In a business process, a gateway is a decision point that determines which path the process will take based on certain conditions or criteria. A gateway can be used to split the flow of the process into two or more different paths, or to join two or more paths back together.
Gateways are an essential element of process modelling, as they allow for complex decision-making to be represented in a clear and structured way. They also help to ensure that business processes are executed consistently and efficiently, with the appropriate actions being taken at each decision point.
Adding a Gateway to a Process Map
In BusinessOptix Author open the process map and
- From the Component tab, select the Gateway button
- Click where you would like the Gateway to appear in your diagram
- In the Properties Inspector type in or select the required information. For example:
- Name (this will label the gateway in the diagram).
- Lane (which lane to add the activity to)
- Type (if required)
- After (what component it comes after)
- References (to add reference information to the gateway)
- Description – if you need to elaborate on the gateway, type in the description field. This has an unlimited text length.Under Details you can position the label on the gateway - Show label
What type of Gateway is it?
Picking the correct type for your gateway defines how the process can be routed:
- Alternative Paths (OR) is used when the process can follow one path from the gateway. The reason that a path should be followed is labelled in each of the outbounds links. An example of an alternative path would be when the process requires approval when the transaction amount is greater than $5,000.
- Parallel Paths (AND) should be used when all of the paths from the gateway can be followed at the same time. Parallel path gateways should be used in pairs, one to indicate when the process 'splits' and the second to indicate when the process 'joins'. An example of parallel paths would be when a new employee requires access to applications, new computer and cell phone, with each being provisioned by different teams - the activities can be completed in parallel, but the new employee cannot use any without everything being set-up;
- Multiple Choice (AND/OR) indicates that any or all paths from the gateway can be followed based on a business decision. A multiple choice gateway enables the work to proceed in parallel, and requires an indication of 'splits' and 'joins'. An example multiple choice gateway could be the same new employee requiring access to applications, computer and cell phone, however the organization supports bring your own device (BYOD) and as such new computers or cell phones may not be required.
- Programmed Selection is for complex routing logic. The work can proceed in parallel and requires the setting of two gateways with 'splits' and 'joins' as applicable.
- Event gateways are used when the process alternative path is selected based on events rather than by conditional flows. This occurs when somebody or something external to the process makes the decision on the path.