Site Moving!

New site at ProcessModeling.info

New posts on BPMN 2.0

There are two new posts on processmodeling.com regarding the upcoming BPMN 2.0 specification.



The new URL for this site is www.processmodeling.com.   Please update your feeds to the new site.

As a reminder I will be retiring the rickgeneva.com/wp URL January 1, 2010.

Recap from the Singapore BPMN Training Event

New post on the processmodeling.info site.


I have mirrored all of the previous content before November 1st to the new site.  If you are a registered user you might receive some duplicate postings for a while.  I’ll be shutting down this URL January 1, 2009.   The new site is www.processmodeling.info.  For members of the old site, your registration information has already been copied to the new site.


Recently the few hours I have available to write on this blog have been consumed by upgrading my security. I admit, when I started this site I didn’t worry much about security and used mostly default settings. So I guess you can say that I deserved it. I’m just trying to do my part in making the world a more efficient place through better process modeling. I suppose that makes me naive to the fact that hackers will try anything just for the kick of doing it. There doesn’t seem to be any logic (that I can understand) on why you would hijack a website. It seems like a lot of effort just to get a few page views of some political propaganda that I don’t understand (or care to).

I hope I didn’t lose any of my readers by moving the site to the new URL. This was necessary because I have to separate my personal site from my processmodeling.info site. www.process-modeling.com will redirect to processmodeling.info. So this is the official new home. Soon I’ll be back to writing again.

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Site URL moving to www.processmodeling.info

I’m moving the site to the new URL: http://www.processmodeling.info

I’ve been putting this off for a while but since I got hacked (Oct 25, 2009) I am raising the priority. See you there at the new URL.

What’s so hard about process modeling?

Process modeling today is more about managing complexity than it is drawing a diagram. Even the as-is process model is very complex these days. The individual worker has never been more empowered, due to the technology we employ. What used to be the work of 10 people can now be accomplished by 1 person. But these efficiency gains come at a price. A human being can only do so many things before they become saturated with information. Task prioritization becomes difficult.

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Demystifying the Event Driven Gateway

Event Based Exclusive Gateway

The event driven gateway is one of the most useful symbols that I know of in BPMN. Yet it’s often overlooked as a solution to common problems. It is a compound symbol, inheriting attributes of other BPMN shapes. First of all, it’s a gateway that is used to split sequence flow paths. The gateway is the diamond symbol. Inside this diamond shape you will see the intermediate event shape, which is the double thin line circle. Inside the intermediate event shape there is the pentagon, which is a symbol for multiple events. So when you put all of this together we have a gateway that deals with multiple intermediate events.

BPMN version 1.1 and higher

BPMN version 1.1 and higher

In all of my classes I tend to get more questions about the event based gateway than any other shape in BPMN. This is probably because there are so many use cases for it, and its pattern to many people appears to be drawn backwards. Most beginners in BPMN tend to draw the pattern with the intermediate event shapes to the left of the gateway. Let’s start by looking at the basic pattern and then discuss some of the potential business scenarios where you could use this notation.

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The next trend

In the IT world, trends come and go. The next “must have” or “must do” today is a dust collector tomorrow. Recently I had a conversation with a colleague about BPM, and whether or not it will continue to be a growing trend, or are its days numbered? He said to me “are you still doing that process stuff? BPM is old news.” My reply to this was simple. While trends of automating processes come and go, process management has been around since before the computer. The computer enables people to be more efficient in many ways. But the software you use today is constantly being replaced by latest, greatest trend. BPM is not software. It’s not something you buy. It’s something you do. There are many systems on the market based on older technologies that make them go out of favor as new systems emerge. But to say that BPM is ancient history would be like saying that business its self is ancient history as well.

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BPMN Patterns and PMF in Singapore – Oct 14-15 2009

I will be doing an advanced process modeling training in Singapore on October 14th and 15th, 2009. This is a public class through my employer, Intalio. However, the content of this class is not specific to Intalio. In fact, it’s applicable to any form of process modeling even if you have no intention of creating executable process models. The course will contain in-depth coverage of my upcoming book content including process patterns and the Process Modeling Framework (PMF).

I’m using this class as a test run of the book content. Also there will be some hands-on exercises and real-world use cases to analyze. So if you happen to in the area during October, I’d love to have you in my class.

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Most Common Questions on Implementing BPM + SOA

Recently I have been doing a series of presentations on SOA and BPM with a combined governance strategy and framework. It seems that BPM and SOA are a hot topic these days, but there doesn’t seem to be much knowledge on how to effectively combine both practices into a unified effort where both IT and business collaborate towards the same goals. This is the problem that BPM tried to solve back in 2002 but was not widely adopted because of the lack of IT backing of the tools. Now that SOA is becoming common practice it’s time for a second look at what BPM can really do for an organization.

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The ins and outs of process loops

There are many ways to accomplish loops in the BPMN specification. Flowcharts only offer one way to cause a loop back, but BPMN offers 4 explicit ways, and potentially dozens of ways to create a loop implicitly. Often my students ask the question “so, aren’t they all the same thing?” Technically, yes, and no. Sorry to say it, but there is no right answer according to the specification. This is up to you to figure out. The specification does however offer many options that can be used to express certain situations. But to a newcomer to BPMN, the challenge is always which one should you use, when, and why.

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