What do the terms private process and public process mean?

Processes can be modeled at different levels of abstraction.  The decision of what amount of detail to show depends on the audience.  A private process typically contains a much greater level of detail and reflects all of the information needed for someone internal to the organization to understand and follow the process.  In contrast, a public process will usually contain much less detail than a private process and focuses on showing only the activities and portions of the process that are relevant to other participants in the process.  

A great way to visualize this is to consider a process representing a buyer/seller relationship.  The buyer and seller are participants in the process, each contained within their own pool since they control their own process.  However, they interact with each other via message flows.

If the buyer sends an order to the seller, the seller must fulfill the order.  There may be an elaborate quality control check as part of the order fulfillment process.  But this detail is irrelevant to the buyer.  So in a public process it wouldn’t be shown.  In fact, by using public processes (higher levels of abstraction showing less detail) the model allows for the flexibility of each of the participants to change the internal structure of their process without impacting each other.  The agreed upon handshake or interface, which is documented by a sequence of message flows, remains unchanged.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 10:31 PM by Chris Adams