sstein's picture

We just created a new BPMN Community group to discuss BPMN modeling, BPMN specification, BPMN best practices, etc. Feel free to join!

To kick off the discussion, I like to collect some BPMN best practices. BPMN was designed by a big vendor committee and not by users. This usually leads to a very complex specification containing a lot of things nobody needs. Don't get me wrong here: I don't blame the people involved in specification process, it is just how things are.

Attached is an ARIS Express BPMN 2 model, which I want to extend with your BPMN best practices. Initially, I added one of the biggest problems I have with the specification: I can't remember what an empty gateway means! Every time I see a diagram using empty gateways I have to look up if such a gateway is an exclusive or an inclusive one. So far I haven't found any memory aid.

Actually, I'm not looking for a memory aid at all, because I think it is a big fault in the specification that it got symbols not clearly telling their meaning. Symbols and icons with unclear meaning are not accepted in visual design, so why do we accept it in a public modeling standard? The solution is simple: Don't use an empty gateway icon, but instead use the exclusive icon with the "X" in it. I think everyone can easily remember that the "X" stands for eXclusive and that the plus sign of an inclusive gateway stands for the AND operator.

So what are your BPMN best practices? Please post below and I will add them to the file above so that in the end we get some kind of cheat slip for good BPMN modeling.

preview of The biggest BPMN nonsense ever! (ARIS BPM Blog)