May 082014



In this series of posts we will explore several cases presenting real-life business process examples representing common anti-patterns in business process modeling and demonstrating how to improve the examples by applying best practices.

Anti-Pattern #4: Inconsistent Use of Events

Events are fundamental elements in BPMN – each process begins with a start event, finishes with one or more end events, and potentially reacts to a number of intermediate events happening during the process. While events themselves are not very tricky, deciding at which process level to put the event initiating a process or choosing a proper scope of an intermediate event might be done incorrectly. In Table, we list two common anti-patterns with events usage and the best practices for improving them. Figure gives an example of a business process fragment with anti-patterns and after improvements according to the best practices.

Typical Event Usage Anti-Patterns and Best Practices


Best Practice

Event outside and inside process – repetition makes it redundant; a formal interpretation would require the event to happen twice.

Initiating event out of process description – it is easier to read a diagram and understand when/why a sub process needs to be performed.

Repeating events – complicates diagram and its maintenance.

A subprocess with attached event – enables to clearly define the scope of an event.

Inconsistent Use of Events

An example of a business process Administer Bad Loan fragment with anti-patterns in events usages and an improved version complying with best practices

About authors

The case was made by and the examples are taken from extensive authors’ (Darius Šilingas, Ph.D. and Edita Milevičienė) consultancy in financial, telecommunication, government, and information technology domains helping No Magic customers to adopt MagicDraw and Cameo Business Modeler products for efficient business and software modeling.

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