Practical process pattern: MIMO

Pattern Multiple Instances Multiple Objects (MIMO) is observed in some business process diagrams provided by the business as documentation for their business processes. I call such business processes “implied”. Typical case is the institutional (corporate) procurement process which is described as the following:

  1. Submit Purchase Requisition (PR)
  2. Choose Supplier 
  3. Issue Purchase Order (PO) 
  4. Receive Goods / Services
  5. Pay Invoice

It looks very straightforward. But a PR may contain many positions which can be sourced by different methods: 

  1. From the stock 
  2. From a known (preferred) supplier 
  3. From an unknown (via a bid) supplier 

And each of those methods requires its own process. So, multiple objects in the instance of “Submit PR” process may initiate multiple instances of sourcing processes (see the diagram below).  This effect of is implied in the user’s documentation. 

Events, generated by the “Submit PR” process, can be treated as describe in http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2011/01/explicit-event-processing-agents-in.html 

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