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Process Mapping vs Process Modeling: What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between process mapping and process modeling?

The two terms are often used interchangeably when discussing how to record business processes. To some extent, process modeling and mapping are similar, as they can both be used to describe the visual representation of a business process.

Below we have outlined the definition of both process mapping and process modeling and highlighted how the two terms differ. 

 

What is process mapping?

Process mapping is the process of drawing out all the steps and tasks involved in a business process, to create a process map, also known as a workflow diagram, which visually describes what happens, step-by-step.   A process map is literally a map to guide you through the business process or workflow, and is the first step that businesses will take when recording and capturing a business process as it gives an accurate overview of the process end-to-end. 

Process maps can support activities such as business monitoring and reporting, and compliance activities such as auditing. 

 

How is process mapping different from process modeling? 

Process mapping is the process of creating a visual diagram of steps in the flow of activities that create a business process. It focuses more on diagramming existing processes as a point of reference, whereas process modeling is used as part of process simulation and process optimization. 

 

What is process modeling?

Process modeling is the graphical representation of business processes or workflows in detail and in the context of business operations. A process model will include elements of process documentation, noting all information necessary to properly execute the process and how it fits into the wider organization.  Process modeling is a basis for continuous improvement, as stakeholder can refer to process models as a single point of truth and use them to optimize the process by identifying bottlenecks.

Process modeling is dictated by BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation), the industry standard for process modeling, based on different shapes to represent different types of tasks. This standardization means that everyone in the business can understand process models, which make it easy for all stakeholders to examine and discuss the models when carrying out process improvement activities. 


How is process modeling different from process mapping? 

Ultimately, process modeling is a more dynamic, agile approach that puts the processes in the context of the entire organization, which supports process lifecycles and continuous improvement. 

Process modeling is more focused on analysis and optimization of processes, whereas process mapping is about understanding the current state. 

You can get started with your own process modeling now by downloading Bizagi Modeler for free. 

 

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