Business Process Modeling

This is a placeholder page with some basic information until I get around to writing a more detailed page.



Business Process Modeling is the process of documenting the current or future state of a business process in a graphical format. Currently, the most popular way to do this is with the Business Process Modeling and Notation standard propagated by the OMG. A complete Business Process Model will contain the following information:

  1. The business event that triggered or started the process. This could the output of some other process, a client phone call, or pretty much any other triggering event.
  2. The actors who are involved with the process. Each actor is generally represented by their own swimlane in the BPMN diagram.
  3. The actions or tasks taken by the actors that in total make up the process.
  4. The sequence of the actions or tasks as they are executed within the process.
  5. Any decision points that lead to alternative sequence flows within the process.
  6. The end point of the process.
  7. In addition, if you use a timeline in your diagram, you can document the time frame that each action or task is taking place in.


Once complete, Business Process Models can be used for:

  • Reference (to identify how a business process is expected to occur and who/what is involved in each process);
  • Training (to show new or current staff how to carry out a business process);
  • Analysis (as part of process improvement initiative; as part of a [[Gap Analysis]] effort when substantial changes are being made such as a new software platform; as part of a [[Stakeholder Analysis]] effort to identify project stakeholders)
  • Development (as a way of specifying the “to be” state for a change management/process improvement/or software development effort)


  • It is rarely advisable to try and show every last step in single process model unless the process is very simple. For more complex activities or tasks within a process, make them a process of their own.
  • If your software allows it, try making each swimlane a different (generally pale) color. This helps visually separate the actors and the tasks that each performs.


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