5 Tips to Master the Art of Business Process Modeling

Even though Business Process Modeling is a very effective way for business organizations to keep track of their inner workings, many beginner modelers tend to design them incorrectly and make mistakes, which decrease their potential. The following are certain tips and suggestions you should keep in mind when designing your very own Business Process Model.

Detail Every Step of the Individual Processes

This is a common mistake that even the most experienced process modelers tend to make, as they think it would be easier to understand a simpler diagram as compared to a complicated one. While that may be true, leaving out important details in a process model can leave the analyst confused as to how a particular step took place.

Because you’re drawing the process model you might be aware of the inner working and the logic behind the processes. But remember that these models are used by analysts and consultants to identify flaws in the process and improve them. It will be hard to give recommendations when they don’t fully understand the logic behind the processes.

Use a Minimalist Approach

You might think this is contrary to the first suggestion, but it isn’t. You can keep your business process model simple without excluding any details.

This can be done by keeping sub-headers in the diagram, which could be expanded to show details when they are clicked on. Or if you are printing out the model, you can keep a top page highlighting all the important processes, with further pages detailing all of them. This will help new readers to quickly grasp the overall process, while adding sufficient information to go through a page to get further information of a particular process.

Although your using a software to model your processes more often than not you need to take a printout or email an attachment to show them to your colleagues or clients. So printer friendly modeling is always a good idea.

Use a Proper BPM Software

While a business process model may look like a drawing, it is much more complicated than that, with various elements and shapes used to define specific actions and processes. Therefore, it is recommended that you use proper BPM software that has support for BPMN 2.0, the latest business process modeling standard approved by the object management group.

Tooting our own horn here but Creately provides everything you need to draw an effective business process model. A separate library with all BPMN 2.0 symbols, business process templates and productivity features like object grouping are some of the highlights. Read more about the features here >>

Advanced business management planning with complex templates

A complex BPMN diagram with lanes, pools drawn using Creately

Create Labels Suggesting the Type of Action

This, again, helps make the model easier to understand. A common technique used to create such labels is the action-item methodology, which phrases the action being performed as a prefix to the item it will be performed on. For example, if an action is representing a statement validation, use the label “validate statement” to define that action.

Remember To Detail Alternative Routes

What most modelers tend to do is simply label the alternative path and the end result to it, in case of the preferred condition not being met, without going into much detail. In such a scenario, it would be beneficial to explain the workings of the alternative scenario, along with adding paths where the final preferred condition can be met, if possible.

Again remember that the objective is to improve the process even if it’s an alternative path.

Got More Tips ?

These are just a few tips and suggestions which you should follow to make your business process model more effective. Got more awesome tips to improve business process models? Do share them in the comments section and we’ll add them if they qualify.

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Software engineer turned tech evangelist. I handle marketing stuff here at Creately including writing blog posts and handling social media accounts. In my spare time, I love to read and travel.


  1. Razvan Radulian

    Good points.
    Unfortunately, the pizza example is not entirely correct. According to this model, the process never ends: the parallel gateway clones the token (no problem with that) and the cloned token on the loop “waiting for customer’s message” is never destroyed (regardless whether customer asks or not asks about the order – in itself an issue with this model). Therefore the process instance will remain active “forever”, since at least one token still active. One solution would be to use Terminate end on the other branch… not the best solution. Probably better would be to simplify/redesign the whole process.
    Another recommendation would be to label a private pool with name of the process it represents, not the organization (for more, see Bruce Silver’s “BPMN Method and Style”).

    • Laura

      Hi Razvan, I’m interested in your fix of the diagram but I can’t follow your explanation well. I’m struggling to understand how the process does not end.

  2. Grace Warden

    Hi Nishadha………………………Insanely great post,I like most the pizza concept of BPM…………………….Enjoyed while reading the article………..

  3. nana

    please can i learn bpm on my own without going to uni?`

  4. sandhya

    excellent post nishadha..you have explained clearly about your article..sure i will be very helpful for me…thanks for posting..please continue sharing…

  5. benma

    Great post Nishadha

  6. susan sablon

    Hi, Nishadha..I am agree that proper BPM software is very important in this process

  7. Vinz

    Hi Nishadha, I really love his post. I learned a lot from this.

  8. Patrick Sullivan

    Wow! I just learned everything I ever wanted to know about BPM. Thanks for sharing such a valuable post!

  9. VanPhongPham

    Nice post and Yes, Social media sites really play an imortant role in blogging as it helps in promoting our blog and also drives traffic to our blog but for this we have to use it properly

  10. Nimisha

    Very nicely explained. I did some changes in my blog. Thanks.

  11. Adi

    Hi Nishada, awesome post I must say! I always follow this business modelling process/

  12. Harsh

    Hey Nishadha, really it is very helpful thanks a lot for your share. i was searching kind of knowledge. i am bookmarking this page and will definitely read it again

  13. Great post Nishadha, these tips are great although I have read some of these before and I totally agree on your point of being minimalist in approach.

  14. istifen robarts

    Really employing a software specifically designed pertaining to modeling techniques can actually become genuinely advantageous. It’ll assist you to placed each and every phase and issue right into a individual spot. You might think you’d have the ability to make this happen in your mind,distinct. although with regards to the software, you may also incorporate various other variables such as time period and dollars each phase. Streamlining your company techniques this way is extremely simple, and easy

  15. Steve Patterson

    Nice blog Nishadha. It completely covers BPM, business process modeling and process modeling.

  16. Richard Thompson

    Actually using a program specifically designed for modeling processes can actually be really beneficial. It’ll allow you to put every single step and factor into a single place. You might think you’d be able to do this in your head, but depending on the program, you can also include other variables such as time and money per step. Streamlining your business processes like this is extremely easy, and clear.

  17. Rahul Chalana

    Nice article nishadha and what i think is BPM model is very important in this process.. otherwise thanks for helping!!!

  18. Abdul Rafay

    Remarkable Post 🙂

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