Is there such thing as a High-Level Business Process?

Business Process Analysis May 19, 2023

In this paper, John Owens discusses ‘High Level’ Process Models and how errors can arise and be avoided.

There are two essential business modeling techniques that should be in the toolbox of every business analyst; the first is Business Function Modeling, the second Business Process Modeling. The former is the most powerful means of modeling and demonstrating what it is that an enterprise ought to be doing. It is also the foundation for all other business models. The latter is the most effective means of modeling how an enterprise can consistently navigate its way to predefined business outcomes in response to specific Business Triggers.

In recent years the Process Model has been used in ways that are not always appropriate. Some of these uses can even introduce logic and structural errors into the Process Models, resulting in quality errors and operational inefficiencies in the enterprise concerned.

The one use that is most prone to introducing logical errors (in fact it is almost guaranteed to) is that of drawing ‘High Level’ Process Models and then breaking them down (‘decomposing’ them) to ever-lower levels of detail.

This use, which has become a widespread practice among many (though not all) consultancies and practitioners carrying out Business Process Management and Improvement Projects, as well as introducing structure and logic errors, can also result in up to three or four times more models being produced than are necessary.

This White Paper will demonstrate what each of these structures and logic errors are and how they can arise and, more importantly, show how they can be avoided.