Knowledge Work Designer

Keywords: BPMN, business process modeling, case management, case modeling, CMMN, decision modeling, DMN

Affiliation: FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland

Area of Application

The Knowledge Work Designer is intended for modeling any kind of knowledge work processes, which involve decision making and non-structured process flows.


The objective of the Knowledge Work Designer is to model business processes that cover a broad spectrum of knowledge work. It is based on the following two principles:(1) the separation of business logic and process logic and (2) the support of both structures and unstructured knowledge. 

Process logic is the knowledge about the process, in particular the process flow with events and activities, the involved participants and resources. The process logic is typically represented in a business process diagram. In the Knowledge Work Designer process logic can be represented in a structured way in BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) and in a non-structured way with CMMN (Case Management Model and Notation), both are standards from the Object Management Group (OMG). For real processes there is no strict separation between structured processes and cases. Therefore the Knowledge Work Designer offers a deep integration of BPMN and CMMN called BPCMN (Business Process and Case Model and Notation).

The business logic is the knowledge in the process. Understanding business logic means to understand how individual workers or applications respond to the real world and accomplish their assigned tasks.Decision logic is a special kind of business logic, which can be represented with DMN (Decision Model and Notation), another standard of the OMG. Decision logic can be represented in a structured way using decision tables. Unstructured business logic can be represented in documents.

Models which separate decison logic from process logic are called decision-aware business process models. This separation allows for simpler process model and easier maintenance.