FIM attributes for the public administration


This articles introduces the FIM-BPMN-extensions, which are relevant for the German public administration. The plugin for the Signavio Editor is accessible on request.

The German Federal Ministry of the Interior created a BPMN extension for structuring BPMN-diagrams: the so called FIM attributes (trans. Federal Information Management). These attributes equip processes in departments and sectors of the public administration with reference attributes, to compare them with more clarity on a national level.

This refers mostly to common activity types like receive information or decide: These are activities that occur commonly in the processes of the public administration, but different local authorities have different ideas of implementing them. For example: Many local administrations use different forms to receive information for public services, although on the basis of these information they have to decide over the same factual matters. The FIM initiative strives to standardize the processes to reduce bureaucratic expenditure – and uses therefore the instruments of process management:

In the BPMN extension, these processes are ordered into groups through FIM. the reference activity groups are marked with different labels on the right top corner of the activity (subprocess). In consequence, the FIM-Groups are easy to recognize.

The principle of the FIM initiative is: “Same content should always be described alike.”

You can also use the add-on outside of the public administration context: It is a useful tool to structure sub-processes and to standardize content that belongs to the same reference group.

Adding an FIM attribute

  1. Choose a collapsed sub process in the Editor and drop it onto the canvas.

  2. Select the activity and open the attribute menu on the right side. Choose now under main attributes, reference activity groups the correct FIM attribute from the drop-down menu.

    Choosing a FIM-attribute

    Choosing a FIM-attribute

Overview of the FIM-attributes

Of course the attribute labels can be used flexible, but in general they refer to:

  1. Receive information describes the arrival of new information or documents.

  2. Provide Information describes the forwarding of information or documents, especially to external participants(, e.g civilians or (other) enterprises).

  3. Check formally describes proving something on the basis of procedural law.

  4. Check materially describes proving something on the basis of substantive law.

  5. Decide refers to a decision based on an expert assessment.

  6. Create e.g. a new document.

  7. Execute participation involves an external participant into the process.

  8. Execute other activity is optional, und can be used if no other type applies.

    A list of all FIM-attributes

    A list of all FIM-attributes

More information on how to create subprocesses are available under creating process hierarchies.

Creating attributes for FIM reference activities

To create attributes for FIM reference activities, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the Explorer and select Setup - Define notations/attributes.
  2. Select Business Process Diagram (BPMN 2.0) as the modeling language and Collapsed Subprocess as the element type and click Add in the Custom attributes section. Now, you can define the attribute name and type.

Read more at Notationen und Attribute verwalten.