Business process model and notation is basically a visual representation of different business processes in process models. This was created by the BPMI (Business Process Management Initiative) and the Object Management Group maintained it.
BPMN is a standard for creating a process model that prescribes a certain graphical notation. This notation standard specifies businesses processes presented in a Business Process Diagram, that follows a technique in flowcharting comparable to the activity diagrams used in the Unified Modeling Language (UML). It is a process mapping system designed to aid business process management in a way that is understandable to both technical and business users.
As mentioned, BPMN is not only intended for technical users. It is also meant to be useful to businessmen who are less than savvy when it comes to making process maps. It is designed to employ a simple and intuitive notation system that is at the same time able to represent complex semantics to describe business processes. The main aim of developing it is to come up with a standard that is comprehensible to all business stakeholders.
The use of BPMN is believed to make it easier for analysts to evaluate and tweak processes without dumbing things too much for the technical developers who are responsible for the implementation of these processes. It can be considered a common language for everyone involved in the development, implementation, evaluation, and redesign of business processes.
Elements of BPMN
There are four main elements of BPMN. These elements are connecting objects, artifacts, flow objects, and swim lanes. Flow objects are used to represent activities, events, and gateways. Connecting objects are used to indicate message flow, sequence flow, and association. Swim lanes are for pools and lanes. Artifacts, on the other hand, refer to data objects, groups, and annotations.
Unfortunately, there is no unified standard used for business process modeling yet. Several competing standards exist at present. Different companies use software tools and processes that employ different business process modeling languages. The widespread use of the same standard or the standardization of business process modeling would have created a considerable advantage to businesses and organizations. Public-private partnerships or collaborations among companies can greatly benefit from the use of a single standard for business process modeling.
Software adopting BPMN
There is software that already employs BPMN or something similar or close to the specifics of this standard. They are the ones that can be regarded as the more intuitive, easier-to-use options. They make it easy for businesses, organizations, as well as government agencies, to collaborate or forge partnerships. If you are planning to get business process modeling software, it would be preferable to choose one that follows BPMN.
There are a lot of advantages in using BPMN as a standard. However, without necessarily following this standard, there is software that already makes it easier to create, share, present, evaluate, and tweak business process models. You just have to find the right software tool or adopt the right process to use.