Digital Business Automation Standards, Notions, & Frameworks

Digital Business Automation Standards, Notions, & Frameworks

Published By : Cydney McCollum June 7, 2022

Digital Business Automation Standards, Notations, & Frameworks


Following episode 4, “What do I automate next?” Host Jimmy Hewitt has put together an episode that will help you learn some of the most important standards, notions, and frameworks within the world of Digital Business Automation.

Additionally, you will hear about several prominent industry organizations and guilds that prove most useful in nurturing our Digital Business Automation journeys. Our host, Jimmy Hewitt, will walk through the WhoWhat, and Why of each standard, notation, and framework revealed in this episode. As a reminder, the technical components discussed will apply to all viewers ranging from experienced to newer in the Digital Business Automation and business architecture space.

Listen to episode 4 here!

Episode 3: Salient Process x Primanti Brothers Podcast!

Follow along with the episode now!

Guiding Principles

Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN):

  • Graphical representation, a modeling notation, a collection of symbols that can rapidly convey meaning (specifically about business process)
  • The de facto standard for business process diagrams
  • Original version: BPMN 1.0
    • Developed by the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) in 2004
    • BPMI merged with the Object Management Group (OMG) in 2005
  • Most current version: BPMN 2.0
  • Why BPMN matters:

  • 1. Rapid information sharing: pertaining to business processes
    • Normal communication (describing using sentences/paragraphs): doesn’t allow for rapid communication of ideas, as the viewer must read every word to see and understand the full picture
    • Visuals: allows for much more rapid and efficient information dissemination when compared to using our words
      • Creating a key or legend will help your viewer understand the visual better = BPMN
      • Examples: A sheet of music enables someone with a bit of training to play a song
    • BPMN Process Map: allows someone with a bit of training to understand a business process and a wealth of data and metadata about it just by looking at it
    • Common elements of BPMN Process Flow: each element has a specific symbol

Events = Circles

Start and stop of process

Activities = Rectangles


Happen in between events

Gateways = Diamonds

Decisions, diverges, and converges along the process

Very Specific BPMN examples: rarely used

Transaction = Double-lined rectangle

  • 2. Interoperability: between process mapping, process mining, and workflow execution tools (software like BPM)
    • Without the BPMN standard, it would be nearly impossible to compare the results of a process mining exercise with the results of a process mapping exercise
    • However, because both capabilities use BPME standard notation, you can compare you process map with your mined process data

NOTE: a process map is only as good as the information collected during a process mapping workshop or interview

A process map only represents what a person intimately close with the process tells you about it

Often time the resulting process map is not so much a reflection of the business process itself, but rather a reflection of that person’s understanding of the business process


Not perfect, but best we can do up until process mining came around

Rather than interviewing people who are close to a given business process, modeling their understanding of it, process mining involves the ingestion of your systems log data (including a case ID number, an activity name, and at least one timestamp)


Process mining will create one of many visual representations of this systems log data from your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

    • One of these visualizations is a BPMN diagram
  • Mining is different than mapping because of the data source!
    • Mining: deriving process information from a system
      • Can pick up on more accurate process details
    • Mapping: deriving process information from a human
  • How do you normalize your ERP log data with what a process owner’s understanding of that process is?
    • BPMN!
    • Reach out to Salient and Jimmy Hewitt where we will show you how to use BPMN to compare a process map with a process mining output


Rather than creating a workflow application from scratch, all you have to do is import your BPME file

How: if you create a business process map or model in BPME notation in a proper process mapping platform (Blueworks Live), then you’re able to simply export that “.bpm” file out of your process mapping platform and import it directly into your process management and execution platform


American Productivity and Quality Center’s (APQC’s) Framework:
  • APQC:

    • Founded in 1977
    • 150,000 members across 1,000 organizations (Adidas, Zappos, etc.) and 45 different industries
    • World’s foremost authority on business benchmarking process and performance improvement thanks to their process classification framework (APQC’s PCF)
  • PCF: two forms

    • Generic (cross-industry) form: contains 13 categories of processes across an entire organization
    • Examples:
      • “Market and sell products and services”: APQC #3.0
      • “Manage information technology (IT)”: APQC #8.0
      • “Manage Financial resources”: APQC #9.0
    • Industry specific form: much more specific
      • Example:
        • “Entering employee time worked into a payroll system”: APQC #
    • Once your business and its procedural architecture has been mapped out within the APQC framework, you can benchmark your business performance with other companies to see where you stand and to see where you could improve modeling your business
    • Important in the Digital Business Automation community because it accommodates a holistic approach, not a siloed one
  • Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN): modeling notation, a collection of symbols that can rapidly convey meaning about business process
    • Enables both rapid and detailed information sharing about a business
    • Key to interoperability between process mapping, mining, and workflow
  • American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC): world’s foremost authority on business benchmarking process and performance improvement
    • Process Classification Framework (PCF) accommodates a holistic approach, rather than a siloed one, for business benchmarking within the Digital Business Automation community

are there more episodes?

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More on Digital Business Automation:

Digital Business Automation Home Page

What is Digital Business Automation?

Scaling Beyond RPA to Digital Business Automation

North Star Methodology

More on Salient Process:

Salient Process Home Page

Bots & Thoughts: The Digital Business Automation Podcast

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