Things you may not have known about BPMN

Just recently I launched my new and updated course “Introduction to Business Process Management”. Overall the course launch was successful with a few teething problems but one thing was certain, there was very little knowledge about BPMN. The course was launched in Central Asia as that is where I am living, but the assembled students on the course had the job title of Business Analysts and Business Improvement Analysts.

Whatever the case there were plenty of things that the students got out of the course more than that which was related directly to BPMN and its uses.  I specifically chose free Modelling packages to work with, such as BizAgi, Bonitasoft and ARIS Express.  However, there certainly was a gap in knowledge of such tools and techniques.

So in this post I am going to fill in some gaps of things that may not be known about BPM and BPMN.


  • BPM – Business Process Management.
    The discipline of managing processes as a means of improving performance outcomes. (Gartner Research)
  • BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation.
    A graphical representation for specifying business processes in a business process model. (Object Management Group)

The Difference between BPMN1 & V2.

BPMN has been around for almost a decade and BPMN V2 remains very much the same as that of Version 1.  However, one major difference which has occurred behind the scenes is the adoption of XML interchange format and the support BPMN 2 provides for turning a model and its notation into an executable process.  Open source and proprietary BPM vendors now have the capacity to take BPMN 2 input and turn it into process automation.

The BPMN2 Specification Statistics.

The specification itself 508 pages in length with some 300 figures, 313 tables, 98 visual elements, 3 annexes and 13 collaborating groups. Quite a daunting document to get to grips with. However, if we organise the BPMN elements into a few general groups, with a few elements from the first 3 categories (shown below) you will be able to draw a process diagram, begin, build and understand a process.

BPMN – Levels of Complexity.

There are three levels of complexity within BPMN, The first and foremost is BASIC followed by Intermediate and Advanced. As mentioned above with a few of the elements from the first three categories you can get up and running with BPMN very quickly. Just look at the following example of BASIC BPMN.

Start with the basics: abstract activity, start and stop events, gateways, and sequence flow and you will have both a visual and readable business process that can be enhanced further into a final executable business process.

For more information you can go to the Resources section of Bonitasoft, or follow this link and register to get access to the resource.

If you do have any questions or want to know more about the course “Introduction to Business Process Management for your enterprise, please get in touch.


Read more by Graham Smith, here



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