What is a subprocess

Create sub-processes

To create an overview diagram for the main process, model sub-processes in separate diagrams and link these sub-processes to the main process.

There are two ways of adding subprocesses to diagrams, as expanded or collapsed subprocesses.

The sub-processes with the main process are displayed as expanded sub-process elements. As this increases the diagram size and visual complexity, we recommend the collapsed sub-process, which references sub-processes in separate diagrams.

When to use subprocesses

Sub-processes can be complete processes or sub-processes. They can only be done as part of a larger process.

You can reuse sub-processes in multiple diagrams. We recommend using a sub-process in the following cases:

  • part of the process is the same for several processes
  • part of the process is changed frequently
  • part of the process is done differently, but the main process is the same

A sub-process must be a process with a start and an end event. If you have a complex activity that cannot be reasonably broken down into different tasks, use a task element in your process model.

Sub-process elements

The notations in which you use subprocesses are usually process maps and BPMN models. You use the element for this in process maps Collapsed process. Use the element for this in BPMN diagrams Collapsed subprocess.

Elements that are linked to other diagrams are marked with a +Icon. This is the element Collapsed subprocess in the BPMN:

Add a sub-process to a diagram

The following descriptions apply to BPMN diagrams; the linking of diagrams to elements is comparable for other notations.

You have the following options to create subprocesses:

  • In the case of complex diagrams, it is advisable to group parts into sub-processes.

  • You can use the item Collapsed subprocess use in your diagram.

    • You can use this sub-process element to create a new diagram for a sub-process that is automatically linked.

    • If you have already defined a sub-process, you can add a sub-process element to the main diagram and link the sub-process to it.

      You can link diagrams in your workspace or diagrams in other locations via URL.

Group diagram elements into a sub-process

  1. Open the BPMN diagram.

  2. Select the process items that you want to group. It is possible to select only one element.

  3. click under the selection and choose Collapsed subprocess.

  4. Enter a name for the subprocess and click Create subprocess.

    The sub-process is saved as a new diagram. In the original diagram replaces an element of type Collapsed subprocess the subprocess.

Example:

The new diagram is created in the same folder as the original diagram. Refresh Explorer to view the chart.

Link a diagram to a sub-process element

  1. Select an element of the type in your diagram Collapsed subprocess and click that +-Symbol.

    The Set a linkDialog opens.

  2. Select one of the options to add a link:

    • Use an existing diagram. Select the diagram that you want to link from the folder structure.

    • Use web link. Paste the URL into the input field.

  3. If the preview is too small, you can use the dialog Set a link enlarge.

  4. click Set a link.

    The diagram is linked to the sub-process element.

Create a new sub-process with the sub-process element

  1. Select an element of the type in your diagram Collapsed subprocess and click that +-Symbol.

    The Set a linkDialog opens.

  2. Enter a name for the diagram in the text box.

  3. Choose a chart type.

  4. click Set a link.

    A diagram is created and opened in a new tab.

Change diagram links

After you have linked a process to a sub-process, you can open the linked diagram from the sub-process item.

Click in an element of the type Collapsed subprocess the +-Symbol.

A preview of the currently linked diagram is displayed. If the preview is too small, you can use the dialog Set a link enlarge.

  • To open the diagram in a new browser tab, click to open.

  • To link a new diagram, click Edit link.

  • To remove a linked diagram, click Remove link.

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