite similar to business process improvement and re-engineering.

Business Process Improvement (BPI)

This process is usually used together with BPM. It is a single process that includes the mapping of process stages, analysis, and modifications. 

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)

Extremely similar to BPI, the BPR finds its uniqueness in the type and system in which modifications are made. BPR is used when making large scale modifications and changes to a business process.

Benefits of Using Business Process Modelling

  • Enables digitization and expression into computer systems and codes.
  • It allows your business to evaluate the productivity of processes and identify redundant elements.
  • Ensures that employees and partners easily understand the components of business processes.
  • Modelling is important for identifying goals, resources, starting, and endpoints. 
  • Allows effective executions of alterations and modifications to a process.
  • Allows management to define the difference that changes will make to a business process.

Modelling Techniques

There are many techniques used to perform modelling techniques. At last count, there are as many as 12 techniques. Below are a few:

1. Data Flow Diagram

This is a graphical representation that shows the transfer of data from one point to another. This technique is important in enabling users to understand the importance of each data transfer mechanism and how to make the best use of it.

2. Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN)

This technique is one of the most commonly used by business analysts. It makes use of lines, arrows, and simple shapes to represent the flow and stages of business processes. Although BPMN is a relatively simple process, the usage of geometric

patterns makes it less suitable for novices. The usage of geometric shapes as a language requires users to adapt to the new language before effective usage can be established.

3. Universal Process Notation (UPN)

UPN technique is a bit similar to the BPMN but does not require users to adapt to the geometric language. UPN provides a box shape that is filled with relevant information about each task or stage. Such information includes goals, resources, endpoints, etc.

4. Flowchart Technique

This technique is very appropriate when evaluating the sequential stages of a process or task. Flowcharts express the movement from inputs to products and everything in between.

5. Gantt Charts

Unlike the flowchart technique,   Gantt Charts do not describe processes in sequential order. Gantt charts depict tasks based on the amount of time required or allocated to completing them. It is important for determining the allocation of time and resources.

6. Petri-Nets

This technique is based on mathematics. Petri-Nets make use of colour codes to depict users, task stages, and completion routes. Petri-Nets may be complex but are important for analyzing business properly.

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