Process Modeling:

Complexity is just a combination of simple things

Business Process Management (BPM):

How you manage complexity in a simple way

Archive for November, 2009

Highlights from BPMN 2.0: Event Gateways

Event Based Gateways

by Rick Geneva

This post is a continuation of the Highlights from BPMN 2.0 series.

At Last!  The long awaited changes to the numerous problems with the event based gateway.   First off, there was only one type of event based gateway in BPMN 1.0 – 1.2, and it is exclusive behavior.  Exclusive event behavior means that only one event can trigger the gateway.  Also, there was only one shape that served a dual role of start and intermediate event, yet the shape did not have any variations as the event shapes do (see Demystifying the Event Based Gateway from my previous post).

First, let’s take another look at the original Event Based Gateway from BPMN 1.0 – 1.2

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Highlights from BPMN 2.0: Artifact Shapes

BPMN 2.0 (to be released late Q2, 2010) includes some additional artifacts that are quite useful for documentation purposes.   In BPMN 1.2 there was only the data artifact, text annotation, and group shape.  There are now 6 more artifact shapes.    This post outlines the new shapes and my thoughts on what the impact will be to BPMN process modeling.

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Highlights from BPMN 2.0: Activity Types

The BPMN 2.0 specification adds a number of improvements and fixes to the BPMN 1.2 spec. Up until now I haven’t been watching it closely because there were too many changes going on, and it won’t be until July 2010 before BPMN 2.0 is final and released to the public. Due to my recent introduction and collaboration with one of the coauthors of the spec, Vishal Saxenda, I got an insiders look at what’s changing.

The new specification is over 500 pages long, which is much more than most of us have time to digest.  Furthermore, the specification is heavily laden with XML and references to mapping BPMN to the BPEL runtime. This is quite useful for standardizing BPM systems but might be more technical than the average process modeler wants to hear about.  Over the next few posts on this blog I will be highlighting some of the most important changes, and what it means to you as a process modeler.

In this post I will describe the new BPMN 2.0 task and activity types.

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Recap from the Singapore BPMN Training Event

Advanced process modeling (for the rest of us)

Recently I spent some time in Singapore teaching an advanced process modeling class.   I was pleasantly surprised at how well Singapore is adopting process oriented strategies, and how well the students learned from this event.  But I also realized something about BPM and process modeling.  There is a general lack of knowledge world-wide of how to actually execute on process management.  Some countries are doing better than others, but in the ten years that BPM has been mainstream, we still haven’t gained much ground in terms of getting the word out.

OMG has done a fabulous job at giving the world a specification for a modeling notation that far exceeds the potential of flowcharts.  The problem is, we are still at a point where we have a specification, but no practical knowledge on how to apply it to a real-world business process.   There are still only a handful of us in the BPM space that understand the BPMN specification fully.   If this BPM industry is to take off, there has to be more visibility on the benefits of getting away from the old flowchart approach.   Instead of trying to sell a BPM system (that’s the easy sell to make a some quick money) we should be teaching BPM practice.  You cannot buy BPM.  You have to practice it every day. Read more »