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Overcoming 3 Common Challenges of Business Process Modelling

Identifying and depicting business processes is the first step towards understanding the current state and developing a plan for the future. Business analysis activities are often oriented towards enabling and supporting change. The most important aspect of having a process model is that it enables a business to quickly see how well all the different aspects of the business are aligned to achieve common goals. When there is misalignment, it becomes evident very quickly in the model, and the business can plan how it will deal with getting properly aligned again.

Business analysts, using primarily elicitation and modelling techniques, try to find out the means by which an organization carries out its internal operations and delivers its products and services to its customers.


However, process modelling and analysis can be tricky. Below are some challenges:


  1. Figuring out the tasks

It’s difficult to obtain information about the complete process when there are many engaged departments. Usually every part of the process is aware of the specific tasks and activities in which they’re involved, but they miss the whole picture. Frequently, after the process modelling has been finalized, the engaged actors can holistically understand the end-to-end process.

  • Trying to figure out first who is involved and the starting and ending points of the process is crucial in order to drill down and find the details for each step. It may be a good idea to begin with the most experienced actors or those who have a helicopter view. It is more than important, however, to validate your insights against other sources of information to be sure that you have captured accurate information.
  • Having information about the industry context may be helpful, as the basic business processes among organizations in the same industry have things in common. This, of course, does not mean that the specific organization’s parameters should not be taken into consideration.




  1. Systems Thinking

Consistency, It’s a necessary verification criteria in process identification and modeling. The steps and tasks involved in the process should make sense as parts that form wholeness, not as independent elements. In order to meet deadlines and get immediate results, business analysts frequently reduce the amount of time spent understanding the context. Delivery of value through a process modelling initiative will be limited, as long as we think analysis is about figuring out just specific characteristics of a solution that are already predefined in their minds. Systems thinking is a vital mindset that allows a business analyst to understand the as-is state and communicate it in a way that will be commonly understood by all stakeholders. This is an essential step in defining the future state.



  1. Understand how the process fits into its environment.

If a model doesn’t define how it fits into its environment, it will struggle, and its likelihood of resounding success is greatly diminished. Understanding the fit of a process within its internal and external environment is a complex, multi-faceted exercise. A business analyst needs to understand who the actors are, what their needs are, and how they can be reached. The business also needs to know who its suppliers are. Only when all relationships between the internal and external environment are understood can the business analyst ensure it is shaping an effective process model.


Identifying misalignment issues and understanding problems and opportunities for the business can be triggered by process analysis via modeling. Through effective process modelling, the following questions can be answered:

  • What processes does the business currently maintain?
  • How do the processes fit within their environment?
  • How do the processes create and maintain value in the external and internal environments?
  • What is the gap between the as-is and to-be states?

Giorgos Sioutzos

Giorgos Sioutzos is an experienced business analyst currently working at Netcompany in the social security sector. He holds a BSc in Management Science and Technology from Athens University of Economics and Business and Msc in International Business & Management from ALBA Graduate Business School. Numerus articles about business analysis have been published in most reputable Greek and foreign media. He has created educational videos for IIBA Knowelge Hub. Also he has contributed as an SME for Global Business Analysis Survey creation from IIBA. Certifications: CBAP, PMI-PBA, ITIL, PRINCE2, CPRE Advanced