Alex reported on the BPMN-community in the previous post. This platform enables process modeling experts and people interested in BPMN to share their experience across the boundaries of organizations. Modeling experts, often being the only ones in their organization with this expertise, meet like-minded people on this platform.

The fact that there are only few modeling experts in an organization often leads to a problem: Process models are not paid enough attention to, they are not integrated enough into the true process innovation cycle. In contrast to this, process modeling should ideally take place where process innovation happens. Team leaders and employees have good ideas. Customers and suppliers have improvement suggestions for the processes.

These sources of innovation, however, are not interested in or do not have the time for working themselves through ARIS or other complex modeling tools. They are not trained for process modeling. That is way they often would not even dare to edit process models – even if they could. They might write an email or fill a feedback form. As a worst (but typical) case, they simply remain silent.

Current BPM is too elitist: If you are not a BPMN-expert you are degraded in the process initiative. All you can do is serve as interview partner. This is where tools have to kick in. They must be easily accessible for all innovators. There needs to be a level between modeling and pure reading: Commenting and discussing.

As studies have shown, BPMN is intuitively readable, as long as a legend is given. I.e. you don’t need extensive training for understanding the most important aspects of a BPMN diagram. Now, if I am too shy to edit the model, I want at least be able to say: “Hey, why do we _always_ need to do this activitiy? Wouldn’t it sufficient to only do it for customer segment X?”, “Why do I need to create this document – it’s not used anyway downstream.” or “Here, we have a real problem. We need to wait for input from X and in the end we are always under pressure ourselves.”

A non-BPMN-expert is able to place such comments in a diagram. He/she can read the labels and understands the basics of the process flow. Once he/she has inserted the comments, a modeling expert can then edit the model in a second step.

Such a tool that allows for modeling and discussion and that is also easily accessible for non-experts does not exist on the market yet. This will change on 19 May 2009, the day of market entry of the Signavio Process Editor. This tool addresses this very problem. Collaboration, discussion and easy access have top priority. The Signavio Process Editor is a completely web-based tool allowing for modeling and dicussion through the web browser. That way, many people can get involved in process design and innovation. BPM 2.0.

The Signavio Process Editor is a Software as a Service offering, i.e. without download and installation. From 19 May this tool can be used in a free trial. You can collaboratively model BPMN with colleagues and partners in a secure workspace. Try it.