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  • 1.  Can you Link Process Diagrams Together?

    Posted Wed April 03, 2024 07:02 PM

    I'm mapping business workflows/processes in Blueworks Live for my Company.  Some of those workflows are quite involved and have several nested workflows...BUT...

    I also have outside workflows that are triggered at certain points in my "master" workflow.  

    My question is, can you link process diagrams together so that if I click on a step that says X workflow triggered. Blue works will take me into that workflow without having it as a "nested workflow"?

    For example:  

    The workflow you might be looking at is an equipment rental workflow (how equipment is rented).  At one point a quote is generated and sent to the Customer for acceptance or refusal.  If there is a refusal (or no response) a workflow is triggered for documenting why the quote was rejected or there was no response.  Its called a lost business oportunity workflow.  

    Instead of nesting the whole lost opportunity workflow in the "Lost Oppertunity Workflow Triggered" process step I'd like to be able to document that workflow in a different process diagram and link that diagram to that particular step so that if I click on the step I can jump into the Lost Opportunity workflow from the Rental Workflow.  

    I hope that makes sense.  

    I'm trying to minimize the number of swim lanes in my master workflow as it starts to become cumbersome very quickly. 

    Any suggestions would be greatly appriciated on how to handle this. 

    Thank you, 

    Heather Carman | Business Solutions Project Analyst


  • 2.  RE: Can you Link Process Diagrams Together?

    Posted Thu April 04, 2024 07:31 AM

    Hi, Heather!

    It sounds like you are referring to the difference between a Collapsed Subprocess and a Linked Process. You can right-click on the collapsed subprocess and select "Save as Linked Process" to create the linked process from the subprocess. Then you'll have an activity with a "link" symbol on the bottom left that you can click to pull up the linked process. At the top of the linked process there will be a "breadcrumb" to return to the parent process. You can read about linked processes in the BWL help documents here:

    Jeff Bersin

  • 3.  RE: Can you Link Process Diagrams Together?

    Posted Thu April 04, 2024 08:08 AM

    We have many processes that are triggered by an action in another process or are waiting for an action in another process to occur before the process can continue. We use message events (Send, Receive, Start) to reflect this. You can put a process link on a message event to link to the process where the message is being sent or to the process from which the message is received. Unfortunately, we aren't able to use the linking on message events because the message events only allow 1:1 relationship. We have several processes where one event, like a document approval, triggers many processes. So, we end up listing those processes that are triggered in the message event rather than being able to directly link to them. We have submitted an Idea to allow 1:m relationship on the message event linking but that has not been prioritized for IBM to implement. 

    Cheryl McAllen

  • 4.  RE: Can you Link Process Diagrams Together?

    Posted Thu April 04, 2024 10:23 AM

    Hi Heather,

    2 ways to achieve this;

    One is using "Linked Process" which allows you to add an activity block on the diagram and then specify which other process it should link to. This essentially says "when a process reaches this point, do what ever the linked process describes then return here and continue this process. The inference of linked processes is that they use the normal start event on the link destination. Activities - IBM Documentation

    Other is using message events, which link to specific points of a process rather than being a process to process connection like "Linked Process" this is specifying the information flow as you need to document specific entry and exit points. It can be a message (think email) to end or start a process, but can be process to process (specifying the exact point of entry, not always the normal start point) Events - IBM Documentation.

    I tend to consider "Message Events" like an API call that at a certain point goes and does some prescribed activity and then returns back, so more technical documentation. Depending on how many of these send/receive events you have the diagrams can get quite messy. I think this matches your "Lost Opportunity Workflow Triggered" concept you are looking for.

    One thing using Linked Processes that is a bit hidden (I think there is an improvement request on the backlog for Blueworks) is to view the incoming links from other processes to the one you are viewing. The only way to easily see this in the Blueworks UI is via the "View Process Summary" (drop down next to the blueprint name in the diagram editor) then check out the linked processes section.

    Not sure if this helps?

    Simon Lant

  • 5.  RE: Can you Link Process Diagrams Together?

    Posted Thu April 04, 2024 10:27 AM

    Hi Heather 

    Linking Process Diagrams together is possible today.  Documentation on how to create and use linked processes can be found here:

    The link contains a YouTube video that also showcases this capability. If you have any more questions about this, please feel free to reach out.

    Swapnil Agrawal

  • 6.  RE: Can you Link Process Diagrams Together?

    IBM Champion
    Posted Fri April 05, 2024 09:23 AM

    Hi Heather, it looks like you already received some very good answers here but I wanted to share a few other thoughts. In addition to having a much tidier diagram, the linking also allows you to start creating dependencies and reusability. For example, you could have a linked process that can now be referenced or fed from from multiple process diagrams. Our recommendation for when to use a linked process vs a sub-process is if one of these is true:

    1. Logically: If the subprocess can be viewed as a full process on its own
    2. Reusability: If the subprocess is not specific to just a single parent or upstream process
    3. Ownership: If the process is relevant to or should be managed by a different team/individual than the parent process

    I will say one limitation that BWL currently has is that there is no way to view all of the linked processes in one view or to see the full dependency diagram. We have a (free) add-on that provides additional reporting and visualization, including a linked process view that may be useful to you. I'd be happy to provide more information if it would help. Thanks!

    Kind regards,


    Jared Michalec