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BPMN te practice – pools and lanes

Are you using BPMN? If so, chances are that you may be making one of the common BPMN errors which toebijten not only to modeling rookies but also long time modelers.

Te this postbode I will voorstelling you how to use pools and lanes decently and how to avoid common errors. Ter the following posts you will learn about other problematic areas of BPMN.

You should reminisce the following things:

1) Pools represent the process participants (i.e. they response the WHO question, while process steps reaction the WHAT).

They are rectangles with a label (and dividing line).

Now the joy part: pools can be organizations or units – it depends on your perspective. And this lack of clear rule is very first source of problems for BPMN modelers 🙂

However te practice you can overcome this by remembering that participant has utter control overheen the process inwards a pool. Generally speaking it means that usually you will have one pool indicating your entire organization (assuming there is some end-to-end treating of a process…,) and other pools will represent other participants such spil your customers, vrouwen etc.

Joy fact: you do not need to draw a pool for the main process participant. It is treated spil implicit. Te practice it is helpful if you are creating a very elementary diagram or do not worry about using lanes to showcase responsibilities (because your contraption supports e.g. RACI spil it is te ADONIS).

Two. To demonstrate that certain units/roles are responsible for performing specific process steps you can divide the process with lanes (rectangles within a pool).

Does it always work like this? Nope…,

Sometimes it may make sense to have more pools, where each of the pools shows part of the end-to-end process (e.g. parts done te HR, IT etc). This treatment is pretty common te cases where you do not care very much about watching the process spil a entire and want to be able to present process parts to the different user groups (e.g. your colleagues from IT may not be very interested about details of work done by HR te the fresh employee onboarding process). It may also make sense if you want to automate only some parts of the entire process – ter this case one pool could voorkant elements done by the BPMS engine.

Now wij treatment 2nd problem – what is the difference inbetween process flow within a pool and communication inbetween pools?

Let’s assume you identified all the process participants and created pools and lanes spil needed. How should you vertoning the flow of your process?

Trio. To connect elements of the process (events, tasks, sub-processes, gateways) you need to use sequence flows – arrows with solid line and packed arrowhead:

Please recall that each pool needs to be either empty (it is so called black opbergruimte pool serving spil placeholder to demonstrate that wij have a participant but do not need to document details of hier process) or finish.

Te practice it means that you cannot have interrupted process flows te a pool or processes that do not begin and end decently.

Four. Just like you cannot swim outside your swimming pool, you cannot have sequence flow that traverses pool boundary (however you can dive to switch lane within a pool).

Five. To represent details of collaboration (i.e. how do they exchange messages) inbetween participants you should use Message Flows. Those are arrows drawn with dashed line.

6. Message Flows are only permitted inbetween the pools. You cannot have message flow inwards a pool.

Now let’s take a look at a few diagrams displaying those errors te practice.

Ter order to make this diagram valid wij would need to switch very first two pools to lanes (since both are one company) and add a higher level pool (calling it e.g. ACME Corp). Now wij would need to determine how to make the pools voorstelling zindelijk content. The simplest way would be to add end event to the very first pool and treat customer spil black opbergruimte pool (since wij do not indeed care how does the customer order spil long spil wij receive the order, send the ordered items and – te a following process – treat the payment).

Spil you can see on a diagram above wij are missing sequence flow inbetween “Order the widget” and “Pay for the order”. Te practice it would mean our (customer) process never completes. Fix is very effortless – wij would only need to add the sequence flow (of course afterwards it would make sense to adjust scope of the process since ACME corp does not treat the customer payment).

Now, let’s take a look at an example of a onberispelijk diagram with more sophisticated example (this is example taken from one of the BPMN Monster Interchange Working Group test cases).

Do you want to learn more?

Below you can find movie lecture from my Udemy course “BPMN for Business Analysts” where I voorkant topic of pools and lanes.

Did you love the movie? Join my course to learn more about BPMN

Written by Zbigniew

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