Well-Formed Business Process Diagrams

The following characterize a well-formed business process diagram:

  • There is a start and an end event. 1
  • Each split is matched with a join. 2
  • A given input message/event is received by only one process/task.
  • A given output message/event is produced by only one process/task.
  • Processing of an input message/event is started in the process/task that receives the input.
  • An output message/event is generated at the earliest point possible and not passed to a later process/task.
  • Each process/task must have at least one input or one output message/event.
  • All input and output messages/events are at an atomic level. No composite messages/events are used.
  • Use parallel processes/tasks whenever possible.
  • Process/task names should be in verb-noun format. An example is “pay invoice.” 3
  • Each task should be atomic in that it cannot be decomposed further.
  • Assemble processes based on frequency and affinity. High affinity is define as having 1:1 links. This technique clusters steps with 1:1 links and separates those clusters at the point of 1:M or M:1 links. 4
  • Look out for orphan tasks.5

The Decomposition Matrix on this site generates diagrams that meet this criteria. You do, however, need to provide the naming in verb-noun format yourself after the diagram is generated.

  1. Business Process Driven SOA using BPMN and BPEL, Matjaz B. Juric and Kapil Pant.
  2. Business Process Driven SOA using BPMN and BPEL, Matjaz B. Juric and Kapil Pant.
  3. Workflow Modeling, Alec Sharp and Patrick McDermott
  4. Workflow Modeling, Alec Sharp and Patrick McDermott
  5. Business Process Driven SOA using BPMN and BPEL, Matjaz B. Juric and Kapil Pant.

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