Learning to Love BPMN 2.0

The last presentation of the IRM BPM London conference before the final panel, and Chris Bradley and Tim Franklin of IPL are presenting on BPMN 2.0. Bradley started with a brief history of BPMN from its 1.0 release in 2004 by BPMI to the present day 2.0 release, now under OMG. It was interesting to see their list of what BPMN does not do: state transitions, functional decomposition, organizational hierarchies and data modelling, which explains why some BPMS products are starting to build those functions into their integrated development environment to be defined along with the process models. [Note that although I normally use US spelling due to the geographic location of most of my audience, I’m using “modelling” here after Bradley point out that the US spelling, “modeling” should rhyme with “yodeling” :) ]

Franklin took over to get into the details of the notation, particularly the differences between the 1.x and 2.0 versions and the new elements and diagram types in 2.0. I’m not going to review all of that; there’s a lot of existing material both on this blog and in other locations, including a webinar that Robert Shapiro gave earlier this year on BPMN 2.0.

Bradley took the stage again to discuss all the other things that have to happen after you get started on BPMN 2.0, particularly modelling data and aligning that with the process models, whether that’s being done in an integrated tool or two different modelling tools. I agree with him that it’s critical for process, data and organizational modelling efforts to be linked, although I think that’s more likely to have happen via MDM rather than by having a single integrated modelling tool.

His summary said it all: BPMN is simple (if you can read a flowchart, you can understand BPMN); BPMN is robust (can be used for both high-level design/architecture and detailed process model execution/implementation); and most importantly, BPMN and process models are only part of the big picture, and need to be linked to other information assets such as data and organizational models.

You may not have come out of this session actually loving BPMN 2.0, but at least you’ll respect it in the morning.

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