Business Process Analysis is a discipline to identify business needs and provide solutions to business problems so organizations can achieve their goals and objectives. It can be a core part of an enterprise architect’s position, so it’s worthwhile knowing ahead of time the most common mistakes that organizations make:
- Data Integration Issues
- Lack of Standardization
- Out of Date Models
- Unclear Value
Data Integration Issues
Chances are, any organization has more than one process to model, which means a variety of different process models will be created. Without very careful planning, this will inevitably introduce issues with collaboration and communication between business process analysts. The simplest example of this is modelers using different software to create a model, leading to large differences in how the models appear, how they are modified, and how they are stored.
This mistake is largely borne out of a lack of planning. By clearly communicating expectations around process models, different team members can avoid ambiguity, while a proper collaboration platform can ensure that all team members have eyes on their colleagues’ work.
Lack of Standardization
As mentioned above, process models are often created in a variety of different formats and team members. While BPMN does prevent wildly different documentation, it is not enough on its own to ensure standardization of models. Rapidly changing landscapes mean the ability to model and communicate business processes in a standardized fashion are fundamental to a BPM initiative.
Once again, solving this is largely a matter of setting out plans ahead of time. Making sure you are using a BPMN compliant notation and providing model templates that adhere to this will largely solve this issue.
Out of Date Models
Business Processes are not static entities. They will be in a constant state of change, as the business implements new strategies, people come and go, technologies are developed and so forth. For a process model, this can mean that it rapidly becomes irrelevant if analysts fail to reflect changes on a regular basis.
This is an area where the solution is to ensure that process modeling is a process in and of itself, with analysts and modelers expected to maintain and update at regular intervals, rather than being a one-off initiative. Software can help with this – Orbus's iServer can automatically reflect changes in linked objects through its central repository model, for example.
As with any initiative, process modeling requires buy-in from key stakeholders, but it can be difficult to communicate the value that it brings to an organization. Process models themselves can be opaque to external viewers who may be unfamiliar with BPMN or process modeling. Meanwhile, even if the models are widely understood, the impact that they can have on processes may take time to be demonstrated.
A proper communication strategy, with stakeholders brought into the project and benefits clearly summarized, should be a good step to take. Again, the right software can help, with iServer offering a variety of out-of-the-box presentation templates and dashboards, as well as communication modules for non-architects.