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Published on Dec 30, 2022, updated on Mar 15, 2024

A BPMN diagram is a tool that many project managers take advantage of to boost their team’s productivity. In reality, a BPMN diagram online can be used to automate business processes and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

In this article, you are going to learn all the information you need for the BPMN online and discover the best tool to create a BPMN diagram online quickly and easily. Keep reading.

bpmn diagram online

What Is BPMN Diagram

Before you learn more about the BPMN online and the platform where you can create one, it is important to understand what this technique is all about. The letters BPMN stand for Business Process Modeling Notation. As the name suggests, it is a visual representation of a business process from the beginning to the end. A BPMN diagram online is a type of flowchart that every associate can read and understand, regardless if they are stakeholders or software developers.

what is bpmn diagram

The BPMN is a technique that was developed by the BPMI (Business Process Management Initiative) and, since 2005, it is maintained by the OMG (Object Management Group). Over the years, the flowchart has been updated several times to reflect changes in the business world. Right now, the latest version is the BPMN 2.0.2, which was released in January 2014.

To make things clearer, a BPMN online uses a set of specific symbols and notations to highlight all the tasks and events within a business process. Below, we will explain all these elements in more detail so that you can create your own BPMN diagram online.

Why BPMN Online

There is no denying that selecting a BPMN online tool comes with many advantages that make it a great option for your team. The main reasons to create a BPMN diagram online are the following:

why bpmn online

  • It is easy to view the BPMN diagram from anywhere – if your team consists of members that work remotely or the shareholders are in different locations, you can simply give them access to this diagram.
  • Online tools give you premade templates – the platforms designed for BPMN creation offer you several templates that will make the process much faster and simpler.
  • It is easy to review the BPMN diagram and make changes – when creating a BPMN diagram online, you can easily review the processes you have added and make all the appropriate changes with a few clicks.
  • You have unlimited available space – when it comes to BPMN online, you can take advantage of a canvas that will never run out of free space. This way, you can enrich your diagram as much as you want without worrying about the amount of information on board.

[Guide] Create a BPMN Online

As you can see, there are many advantages to a BPMN online. In this part, we will go through the basic elements and the BPMN creation process.

Necessary Components

The first step to creating a BPMN diagram online is to understand its necessary components. These are flow objects, connecting objects, swimlanes, and artifacts. Let’s see more details about each component of the BPMN online:

Flow Objects

The flow objects are at the center of your BPMN diagram since they are the primary elements of the workflow. These objects can be events, activities, or gateways.

An event is something that begins, ends, or works as an intermediate step in a process. It can either be internal or external and it is symbolized by a circle. For example, an event can be a timer, message, link, error, and escalation among others.

An activity is a specific task that is part of the process. This element is symbolized by a rounded rectangle and it can be a task, sub-process, transaction, or call activity.

A gateway indicates a place within the BPMN online where you need to take a decision. For this reason, it is an element that affects the workflow. It is symbolized by a diamond and it can be exclusive, event based, parallel, inclusive, exclusive event based, complex, or parallel event based.

Connecting Objects

These elements of the BPMN online work as a connection between the flow objects of the flowchart. There are three types of connecting objects, which are the sequence flow, the message flow, and the association.

The sequence flow indicates the order that the activities need to be performed. It is symbolized by a straight line with an arrowhead.

The message flow indicates communication between pools or organizational boundaries. It is symbolized by a dashed line that has a circle at the beginning and an arrowhead at the end.

The association shows a connection between a flow object and an artifact. It is symbolized by a dashed line.


This element is primarily used to organize and categorize the activities as it contains flow objects. The swimlane can either be a pool or a lane.

A pool indicates a specific participant in the process. For example, it can be one of the organization’s departments or a specific role. It is symbolized by a rectangle.

A lane organizes the activities within a specific pool. In essence, it is a rectangle that divides the pool’s bigger rectangle.


These elements add any other information that the developers need to highlight. They can be a data object, a group, or an annotation.

Basic Principles

Another thing that you need to learn to create a BPMN diagram online is the principles of business process management. This way, you will create a BPMN online that everyone involved will be able to interpret. The 10 principles are:

  • Context-awareness – Every organization process requires a different approach, a thing that needs to be reflected in your BPMN diagram online.
  • Continuity – A BPMN is not a one-time thing. Instead, you should make sure to implement it within the whole organization.
  • Enablement – You should invest in obtaining all the relevant knowledge about BPM and the BPMN diagram online.
  • Holism – Your diagram should take into consideration the organization as a whole and not just a specific department or process.
  • Institutionalization –Business project management should be incorporated into the organization’s philosophy.
  • Involvement – Every stakeholder should be involved in this process.
  • Joint understanding – All of your employees should be able to read and interpret your BPMN diagram online.
  • Purpose – Your BPMN online should have a clearly stated purpose.
  • Simplicity – You should always aim for simplicity in resources, such as time and effort.
  • Technology appropriation – Find the right tools to use and take advantage of.

Step-by-step Process

Now that you are aware of the BPMN online notation and the principles that you must follow, it is time to explain how to create a BPMN diagram online. You will be able to achieve that by following these steps:

step by step bpmn diagram

  • State the purpose of your BPMN online – This is one of the basic principles and it is essential to remain focused on what’s important.
  • Create the swimlanes – The biggest element on your BPMN diagram online are the swimlanes because they include the flow objects.
  • Create a start event – Place the starting point on your diagram and add any other task in sequence.
  • Create the activities – Add all the tasks that need to be completed.
  • Create gateways and intermediate events – then, add all elements that will affect the workflow.
  • Create the connecting objects – they can connect the activities between them, the different pools, or match activities with artifacts.
  • Your BPMN diagram is ready to share with your team members and stakeholders.

A Must-have Tool for Creating BPMN Diagram Online – Boardmix

By following the steps explained above, you will be able to create a BPMN diagram efficiently. However, the process will become much quicker by using the right online tool.

Boardmix is a web-based tool that allows you to create a BPMN online and numerous other diagrams, such as flowcharts and mind maps. The platform provides you with great templates that you can customize according to your needs.

Boardmix 1

Apart from this, Boardmix is the perfect addition to your work since it has various collaborative features. For instance, all of your team members can use it to work together on their ideas. The changes and comments are visible in real time. Moreover, there are audio and video conference features that allow you to report to your clients and stakeholders without much effort.

The Bottom Line

A BPMN diagram online is a tool that every organization should use. In this article, you have learned about the basic elements, the principles, and the steps to creating a diagram for your organizational processes. With Boardmix, you can now create your BPMN diagram in no time. Try the online collaborative tool today to take advantage of its advanced features.

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