Workshop Series: Daniel Moody
The Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) has recently emerged as an international standard for modelling business processes. This is one of the most important developments in the history of the business process management (BPM) field, which has the potential to unify it in the same way UML has unified software engineering. Like most business process modelling notations, BPMN is a visual language: it uses diagrams as the primary means for documenting, analysing, communicating and designing business processes. This paper conducts a systematic analysis of the BPMN 2.0 visual notation using a theory for visual notation design (the Physics of Notations). The analysis reveals some serious flaws in the BPMN visual notation, which represent potential barriers to its usability and effectiveness in practice, particularly for communicating with end users. The conclusion from our analysis is that radical surgery is required for BPMN 2.0 to achieve its aim of providing a common language between business and technical specialists. A broader goal of this paper is to raise awareness about the importance of visual representation in IS modelling, which has received little scientific attention. Finally, the paper demonstrates how a design theory can be used to evaluate and improve an IS modelling notation and improve notation design practices generally.
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Daniel Moody is Director of Ozemantics, a Sydney-based information management consultancy firm, and Adjunct Professor in the Business Faculty at the University of Twente (The Netherlands). He is recognised as one of Australia's leading experts in data modelling and information management and has an international reputation in these fields. He holds a doctorate in Information Systems from the University of Melbourne and has held senior positions in some of Australia's leading corporations and consultancy firms. He has conducted consulting assignments in 12 different countries, covering a broad range of industries. He has also published over 100 scientific papers, been a keynote speaker 9 times and chaired several international conferences. He was the inaugural President of the Australian Data Management Association (DAMA), former Vice-President on the DAMA International Board and is listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering. He has lived in 8 different countries (Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain), speaks fluent English and can say "hello", "thank you" and "cheers" in at least 10 different languages.