Posted by: Naif Sheshah | September 10, 2011

Reflection on the Capabilities & Limitations of BPMN

Business process modelling notation is standard for process modelling.BPMN offers notations to support both business and technical users in order to present complex process syntax. It also provides a mapping between notations and constructors. Practically, BPMN supports only the concepts of modelling which apply in the business process. In other words, other types of modelling such as Data models, functional breakdown models will be out of the scope for non-business purposes (Wikibedia, 2009). In this part, we will evaluate the capability and the limitations of the BPMN to reflect this case study.

When our team processed the model, we have found that BPMN does not support the specification of business rules.Therefore, we have used text annotation in order to come over this problem. According to Recker (2009) the users need of graphical support in business process language is important in order to help both identifying and specifying the interface between business rule and business process.

The team members have difficulty in understanding both a Pool and a Lane constructs. For example, we were unsure whether to use a Pool or a Lane for representing an organizational department. Practically, In SSP case we were unsure whether to use a Pool or a Lane for representing a SAP system (Recker et al., 2006).

BPMN represents the transformation in different constructors such as Activity Task, Collapsed Sub-Process, Expanded Sub-Process, Nested Sub-Process, and Transaction. In SSP case, there was confusion in whether to use Task or Message to represent sending message to stakeholders, whereas both express the same meaning (Recker et al., 2006).    Events can be represented in nine constructors, for example, Start Event, End Event, Message, Timer and Error. As a result, we struggled with the wide verity of the BPMN event symbols. As Recker (2009) suggests that “would be important for the BPMN designers to acknowledge this very selective usage of event types in practice”. Moreover, BPMN symbols in general do not reflect the actual meaning of what they used for. In addition, our team tried to engage ordinary people to reflect their understanding of our model but the majority of them had difficulties in understanding BPMN symbols.      In BPMN there are no symbols to represent the differences between the system and its components, as well as the articulation of process structure. In our case, we have found that it is difficult to clarify the different processes such as entering data, look up vendors in the system, parked the invoice in the system and change the status of the invoice from parked to validated. This is due to, as (Recker et al., 2006) have stated that, the inability to break down the system coherently, the understand ability of models captured with BPMN will be undermined”. So it was been suggested that a clearer representation graphics for process structure should be considered in the future revision of BPMN. (Recker et al., 2006),

In short, BPMN has become the standard for process modelling. It is a remarkable and expressive language even though it has some complexity.



  1. Sounds like you have to look at the BPMN 2.0-Spec.

    • Thinks for visiting my blog I have write this blog based on reading available in BPM unities at QUT however, I visit the BPMN 2.0-Spec. it has the same of the reading that I used

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