Process Anti-Patterns: How to Avoid the Common Traps of Business Process Modeling

Business process modeling is gaining increasing importance with more and more people getting involved with business process modeling projects. The output of these projects are process models, which become a direct input into the software development process. Consequently, the impact of the process models on the IT systems and the operational efficiency of an enterprise is increasing. With that, the associated economic risk of using badly designed process models is growing as well. In this report, we address the problem of quality assurance for business process models. Based on hundreds of real world business process models that we reviewed over the past two years, we extracted typical modeling errors that we generalized into anti-patterns. These anti-patterns cover six common process modeling scenarios ranging from the modeling of branching and iterative behavior, over the modeling of data flow, to the reuse of process models in composite processes. For each scenario, an example illustrating typical errors is introduced and then generalized into an anti-pattern, which highlights the modeling error. Then, one or several patterns are presented that show a correct solution to the modeling scenario, followed by a summarizing recommendation.

Note: This work was published in the WebSphere Developer Technical Journal in 2007.
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By: Jana Koehler and Jussi Vanhatalo

Published in: RZ3678 in 2007


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