Under Consideration

Allowing lanes in sub processes

Based on feedback from the community (http://feedback.bizagi.com/en/responses/why-cant-i-use-pools-lanes-and-milestones-in-a-sub-process), we have seen that having lanes in sub processes is not currently restricted by the BPMN 2.0 standard, and therefore it would be an useful improvement for process modeling.

Comments (15)

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From Chapter 3 of Bruce Silver's book 'BPMN Method and Style':

"Figure 3-5 shows the expansion of Fulfill Order in the child-level diagram. Note that it omits the pool shape, which is inherited implicitly from the parent... A child-level expansion may contain lanes... If lanes are absent in the child level but present in the parent level, it is implied that activities in the child level inherit the lane of the collapsed subprocess in the parent level. But technically, lanes are defined independently at each process level."

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A nested (embedded) sub-process "shares the same set of data as its parent process" (BPMN 2.0 specification Table 7.2), so your model does not explicitly have to pass any data from the parent level into the sub-process level.

However, a call activity does not inherit the data of its parent because the call activity does not know which parent is calling it. Thus each parent has to pass any needed data into the call activity and receive any needed data from it and your model must show that.

This difference is why using call activities instead of nested sub-processes just so you can have swim lanes at the child level actually violates the BPMN specification.

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I have just noticed this topic is five years old, so I guess Bizagi is not in a hurry to add this feature to the tool.