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Business Process Modeling Notation Is So Famous, But Why?

Business Process Modeling Notation abbreviated as BPMN is a graphical modeling language designed for business processes. In simpler terms, it can also be defined as a common process modeling language which can be understood by all the stakeholders. Business Process Modeling is a powerful tool that is used in the re-engineering process. This blog will help you to give a much deeper understanding of this topic. The topics covered would be -

What is Business Process Modeling Notation?

Business Process Modeling Notation is a diagrammatic representation of a business process. It is a method that maps a business approach to the business process, by creating a graphical representation of a complex business process.

This process helps the stakeholders to have a better picture and clarity on the information gathered, to make decisions based on this information, and draw a map to better match the business process. A standard and defined Business Process Modeling Notation makes businesses capable of understanding their inner capability and capacity that their inner business procedures hold. The graphical notation helps organizations majorly in two ways, firstly to communicate these details in a standard manner and second promoting the performance collaborations and business transactions between organizations.

BPMN depicts a flowchart diagram to show the business process flow, depicting a sequence of business procedures and information flow passing through that process. This process helps to improve efficiency and improve business goals.

Let's take an example of a business process which shows the flow of a payment method -

What is Business Process Modeling Notation?

What is the origin of Business Process Modeling Notation?

BPMI(Business Process Management Institute) and OMG (Object Management Group)

Business Process Modeling Notation is a combination of standardized business processes. It was initially published in 2004 by the Business Process Management Initiative. After the merger of OMG (Object Management Group ) and BPMI in 2005, BPMN is managed by OMG. BPMN has gone through various revisions out of which the recent one is BPMN 2.0 with the changed method as Business Process Model and Notation. Version 2.0 was originally developed in 2010 and was formerly released in the version of December 2013. This release brought a detailed standard for the business process model because of a richer set of symbols and notations being used.

So, in general release 2.0 is not just modeling notation, but it is modeling and notation.

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Understanding of Notation in Business Process

For any business process modeling the moment any organization thinks above flowcharts, notations come into the picture. In BPMN, notations depict much higher elements than any high-level flowcharts to form a descriptive flow of any business process model.

This level of modeling helps to create very complex flow and are used to put a systematic version to any requirement, as in -

  • It is helpful in creating a requirement for any Software development as it has the capability to show any complex flows.
  • BPMN notations would help to have a modeling repository, where all the complex activities can be stored and reused whenever they are required. To help this, you can also make use of the Business Process Management Suite.
  • This model would also help in aligning various other business aspects such as team structure, aligning various BU’s and resource allocations.

How important is Business Process Modeling Notation?

Business Process Modeling Notation is of great importance as it solves the complex problem of what needs to be done, the steps involved to accomplish those, who is responsible and accountable for each task. The benefit is all these are explained in the form of sequential flow.

Let’s see its importance in a more simplified manner -

  • It helps in the coordination and alignment of business strategy and operations.
  • It helps managers, leadership team and management to have consistency in business processes across all business units without disturbing the organization’s strategy.
  • This process makes sure that everything which is being discussed is well documented.
  • It improves communication among all the business functions as it aligns them with the same business process thus diluting the process gaps.
  • This handles exceptions in a much accurate and faster mode.
  • Because of seamless alignment, it makes sure that organization stand ahead in the market and above all the competitors.

What are the types of process modeling?

When this term of process modeling comes, there is always a confusion of process maps and models. Well, both are process modeling techniques and are extensively used to draw business processes.

Process Maps works towards a specific goal and they are aligned with the organization's goals to meet business expectations. The focus of process maps is very clear where they look towards overall performance and increasing the efficiency of business processes. The most common and simple way to draw process maps are flow-charts. The reason being flow-charts are easy to understand and tasks can be divided into smaller modules.

Modeling works on the framework and a set of standards. There is a standard set-up that is made and process modeling is built over that. Also, it is made sure it is compliant with the organization's values and policies. The focus is mostly on achieving mission and vision, and that’s the reason it goes under various revisions by the leadership team. Process Modeling revolves around financial identification, architecture and organization’s value.

If you would like to know more details on process maps please check our blog -

Elements and Symbols in Business Process Modeling

In Business Process Modeling and Notation, symbols and their representations help to depict the business process flow. It basically revolves around four basic elements.

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  • Basic Flows - Events, Activities, and Gateways
  • Connecting Flows - Connectors, Sequential Flow
  • Swimlanes - Pools
  • Artifacts - Groups and Data Objects

Let’s understand them in a much better way

  • Events - Event can be said as the initiator or endpoint, a depiction that starts the process or ends it. They are shown by circles and are definitely used in any flow diagram.
  • Activity goes by its same, a task or a process that needs to be performed. It is a rectangular box that depicts processes, sub-processes, and multiple instances.
  • Gateways are the diamond shapes boxes that are used as decision points or to define certain conditions that result in yes or no.
  • Connectors and Sequential Flow are the shapes that are represented by various formats of arrows. They show the way flow is happening, might be a conditional flow or a default flow.
  • Pools represent a set of people in any organization involved in this process. Pool along with swim lane means activities and a particular flow for each participant is responsible.
  • Artifacts are the additional details which are being added by developers to give more insights into the development task, as in data objects and annotations.

Elements and Symbols in Business Process Modeling

Elements and Symbols in Business Process Modeling

Software for Business Process Modeling and Notation

There are multiple software and suites available in the market to help perform organizations better modeling of business process. This software helps to solve many complex problems that involve modeling, automation, execution, control, and optimization of business process flows, in alignment with the organization's goals, employees, customers, and their respective clients.

Some of the known software are -

Bizagi - Bizagi has the approach of intelligent process automation, digital process automation, and business process management. It is the most popular tool in the BPM industry as it collaboratively allows us to draw, optimize and publish your own workflow diagrams which in turn would result in better efficiency.

Oracle BPM - Oracle BPM is a member of Business Process Management Suite. This suite helps developers in the creation of process-based applications and business analysts to form process-based businesses. This studio is part of the Oracle Java Developer IDE. The most important aspect is that it enables the stakeholders involved in the software development life cycle to work together on modeling, implementation, and deployment.

Important Diagrams in Business Process Model  

Diagrams have their own value, especially in a business process model. It is rightly said, it's easy to remember and understand anything that is visual. Let's see some of the important diagrams in the world of business process model and notation.

Important Diagrams in Business Process Model  

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Process Diagrams - Process Diagrams are basically in the form of process maps or process models and used to make things understand to a large set of stakeholders. It might be used for internal stakeholders, or for external or for both. It is mostly designed in the form of sequential flow and sometimes parallels are also attached to it.

The classic example would flow between customer, supplier, and agency, where all three deals with customer and supplier orders.

Choreographies - Choreography diagrams were separately introduced in the version BPMN 2.0. Choreography diagrams focus on in between interactions among two parties and information that would flow between them. It can be viewed as a contract between two or more firms.

Collaboration Process - Collaboration as the name says, depicts the partnership or alliance between the two parties. It is the most widely used BPM diagram because it is diverse and it is easily recognized and understood by all the parties who are involved.


“A goal without a method is nothing.”

Saying that it is very necessary to understand that a successful business without a proper business process is nothing. I hope you had a great time exploring this topic with us. Happy Learning dear learners!!

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    I believe in knowledge sharing and bringing change in people's lives. As a business analyst by profession, I love to explore everything about the way businesses should drive. I keep in touch with the latest business analysis updates.


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