Design Feedback: Workflow represent the action or the lifecycle of the resource?

Hey all!

I wanted to gather the community feedback around a common design challenge I see in BPMN:

Should the workflow/bpmn represent a lifecycle of an action or the lifecycle of the resource?

Example: Employee

Action: New Hire vs Exit Interview: Two actions that occur during the lifecycle of a employee. You may store the employee’s overall lifecycle in another system (“some HR system”).

Lifecycle: Employee Lifecycle: Covers the Initial New Hire steps, and the process will remain active until the employee has their exit interview. You could query the number of active processes to determine the number of employees you have. There may be other processes you activate regarding the employee, but there is still the main “Employee Lifecycle process”.

does anyone have experience to share? Would love to hear feedback and thoughts on design opinions of when each style if better!

Hi Stephen

Ive wrestle with this myself in the past. I tend to converge on treat resource lifecycle and process state as two distinct and separately managed concepts, however each can affect the other.

To use your employee lifecycle example, you could have a single very large, long lived process representing the entire lifecycle of an employee from hire to retire. However to be consistent, this process may need to consider leave, sick leave, maternity leave, long service leave, personal leave etc etc. So rather than the large very long lived process model, a more pragmatic approach may be a process representing transitions to stable states, eg hiring process, firing process. Hence by implication, if he process model does not represent the entire state space of the resource, the resource model must…