By Peter Hilton
Business processes often start with someone’s application to join something, whether as a customer or as a member of a secret society. This recurring modelling pattern has the same structure as other approval patterns, but uses more specific language. This pattern contributes to business process modelling, then, by increasing your modelling vocabulary.
The Membership Approval pattern aims to add a new member to a group of people.
Several business models require an application process to approve new customers. When a new customer opens a new bank account or takes out insurance, for example, the approval includes risk assessment that decides whether to accept the new customer.
Some businesses, such as a gym, are selling the membership itself. In this case, the application process may simply check capacity allows a new member, and capture the information that the company uses to grant access to the new member.
Use this pattern when you refer to a request form as a ‘membership application form’ or ‘customer application’ and when a successful application results in a new status for the applicant. The applicant remains outside the process, and cannot intervene to correct or update an application that the process rejects, so a rejection terminates the process.
The pattern only differs from Request Form Approval by adding an Add member task when the approver accepts the application. In practice, both the ‘Review application’ approval task and the ‘Add member’ post-acceptance task decompose into separate tasks.
Membership Approval is an alias of the more general Request Form Approval, which has almost the same structure but with different naming.
Result Notification typically follows Membership Approval, in order to notify the applicant.