Process Modeling:

Complexity is just a combination of simple things

Business Process Management (BPM):

How you manage complexity in a simple way

Archive for September, 2009

Demystifying the Event Driven Gateway

Event Based Exclusive Gateway

The event driven gateway is one of the most useful symbols that I know of in BPMN.  Yet it’s often overlooked as a solution to common problems.  It is a compound symbol, inheriting attributes of other BPMN shapes.  First of all, it’s a gateway that is used to split sequence flow paths.  The gateway is the diamond symbol.  Inside this diamond shape you will see the intermediate event shape, which is the double thin line circle.  Inside the intermediate event shape there is the pentagon, which is a symbol for multiple events.  So when you put all of this together we have a gateway that deals with multiple intermediate events.

BPMN version 1.1 and higher

BPMN version 1.1 and higher

In all of my classes I tend to get more questions about the event based gateway than any other shape in BPMN.  This is probably because there are so many use cases for it, and its pattern to many people appears to be drawn backwards.  Most beginners in BPMN tend to draw the pattern with the intermediate event shapes to the left of the gateway.  Let’s start by looking at the basic pattern and then discuss some of the potential business scenarios where you could use this notation.

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The next trend

In the IT world, trends come and go.  The next “must have” or “must do” today is a dust collector tomorrow.   Recently I had a conversation with a colleague about BPM, and whether or not it will continue to be a growing trend, or are its days numbered?   He said to me “are you still doing that process stuff?  BPM is old news.”  My reply to this was simple.  While trends of automating processes come and go, process management has been around since before the computer.  The computer enables people to be more efficient in many ways.  But the software you use today is constantly being replaced by latest, greatest trend.   BPM is not software.  It’s not something you buy.  It’s something you do. There are many systems on the market based on older technologies that make them go out of favor as new systems emerge.  But to say that BPM is ancient history would be like saying that business its self is ancient history as well.

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BPMN Patterns and PMF in Singapore – Oct 14-15 2009

I will be doing an advanced process modeling training in Singapore on October 14th and 15th, 2009.  This is a public class through my employer, Intalio.  However, the content of this class is not specific to Intalio.  In fact, it’s applicable to any form of process modeling even if you have no intention of creating executable process models.   The course will contain in-depth coverage of my upcoming book content including process patterns and the Process Modeling Framework (PMF).

I’m using this class as a test run of the book content.   Also there will be some hands-on exercises and real-world use cases to analyze.  So if you happen to in the area during October, I’d love to have you in my class.

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