Process Modeling:

Complexity is just a combination of simple things

Business Process Management (BPM):

How you manage complexity in a simple way

Archive for the ‘BPMN 2.0’ Category

New Process Modeling BPMN 2.0 book released

It’s with great pleasure that my writing partner Tom Debevoise  and I announce that the Microguide to Process Modeling in BPMN 2.0 has been released on this week.  You can purchase the book on Amazon.  This book is a culmination of many years of process modeling experience, and introduces new, modern trends of blended process, event, and decision modeling styles.  The book is jam packed with information in a concise, easy to read format. To our knowledge, there is nothing else on the market like it.


There is a special reduced introductory price, so be sure to get your copy before the price goes up.  Also note that the Kindle version will be released around the end of July 2011.  There are few process modeling / BPMN 2.0 books available for Kindle, and this is the one to own.



An updated guide to business process modeling covering a broad range of necessary topics for understanding the new era of process design. A must-have book for business analysts, IT architects, and anyone interested in driving process improvement with a more efficient means of communication. The concise materials in this book focus on modern process design. Developed from actual practices, these techniques are proven in many of the most advanced processes, in production today. More than BPMN 2.0, the book is about Process modeling 2.0 concepts which stress decision and event modeling.

  • Most important topics related to business process modeling.
  • Quick guide to OMG’s BPMN 2.0 notation.
  • Common patterns based on proven design.
  • Decision modeling and business rules patterns.
  • Event processing patterns.
  • Combined process, decision, and event modeling.
  • Characteristics of various process types.
  • Process Modeling Framework (PMF) for consistent, structured design
  • Process Discovery through effective requirements gathering techniques.
  • Considering the organization as part of process design.

A special thanks to Jessica Holbrook for the beautiful cover design, Robert Kern for the easy to read layout, and Dr. Richard Welke for the forward.


The Microguide to Process Modeling 2.0: Almost there

After many complications of changing the focus of the new book, and then changing employers half way through writing, we are done.  It’s only two years behind schedule.  But I can tell you that it’s probably worth the wait.  Tom D. and I have written a book that is not only about the BPMN specification.  It’s about process modeling, with BPMN as the means to express the concepts.   We are calling the book The Microguide to Process Modeling in BPMN 2.0, which is a combination of what we call Process Modeling 2.0 and the BPMN 2.0 specification in one.   The BPMN 2.0 content comprises about 40% of this book, and the rest is focused on process modeling technique.

In this new book we are  including some new groundbreaking material about merging business rules and complex event processing along with traditional process modeling.   According to most leading industry analysts (Gartner, Forrester, IDC, etc), we are at a point where techniques and technologies are merging.  This level of complexity and sophistication requires an overarching governance methodology to be successful.   For this reason I included 30+ paged dedicated to the Process Modeling Framework (PMF).   Thirty pages is not nearly enough on this topic, but at least it’s enough to get started with understanding layered process structures.  The Microguide book strategy is to give a jump-start on the topic of process modeling but yet provide enough details to use the content in the real-world.

I still have plans to publish the process patterns book and the more detailed PMF book.  But because of my fairly recent career path change, my perspective has greatly changed. And, the industry as a whole has changed since 2008.   We are now in the fourth wave.  Therefore the content I had previously created has to be updated.

Keep your eyes open for the new book.  It should be showing up on by mid June 2011.   And thanks again for everyone’s support on making the search term “BPMN” on list my previous book in the top three.

– Rick Geneva

Highlights from BPMN 2.0: New Event Types

What’s new in BPMN 2.0: Part 5

Continuing coverage of the BPMN 2.0 specification, this post will focus on the new event types.   Prior to 2.0, BPMN had several problems when it came to escalating events and dealing with events in parallel.  Often I would end up using a pattern with multiple loops inside of loops to accomplish seemingly simple activities. Furthermore, it was difficult to distinguish between human centric and system centric activity for a mixed-mode diagram that includes both.

One goal of BPMN is to bring the SOA camp, the business analysts,  and the process modeling communities closer together.  A side effect of this has been that BPMN is very messaging intensive. For complex interactions, multiple pools are used, which requires lots of messaging lines to keep activity in sync between participants .  This is sometimes a problem for people who come from a flowchart/workflow backround using tools such as Visio, which essentially allows you to create a really bad BPMN diagram due to the lack of diagram validation.  Often I see messaging lines within a pool going between lanes, when what was really intended is to do a simple escalation.  Antoher common problem prior to BPMN 2.0 is showing enough detail without having to show the intricate patterns of looping and dealing with multiple events in parallel.

We are starting to see a shift from multiple pools and lanes to more of a style based on a single pool with no lanes, which means less explicit messaging notation. On the other hand, we are starting to see more capability in BPMN to document highly technical processes for the SOA community.

New Event Types

In this post I will cover the new BPMN escalation event and parallel multiple event. Read more »

Highlights from BPMN 2.0: Non-Interrupting Events

What’s new in BPMN 2.0, part 4.

BPMN 2.0 adds a lot of new concepts.  Many of these are long overdue to be added to the spec.  Others are a totally new concept.  In this post we are going to take a look at one of the long-overdue fixes to the BPMN specification; the intermediate events on the subprocess border.

In previous versions of BPMN, placing an event on the subprocess border meant that when the event was triggered, the exceptional flow would become active.  Also, this means that normal flow stops.  In the diagram below, subprocess A ceases when the timer event is triggered.  Instead, the “handle timeout” subprocess is active at that point.  In other words, subprocess A has been interrupted.

Intermediate Interrupting Event

Intermediate Interrupting Event

There is another use case that BPMN 1.2 did not cover.  What if the timer event isn’t supposed to interrupt subprocess A?   Just to clarify, in the BPMN 2.0 specification, Interrupt means that the parent subprocess will end.  This is similar to a cancel, but cancellation is another concept and another shape entirely.  So it’s called interruption.  There is another use case for non-interrupting events that has long been a challenge prior to 2.0.

Read more »

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

Read more »

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.

Read more »