In process documentation, the existing actual processes and target processes are recorded. In order to save this information, process models are usually created. Internal company guidelines or general standards, such as BPMN, ensure that the process models are uniform and comparable. The process documentation is part of the process management lifecycle.
Why are processes documented?
The reasons why companies document their processes can vary greatly. On the one hand, in order to record the knowledge about the processes and their procedures. Work instructions can be derived from documented processes and used to train new employees. On the other hand, good documentation allows the modeled processes to be analyzed and thus bottlenecks and further optimization potentials to be found. The documented models also provide an important insight into the degree of standardization of business processes. It is also conceivable to assign responsibilities and plan capacities on the basis of the process models. If necessary, requirements for new software can also be derived from the processes and the individual work steps.
How does the process documentation work?
First of all, it must be established at which level of detail the processes are to be documented. This depends on the process strategy and the process architecture derived from it. Subsequently, guidelines for the creation of models have to be formulated. Such guidelines can include for example modeling direction, modeling language or objects being used. If an existing modeling language or notation is used, such as BPMN or EPK, the creation of modeling guidelines becomes easier.
The human component should not be neglected here. The executing personnel have in-depth knowledge of the detailed process flows. Conversations and interviews can decode and document this knowledge. Only then does it make sense to model the processes in accordance with the guidelines.
In order to ensure that the models represent the respective processes correctly, a person with specialist knowledge and a person with knowledge of the modeling guidelines should review them again. After this quality assurance, the process models can be published.
The documentation of processes proceeds as follows:
1. Defining a level of detail
2. Creating modeling guidelines
3. Enquiring / observing the process flows
4. Modeling the process models
5. Checking the models (technical and methodical)
6. Publishing the process models
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