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Abstract Business Process Management BPM research resulted in a plethora of methods, techniques, and tools to support the design, enactment, management, and analysis of operational business processes.
This survey aims to structure these results and provide an overview of the state-of-the-art in BPM. In BPM the concept of a process model is fundamental.
Process models may be used to configure information systems, but may also be used to analyze, understand, and improve the processes they describe.
Hence, the introduction of BPM technology has both managerial and technical ramifications and may enable significant productivity improvements, cost savings, and flow-time reductions.
The practical relevance of BPM and rapid developments over the last decade justify a comprehensive survey. Introduction Business Process Management BPM is the discipline that combines knowledge from information technology and knowledge from management sciences and applies this to operational business processes [ 12 ].
It has received considerable attention in recent years due to its potential for significantly increasing productivity and saving costs. Moreover, today there is an abundance of BPM systems.
These systems are generic software systems that are driven by explicit process designs to enact and manage operational business processes [ 3 ]. WFM primarily focuses on the automation of business processes [ 4 — 6 ], whereas BPM has a broader scope: On the one hand, BPM aims to improve operational business processes, possibly without the use of new technologies.
For example, by modeling a business process and analyzing it using simulation, management may get ideas on how to reduce costs while improving service levels. On the other hand, BPM is often associated with software to manage, control, and support operational processes.
This was the initial focus of WFM. However, traditional WFM technology aimed at the automation of business processes in a rather mechanistic manner without much attention for human factors and management support. Instead, these systems have in common that there is an explicit process notion and that the information system is aware of the processes it supports.
Also a database system or e-mail program may be used to execute steps in some business process. Therefore, they are not actively involved in the management and orchestration of the processes they are used for.
The notion of a process model is foundational for BPM. A process model aims to capture the different ways in which a case i. A plethora of notations exists to model operational business processes e.
These notations have in common that processes are described in terms of activities and possibly subprocesses. The ordering of these activities is modeled by describing causal dependencies.
Moreover, the process model may also describe temporal properties, specify the creation and use of data, for example, to model decisions, and stipulate the way that resources interact with the process e.
Figure 1 shows a process model expressed in terms of a Petri net. The model allows for the scenario. This is the scenario where a car is booked activityextra insurance is added activitythe booking is confirmed activitythe check-in process is initiated activitymore insurance is added activitya car is selected activitythe license is checked activitythe credit card is charged activityand the car is supplied activity.
Another example scenario is where the booking was changed two times activity and no extra insurance was taken at check-in activity. A process model expressed in terms of a Petri net and an event log with some example traces.
Figure 1 focuses on control flow and does not model data, decisions, resources, and so forth. The control-flow perspective modeling the ordering of activities is often the backbone of a process model.
However, other perspectives such as the resource perspective modeling roles, organizational units, authorizations, etc. The Petri net notation is used to model the control flow in Figure 1.
However, various alternative notations e. Discussions on different notations tend to distract BPM professionals from the key issues.
The workflow patterns [ 9 ] describe the key functionalities in a language-independent manner. Obviously, there are differences in expressiveness and suitability among languages; however, these are only relevant for the more advanced patterns.
Moreover, the study in [ 10 ] revealed that business process modelers typically only use a fraction of an elaborate language like BPMN. The model shown in Figure 1 could have been made by hand or discovered using process mining [ 8 ].
As a matter of fact, models can have very different origins. Moreover, models may also serve very different purposes.This practical guide to the entire business planning process from start to finish provides a framework for: conceiving the vision of the firm defining the purpose of the firm, its overall business mission setting business goals and strategies for achieving them understanding the external environment and competitive setting outside the firm .
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