BPMN examples and symbols: Understand its uses and meanings

BPMN, Business Process Model and Notation, is the most practical and current notation used for process modeling, being used as an international standard.

Unlike flowcharts, it’s able to model complex process diagrams in an agile and intuitive way.

However, not everyone completely understands its symbology.

In this post, we’ll present some process diagrams modeled with HEFLO and work these BPMN examples and their symbols to explain their usage and meanings.

Know more: Examples of process flowcharts that every business needs to have

3 examples of BPMN and their symbols

1- Service Desk Process Diagram

Service desk processes are widely used in technology service companies and aim to support and respond to internal and external customer calls.

bpmn examples

In this example of BPMN, we will explain the meaning of two important symbols, the start and finish events.

Start events are represented by green circles and come in several types, such as multiples (with a hexagon inside the circle), when the process can start through different events; when more than one condition must occur to start the process (with a “plus” sign inside the circle); started by a message (contains an envelope inside the circle) among many others.

Check them out:

bpmn examplesEnd events are represented by red circles and can also be multiple, or closing, when their occurrence always determines the end of the process (with a circle inside the circle), among many others.

Check out how some of them are presented:

bpmn examples


See more about this process in these blog posts:

2 – Business trip request process diagram

This is one of the examples of BPMN that can most assist companies that insist on using emails for this type of task flow, because, when replaced by automation, they become much more agile and easy to control.

See diagram:

Note that there is now a blue circle, indicative of an event that is neither a starter nor an end, so-called intermediate events, such as sending a message (which appear in the diagram with an envelope); conditional events, which occur only in function of the occurrence of certain conditions; compensation events used to compensate for an earlier activity in the process.

Here are some examples of these BPMN symbols below:

bpmn examples 4

Other very important symbols in BPMN are the tasks, rectangular boxes that indicate the actions you need to do.

They can be manual (with one hand with the index finger pointing to something); a message to send or receive (with the envelope inside); business rule tasks (symbolized by points and dashes in sequence) and that indicate that they must obey one rule, among many others.

Here are some of these BPMN symbols:

bpmn examples 5

3- Expenses reimbursement process diagram

The last of our BPMN examples is the expense reimbursement process, which you can use after a business trip, for example:

bpmn examplesIn this case, another very important BPMN symbol, the deviation or gateway, symbolized by yellow diamonds appears.

A unique gateway (with an “X”), indicates that of the flow branches leaving the task, it can only follow one; since a parallel gateway (with a plus sign inside) can follow more than one branch at the same time; while an inclusive gateway (with a circle inside) also allows parallel flows to occur, depending on a predetermined condition.

See the symbols of these gateways and if you want to know more of them, access the post just below:

bpmn examples 6

Check out: Gateways: exclusive, inclusive, and many others!

Finally, the symbols below represent how BPM handles data, take a look:

bpmn examples 7More on BPMN? Watch the video below. It’s one of the lessons of HEFLO BPMN training.

BPMN Course - Creation of the first Process Diagram

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