I think everyone knows that both CMMI and Six Sigma involve process design/ redesign. (For more background and community involvement in Business Process Modeling Notation you might want to check this BPMN forum out.)

You may also feel, as I do, that one greatest challenges faced by process professionals involves developing effective process designs and simulating those designs prior to implementation. The ability to try a process out before it goes live; prove to yourself, and others, that the process is cohesive (works and flows as planned); and will run smoothly is crucial to success.  Not to mention, it aids in maintaining your peace of mind.

As a huge proponent of Open-source and Free-ware, I have searched the net recently for tools to help in this realm.  And as you might have imagined, they also needed to be Open-source or Free. What follows are a few tools that I think bear a closer look.   I have not used them all, but I do think they merit a detailed review by anyone interested in designing and simulating processes as part of their plan for implementation.


BPMN Tools


Business process modeling software helps new and experienced users create BPMN diagrams quickly. Our business process tool looks like office applications, so users can start using business process software immediately. Gliffy is offered as JIRA or Confluence plugins or On-line.

Oryx Modeling Platform

Oryx is a web-based, extensible modeling platform, licensed under open source terms. With Oryx, you can create diagrams in many different modeling languages and share them with your partners, colleagues and friends. To start modeling you need no installation–your model is just one click away. So, why not start modeling right now or check out existing models?


ProcessMaker offers its business process management software in a single, award-winning edition called the ProcessMaker Open Source BPM Platform. Use ProcessMaker as best suits your needs: 1) Download Open Source Code and use it without support, 2) Sign Up for an Enterprise Subscription Plan and get professional support and additional features from us for your PM installation, or 3) Subscribe to ProcessMaker in the Cloud let us manage your installation for you.

Activiti BPM Platform

Activiti is a light-weight workflow and Business Process Management (BPM) Platform targeted at business people, developers and system admins. Its core is a super-fast and rock-solid BPMN 2 process engine for Java. It’s open-source and distributed under the Apache license. Activiti runs in any Java application, on a server, on a cluster or in the cloud. It integrates perfectly with Spring, it is extremely lightweight and based on simple concepts.


TIBCO Business Studio™ Community Edition is a free, standards-based, business process modeling environment that enables business experts to model and simulate business processes and their supporting data and organization models. (Eclipse based)

Mark Rabideau

Mark Rabideau is a Management Mentor/ Coach with over 40 years of Engineering and Management Experience. He is a CMMI Institute SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser and Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He is also licensed to teach both the CMMI-DEV and SVC constellations' courses. You may contact Mark directly by using the PEP contact page.