Business Process Model and Notation Diagram

Business Process Model and Notation

Business process model and notation (BPMN) is a standard for business process modeling that is to support business process management. BPMN graphically illustrates business processes from end to end, it coordinates the sequence of activities and the information flowing between the different participants within the process.

What are BPMN Diagrams used for?

BPMN is used for providing a standard graphical representation of business processes that are easy to understand for both technical and business users. This includes business analysts responsible for creating and improving the processes, technical developers who implement the activities, and business managers who are managing and monitoring the processes. It also provides a common language, for specifying business processes, that eliminating any possible miscommunication between the different departments within a company, as well as between different organizations.

Payment Process

Understanding BPMN Diagrams

BPMN Diagrams are used for displaying a business process from end to end in a standardized manner. This standardization is presented via the specific shapes (symbols/icons) used for this kind of diagram. Each shape has its particular meaning and use. All symbols used in BPMN diagrams can be categorized within four main groups:
  • Flow objects

    These are the items illustrating the exact actions of the business process. E.g. activities, event, gateways, etc.;
  • Event Shapes

    Event Shapes

    Activity Shapes

    Activity Shapes

    Gateway Shapes

    Gateway Shapes

    Connector Shapes

    Connector Shapes

  • Connecting objects

    These are the arrow-like items connecting the different activities in the business process. E.g. message flow, association, sequence flow, etc.;
  • Swim lanes

    They are to determine the different departments or positions involved in the illustrated business process. E.g. pool, lane;
  • Artifacts

    They are to clarify furthermore different elements and parts of the BPMN. E.g. annotations, data objects, etc.
These categories of elements enable the creation of BPMN Diagrams that are fully complete and at the same time simple and easy to understand for the user.

Types of BPMN Diagrams

Business Process Model and Notation is a standard designed to allow the graphical representation of a wide variety of processes intended for a wide audience. Based on the coverage of the business process they can be distinguished into three basic types of business processes:
  • Private (Internal) Business Process Diagram

    The private business processes are the ones that are only limited to the company. They are fully internal for the organization and their execution is limited to the enterprise of the organization.
  • Abstract (Public) Process Diagram

    The abstract business processes represent the interaction between the private business process and another business process or party external to the organization. This type of diagram illustrates exclusively the sequence of messages and activities that are required for the interaction between the private business process and the external process or entity. Thus, in the abstract process diagram are included only those activities of the private business process that are in direct communication with the external entities/processes.
  • Collaboration (Global) Process Diagram

    The collaboration process diagram describes the interaction between two or more business entities. The purpose of this type of diagram is to illustrate the activities of two or more participants involved in a business process. This is achieved by presenting the activities of each entity in a different swim lane. The diagram follows the natural flow of the business process and connects the different lanes through messages where the activity of one of the participants evokes action in another one.