When creating a Business Process Model, it is helpful to have a high-level, preliminary process map created that can be built upon when sessions begin with the business area and subject matter experts.  A preliminary map can be created from source materials provided by the business area and subject matter experts and may consist of as-is process models, procedures, and user guides.

As-is business process maps can many times be used as a preliminary process map.  They can be easily modified into the desired format.

Procedures can be reviewed for high-level steps and converted into the process map format.  When converting a procedure, select high level steps (ex. “Complete application”) while avoiding detailed steps (ex. “Click Save” or “Enter name in uppercase”).  Each high level step can be represented on the process map by an activity box.  The role performing each step in the procedure is represented on the process map by the label of the swim lane where the activity box is placed.

User guides can also be converted into the process map format.  This can be done by reviewing the table of contents for pertinent headings.  Each pertinent heading section can be further reviewed and turned into a section of the process map.  The steps taken from each paragraph under the section can be turned into the activity boxes.  Many times, unless otherwise stated, the role performing these steps will be the “processor” and will be identified in the swim lane labels.

High-level, preliminary business process maps can be used when sessions begin.  They invoke discussion around the proper process steps and the sequence of steps.  They also provide a visual aid to demonstrate the steps of a process and a visual method of rearranging, adding and deleting the steps of a process.