Another take on Process Modeling… it’s a Process.

Scott Francis
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Kevin Stollznow wrote a good article on process modeling. He makes a couple of key points that I would agree with, slightly rephrased…

  • There is no right or wrong way to model a process.  I would say rather, just that “right or wrong” isn’t the primary question.  The primary question is whether the process is effective.  This is essentially the point Kevin makes, but I would posit that it is actually possible to have a “wrong” process model :)
  • He takes a casual swipe at BPMN as a modeling and the idea that commenting on modeling a process must necessarily include a diatribe about the “right” way to use BPMN to do it, or cover some minutiae of the specification.  If you’re an avid reader of BPM blogs like I am, this especially hits home with recent discussions about BPMN compliance and roundtripping with BPEL and whether models should even be executable! :)
  • He cites Occam’s Razor (though, I think it actually hypothesizes that the simplest explanation is also the most likely explanation). The point is, simplicity is generally preferred over complexity, when both represent the problem adequately.
  • Kevin makes a good point about focusing on the audience or intended use of the model (a model for training purposes may be quite different than the executable model of the same process).

One thing I really like about the article is that Kevin correctly points out that even modeling a process is, itself, a process.  And it is a process that we can improve upon over time…