BPM and BPMN: A Concise Explanation by Mark Hearon


If you are reading this blog post, chances are you noticed the title and thought, “At last, a concise explanation of BPM and BPMN.  This is going to be great!”  It is not likely (however possible) that we may both be sorry by the end of our time together.  Consuming my reader’s digest explanation of BPM and BPMN may be as challenging as distilling the subject into short form!

Am I crazy?  Absolutely.  Are you crazy?  That all depends on whether you just answered that question aloud for others in the office to hear.  Regardless, fear not; this former public educator has your back.  Also, if you happen to be researching BPM and BPMN for the first time, consider this post a primer for further exploration.  To delve deeper, feel free to drop your questions and comments below.  I would be happy to reply.

What is BPM?

Business process mapping exists as a way of visually representing the processes of an enterprise for analysis.  Such analysis can reveal patterns of inefficiency that cost corporations a fortune in lost time and opportunity.  BPM is a codified method for improving business processes leading to greater efficacy and profit.

The bottom line: business process mapping pictorially delineates how work is accomplished in an organization. 

What is BPMN?

Business process modeling notation (which when complete can appear as anything from a benign diagram to a Tim Burton impression of Charlotte’s Web) is the pictographic language utilized to achieve the aforementioned BPM task.  Although a process map may delineate a highly-sophisticated business procedure, it can also be used to reflect simple processes.  This requires that BPMN be a flexible method of notating business processes.  The end result is a language that is relatively limited in scope and easy to apprehend.  The following may be considered the four (4) basic “words” of the BPMN language. Read the complete article here.

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