Gartner Research

Business Process Modeling: Adding Value or Overhead?

Published: 24 April 2006

ID: G00203181

Analyst(s): Chris Howard


Companies are skeptical, and perhaps rightly so. Much time and money has been spent on business process reengineering (BPR) in an attempt to create organizational efficiencies, usually with limited return. Even so, the reemergence of business process modeling has promise as a technique for mapping business domain behaviors onto network-based services. In this overview, Burton Group Analyst Chris Howard explores how current modeling efforts can be informed by challenges of the past, and suggests pragmatic steps to help align business and technology in an evolving service-oriented architecture (SOA) environment.

Table Of Contents



  • The Goal: Business and IT Alignment
  • A Short History of Overhead
    • Negative Perceptions of Modeling
    • The Weaknesses of BPR
    • Extricating Business Process Modeling from BPR
    • Limitations of Business Process Models
    • So, What's Different Now?
  • The Value Proposition
    • Domain Visualization
    • Collaboration, Consensus, and Ownership
    • From BPI to SOA (and Back)
  • Recommendations
    • Organizational
    • Methodological

The Details

  • Definitions
    • Business Processes, Tasks, and Services
    • The Business Process Model
    • Workflow, Orchestration, and Choreography
    • Business Process Management Suites
  • The BPI Exercise
    • BPI Exercise (Basic)
    • BPI Exercise (Not So Basic)
    • Identifying Painful Processes
    • Preparing for the Modeling Session: Logistics
    • Preparing for the Modeling Session: Materials
    • The BPI Modeling Session
    • Service Analysis
  • The Enterprise Design Review Process
    • Comments on the Process
    • Comments on the Model
  • The Model-Oriented Organization



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