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Process Modelling or Process Mapping?

There is constant confusion between process modelling and process mapping.  The following are a set of definitions that will help dispel the confusion and provide other definitions that will help you produce better business models.

Process The definition of the order of execution of a series of Business Functions in response to a Business Trigger in order to arrive at a Preferred Business Outcome.
Process Description A description, in plain English, of what a Business Process does, what it includes and what it excludes.  It is an expansion of the process objective.
Process Diagram A diagram representing a Business Process.
Process Flow The order in which Business Functions are executed in a Business Process, i.e. the flow of control through the process.
Process Mapping This term can have two meanings.  The First of these is when it is used incorrectly as a term for Process Modelling.

The second meaning is the act of linking the steps of a Business Process to other elements within the business. For example, the business might want to map the steps of the Sales Support Process to organisation units or to job roles within the business.

This mapping can be done either by adding Swim Lanes to a Process Diagram or by building a Matrix Model.

Process Model A formal model describing all or part of an enterprise in terms of its Business Processes.  A Process Model will consist of a Process Diagram and a set of definitions for each element of the Process, i.e. Business Trigger, Business Functions, Preferred Outcomes and Non-Preferred Outcomes.

Each of the Business Functions contained in the Process will be Functions from the Function Hierarchy.

Process Modelling That set of activities involved in describing all or part of an enterprise in terms of formal Process Models
Process Name A unique name for a Business Process that succinctly encapsulates the objective of the Business Process.
Process Objective A definition of what a Business Process is intended to achieve.  This stared objective should align closely to the Preferred Outcome for the process.
Process Step A single step in a Business Process.  Process steps are always Business Functions from the bottom level of the Function Catalogue, either Atomic Functions or Elementary Functions.

The above definitions are an extract from the Glossary in the book IMM Business Process Modelling available from the IMM Online Store.

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