What is a Business Scenario, why is it not just a type of Process?

A business process can in practice be defined at any level of granularity (e.g. the very high level/strategic exchanges between enterprises, the more detailed handling of business events such as processing a transaction, and on down to the very detailed calculation of some value). BIAN business scenarios are pitched at the level of significant business events where there are typically multiple interactions between business capabilities that match to the Service Domains. Any event that is captured at this level can also be represented using a conventional business process model – indeed the rendering of events that may typically be modeled using conventional business processes as business scenarios is the approach BIAN uses to ratify the roles and interactions of Service Domains through exposing and clarifying their service operation exchanges.

There are two key differences between a business event captured as a business process and as a business scenario. One, the BIAN business scenario assigns all of the involved ‘activities’ uniquely to the participating Service Domains – in the process view the same activities are described but they are not formally assigned to discrete, responsible ‘entities’. Two, the flow described in the business scenario is simply intended to represent an archetypal flow as an example -  the associated service interactions are not intended to be comprehensive nor prescriptive, simply one possible realization. In the process model the sequence of the actions are tightly coupled together and prescribe the process specifically.

From this distinction it can be seen how a process model supports design and development of systems solutions that automate a well defined/predictable sequence of linked actions and the BIAN ‘capability’ based design is better suited to more loosely coupled service oriented systems design.