The Basics of BPMN
BPMN diagrams may look confusing
at first glance, but with the right
resources, they're surprisingly
simple to make.
Follow these steps to create one of
Built specifically for creating BPMN charts and other business diagrams, Lucidchart is both intuitive
and powerful. Use Lucidchart to make and share professional-looking diagrams from your browser.
How to Make a BPMN Diagram
• You’ll need a basic understanding of what BPMN is.
• You may also want to have a BPMN symbols guide on hand to
check the meaning of symbols and their attributes.
• When you have the necessary tools—including a diagramming
program like Lucidchart—it's time to get started.
LIST PROCESS STEPS
1. Decide which business process in your organization you'd like
2. Then record each step that occurs in that process.
3. Make sure to take into account all factors, decisions, and
possible relationships that contribute to the workflow.
ADD SHAPES AND SYMBOLS
1. Start with the first event. For example, you
might be representing a process triggered by a
2. In this case, the customer's initiation of the
process is the first event.
3. In Lucidchart, you can simply drag a Start
Event shape from the toolbox to the canvas.
ADD SUBSEQUENT STEPS
1. Draw lines and add symbols to build out the rest of the process.
To ensure that you're covering every step, consider questions like,
• What happens when the customer initiates this process?
• How do the customer's actions affect other parts of the
organization, like the help desk or the sales department?
• When do other factors and people enter the flow? Which
options or new paths do they provide?
Creating a Polished BPMN Chart
• BPMN diagrams can become unnecessarily complicated when
they are disorganized.
• While BPMN has many symbols and options, it's still possible to
create an attractive, easy-to-read chart.
• Read on for some useful tips on keeping your diagrams
• Be sure to align all of your business process objects on the
• Interactions can branch off from the main line.
• Generally, the main process is aligned horizontally, with
associated symbols added vertically.
• Place the diagram on a canvas that's not too small or too large.
• This will be helpful when you've created a busy diagram—your
diagram will flow properly on a single level instead of looking
• Space all objects and lines consistently. Keep everything
spaced evenly so your chart is easy to read.
COLOR & TEXT
• Keep your formatting preferences consistent, since
unnecessary fonts, explanations, or colors can be confusing.
• Try to add new elements only if they add to the overall
understanding of the business process.
• See Lucid U for examples and
tutorials on BPMN and other diagram
• Try the Lucidchart demo for free!