A framework for utilizing preferred work practice for business process evolution

Ruopeng Lu, Shazia Sadiq, Guido Governatori

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter

Abstract

Success of BPM systems is predominantly found in the automation of business processes that contain repetitive procedures, and that can be modelled prior to deployment. However, new requirements have risen due to the deployment of BPM systems in non-traditional domains such as collaborative business processes and dynamic applications that demand a high level of flexibility in execution. It is essential that technology supports the business to adapt to changing conditions. An example can be found in customer inquiry management of a telecommunication company, where inquiry logging and reporting procedures are predictable and repetitive. However, response to individual inquiries and subsequent tests and services performed are prescribed uniquely for each case, but nonetheless have to be coordinated and controlled. Suppose that a number of diagnostic tests (say 8 tests, T1, T2,..,T8) are available. Any number of these tests can be prescribed for a given request, and in a given order. The supervising engineer should have the flexibility to design a plan that best suits the customer request. The knowledge that guides the design of inquiry response is implicit and owned by domain experts, e.g., supervising engineer in this example. Most often, such decisions can only be made based on case specific conditions that cannot be anticipated at design time. This knowledge constitutes the corporate skill base and is found in the experiences and practices of individual workers, who are domain experts in a particular aspect of the overall operations. There is significant evidence in literature on the difficulties in mapping process logic to process models [11]. With the absence of explicit articulation, the complexity is of increased manifold. We believe this is a limitation in current solutions, and part of the modelling effort needs to be transferred to domain experts who make design decisions based on their expertise and instance specific conditions. The aim of this paper is to provide a theoretical foundation for designing and implementing a framework for harnessing successful work practice driven by domain experts, and subsequently providing a means of managing this knowledge for business process design and evolution. The rest of the paper is organised as follows. Section 2 will present the building blocks of the modelling and execution framework. In section 3, details of approach will be presented. Section 4 will discuss related work, followed by conclusions drawn from this work in section 5.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnologies for Business Information Systems
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Pages39-50
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)1402056338, 9781402056338
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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