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BPMN vs. CMMN: What’s The Difference?


Businesses and organizations across the world are invariably thriving to enhance and increase their productivity while eliminating errors. But how? To do this, it is vital to introspect, analyze, and continuously improve the working methods.

This could include structured workflows for predictable situations or protocols to respond to dynamic situations where a fixed and a prescribed process is impracticable.

Let’s talk a little bit more about CMMN and BPMN.

What Is CMMN?

Case Management Model & Notation (CMMN) is essentially a graphical notation primarily used to apprehend methods of working that revolve around the handling of cases, requiring various activities to be performed to facilitate completely unpredictable solutions.

CMMN has the power to expand its boundaries using the concept of case files and following an event-centered approach. When coupled with BPMN, it enables the users to cover a broader spectrum of work methods.

Why Do Businesses Need CMMN?

CMMN works wonders when coupled with BPMN. It empowers the users to cover a broader spectrum of various working methods. Here’s why we need CMMN:

  • To reach an understanding speedily using unambiguous models.
  • Encourage and intensify the participation of the stakeholders using graphical notations.
  • CMMN is vital to create a library of processes along with case definitions and business policies to train and educate new employees within the company

What Is BPMN?

Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is primarily a method used to map various business processes. BPMN empowers businesses to form a visual depiction of complex business processes/practice flow.

BPMN model helps major stakeholders understand better by facilitating more clarity and perspective, empowering them to make the right decisions. It’s almost like how maps help you figure out the best possible way to your destination.

Why Do Businesses Need BPMN?

Business process modeling renders significant advantages to businesses and organizations such as the ones listed below.

  • Align Operations with Business Strategy

It is vital to make changes in the operations and workforce to implement a new business model or strategy.

The only way to do this is by operationalizing the business transitions to actual business processes, business rules, and business decisions made on an everyday basis by the decision-making authorities of the organization.

  • Improve Process Communication

BPMN model allows the communication and documentation of business processes. These are ideal for training new employees, enabling a quick knowledge transfer. 

BPMN facilitates an easy to comprehend and detailed documented process allowing new joiners to train and understand what to do in which situation.

  • Increase Control and Operational Efficiencies

Executing processes consistently is better than relying on individuals and expecting them to remember to do the exact thing. BPMN also formalized the already existing processes that may or may not be well documented or updated with time,

Furthermore, with BPMN, you can increase the productivity substantially of the resources and staff, allowing you to do more for less.


Modeling and automating well-structured and routine processes has been an area of focus in recent times. BPMN model is best used for well-structured, consistent work that is typically predictable where the workforce simply needs to execute tasks. 

CMMN model covers the somewhat less predictable processes where the knowledge workers are actively involved in making decisions and plan during the run time.

Case Management was introduced as a tool meant for knowledge workers back in 2005, and later in 2014, OMG came out with a standard for case management now dubbed as CMMN. The primary focus of CMMN is to support unpredicted, data-intensive, and poorly structured processes.

Case management is a class of business process tech, but it does not typically use ‘control flow’ to illustrate the process.

Case management is about empowering the workforce by facilitating all the required information about the case – giving them the power and control of the case evolution. 

Case management is less about the process and more about the workers. Unlike the classic processes, providing goals and possibilities is much more essential than the technique used to achieve the goal.

Here listed the differences between BPMN and CMMN:

Difference between BPMN VS CMMN

Declarative Notation does not strive to shape the flow of a query; they bring about the desired outcomes i.e., blueprinting what they want to happen but not how it should happen.

Did you know that SQL is declarative programming because it does not command the course of a program, and it only affirms how it would like to surface but not how it is done?

On the other hand, the imperative notion certainly tries to model the flow of a problem. Programming languages such as c++ and Javascript essentially give out commands letting the compiler know how the code should run.

Wrapping Up

Although BPMN and CMMN are great and can be used independently, they were carefully crafted to complement each other. 

A lot of businesses and organizations across the globe require a combination of processes to enhance their workflow. Case models are preferred for their reactive actions, and decision models are more accepted for intricate and multicriteria business rules.

The combination of the two together benefits businesses based on the appropriateness of each type of activity modeling.

This is why BPMN and CMMN remarkably constitute the “double crown” of the process Growth norms.

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