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What is a process model?

The process models lies at the core of the process engineering disciplines.

What is a Process Model?

– A process model can be defined as a collection of the processes of similar nature.
– Therefore, it can be thought of as a model that describes a process at a certain type of level.
– This is the reason why a process is considered to be an instantiation of the process model.
– The same process model can be involved in the development of a large number of software systems and applications and therefore, it is possible for it to have a number of instantiations.
– The primary purpose of a process model is to prescribe or indicate how things are to be done against the things which are really happening.
– It can be considered as a rough anticipation of the look–a-like of the process.
– But the actual process is determined only during the actual development of the system.

Goals of Process Model

The goals of the process model are categorized in to 3 categories as stated below:
1. Descriptive Goals:
– It includes tracking of the activities which are carried out during the process and viewing the process from an external observer’s point of view.
– It means like looking at the process the way it is actually performed and determining the improvements that could be made so that the process will perform more efficiently and effectively.

2. Prescriptive Goals:
– This includes defining the processes that are desirable and how they are to be carried out.
– It includes establishing guidelines, behavior patterns as well as rules that are supposed to be followed to attain the desired level of the process performance.
– These rules can be strictly enforced or can be made flexible.

3. Explanatory Goals:
– This includes providing explanations regarding the processes rationale.
– It includes exploring and evaluating the various possibilities concerning the course of actions based up on the rational arguments, establishing a link between the requirements (that need to fulfilled by the process) and the processes which is explicit in nature.
– It also includes pre–defining the points at which the data extraction can be carried out for the purpose of reporting.

The need to change processes and identification of the issues that are to be corrected are done only after the activity of business process modeling. However, such transformations may not require involvement of IT as observed in most of the cases. The programs that put a process in to practice are the change management programs.

The process modeling is supported by the technologies such as the model driven architecture, service oriented architecture and not to forget the unified modeling language. The process aspects related to an EBA (enterprise business architecture) are addressed by the process modeling itself. Business process engineering has always seen the process modeling as its key aspect.

Classification Of Process Models

The process models can be classified based up on four things:
1. Coverage:
It can be sub divided in to 5 types:
– Activity oriented
– Product oriented
– Decision oriented
– Context oriented and
– Strategy oriented

2. Alignment:
It can be divided in to 3 types:
– Strategic process
– Tactical process
– Implementation process

3. Granularity:
– The level of detail of the process models is given by the granularity factor.
– Based up on this factor what kind of guidance is to be provided is decided.

4. Flexibility:
– The flexibility spectrum ranges from low to high flexibility levels and organizes the method construction approaches.
– At the low end, one can find the rigid methods while at the other one can find modular construction methods.

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