I was in a training class again last week. The quintessential question came up as to how many levels of processes should be there. Should we have one process that covers all levels of details? That would be akin to mapping your IT process using BPMN. How does it reflect the simplicity of the business users?
Answers ranged from 0, zero to 4 to 7.
This reminded me of an earlier discussion with Dr Naci Akkok - credit is due here.
He said think about what question is the model answering. Is it answering the "what" question or the "how" question. Users will need at least these two levels - one that answers what happens in my organization; the other level or levels that answers the how question.
Now its important to realize that its better to draw boundaries of how many levels of what questions and how many of how questions would we want to address. This will prevent proliferation of levels and will also mandate and facilitate common understanding. I would love to put a number out here as a recommendation but it would vary with the organization and the complexity of processes therein. I would recommend a number between 2 and 4 should be good enough to capture the details of business processes in your organization.
Oracle BPA Suite provides for multiple levels of processes. BPMN process levels can be further detailed.
Reminder - Disclaimer: The views expressed are entirely my own and do not reflect those of Oracle or a methodology of using Oracle BPA Suite.