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Process modeling

Process modeling - theory


What is process modeling?


The description of the sequence of activities executed in a
process from start to end.

Representation: graphical and/or textual

Existing process (AS IS) or new process (TO BE)

Applicable on all kind of environments (production, administrative, …)


Procedure = extensive description of a process.

Flow chart = graphical representation of a process.
= Procesdiagram = flowdiagram = stroomschema = …

Work instruction (werkinstructie) = textual description of an
= SOP: Standard Operating Procedure.

Process modeling - theory

Modeling levels


Level 0-1

Level 2

Level 3



Overview - Analysis

Analysis - Manual





Board of directors

Head of department;
process owner





Target group
Level of




Level 0

Process Map (Enterprise Process Map, Macro
Process Map)

View of the company as a
collection of process domains

FRA: Carte des processus (Carte des macroprocessus)
BEL/HOL: Procesmap

Level 1

Process Domain (Process Area, Main Process)
FRA: Domaine de processus (Zone de processus)
BEL/HOL: Procesdomein

Level 2

Process (Business Process)
FRA: Processus (Processus métier)
BEL/HOL: Proces, Bedrijfsproces

Level 3

Activity bloc (Sub-process)
FRA: Bloc d'activités (Sous-processus)
BEL/HOL: Activiteitenblok

Level 4

Work instruction
FRA: Instruction de travail
BEL/HOL: Werkinstructie

View of a process domain as a
collection of processes within a
certain area
View of a process as a succession
of activity blocs
View of activity blocs as a
succession of activities
Elaborated description of an
activity as a group of tasks

Process modeling - theory

Modeling levels
Level 1

Level 2


Level 4

Level 3

Process A
Activity bloc 1
Activity bloc 2
Activity bloc 3


Activity bloc n
Process B


Process C


. we split the steps/tasks in 2 or more activities.  If one of these three conditions is not fulfilled. by the same person (or same function) and in the same place (same work spot). we group those in one activity.  When a group of tasks is always executed within the same timeframe (successively. Define the borders of the process (start and end)  Who is the customer?  What is the input/output?  What are the activity blocs? 2. in from the left. not interrupted). When elaborating activity blocs into activities. 3.Process modeling – in practice Level 3: activity blocks and activities 1. keep the ‘unity of time-person-place’ principle in mind. Draw the ‘happy flow’ (main flow) on one line. 5 . A process model should be visual and shows sequence and dependency: flow lines go out from the right.

6 Business process modeling notation .

at different levels of fidelity.BPMN Introduction  Definition:    7 Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) graphical notation to visualize and model processes.1 OMG Specification. is a History:  Has been developed by BPMI (Business Process Management Initiative) as a standard in process modeling. BPMN is designed to cover many types of modeling and allows the creation of process segments as well as end-to-end business processes.  Start of development: 2002  …  The BPMN 1. Business process modeling is used to communicate a wide variety of information to different audiences. . 2008. February.

BPMN Use 8  Full BPMN is best suited for drawing specification level or technical workflow models in preparation for configuring an automated workflow facility or business process management system  A subset of BPMN can be used for business modeling. Main Process View of a process domain as a collection of processes within a certain area Level 2 Business Process. Activity blocs View of activity blocs as a succession of activities Level 4 Work instruction Elaborated description of an activity . Macro Process Map View of the company as a collection of process domains Level 1 Process Area. Enterprise Process Map. Process View of a process as a succession of activity blocs Level 3 Sub-process. Process Domain. this subset is however not yet formally identified! Used for workflow modeling (level 3) Level Also called Description Level 0 Process Map.

.  BPMN allows to represent simple as well as complex processes and sub-processes in a clear and unambiguous way.BPMN Flowchart versus BPMN  Differences/advantages flowchart notations: 9 of BPMN versus other  BPMN has several extra symbols which allow to fulfill easier the customers needs in process modeling. close to reality. process schemes in BPMN are easy to read and interpret in a correct way as a layman in flowcharting.  Thanks to the clear symbols.

BPMN Flowchart versus BPMN  10 Modeling of the recruiting of temporary employees: flowchart Extra symbols BPMN BPMN: easy modeling of underlying processes BPMN: easy to understand Modeling of repeated activities (loops) is less complex in BPMN than the branching in classic flowcharting .

BPMN Core set of BPMN elements  The four basic categories of elements are:  Flow objects  Connecting objects  Swimlanes  Artifacts 11 .

These events affect the flow of the process and usually have a cause (trigger) or an impact (result).Events Overview  An event is something that “happens” during the course of a business process. based on when they affect the flow: Start. and End.Flow object . Intermediate. 12 .  Events are circles with open centers to allow internal markers to differentiate different triggers or results.  There are three types of events.

There are multiple ways that these events can be triggered. 13 .Events Overview  Start and most Intermediate events have “Triggers” that define the cause for the event. End events may define a “result”.

Rule (Signal and Multiple). Timer. The Trigger for a Start event is designed to show the general mechanism that will instantiate that particular Process.Events Start Events  There are many ways that a business process can be started (instantiated). There are six types of Start Events in BPMN: None. 14 . Message.

Events Intermediate Events  These Event types indicate the different ways that a process may be interrupted or delayed after it has started. Each type of Intermediate event will have a different icon placed in the center of the Intermediate event shape to distinguish one from another. 15 .

This will be referred to as the End event result.Events End Events  A BPMN modeler can define the consequence of reaching an End event. 16 .

Events can also be attached to the boundary of an activity:  They indicate that the activity should be interrupted when the Event is triggered.Events In practice  Events can be used in the normal process flow:   They represent things that happen during the process. 17 .

 Link Events can be used as “Go-To” objects.Events In practice  Link Events can be used for Off-Page connectors. 18 .

Activities Overview   This symbol can be atomic or non-atomic (compound).  Atomic: Activities  Atomic Non-atomic & expanded) Non-atomic: Sub-processes (collapsed Both are represented by rounded rectangles. 19 .

BPMN specifies four types of standard markers for Subprocesses:  The Sub-process marker can be combined with four other markers: Loop . 20 .Activities Markers for an activity or sub-process  BPMN specifies three types of markers for Activities:   An activity may have one or two of these markers.Ad Hoc.  A Sub-process may have one to three of these other markers.Multiple Instance – Compensation .

Markers Loops  If the loop condition is evaluated before the activity. This means that the activities will be repeated as long as the condition is true. this is generally referred to as an until loop. The activities will be performed at least once.  If the loop condition is evaluated after the activity. but may be performed many times. this is generally referred to as a while loop. 21 . This means that the activities will be repeated until a condition becomes true. The activities may not be performed at all (if the condition is false the first time) or performed many times.

Markers Loops  Until loop in Sub-process:  While loop in Sub-process 22 .

the other markers are not widespread in use and can be avoided. The symbol for a collapsed sub-process and also the loop-marker are frequently used.  In the expanded sub-process the marker is repeated. 23 .Markers In practice   Position of the marker:  In the collapsed sub-process the marker is placed next to the ‘+’symbol.

Thus. merging.Gateways Overview  A Gateway is used to control the divergence and convergence of Sequence flow. it will determine branching. and joining of paths. 24 . forking. Internal markers will indicate the type of behavior control.

but only one of them may be taken during the performance of the Process.Gateways Exclusive gateways (XOR)  Exclusive gateways (Decisions) are locations within a business process where the Sequence flow can take two or more alternative paths. The Exclusive decision has two or more outgoing Sequence flow. There are two types of Exclusive decisions:  Data-based:  Event-based: 25 .

Since each path is independent. all combinations of the paths may be taken. However. from zero to all. in this case. However. it should be designed so that at least one path is taken.Gateways Inclusive gateways (OR)  This Decision represents a branching point where alternatives are based on conditional expressions contained within outgoing Sequence flow. the true evaluation of one condition expression does not exclude the evaluation of other condition expressions. 26 .

before you can start Activity F. These Gateways are not required to create parallel flow. In this case you have to wait for both Activity C and D to be finished. but they can be used to clarify the behavior of complex situations where a string of Gateways are used and parallel flow is required.Gateways Parallel gateways (AND)  27 Parallel gateways provide a mechanism to synchronize parallel flow and to create parallel flow. .

It can be recommended to repeat the Gateway when the different flows merge.  A Gateway splits the process into different flows. it is recommended to limit the use of Gateways to these three:  A Gateway controls the process flow. thus if the flow does not need to be controlled.Gateways In practice  To be clear and understandable. if it is necessary for the understanding. 28 . a Gateway is not needed.

29 .Connecting objects Sequence flows  A Sequence flow is used to show the order that activities will be performed in a Process.  Regular Sequence Flow:  Default Sequence Flow:  Conditional Sequence Flow: The diamond shape is used to relate the behavior to a Gateway (also a diamond) that controls the flow within a Process.

A Sequence Flow cannot cross a Pool boundary or a Sub-Process boundary. Events and Gateways. 2.Connecting objects Sequence flows: in practice 1. but use one of the 3 frequently used Gateways in combination with Regular Sequence Flows. 30 . Avoid using the Conditional Sequence Flow. Sequence Flows only connect Activities. 3.

g. business entities or business roles).  Example: 31 .Connecting objects Message flows  A Message flow is used to show the flow of messages between two participants that are prepared to send and receive them.. two separate Pools in the Diagram will represent the two participants (e. In BPMN.

32 .  Message Flows are not allowed between object within a single pool.Connecting objects Message flows: in practice  A message Flow can connect to the boundary of the Pool or to an object within the pool.

 Associations are used to show how data is input to and output from Activities. Text and graphical non-Flow Objects can be associated with the Flow Objects.  Text Annotations can be Associated with objects. 33 .Connecting objects Associations  An Association is used to associate information with Flow Objects.  An Association can be used to associate Artifacts and Activities.

representing departments or roles. a supplier or a shipping partner. your own company.Swimlanes Overview  BPMN uses the “swimlanes” concept to partition and organize activities.g. 34 .  The two types of swimlanes are:  Pools represent organizations. for instance.  Lanes are organizational sub-structures of pools. e.

g.Swimlanes Pools: in practice  Pools represent participants in an interactive Business Process Diagram. “MÖBIUS”)  A Pool may be a “black box” or may contain a Process.g.  Sequence Flow cannot cross the boundary of a Pool ( = a Process is fully contained within a Pool) 35 .  Interaction between Pools is handled through Message Flow...  A participant may be a business role (e. “buyer” or “seller”) or may a business entity (e.

36 .  They often represent organization roles (e.g. HR). Manager.Swimlanes Lanes: in practice  Lanes are used to organise and categorise activities and represent sub partitions for the objects within a Pool.g.  Sequence Flow can cross Lane boundaries. Finance. Associate) or departments (e. but can represent any desired Process characteristic.

Artifacts Overview 37  Artifacts provide the capability to show information beyond the basic flow-chart structure of the Process.  There are currently three standard Artifacts in BPMN:  Additional Artifacts may be standardized in later versions. .  Specific industries or markets may have their own set of Artifacts.  Their shapes must not conflict with existing shapes.  Modelers and Modeling Tools can add new Artifacts to a diagram.

Artifacts Text Annotations  Text Annotations are a mechanism for a modeler to provide additional information for the reader of a Process flow. 38 .  Text Annotations can be connected to a specific object on the flow with an Association.

 Data Objects are Artifacts that are used to show how data and documents are used within a Process.  Data Objects can be given a state that shows how a document may be changed or updated within the Process.Artifacts Data objects  Data Objects are considered Artifacts because they do not have any direct effect on the Sequence Flow or Message Flow of the Process.  Data Objects can be used to define inputs and outputs of activities. but they do provide information about what activities require to be performed and/or what they produce. 39 .

40 . The grouping can be used for documentation or analysis purposes. Groups can also be used to identify the activities of a distributed transaction that is shown across Pools.  Groups are Artifacts that are used to highlight certain sections of a Diagram without adding additional constraints for performance – as a Sub-Process would.Artifacts Groups  Groups: a grouping of activities that does not affect the Process Flow.

If the client has no preferences. You can model in a horizontal direction as well as in a vertical. The most important is:  to model according the agreed conventions.  that the process flow represents the actual (or future) process. 41 .BPMN In practice   In process modeling there is often more than one “best solution”.  that the process flow is understandable. we model in a horizontal direction (for practical reasons).

preferably on maximum 4 lines.  The margins within a symbol can be adjusted.Text Block: Margins left & right) 42 .  Use preferably for the Activity name: font Arial . (for Visio: Format .  Chose a title for an activity that fits in the symbol.BPMN In practice  Never change the size of the BPMN-symbols.Text . if necessary.font size 10pt.

. See next slide.font Arial .BPMN In practice  43 Do not write anything inside an Event or Gateway symbol.  Comments and remarks can be added through Text Annotations .font size 8pt.

BPMN In practice   44 The question/rule/choice/condition linked with a Gateway can be mentioned:  In the Activity preceding the Gateway. .  On the Sequence Flow preceding the Gateway.  As Text Annotation associated with the Gateway. (preferably) (to be avoided) The description of the different outputs of a Gateway are written on the Sequence Flows resulting from the Gateway.

 When the convention is to put departments or services as Lanes. you can add the dimension of rolls or function by coloring the Activities. do not extend the activity over several lanes.BPMN In practice  When an activity is executed by different functions at the same time. 45 . but use the AND-Gateway to split the flow over the lanes.


Using BPMN with MS Visio Opening the BPMN-stencil  BPMN-stencil is needed to use elements in MS Visio  Get the BPMN-stencil in the directory you store it  File .select “BPMN Stencil” 47 .Open Stencil… .Shapes .

Using BPMN with MS Visio Getting started…  Drag and drop the elements on your Visio document 48 .

Using BPMN with MS Visio Example 49 .