BPMN Business Management Presentations Process Modeling

’BPMN Impact on Process Modeling by Przemyslaw Polak, PL


Warsaw School of Economics
Department of Business Informatics

Przemysław Polak

BPMN Impact on Process

Dual influence of business
process modeling
• IS engineering:
• 70s – structured analysis (DFD, IDEF0)
• 80s/90s – the beginning of the dominance of
object-oriented methods

• management:
• 90s – BPR followed by BPM (variuos notations
incl. EPC)


The purpose of BPMN
• BPMN can be used both by business
representatives who want to understand and
improve their business processes and by
analysts and designers to provide information
necessary for the implementation of information
• BPMN model can be used to generate BPEL
code for automated implementation

Levels of business process
modeling using BPMN
• descriptive modeling – showing general process
structure, without taking into account the details
of data processing,
• analytical modeling – used in system analysis to
determine system requirements and for
analyzing process performance,
• executable modeling – describing thoroughly a
process, objects and parameters to correctly
generate BPEL code.

Main areas of BPMN usage
• systems and software engineering
• creating general illustrative models for
different needs related to the process

Selected features of BPMN
• complexity – BPMN includes 39 basic elements of the
language notation
• BPMN allows the same logical structures to be represented
by different notation methods permitted by the standard
• many language elements can be omitted, depending on
the level of complexity
• events (even start and end events) can be ommited
• receiving and sending messages can be represented by
both tasks and events

• flexibility allows to adjust models to meet specific
needs, but it can also be confusing for
inexperienced readers
• incoherent modeling style can lead to
inconsistencies in syntax within a single model,
and thus to interpretation difficulties for the reader
• omitting events in the diagrams is in opposition to
the dominant business process presentation

Earlier research
• attempts to create the formal comparative model of EPC and
• attempts to formulate the transformation methods of existing
EPC diagrams into BPMN diagrams
• rare efforts to explore subjective acceptance of BPMN and other
notations by both the creators of models and their recipients:
• the complexity of BPMN makes possible excessive complication
of the way in which processes are presented in diagrams
• the individual style of modeling can strongly affect the clarity of
process maps
• those who are already familiar with one process modeling
language should not have any problem with understanding
others, in this case, BPMN

The study
• observation during post-graduate classes on
business process modeling, conducted at the
Warsaw School of Economics
• 88 participants, age between 25 and 50
• 45 students with previous experience in IT, mainly
programmers and systems designers wishing to expand
their skills in the business and system analysis
• 43 students with no earlier IT experience, mostly
professionals working in various functional areas of
organizations, wishing to acquire competence in the area
of IS analysis and implementation

Observation – understanding
• Students with IT experience were more likely to
be involved in discussions on process maps in
BPMN, while those with no computer science
experience found them more difficult to interpret
• In case EPC diagrams, even those with no
experience in systems modeling could easily
understood those models
• The EPC diagrams were commented as “too vague
and general” by students with programming

Observation – modeling
• Among IT specialists clearly appeared a tendency to create
complex, very detailed diagrams. In some cases, even tasks
(elementary functions) were decomposed into small
processing steps, what caused that those diagrams
resembled flowcharts.
• All study participants, regardless of the status of their
earlier IT experience, had a tendency to show on BPMN
diagrams too many details of processing, at the same time
forgetting the purpose, the client and the main business
functions of processes
• When working on EPC diagrams, such tendency was
observed to a much lesser extent

• Some BPMN features disturb the perception and
representation of business processes, earlier
adopted in management practice.
• The practice of process modeling by analysts with
previous IT experience can affect the clarity of
process maps for other users, and thus interfere
with one of the cornerstones of the process
approach – the ability to easily understand and
analyze processes by all users within an

Thank you for
your attention!
Przemysław Polak, Ph.D

Warsaw School of Economics
Al. Niepodległości 162
02-554 Warszawa, Poland
e-mail: ppolak@sgh.waw.pl


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