About the project | BPMN modeling guidelines

About the project

With Signavio, a first simple process model is usually generated quickly as a simple sequence of Tasks, Connectors and Events. The most important issue, however, is how these models may be interpreted by the parties involved.

Modeling guidelines at a glance

A uniform process landscape is essential, especially in companies with many processes created by several process modelers that each have their own modeling style. Clear modeling guidelines are a requirement for consistent and effective process modeling. A newly modeled process should only be accepted into your process landscape when all modeling conventions established are fully respected. You will be able to find all our modeling guidelines explained here, including positive and negative examples. This overview created by Signavio, consists of five different modeling-guideline categories: architecture, layout, notation, naming and process structure. Based on these given rules, you can create efficient business process models and create or complement your own modeling guidelines.

Individual guidelines

Even though modeling conventions aim for uniform and standard compliant process modeling for all, most organizations have special requirements regarding process architecture or naming rules as well as responsibilities or roles. Individual conditions like that can easily be included in the definition of your modeling guidelines.

Origin of modeling rules

The BPMN standard defines only the syntax of the modeling language. The modeling guidelines on this website go beyond that. In contrast to the BPMN syntax, there is no “right” or “wrong” in modeling guidelines. The decision which of these modeling rules should be established in an organization depends on an organization’s requirements regarding process design, compliance and readability.

Over several months, Signavio has realized this project in cooperation with the Hasso Plattner Institute and the Humboldt University of Berlin. Part of this venture was sighting popular sources for modeling guidelines, such as

• Books about BPMN, e.g. BPMN Method & Style, Practice Manual BPMN, BPMN 2.0 – Introduction about the standard for Business Process Modeling

• Public initiatives for process modeling, e.g. the eCH Standards from Switzerland

• Company-specific convention manuals

• Frequent questions in BPMN trainings

• Signavio customers’ modeling issues

By means of all these sources, a number of useful modeling rules have been identified. Each rule was examined with regard to its ability of being checked automatically.

Afterwards the rules were integrated into Signavio Process Editor. With some rules, the integration was very challenging (e.g., the naming styles/grammar). However, the colleagues at the HU Berlin developed appropriate solutions for this issue.