There are often no formally defined business
processes and associated procedures in critical parts of a business. Such
areas include external facing areas of the business, operations,
compliance, control, risk and security.
These, especially in large organisations often also require the
co-operation of a large number of stakeholders, both internal and
These two factors combined make the management of these processes at
worst untenable and at best extremely inefficient. Such areas are
particularly sensitive to ill-defined business processes because:
Furthermore some of the controls are high risk, and often performed by
junior members of staff. Unless there is transparency of these controls
(and the entire control environment), these risks cannot be assessed and
Such weaknesses will introduce vulnerabilities that could be exploited
both internally and externally, obviating costly investments of any IT
systems such areas use.
This paper specifically uses the example a hypothetical IT security
process, but the principles apply to any part of the business, especially
the sensitive areas described above.
This section outlines an UML
based structured methodology that is especially useful in modelling
complex business processes such described earlier.
Business modelling is often done informally, if at all. Whilst informal
approaches such as using simple Powerpoint models can present information
that satisfies one particular audience, they usually lack the analytical
rigour to be much use in developing workable, joined-up procedures.
Unfortunately, structured methodologies are often seen as too technical
or opaque to be much use as a tool of communication. Therefore in order to
be useful, a methodology is required to be both analytical, as well as
presenting its deliverables in a manner useful to many different
The structured approach described here can convey the same information
at different levels of detail, without losing information between the
layers of abstraction as is typically the case with informal approaches.
It is also a top-down approach, and is therefore led by the expectations
of the stakeholders, rather than the aspirations of the designers.
Please note that any examples shown in this document are illustrative
only. To navigate around the detail of this methodology please use the
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UML: Unified Modelling Language
2002-2005 Codel Services Ltd
This paper has been prepared
by Codel Services Ltd to illustrate how structured business
modelling can help your organisation. Codel Services Ltd is an IT
Consultancy specialising in business modelling. If you would like further
information, please contact us at: Deryck Brailsford, Codel Services Ltd,
Dale Hill Cottage, Kirby-Le-Soken, Essex CO13 0EN,United Kingdom.
Telephone: +44 (0)1255 862354/Mobile: + 44 (0)7710 435227/e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org