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Archive of posts tagged process modeling

Simple Business Process Modelling Using Spreadsheets

Because business process modelling techniques and tools exist in numerous variants, I’d like to share a very simple and practical process modelling approach. The software which is used is a simple spreadsheet software, and the process modelling technique is based on the Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN).

  • Roles / departments are modelled as so-called swim lanes.
  • Within a swim lane, the role’s activities are positioned.
  • Activities are connected with arrows.
  • Furthermore, IT tools which support certain activities may also be depicted.

An Excel-based example can be downloaded here. Process elements can be easily arranged in the grid holding the ALT key while dragging the elements. This grid-based layout makes the model beautifully arranged.

Simple and practical process modelling

Comprehensibility of Process Models

Doris Weitlaner presented her paper on “Intuitive Comprehensibility of Process Models” at the conference “S-BPM One 2013”.

The study empirically examines the use of semiformal process modeling languages in companies. It could be revealed that formal BPM has still not been accepted as a useful practice in firms. Corporations mainly rely on flowcharts in order to design processes. The study further investigates the comprehensibility of BPM languages. Based on empirical data the paper analyzes to what extent EPC, BPMN, UML and the storyboard design are understood by individuals. It was found that the comic representation “storyboard design” is broadly intuitive and easily understood. BPMN and UML also achieved good results, too, but only under certain restrictions. EPC and concurrency of activities in general caused some problems. The full paper is available here. View Doris’ presentation here:

An example for a process (in storyboard design) can be found below:

Storyboard Design

Modeling Business Processes with the Event-Driven Process Chain (EPC)

This article gives a brief introduction into modeling business processes by using the Event-Driven Process Chain.
The Event-driven Process Chain (EPC) is a type of flowchart and was developed by Prof. Wilhelm-August Scheer at the Universität des Saarlandes in the early 1990s. There are four basic elements of the EPC:

  • Events: The event describes the incidence of a state. This state activates a function or is the result of a function. Events are passive elements in EPC. Every process begins and ends with one or more events.
  • Functions: Functions represent tasks or activities within the company. Functions describe transformations from an initial state to a resulting state. They are active elements in EPC. Functions consume resources and time. A verb should be used for the name of a function.
  • Logical Connectors: By using the three different logical operations (AND, OR, and XOR), branchings can be inserted between events and functions.
  • Control Flow: The control flow describes the chronological-logical dependency of events and functions and can be split up by using the logical connectors.
EPC elements



A simple EPC model is depicted in the following picture:

Simple EPC diagram



Events and functions can be connected by logical connectors in the following ways:

Events, functions and logical operators in the EPC