Anytime a specific process is implemented, the result is an instance of said process.

What is a process instance?

A process instance can be defined as the execution or outcome of a business process.

3 benefits of a process instance

Here are some key benefits to a process instance that are worth knowing:

1. Integrity of the process

With a completed process instance, you have an indicator as to how structurally sound a process is.

2. Need for improvement

A process instance can point to improvements needed in a process.

3. Efficiency

The speed with which a series of process instances can occur can be an indicator as to whether any steps in a process might be streamlined or eliminated in order to maximize efficiency and consistency.

Why is a process instance important to understand?

A process instance is important to understand for the following reasons:

Integral aspect of BPMN

Having an understanding of process instances is important as they are an integral aspect of Business Process Model & Notation (BPMN).

Important data can be extracted

By comprehending process instances, you can find important information like how long a process takes or if the speed and accuracy change depending on who is working the process.

Cost control

By understanding how to monitor process instances, you can determine the cost of each process instance and how much they cost, potentially pointing towards ways to control the cost.

An industry example of a process instance

A machine shop has received a shipment of a new machine that will be used in the manufacturing of baseball bats. One of the employees that will be using the machine does a test of the machine, going through the process outlined in the manual step-by-step. The completion of the process is an example of a process instance.

3 best practices when thinking about a process instance

These are some key practices to keep in mind when thinking about a process instance:

1. Don’t confuse it with the process model

The process model is the steps involved in the process and the process instance is the outcome of following the steps.

2. A process instance as an influencer

A process instance can be used to influence and manipulate a process.

3. It differs from a process map

A process diagram or process map references a generic series of events, while a process instance is related to an actual process with genuine data.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about a process instance

Is a process instance equivalent to a case in a case management system?

They share similarities, but a case may have more than a single process associated with it.

Is a process instance always reflective of its process?

Generally, yes. There is the chance for anomalies, however, where a process instance is not necessarily reflective of the process.

What is a business process management suite (BPMS)?

It is an application infrastructure used to support business project management. It supports the entire life cycle of process improvement.

Every outcome of a process is a process instance

Every time you work a process to its completion, the result is a process instance. An easy way to remember this concept is to think of a process as a recipe and the process instance as the completed dish.

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