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Process Modeling With Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) - Article Series

Dr. Bruce Silver is an independent industry analyst and consultant focused on business process management software. Dr. Silver provides training on process modeling with BPMN through www.bpmessentials.com, the BPM Institute, and Gartner conferences, and is the author of The BPMS Report series of product evaluations available from www.bpminstitute.org.

BPMN and the Business Process Expert - Six-Part Article Series

The ability to model processes correctly and effectively using Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) has become the critical must-have skill for the business process expert.  This six-part series shows you how. 

BPMN and the Business Process Expert, Part 1
BPMN has become the standard language of the Business Process Expert, usable for descriptive process modeling, simulation analysis, and even executable implementation design of end-to-end business processes. BPMN extends the familiar swimlane flowchart paradigm with events, the key to incorporating exceptions into process models and mapping to today's SOA middleware.  

BPMN and the Business Process Expert, Part 2: Mastering the Notation
This article offers a brief summary of the BPMN notation. BPMN describes process orchestration in terms of activities (tasks and subprocesses) connected by sequence flows. Branches, splits, and joins in the flow are modeled by various gateway types. Events specify how processes respond to signals received from external entities or other parts of the same process. Other parts of the notation are loosely specified and used to add business context only.

BPMN and the Business Process Expert, Part 3: The Art of Process Modeling
BPMN's diagram semantics are expressive and precise, but the spec doesn't tell you everything you need to know to create effective models.  Here we go beyond the spec with nine tips for making your process diagram say exactly what you mean.  

BPMN and the Business Process Expert, Part 4: Mastering BPMN Events
The ability to describe event-triggered behavior directly in the diagram separates BPMN from traditional modeling notations.  An event can start a process, resume a waiting process, or abort a process activity and redirect the flow.  The BPMN spec describes many different event types, but learning just a few patterns is all you really need.   

BPMN and the Business Process Expert, Part 5: Exception-Handling Patterns
Describing the "happy path" is easy.  The real value of BPMN comes from diagramming how exceptions are handled.  Shared understanding is enhanced when you standardize on a few diagram patterns to signify various types of exceptions: business exceptions vs system faults, or internally detected vs received from outside.

BPMN and the Business Process Expert, Part 6: Choreography and Multi-Pool Processes
In addition to describing the internal process orchestration, or control flow, BPMN can represent choreography, the message exchange between processes.  In the real world, an end-to-end business process may be composed of multiple BPMN processes interacting through choreography.  This duscussion sheds light on one of BPMN's most subtle concepts: just what does a "pool" represent?

See Also: Process Modeling with BPMN - eLearning Series

Don't miss Bruce Silver's SAP NetWeaver BPM White Paper.

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