Lanes are used to organize and categorize activities within a pool. The meaning of a lane is up to the modeler. BPMN does not specify the usage of lanes. Lanes are often used for such things as internal roles (e.g., manager, associate), systems (e.g., an enterprise application), an internal department (e.g., shipping, finance), etc. In addition, lanes can be nested or defined in a matrix. For example, there could be an outer set of lanes for company departments and then an inner set of lanes for roles within each department.
A lane is a sub-partition within a process and will extend the entire length of the process pool, either vertically or horizontally. If the pool is invisibly bounded, the lane associated with the pool must extend the entire length of the pool. Text associated with the lane (e.g., its name and/or any attribute) can be placed inside the shape, in any direction or location, depending on the preference of the modeler or modeling tool vendor. Our examples place the name as a banner on the left side (for horizontal pools) or at the top (for vertical pools) on the other side of the line that separates the pool name. However, this is not a requirement.