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  • Writer's pictureSchüberl Consulting

The process modelling compass: A look at the different levels of process modelling

Business Process Management is a complex discipline that helps organisations understand and optimise their processes. Structuring processes in a process model helps to provide an overview and ensure a holistic view. A key aspect is the structuring of processes at different levels.

The different levels of process modelling

Level 1: Process map

The process map is the highest level of business process management and represents the totality of all processes in the organisation in an abstract form. It provides an overview of the different business processes and their interrelationships. There are different methods of graphical visualisation. Common to all methods is the distinction between three types of processes:

Leadership and management processes

Manage the whole business; design and coordinate the delivery of tasks across core and support processes, e.g. strategic planning.

Service or core processes

Sequence of value-creating activities that transform inputs into outputs and generate direct customer benefits, e.g. order processing, customer service.

Support processes

Support the execution of core and management processes by providing the necessary information and resources as a framework, e.g. customer information, cost/pricing, logistics, IT services.

Examples of the three process types

Level 2: Main processes

Level 2 defines the main processes, such as sales or production. This level roughly outlines the operational areas and provides an initial insight into the structure of the business.

Level 3: Processes

Level 3 takes a closer look at the processes within the main processes, such as developing a sales strategy. This level provides a more detailed description of the processes, but is still quite general.

Level 4: Sub-processes

Level 4 deals with the sub-processes, i.e. the steps required to carry out a specific process, such as analysing the market as part of developing a sales strategy. Concrete instructions for action are already defined here, but often without detailed specifications.

Level 5: Activities / tasks

The lowest level, Level 5, describes the activities and tasks required to carry out the sub-processes. Systems, instructions and procedures are documented to carry out the steps in the Level 4 processes. Inputs, outputs, associated steps and decision points are recorded.


By structuring processes at different levels, organisations can clearly define and understand their workflows. By moving from an abstract overview to detailed task descriptions, they can make their business processes more efficient and optimise them in a targeted manner. Business Process Management therefore provides a strong foundation for business success.

Outlook: In our next article on Business Process Management, we will look at methods of process mapping.

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