Is a process model more than just its picture?

This will only be a short 'Seth Godin' style post.

My basic question is this: We put together process models and we make them look pretty. We add activities, deliverables, decisions, discriminators and lots of additional items to put as much meaning as possible into our workflows.

But at the end of the day the model is just a model. It isn't the process itself. In the same way as a map is just the representation of the ground, it isn't the ground itself.

Should we be putting other things into our workflows? Should we be presenting users with text associated with the workflows? This concept (called 'interpretations' by Metastorm in their ProVision tool) adds an extra dimension to the process model. It adds some 'human' influence to the model. It adds a lot of value.

When you next discuss a process model with a user, will you talk to the picture that the model is represented by or will you talk to the text that underlies the model?


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