One of the more common process modelling notations currently being promoted in the world of Business Process Modelling is BPMN (Business Process Modelling Notation).

Is it any good? Well as a modelling notation it is pretty good. It falls about mid way between a Process Modeling notation, a Procedure Modeling notation and an Information/Data Flow Modeling notation. A good analyst could use it to produce quality process models.

Its weakness, is that it is simply a notation for diagramming processes. It is not a modeling method. It does not tell you where to start, how to proceed and how to end up in the right place. Most people who shout its praises fail to recognize this problem.

Is this really a problem? Well, yes! Many people who were previously using no recognizable standard to model processes have now moved to BPMN and believe that their processes are now better – are now correct.

This is sadly not the case. If they were modeling the wrong thing before, they will still be modeling the wrong thing now, but with a better notation.

Business Process Modeling is inherently flawed when it is used as the core modeling vehicle for an enterprise. When used in this way it misses out modeling over 30% of core business activities**, it requires the production of 300%** more diagrams than are necessary and it has inherent logic faults when processes are decomposed.**

Will BPMN eliminate these shortcomings? Definitely not. This is not a flaw in BPMN but in the “Process Centric” modeling approach taken by too many companies.

The problem is that those pushing BPMN are ignoring these inherent flaws and wrongly, though not deliberately, giving the impression that the enterprise will end up with better modeling solutions using the notation.

** All of these shortcomings are avoided by making the Function Model the Core Business Model as it is in IMM.

John J Owens – John is an inspirational business entrepreneur with a unique talent for seeing the simplicity and elegance underlying any enterprise – even if it is hidden …
Business process modelling