I was recently asked the question above. It’s a good one. It arose in response to another post, “What is the best way to simplify business process models?”. See http://goo.gl/gWnO0 for a very brief, very dramatic case study.
Here’s my answer. Business people (and business analysts) should see only the core set of transforms (business tasks) that respond to some business event, and that lead transform-by-transform to appropriate business end-results through conditional flows.
Many process modellers also try to include the criteria that resolve those conditional flows, which in a true business process model, are always business rules. The result is embedding the business rules procedurally within the model, rather than expressing them declaratively (and separately) in their natural form.
The more scenarios the model covers, the more hopelessly complex it becomes. The issue has nothing to do with conventions per say, or with the media of presentation – electronic, paper or otherwise. I’m talking about the core stuff of the model itself. Just transforms, transforms, transforms!