Business analysts know that modeling business processes, rather than writing about them, defines them more accurately. Business process models make it easier to validate requirements, easier to see opportunities for improvement and easier to manage the process once it is implemented. Replacing traditional specifications with logical business process models based on standard notations like BPMN improves requirements and increases the likelihood of project success.
Yet over-complex processes are common. Complex process models make it harder to engage business owners and reduce the manageability of implementations. One of the prime causes of over-complex processes is the inclusion of decision-making in process designs. Business analysts that identify the decisions in their processes and model them separately – not part of the process but supporting it – find they can simplify process designs, increase agility and bring business users and IT into better alignment. With the publication of a new standard notation – OMG’s Decision Model and Notation – and the inclusion of decision modeling in the BABOK, it’s time for business analysts to improve their process models by modeling decisions.
Key learning points:
- Decisions are central to straight through processing, process innovation and process effectiveness.
- Process models obscure decision-making and become over-complex when it is embedded
- A standards-based approach to decision modeling is a key technique for process analysts