Abstraction is the process of focusing on key issues and information, ignoring irrelevant details. However, relevance is a function of context. Different levels of abstraction are appropriate for differing purposes and audiences. BPMN utilizes three levels of modeling abstraction:

  • descriptive model represents the highest level of abstraction and is suitable for describing process scope and context with executives.
  • An analytical model is necessary for specifying requirements for process automation.
  • Process engineers use highly detailed executable models.

Descriptive Models

A typical descriptive model describes key activities and responsibilities using a limited palette of process elements.

A descriptive model

Analytical Models

Here’s a more analytical view of the same process. It incorporates gateways, data objects, and a much broader palette of activity types and events.

An analytical model

This level of detail (or more fine-grained) is necessary to provide day-to-day operational guidance and identify appropriate KPIs and process automation opportunities.