Process models are processes of the same nature that are classified together into a model. Thus, a process model is a description of a process at the type level. Since the process model is at the type level, a process is an instantiation of it. The same process model is used repeatedly for the development of many applications and thus, has many instantiations. One possible use of a process model is to prescribe how things must/should/could be done in contrast to the process itself which is really what happens. A process model is roughly an anticipation of what the process will look like. What the process shall be will be determined during actual system development.
The goals of a process model are to be:
- Track what actually happens during a process.
- Take the point of view of an external observer who looks at the way a process has been performed and determines the improvements that must be made to make it perform more effectively or efficiently.
- Define the desired processes and how they should/could/might be performed.
- Establish rules, guidelines, and behavior patterns which, if followed, would lead to the desired process performance. They can range from strict enforcement to flexible guidance.
- Provide explanations about the rationale of processes.
- Explore and evaluate the several possible courses of action based on rational arguments.
- Establish an explicit link between processes and the requirements that the model needs to fulfill.
- Pre-defines points at which data can be extracted for reporting purposes.
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