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Instead of 1000 Words: How Fintechs Can Use BPMN to Scale Business Processes

With a firm grip on its title, BPMN remains the premier way to design and implement business processes. It’s intuitive, easy, and it can also be fun.

Learn what BPMN is, what its key elements and best practices are, and how to scale business processes using BPMN if you’re in Fintech.


What is BPMN?

BPMN stands for Business Process Modeling Notation. It’s a standard method of creating efficient workflows using visualization, popular among businesses worldwide. The idea is that you wrap up your business processes into a diagram, like the one below, to make it easily and quickly understandable across your teams and business partners.

Why does Fintech need BPMN?

The short answer is: because it gives you a competitive edge. Let’s add more details.

  • Teams, managers, and executives can always be on the same page when using a unified system of symbols. For instance, by using BPMN, your business analyst and CTO can easily plan out the best possible solution development process, avoiding misunderstandings.
  • A clear visualization of business processes, operations, and procedures helps simplify complicated workflows, which is crucial in the fast-paced Fintech environment. BPMN will help you find the flaws that otherwise go unnoticed.
  • With BPMN, you’ll be able to automate your business processes: develop the optimal process of signing a lending agreement, credit scoring, or create a sales pipeline tailored to your organization’s needs.

Article image - BPMN Benefits

BPMN in numbers

  • Business process elements include 100 different BPMN shapes to create diagrams of four types: process, collaboration, choreography, and conversation. 
  • The latest Version 2.0, released in 2010, supports XML-based BPMN format, which makes it easy to convert diagrams into process models and move to implementation.
  • A 500+ page specification document will help you to learn this universal business language.

If this many pages don’t seem alluring, below, you’ll find a primer on BPMN objects and diagrams, followed by best practices for using this business language.

Scale your processes beyond visual, with an expert tech partner.

→ Discover INSART 

Key BPMN objects

BPMN shapes (symbols or elements) come in four groups: process flow objects, pools and swimlanes, data objects, artifacts, and connection objects.

Process flow objects include tasks or activities, events, and gateways—they represent the action in your process.

Data objects are non-executable elements; it’s the information shared during the process (emails, documents, etc.).

Article image - Key BPMN Shapes

Artifacts are groups of objects (outlined in shapes), or comments with important information regarding objects and the flow. Unlike data objects, which are more like desktop shortcuts, comments are the actual text. 

Connection objects link other objects and groups of objects to each other and show direction.

Pools and swimlanes serve to organize processes—they are the canvas.

Article image - BPMN Swimlanes

Five BPMN best practices for Fintech

Advice tested with time and our experience.

Identify the scope

When you’ve picked the process to depict, single out the Actors, the Objects, the Time, the Place, and the Goal. The process will tie it all together in a clear “How.” 

Always define Start and End Events to show how the process should begin and complete.

Pay attention to naming

  • Start with verbs when naming activities to avoid confusion with events or data objects, which should have nouns at the beginning.

Event: Quote sent

Activity: Send quote

  • Avoid conjunctions (“and/or”) in the names of activities—otherwise, you might need to separate them into two alternative activities.

Incorrect: Make and print check

Correct: Make check -> Print check

  • Be as concise as possible and set details aside for comments. Nouns and verbs are your best friends in BPMN.

Incorrect: Decline due to high risk

Correct: Decline

Nail the layout

It’s better to fit the whole process on one page to simplify the view and prevent certain parts from being unnoticed.

Create several diagram versions

Think of the stakeholders you prepare the diagram for. Will they need a detailed or a simplified version of it? Which is a better fit for you or your CEO? You’ll need both variants in some cases, so it’s easier to create the two right away.

Validate diagrams

Just like a poorly written sentence, diagrams can miss parts, contain mistakes, or be hard to follow and understand. Also, it can have a specific sequence of actions expressed in several ways, which may make it hard to spot. 

Tip: Use a tool like bpmnlint or Camunda to conduct automated testing. Tools will help you detect and correct flaws and make your modeling patterns unified and easy to recognize.

Who tested all the bugs out? The testers of our SDT.
Learn what's SDT

What else can help you streamline processes?

BPMN helps you polish what you’ve got. Our Fintech expertise, coupled with years of experience in solution development, can give you even more advantage. 

We have proven our ability to help increase client satisfaction and save time and costs, whether building an all-in-one platform for advisors from scratch or integrating with custodians. Want to meet us and learn what we can do for you?

Tell us when you’re available for a quick call, and let’s schedule it!

Vasyl Soloshchuk avatar
Vasyl Soloshchuk
CEO at INSART
Transforming legacy financial industry into Fintech unicorns.
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