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Are you looking for an easy way to document complex processes that are vital to your organisation? Business process modelling could be the answer!
Creating effective processes that involve stakeholders from several teams can be a real challenge. A good way to validate and visualize these processes is to document them using BPMN – Business Process Modelling Notation.
Keep your teams in sync with easy-to-read diagrams, where all steps are clear, everyone knows what to do and processes are kept as simple as possible. Duplicated tasks, forgotten activities, over-complicated chains of communication? Leave this in the past and create your very own BPMN diagram today with the free BPMN template from Conceptboard!
What is BPMN?
Business process modelling is a method of identifying, modelling, designing, and implementing business processes. Focusing on a complete process end-to-end, this method goes beyond basic task management.
Nowadays, BPMN – Business Process Modeling Notation – is one of the most used methods to visualize process workflows. As a language used across many organisations, BPMN has become a standard in the world of process documentation and can be understood by all of your business’ stakeholders.
In what situations should you use BPMN?
If you need to visualize a complex process, identify which stakeholder is responsible for each activity and see how this process connects with other existing ones, business process diagrams are the best solution for you.
Using Conceptboard BPMN Template, you can document not only one, but several processes, explore alternatives and achieve the best results for your organisation. After all, a functional team is a winning team, right?
Being an industry-standard notation, both internal and external stakeholders will be able to understand how your business functions. BPMN is standardised by the ISO (International Standards Organization), which means it’s transferable between businesses and industries. For those who are not familiar with BPMN, this language is easy to learn, yet powerful enough to capture complex processes fully.
BPMN diagrams are also an effective tool for communication. Designing a process in-depth allows your teams to identify gaps, avoid duplicated work and define the responsibilities of all people involved in the process. With the full library of BPMN shapes – available in the Conceptboard building blocks library – everyone can document a complex business process in a simple and clear fashion.
Last but not least, BPMN diagrams can help you plan your organisation’s future steps. Imagine you’re considering a major change in your business. You’re probably wondering what the best way is to predict the impact of this change while keeping costs or losses to a minimum. Use your BPMN diagrams and fine-tune them according to the unforeseen developments to quickly understand any adjustments that need to be made.
How to document a process with the BPMN template
Begin with pools and swimlanes
- Pools represent the largest component of a BPMN diagram. They describe the entirety of a single business process from the perspective of one group of participants (e.g., a department or a single role, like a product owner).
- Pools are then broken down into swimlanes. These represent specific groups or individuals that complete tasks within the larger pool. The illustration below shows a single swimlane of a BPMN pool.
- Every BPMN diagram must contain at least one pool and one swimlane.
Flow elements are the geometric shapes that represent specific events and activities that occur within a pool.
- Rectangular shapes are usually used to indicate activities within a process. Activities are separated into two main types: sub-processes and tasks.
- Sub-processes are a collection of tasks that need to be completed for the process to be successful, but that you don’t want to focus on while mapping a particular process. Keep things simple here, as too many details will make the process more difficult to understand at first glance.
- A task is a basic building block of a process, which cannot be broken down into a lower level of detail.
- Events are represented by circles. They impact the process, and can be both internal or external.
- There are three types of events: Start Events, Intermediate Events, and End Events. Some diagrams specify the trigger causing an event to happen.
- Diamonds represent gateways. Gateways are responsible for controlling the outcome of the process and direct activities to either happen or not.
Sequence flows connect flow elements within the same pool, though they can be in different swimlanes. They are depicted as a solid line with an arrowhead at one end. They show the order of different activities within the pool and are to be completed in the direction the arrow is pointing.
How to create a process with the BPMN template in 7 steps
Now that you have a good idea how BPMN works, go ahead and give the BPMN Template a try by following these 7 steps.
- Open the Conceptboard BPMN Template. Start by defining the process to document. Add this description to the pool name.
- Identify all stakeholders that will have an active role in this process – teams, individuals, suppliers, clients… Each stakeholder should have its own swimlane. To add more swimlanes to the doc, select a swimlane and make a new copy.
- Define all activities that will be included in the process. Use the sticky notes to quickly gather the relevant information
- Once the stakeholder list is ready, use the library included with the template and create a rectangle for each activity.
- Define the events that will trigger the actions/activities. Use the library to communicate the type of event triggers.
- Place all events and activities on the correct swimlanes.
- Use arrows to connect events and activities.
Congrats! You have built your first BPMN diagram.
Take your diagrams to the next level with BPMN Building Blocks
If your goal is to document a complex process, use the BPMN icon library available on Conceptboard Building Blocks. On the icon library you can find a full range of:
- Data Icons
If you would like to explore more templates and functions try Conceptboard premium 30 days for free.