How to make sure your process models are useful

Have you ever spent days of your work creating and polishing your business process models just to notice there are no people actually using them?

Creating business process models is not so difficult. However creating process models that are useful is a bit more complex.

This is why I prepared 6 steps that will (hopefully) help you make the best use of your time.



List of BPMN 2.0 posters

BPMN 2.0 is becoming more and more popular. There are quite a few modelling tools that support BPMN.

However number of BPMN constructs can be a bit daunting. Therefore it is helpful to have some “cheat sheet” at hand.

Fortunately there are BPMN posters provided by tool providers (like BOC – company I work for) or BPM(N) gurus – like Bruce Silver.

Below you can find a list of BPMN 2.0 posters I know of. Feel free to comment if you have some other BPMN 2.0 posters to share.

1) (Probably the most popular) BPMN 2.0 poster by BPM Offensive Berlin. Available in 10 language versions.

2) (Unfortunately I am deep-linking as I cannot find normal download page) BPMN Method and style poster by Bruce Silver. Great summary of Bruce’s book and teaser for his BPMessentials BPMN 2.0 training.

3) BPMN 2.0 with ADONIS:Community Edition poster. Shows BPMN 2.0 basics + info how BPMN can be extended for business users. Direct link (PDF).

4) BPMN 2.0 poster by

What is your favourite BPMN Modelling Tool?

EDIT 2015.05: Do you want to see the latest posts? Visit the new blog on

4 months ago one of the members of BPMN group on LinkedIn asked a question “What is your favourite BPMN Modelling Tool?“.

This generated a true avalanche of answers – both from BPM(N) practicioners and from tool vendors.

Today Gilmar Ragonetti was so kind to provide a summary of the discussion (almost 100 votes).

Below you can find Gilmar’s list with tool names and number of votes with my comments and additional info. If you know other tools allowing modelling with BPMN please comment.

More popular (with more than one vote) entries consist of:
Tool name [Vendor name]; number of votes; tool type (standalone/repository-based/Visio add-on/online); price (free/commercial); Link to demo version (if any) and/or link to download of the free version.

Less popular entries have (so far; I will extend it) only name and link.

In case of tools I know there are also few words of comment from my side.

The list of favourite BPMN modelling tools (by LinkedIn BPMN group members):

Bizagi BPMN Process Modeler [BizAgi]; 12 votes; standalone; free; Free version download

Nice lightweight BPMN modeller with pretty cool collaboration features. Only BPMN 1.2 diagrams. Bizagi also offers commercial BPMS software.

Enterprise Architect [Sparx Systems]; 12 votes; standalone and repository based (depending on edition); commercial; 30 day trial

Popular among analysts and enterprise architects. Modelling with UML 2.3, BPMN 2.0 and more.

ARIS [Software AG, previously IDS Scheer]; 7 votes; standalone and repository based (depending on edition); commercial (ARIS family) and freeware (ARIS Express); ARIS Express download

ARIS Express is an entry level diagramming tool with BPMN 2.0 and other EPC models (for modelling org. structures, IT architecture etc.).

Visual Architect [Visual Paradigm]; 5 votes; standalone and repository based (depending on edition); commercial; 30 day trial

Visio [Microsoft]; 4 votes; standalone; commercial; 60 day trial

ADONIS [BOC Group]; 3 votes; standalone and repository based (depending on edition); commercial (BOC Management Office family) and freeware (ADONIS:Community Edition); ADONIS:Community Edition download

ADONIS:Community Edition is easy to use, yet powerful tool allowing modelling with BPMN 2.0 and other models (for modelling org. structures, IT architecture, risks, controls etc.), process analysis and simulation.

iGrafx [iGrafx; division of Corel]; 3 votes; standalone and repository based (depending on edition); commercial; 30 day trial

Oryx [Hasso-Plattner-Institute]; 2 votes; online (web modeller); free

TIBCO Business Studio [Tibco]; 2 votes; standalone; free; TIBCO Business Studio download

SoftExpert Excellence Suite [Softexpert]; 2 votes; standalone and repository based; commercial;

AuraPortal [AuraPortal]; 2 votes; online (web platform – BPMS, CRM, CMS, …); commercial; no trial found

Screenr – this is actually not a BPMN tool, but a very nice screencast service mentioned by 2 users

Blueworks Live [IBM; technically speaking this is successor of Lombardi Blueprint]; 2 votes; online (modelling, collaboration and process automation), commercial, 30 day trial

ProcessMaker [Colosa]; 2 votes; online (private or public cloud for process modelling and execution); commercial and free (ProcessMaker Open Source); Free version download

Oracle BPA Suite [Oracle; actually this is based on ARIS]; 2 votes; standalone; commercial; 90 day trial

MagicDraw [No Magic]; 2 votes; standalone and repository based; commercial; free trial

MEGA Suite [Mega]; 2 votes; standalone and repository based; commercial; no trials found

Umodel [Altova]; 1 vote; standalone; commercial; 30 day trial

QPR ProcessGuide/ProcessGuide Xpress [QPR]; 1 vote; standalone and repository based (depending on edition); commercial; 14 day trial of ProcessGuide Xpress

Raven Cloud [Raven Flow]; 1 vote; online (modelling – transforming process narratives to diagrams); commercial (free account allows saving 5 processes)Free signup

Trisotech; 1 vote

Cryo; 1 vote

Cameo Business Modeler; 1 vote

Eclipse; 1 vote

Other 1 vote 🙂

Qualiware; 1 vote

Innovator; 1 vote

Signavio; 1 vote

Open source 1 vote 🙂

I-Controller; 1 vote; – cannot find this tool. Any hints?

BPWin; 1 vote

IBM – Lombardi; 1 vote; see Blueworks

Below you can find tools not included in original Gilmar’s list, but mentioned later/in other LinkedIn groups. I will be extending them with additional info (of course without number of votes).
Also feel free to comment the post if you know other BPMN tool I should add.

1. GEasyBPMN Editor

2. Progress Savvion Process Modeler

3. Bonita Open Solution

4. WebRatio