Process modeling


Process modeling

The term process model is used in different contexts. For example, in business process modeling the enterprise process model is often referred to as the "business process model". Process models are core concepts in the discipline of Process Engineering.

thumb|right|300px|Abstraction level for processes ">cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =
title =Modeling the Requirements Engineering Process, 3rd European-Japanese Seminar on Information Modelling and Knowledge Bases
publisher =
date =June 1993
location =Budapest, Hungary
pages =
id =
]

Process models are processes of the same nature that are classified together into a model. Thus, a process model is a description of a process at the type level. Since the process model is at the type level, a process is an instantiation of it. The same process model is used repeatedly for the development of many applications and thus, has many instantiations. One possible use of a process model is to prescribe how things must/should/could be done in contrast to the process itself which is really what happens. A process model is roughly an anticipation of what the process will look like. What the process shall be will be determined during actual system development.cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =Pernici, C. Thanos
title =A Comprehensive View of Process Engineering. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference CAiSE'98, B. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1413
publisher =Springer
date =June 1998
location =Pisa, Italy
pages =
id =
]

The goals of a process model are to be:
*Descriptive
**Track what actually happens during a process.
**Takes the point of view of an external observer who looks at the way a process has been performed and determines the improvements that have to be made to make it perform more effectively or efficiently.
*Prescriptive
**Defines the desired processes and how they should/could/might be performed.
**Lays down rules, guidelines, and behavior patterns which, if followed, would lead to the desired process performance. They can range from strict enforcement to flexible guidance.
*Explanatory
**Provides explanations about the rationale of processes.
**Explore and evaluate the several possible courses of action based on rational arguments.
**Establish an explicit link between processes and the requirements that the model needs to fulfill.
**Pre-defines points at which data can be extracted for reporting purposes.



* cite web
url = http://www.modelingconcepts.com/pdf/BPM_V2.pdf
title = Abstraction Levels for Processes Presentation: Process Modeling Principles

Purpose

From a theoretical point of view, the Meta-Process Modeling explains the key concepts needed to describe what happens in the development process, on what, when it happens, and why. From an operational point of view, the Meta-Process Modeling is aimed at providing guidance for method engineers and application developers.” cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =
title =Modeling the Requirements Engineering Process, 3rd European-Japanese Seminar on Information Modelling and Knowledge Bases
publisher =
date =June 1993
location =Budapest, Hungary
pages =
id =
]

The activity of modeling a business process usually predicates a need to change processes or identify issues to be corrected. This transformation may or may not require IT involvement, although that is a common driver for the need to model a business process. Change management programmes are desired to put the processes into practice. With advances in technology from larger platform vendors, the vision of business process models (BPM) becoming fully executable (and capable of round-trip engineering) is coming closer to reality every day. Supporting technologies include Business Process Modeling Notation cite book | author = Debevoise, Neilson T, et. al| title = The MicroGuide to Process Modeling in BPMN | publisher = BookSurge Publishing | year = 2008 July 4 | id = ISBN 978-1-4196-9310-6 ]
Unified Modeling Language (UML), model-driven architecture, and service-oriented architecture.

Process Modeling addresses the process aspects of an Enterprise Business Architecture, leading to an all encompassing Enterprise Architecture. The relationships of a business processes in the context of the rest of the enterprise systems, data, organizational structure, strategies, etc. create greater capabilities in analyzing and planning a change. One real world example is in corporate mergers and acquisitions; understanding the processes in both companies in detail, allowing management to identify redundancies resulting in a smoother merger.

Process Modeling has always been a key aspect of business process reengineering, and continuous improvement approaches seen in Six sigma.

Classification of process models

Classification by coverage

There are three types of coverage where the term process model has been defined differentlycite book
last =Dowson
first =M.
coauthors =
title =Iteration in the Software Process, Proc 9th Int. Conf. on Software Engineering
publisher =
date =1988
location =
pages =
id =
] :

*Activity-oriented: related set of activities conducted for the specific purpose of product definition; a set of partially ordered steps intended to reach a goal. cite book
last =Feiler
first =P. H.
coauthors =W. S. Humphrey
title =Software Process Development and Enactment: Concepts and Definitions, Proc. 2nd Int. Conf. on "Software Process"
publisher =
date =1993
location -
pages =
id =
]
*Product-oriented: series of activities that cause sensitive product transformations to reach the desired product.
*Decision-oriented: set of related decisions conducted for the specific purpose of product definition.
*Context-oriented: sequence of contexts causing successive product transformations under the influence of a decision taken in a context.

Classification by alignment

Processes can be of different kinds.cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =Pernici, C. Thanos
title =A Comprehensive View of Process Engineering. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference CAiSE'98, B. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1413
publisher =Springer
date =June 1998
location =Pisa, Italy
pages =
id =
] These definitions “correspond to the various ways in which a process can be modelled”.

*Strategic processes
**investigate alternative ways of doing a thing and eventually produce a plan for doing it
**are often creative and require human co-operation; thus, alternative generation and selection from an alternative are very critical activities
*Tactical processes
**help in the achievement of a plan
**are more concerned with the tactics to be adopted for actual plan achievement than with the development of a plan of achievement
*Implementation processes
**are the lowest level processes
**are directly concerned with the details of the "what" and "how" of plan implementation

Classification by granularity

Granularity refers to the detail level of the process model and affects the kind of guidance, explanation and trace that can be provided. High granularity limits these to a rather coarse level of detail whereas fine granularity provides more detailed capability. The nature of granularity needed is dependent on the situation at hand.cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =Pernici, C. Thanos
title =A Comprehensive View of Process Engineering. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference CAiSE'98, B. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1413
publisher =Springer
date =June 1998
location =Paisa, Italy
pages =
id =
]

Project manager, customer representatives, the general, top-level, or middle management require rather large-grained process description as they want to gain an overview over time, budget, and resource planning for their decisions.In contrast, software engineers, users, testers, analysts, or software system architects will prefer a fine-grained process model for the details of the model deliver them with instructions and important execution dependencies such as the dependencies between people.

While notations for fine-grained models exist, most traditional process models are large-grained descriptions. Process models should, ideally, provide a wide range of granularity. (e.g. Process Weaver)cite book
last =Fernström
first =C.
coauthors =L. Ohlsson
title =Integration Needs in Process Enacted Environments, Proc. 1st Int. Conf. on the Software Process
publisher =IEEE computer Society Press
date =October 1991
location =
pages =
id =
] cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =Pernici, C. Thanos
title =A Comprehensive View of Process Engineering. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference CAiSE'98, B. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1413
publisher =Springer
date =June 1998
location =Pisa, Italy
pages =
id =
]

Classification by flexibility

thumb|right|300px|Flexibility of Method construction approaches ">cite book
last =Harmsen
first =A. F.
coauthors =J. N. Brinkkemper, J. L. H. Oei
title =Situational Method Engineering for information Systems Project Approaches
publisher =
date =1994
location =North Holland
pages =
id =
]
It was found that while process models were prescriptive, in actual practice departures from the prescription can occur.cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =N. Prakash, A. Benjamen
title =A Multi-Model View of Process Modelling. Requirements Engineering. Volume 4, Number 4
publisher =Springer-Verlag
date =1999
location =London
pages =
id =
] Thus, frameworks for adopting methods evolved so that systems development methods match specific organizational situations and thereby improve their usefulness. The development of such frameworks is also called Situational Method Engineering.

Method construction approaches can be organized in a spectrum ranging from 'low' flexibility, to 'high'.cite book
last =Harmsen
first =A. F.
coauthors =J. N. Brinkkemper, J. L. H. Oei
title =Situational Method Engineering for information Systems Project Approaches
publisher =
date =1994
location =North Holland
pages =
id =
]

Lying at the 'low' end of this spectrum are rigid methods, whereas at the 'high' end there are modular method construction. Rigid methods are completely pre-defined and leave little scope for adapting them to the situation at hand. On the other hand, modular methods can be modified and augmented to fit a given situation. Selecting a rigid methods allows each project to choose its method from a panel of rigid, pre-defined methods, whereas selecting a path within a method consists of choosing the appropriate path for the situation at hand. Finally, selecting and tuning a method allows each project to select methods from different approaches and tune them to the project's needs.” cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =
title =A Primer for Method Engineering. Proceedings of the INFORSID Conference
publisher =
date =June 10-13, 1997
location =Toulouse, France
pages =
id =
]

Business process modeling

"Business Process Modeling" (also known as Business Process Discovery, BPD) is the activity of representing both the current ("as is") and future ("to be") processes of an enterprise, so that the current process may be analyzed and improved. BPM is typically performed by business analysts and managers who are seeking to improve process efficiency and quality. The process improvements identified by BPM may or may not require IT involvement, although that is a common driver for the need to model a business process, by creating a process master.

Change management programs are typically involved to put the improved business processes into practice. With advances in technology from large platform vendors, the vision of BPM models becoming fully executable (and capable of simulations and round-trip engineering) is coming closer to reality every day.

Business Process Modeling plays an important role in the business process management (BPM) discipline. Since both Business Process Modeling and Business Process Management share the same acronym (BPM), these activities are sometimes confused with each other.

Modeling language standards that are used for BPM include Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) cite book | author = Debevoise, Neilson T, et. al| title = The MicroGuide to Process Modeling in BPMN | publisher = BookSurge Publishing | year = 2008 July 4 | id = ISBN 978-1-4196-9310-6 ] , Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), XML Process Definition Language (XPDL), Unified Modeling Language (UML), Object Process Methodology (OPM), and Web Services Choreography Description Language (WS-CDL).cite web|author= |title=Business Modeling FAQ|url=http://www.BusinessModelingforum.com/FAQ.htm|accessdate=2007-10-17] Other technologies related to business process modeling include model-driven architecture and service-oriented architecture.

BPM addresses the process aspects of an Enterprise Business Architecture, leading to an all encompassing Enterprise Architecture. The relationships of a business processes in the context of the rest of the enterprise systems (e.g., data architecture, organizational structure, strategies, etc.) create greater capabilities when analyzing and planning enterprise changes. For example, during a corporate merger it is important to understand the processes of both companies in detail so that management can correctly and efficiently identify and eliminate redundancies in operations. Business Process Modeling has always been a key aspect of business process reengineering (BPR) and continuous improvement approaches, such as Six Sigma. For routine business activities, BPM tools such as K2 [blackpearl] , Axway, Lombardi, Holosofx, Holocentric Modeler and TIBCO are used in order to represent a business process, to run a simulation of the process and for communication purposes. For innovative, adaptive, collaborative human work the techniques of human interaction management are required.

Techniques

There are different styles for representing processes: "scripts," "programs," and "hypertext." Process scripts are interactively used by humans as against process programs which are enacted by a machine. They support non determinism whereas process programs can, at best, support process deviation under pre-defined constraints. The hypertext style of process representation is a network of links between the different aspects of a process, such as product parts, decisions, arguments, issues, etc. Scripts and programs are two styles which may be applicable to prescriptive purposes whereas hypertext is well suited to descriptive and explanatory purposes. Strict enforcement of the prescriptive purpose can clearly be represented in process programs whereas flexible guidance requires the process model to be represented in process scripts. Descriptive and explanatory purposes require the establishment of relationships between different elements of a process trace. These relationships are well articulated as hypertext links.cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =Pernici, C. Thanos
title =A Comprehensive View of Process Engineering. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference CAiSE'98, B. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1413
publisher =Springer
date =June 1998
location =Pisa, Italy
pages =
id =
]

Traditionally, informal notations such as natural languages or diagrams with informal semantics have been used as process models underlying information systems. In software engineering, more formal process models have been used.cite book
last =Armenise
first =P.
coauthors =S. Bandinelli, C. Ghezzi, A. Morzenti
title =A survey and assessment of software process representation formalisms Int. Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 3
publisher =
date =1993
location =
pages =
id =
] cite book
last =Curtis
first =B.
coauthors =M. Kellner, J. Over
title =Process Modeling, Communications of ACM, vol 35
publisher =
date =September 1992
location =
pages =pp 75-90
id =
] cite book
last =Finkelstein
first =A.
coauthors =J. Kramer, B. Nuseibeh
title =Software process modelling and technology
publisher =Wiley
date =1994
location =New York
pages =
id =
] cite book
last =Rolland
first =C.
coauthors =Pernici, C. Thanos
title =A Comprehensive View of Process Engineering. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference CAiSE'98, B. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1413
publisher =Springer
date =June 1998
location =Pisa, Italy
pages =
id =
]

ee also

*Business Process Management
*human interaction management
*BPMN
*BPEL
* [http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/ebxml-bp OASIS ebBP/BPSS]
*Unified Modeling Language
*Object Process Methodology
*Domain Specific Language
*Model Driven Engineering
*Process architecture
*XPDL
*Zachman framework
*OBASHI
*Service-Oriented Modeling Framework (SOMF)
*Integrated business planning

References

External links

* [ftp://ftp.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pub/library/medoc.ustuttgart_fi/STUD-2052/STUD-2052.pdf Modeling processes regarding workflow patterns]
* cite web
url = http://www.modelingconcepts.com/pdf/BPM_V2.pdf
title = Abstraction Levels for Processes Presentation: Process Modeling Principles

* [ftp://ftp.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pub/library/medoc.ustuttgart_fi/DIP-2787/DIP-2787.pdf How to model goal-oriented processes in WS-BPEL]


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