BPMN Method and Style

That's the title of my new book. I'm planning for release end of June, coinciding with approval of BPMN 2.0 by OMG. The basic idea is that using BPMN effectively requires more than a summary of the spec... especially with BPMN 2.0, on which the book is based. It needs three things besides that.

  • First, an understanding of BPMN's most basic concepts: what is a process? what do sequence flows and message flows really mean? You won't find this in the spec, but BPMN is built around very specific assumptions on these and similar conceptual foundations.
  • Second, a cookbook methodology that takes a modeler from a blank page to a completed diagram that stands on its own, i.e. is understandable by others without further explanation. The book provides a two-level methodology. Level 1 is for non-technical business users. It combines a limited palette of shapes and symbols with a step-by-step approach to constructing a BPMN model. Level 2 is for business process analysts and architects. It focuses on a core set of event and exception-handling patterns that allow BPMN's expressive power to be understood consistently across the organization, creating that common language shared by business and IT. Of course, the methodologies need to be aligned, so in the end there is one model, not two.
  • Third, a manual of style, with sections applicable to Level 1 and Level 2. These are rules and best practices for making diagrams clear, consistent, and true to the modeler's intent. The BPMN spec gives the modeler wide latitude, enough to create bad models that are technically "valid." The style sections give prescriptive guidance to avoid that.
I've set up a website for the book where you can see the table of contents, read the preface and first chapter, testimonials, etc. The method and style presented in the book also form the basis for new versions of my BPMN training. The full Level 1/Level 2 training based on BPMN 2.0 and Process Modeler for Visio is available in San Francisco July 1-2 through BPM Institute. Also, I am developing a 2-day Level 1-only "live online" class based on Lombardi Blueprint, available through Lombardi University. No dates set for that yet, but probably in late June or July.