“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 2007
As the quote above shows, it’s never easy to predict how a new product or technology will work out. Even so, knowing what will come next is such an enormous advantage in the business world that many companies are willing to invest significant time and money looking for the next big thing. Of course, only a very few are successful.
Fortunately for the rest of us, there is one area of business where we can rely on a crystal ball of our own. When creating or modifying business processes, effective process simulation offers a glimpse into the future. It shows the way a process will operate, even before that process “goes live” and activates in a real business environment.
For anyone who seriously wants to optimize their processes, comparing the actual status of your processes with how they should be is essential; mere modeling just isn’t enough. By simulating your processes, it’s possible to identify challenges and their solutions before they cost you time and money. You can then use this information to optimize your new or redesigned processes before actually putting them into practice.
Process simulation is a powerful tool, which can be helpful in a range of scenarios. Usually, you will be simulating your processes in one of two ways: step-by-step, or by running multiple processes at once.
For most effective process simulation efforts, the primary focus will be the step-by-step scenario, which allows you to follow a process flow from one element to another. The single case simulation function simulates a specific process flow and chooses a random path alongside it, allowing you to see how the process will function, and alerting you to bottlenecks at individual process steps along the way.
Comparing many instances of the same process can also yield useful results. In this form of process simulation, lots of different process flows will be started; then the resulting outcomes can be analyzed. Seeing how a process operates at high volume gives you a broader view of its efficiency, as well as how it interacts with other processes within your organization.
Combining these two elements—perhaps by starting multiple cases to identify general trends, then drilling down into a step-by-step analysis to highlight specific bottlenecks—can offer very useful information about the way your planned processes will operate in the real world. You can even set different criteria for each simulation, allowing you to examine best- and worst-case scenarios before they ever actually happen.
By letting the different scenarios play out, you can gather the results you need to optimize your processes. In this way, effective process simulation gives you an easy way to design the best processes for your business, helping you make your processes as efficient and economically viable as possible.
Process optimization can be made easy, and effective process simulation is no exception. If you’re excited by the possibilities, check out the Signaviofor more information about how it can work in your business. Or, if you’re ready to get started yourself, sign up for a free with Signavio today.