Another article by Bruce Silver on the value of using Visio for process modelling. His argument is that it’s already a de facto standard, with two-thirds of the world’s existing process models done in Visio, so why not find ways to just make it ready to play in the big leagues?
One way is to allow import of Visio models into enterprise architecture modelling tools such as Popkin, where they would then be “finished” by developers, but I don’t like that method because it takes control of the modelling — includuing ongoing maintenance for the models — out of the hands of non-technical process designers.
The other is to use add-ons to Visio that allow a process designer to create BPMN-compliant process models in place, then generate BPEL or XPDL. ITP-commerce, for one, has a tool to do this, and I think it could be a better solution in many cases, since it allows the process designers to use a familiar tool and easily work from their existing library of models.