Creating process hierarchies
Depending on the level of detail, process diagrams can become very
complex. Huge diagrams are hard to understand and to handle. Therefore,
dividing a process into parts, especially via hierarchies, is
an important concept for managing complexity.
Signavio Process Manager allows users to define process hierarchies through
the use of subprocesses (in the case of BPMN) or process interfaces (in
the case of EPC) and through linking to other diagrams. The following
explanations are going to use BPMN subprocesses for illustration. The
same functionality is also available for EPC.
Refining a subprocess in a separate diagram
Select the subprocess you want to refine.
Click the + symbol.
The “+”-symbol opens the “Establish link”-dialog
The “Establish link” dialog opens.
The “Establish link” dialog
The input field on the top shows the name of the subprocess. By using
this field you can edit the diagram title.
Choose the diagram type. BPMN will be pre-selected whenever you are
about to refine a BPMN subprocess.
Click Link Diagram
A new diagram with the specified name will be created and the Editor will show up in a new browser tab or window. You can now start
editing the diagram.
Linking an existing diagram to a subprocess
To link an existing diagram to a subprocess, proceed as follows:
Select the subprocess you want to link an existing diagram to.
Click the + symbol at the bottom of the shape and the “Establish
link” dialog will pop up.
Select a diagram
Select Use existing diagram
Browse through the folder structure and select the diagram you want
to link. On the right you see a preview of the diagram.
Click Link Diagram.
Hint: If the preview is too small, you can enlarge the Establish
link dialog. This will also resize the preview.
Moving diagram parts to a new process
When BPMN diagrams get too large, you may want to move a part of it into
a linked subprocess. In such a case, you condense groups of process
elements in collapsed subprocesses:
Select the process part which is supposed to be moved, click the
change type button out of the interactive shortcut menu on the
left bottom and choose Collapsed subprocess:
The selected area will be copied to a new process and be replaced by a collapsed subprocess containing the new diagram
As the diagram might be changed significantly, a warning occurs.
Confirm the warning:
A warning appears as process semantics may be manipulated
Add a title for the subprocess and choose whether to edit it now or
Creating the linked subprocess will establish a new subprocess
The process will be moved to a new diagram. It is now
represented as a collapsed subprocess:
A collapsed subprocess will represent the process part that has been moved to another diagram
The new diagram
The new diagram will be created in the same folder as the old one.
Refresh the Signavio Explorer to see it.
Linking a web document to a subprocess
Instead of linking a diagram to a collapsed subprocess you can also link an online document.
- Select the subprocess you want to link the online document to.
- Click the + symbol at the bottom of the shape and the Establish
link dialog will open.
- Choose Use web link.
- Paste the URL to the input field and click the Link Diagram
Opening a linked diagram
Once you have created a refinement or linked an existing diagram, you
can navigate to that diagram from the subprocess.
- Select the subprocess and click the + symbol.
- A preview panel appears. Click Open to open the diagram in a
separate browser tab.
Hint: If you e.g. are using Internet Explorer 6 to 8, you will be
warned that the Editor is not supported in you web browser. For more
information about browser compatibility, see
Open the referenced diagram
Hint: The preview will also be shown for linked web documents.
Editing a link
Select a subprocess and click the +- symbol.
The preview appears. Click Edit link.
- The Establish link dialog opens. Now, you can link to a new
created diagram, an existing diagram or a web document.
Removing a link
- Select the subprocess and click the + icon.
- The preview panel appears. Click Remove link
Hint: After having removed a link you can set a new link or create a
refinement by clicking the + icon again. This will open the
Establish link dialog.