A standard Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) will provide businesses with the capability of understanding their internal business procedures in a graphical notation and will give organizations the ability to communicate these procedures in a standard manner. Furthermore, the graphical notation will facilitate the understanding of the performance collaborations and business transactions between the organizations. This will ensure that businesses will understand themselves and participants in their business and will enable organizations to adjust to new internal and B2B business circumstances quickly.
The Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is well received in both academia and industry.
BPMN is frequently referred to as the de-facto standard notation for business process documentation,
analysis and execution, regardless of whether the aim is to analyze an application process within a
public administration or to automate a production process for manufacturers. BPMN promises to be
the adequate and universal notation for business analysts as well as software developers and to be
applicable in any industry sector. The universality of BPMN and its standardization by the Object
Management Group (OMG) made BPMN one of the most popular business process notations with a
multitude of guidelines available and dozens of tools supporting its application.
Business Rules and BPMN
Let’s say we want to model a process in BPMN and the process induces some business rules. We will use the example of creating a bill. In order to create the bill, a discount needs to be computed. The sum of the order and the customer type are the relevant criteria to compute the discount.
This is a very simple example which will show us where to apply BPMN and where not to.
The Solution as BPMN 2.0 Diagram
During modeling, we focus on the process flow. In this example, the process has two steps. A discount is computed before the bill is created. The result is a very simple process.
It does not make sense to model the calculation of the discount itself in the BPMN model (see the example below). For the rules decision tree, for every additional criteria, the cardinalities will grow exponentially. That is not what we want in a BPMN model.
Therefore, it makes sense to separate process and business rules.
Automating your processes is an instrument (one of several, but an important one) to gain efficiency and effectiveness. But, to automate a process you first have to model it and BPMN offer relevant advantages to do it:
- The notation focuses on the business and the process, not in technical details. It forces you to think, analyze and understand the process. First this, then that, if this happens, then do that.
- It is simple to read and understand. This allows to quickly implementing the first version of the processes, but above all, to adjust and correct it once opportunities for improvement are detected.
- Does not require technical knowledge to be implemented. Training in using the basics is very fast, enabling people involvement in the modeling phase.
- Automation must be fast. Once the decision is made to automate a process, to really be a competitive instrument, we must be able to move from the graphic model (drawing) to its execution in hours, maybe days, but never weeks or months. The chosen tool (BPM Suite) must allow passing directly from the BPMN model to its execution.
If you are using a BPM Suite (i.e), once you have modelled your processes on BPMN, you can move forward to automating it by just a click, deploying the process and making it available for end users. This grade of automation is really amazing to gain flexibility and agility.