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Service Oriented Architecture Field Guide for Executives by Bibhas Bhattacharya, Kyle Gabhart

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2.9. BUSINESS PROCESS MODELING

The main goal of process modeling is to formally define and document a business process. When the pattern of activities in a process has become repeatable and well understood, you are ready to define the process.

The discipline of process modeling goes beyond just process definition. You can optimize a process before it is put into practice. A process model can also help you plan for workforce and materiel and budget for expenses.

Business analysts (BAs) perform business process modeling. They work very closely with the line of business managers who are directly responsible for the efficiency and profitability of a division (also known as the stakeholders). In object-oriented development, the role of the business managers was minimal. BAs interviewed the stakeholders to elicit the requirements. The business managers rarely reviewed the deliverables of the BA (class diagrams, etc.). The situation could not be any more different in SOA. BAs learn the existing structure of the process by interviewing the managers. Any changes to the process must be reviewed and approved by the managers. In most cases, the ideas for process improvement will come from the business managers. In fact, we expect and encourage the line of business managers to learn the tools of process modeling and get directly involved in the modeling activities.

Choosing a Modeling Tool

In its simplest form, you can model a process as a plain-text document, a hand-drawn flowchart, or a ...

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