Keep informed?
Subscribe for our newsletter now!

BPMN is the global standard for process modeling and one of the most important pieces in the puzzle of successful business-it-collaboration.
As influencing members in OMG, we have been participating in the development of BPMN 2.0, the newest version of the standard, that allows both business modeling and technical execution of processes.

defining guidelines for BPMN

defining guidelines for BPMN

BPMN is very powerful, but applying it in practice can become a big struggle. This does not mean that BPMN does not work, e.g. because it is too complicated for business (see also “BPMN – just DO it“). The important thing is that you recognize BPMN’s complexity which is a direct result of it’s expressiveness, and learn how to use BPMN for your special purposes. This often leads to your individual guidelines for using BPMN, that are based on the standard, enabled by appropriate tooling and defined with respect for your organization’s culture and procedures, e.g. the software development process that is either “waterfall” or “agile”.

BPMN 2.0 is no silver bullet!

BPMN 2.0 is no silver bullet!

We have been using BPMN for several years now, in a lot of projects. Sometimes, those projects were about pure process documenting for business purposes, and some were only about technical process execution, but most of our projects have been a mixture of both. Based on those experiences, we have developed a couple of methods and best practices for using BPMN in practice. They work like a “methodical toolbox”, and most of them are centered around the question of Business-IT-collaboration. For example, on of the biggest problems when you do BPM in practice is that people in business departments cannot read, left alone create, process diagrams that are directly executable. And this won’t change with BPMN 2.0!

camunda BPMN-Framework

camunda BPMN-Framework


This is the reason why we created, besides other things, the “camunda BPMN-Framework”. This framework is a set of guidelines we use in our BPM projects, and it basically consists of three levels:

There are two important things about this approach: We allow semantical inconsistencies between level 1 and level 2 models, but we DO NOT allow any inconcistencies between level 2 and level 3 models. Actually, level 2 and level 3 are just different views on the same model (though you can argue about that, like Bernd pointed out).

Ah, and there is actually a third important point to remark: It works :-). We have used our approach in quite a lot of project in the last 12 months, and we have also published a book about BPMN (only in German so far), that describes it in detail. Look what Dr. Bartonitz, product manager workflow at SAPERION, has to say about it:

“In all chapters the authors’ profound practical experience with BPMN is obvious. This is especially true for the numerous examples and the corresponding modeling alternatives. Nothing remains unanswered and even the problems of the specification are discussed.”

We are currently implementing our methods in Activiti Cycle, an open source software framework that acts as a glue between the different tools we consider appropriate for the different roles involved in BPM projects (as you may guess, we do not believe in the “one tool for all”-Idea 😉 )

If your are interested in Activiti and/or our services about BPMN, like consulting and training, please have a look at our website.