This year’s Business Process Management Conference (BPM 2014) will take place in Haifa, September 7-11, 2014. The BPM conference series embraces the diversity and richness of the BPM field and serves as a melting pot for experts from a mix of disciplines including Computer Science, Information Systems Management, Services Science and Technology Management.
Process modeling and theory (e.g. reference process models, process simulation and static analysis, business process quality, etc.)
Process model management (e.g. process model storage, process model indexing, etc.)
Process architectures and platforms (e.g. service-oriented architectures for BPM, workflow management systems, etc.)
Management of process execution data (e.g. process performance measurement, process mining, process data analytics and visualization, etc.)
Process flexibility and evolution (e.g. adaptive and context-aware processes, case handling, process change management, etc.)
Human-centric BPM (e.g. people-intensive processes, user-centric aspects of process management and use)
Doris Weitlaner presented her paper on “Intuitive Comprehensibility of Process Models” at the conference “S-BPM One 2013”.
The study empirically examines the use of semiformal process modeling languages in companies. It could be revealed that formal BPM has still not been accepted as a useful practice in firms. Corporations mainly rely on flowcharts in order to design processes. The study further investigates the comprehensibility of BPM languages. Based on empirical data the paper analyzes to what extent EPC, BPMN, UML and the storyboard design are understood by individuals. It was found that the comic representation “storyboard design” is broadly intuitive and easily understood. BPMN and UML also achieved good results, too, but only under certain restrictions. EPC and concurrency of activities in general caused some problems. The full paper is available here. View Doris’ presentation here:
An example for a process (in storyboard design) can be found below:
BPM 2013 is the 11th edition of the reference conference for researchers and practitioners in the field of Business Process Management (BPM). The conference covers all aspects of BPM, including theory, models, techniques, architectures, systems, and empirical studies, and engages the most renowned representatives of the BPM community worldwide in talks, tutorials, and scientific discussions.
BPM 2013 will take place in Beijing, August 26-30, and it will be the first edition of the BPM conference series in Asia. Topics include
Process modeling and theory (e.g. reference process models, process modeling languages, notations and methods)
Process model management (e.g. storage, indexing and retrieval of process models)
Process architectures and platforms (e.g. workflow management systems, service-oriented architectures for BPM)
Management of process execution data (e.g. process performance measurement, process mining)
Process flexibility and evolution (e.g. process change management)
Human-centric BPM (e.g. integrating strategy, processes, people and IT)
This article briefly summarizes the study “The Effects of Process-Oriented Organizational Design on Firm Performance”, by M. Kohlbacher and H. A. Reijers, which will be published in the Business Process Management Journal.
The study investigates which process management components (i.e. process design and documentation, management commitment towards process management, process ownership, process performance measurement, corporate culture in line with the process approach, application of continuous process improvement methodologies, and organizational structure in line with the process approach) are important for improving customer satisfaction, product quality, time-to-market speed, delivery speed, delivery reliability, and financial performance.
The empirical findings of the study reveal that
process performance measurement is important for improving product quality.
a process-oriented organizational structure is important for improving time-to-market speed.
the application of continuous process improvement methods is important for improving financial performance, and
a culture in line with the process approach is important for improving customer satisfaction, delivery speed, delivery reliability, and financial firm performance.
The paper will be published in the next issue of the Business Process Management Journal (Vol. 19, No. 2, 2013).
The process owner role and continuous process improvement are two key components of business process orientation. The article investigates whether the implementation of these two concepts can improve the firms’ financial performance and customer satisfaction. The study is based on data from 840 Austrian manufacturing and service companies. The empirical evidence indicates that organizations that implement both concepts – process ownership and continuous process improvement – reap the fruits of process management in terms of higher financial performance and customer satisfaction.
The paper will be available via IEEE Xplore after the conference. The poster of the study can be found here.
The study investigates how individual components of process orientation (i.e. continuous process improvement, corporate culture in line with the process approach, management commitment towards the process program, the process owner role, process performance measurement as well as process knowledge and documentation) affect explorative and exploitative innovation. Exploitative innovations (or incremental innovations) refer to small-scale improvements and adjustments of existing goods/services of a company. In contrast, explorative innovations represent entirely new goods/services which are not inferred from the existing supply of a company.
The empirical study involves 840 Austrian enterprises operating in the manufacturing or service industry. The empirical findings reveal that continuous process improvement and a culture that is in line with the process approach are significantly and positively associated with both types of innovation. The empirical evidence also shows that a narrow focus on detailed process documentation may actually be cumbersome to explorative innovation.
The paper discusses the approach of process cascading and segmentation, a design principle which helps organizations to build its structure around its customer-oriented business processes. Cascading of processes is an approach where the organization’s business process design is based on internal customer-supplier relationships which ensure that every business process of the organization has a clearly defined (internal) customer which places an order and also receives the results. Segmentation of business processes refers to the idea of creating process variants of business processes which face heterogeneous market and/or customer requirements. Both principles – cascading and segmentation of business processes – complement each other. The paper shows how these design principles are applied in practice by using an Austrian manufacturing firm as a case study.
The poster of the presentation can be found here; the paper is available via IEEE Xplore.
This article gives a brief introduction into modeling business processes by using the Event-Driven Process Chain.
The Event-driven Process Chain (EPC) is a type of flowchart and was developed by Prof. Wilhelm-August Scheer at the Universität des Saarlandes in the early 1990s. There are four basic elements of the EPC:
Events: The event describes the incidence of a state. This state activates a function or is the result of a function. Events are passive elements in EPC. Every process begins and ends with one or more events.
Functions: Functions represent tasks or activities within the company. Functions describe transformations from an initial state to a resulting state. They are active elements in EPC. Functions consume resources and time. A verb should be used for the name of a function.
Logical Connectors: By using the three different logical operations (AND, OR, and XOR), branchings can be inserted between events and functions.
Control Flow: The control flow describes the chronological-logical dependency of events and functions and can be split up by using the logical connectors.
A simple EPC model is depicted in the following picture:
Events and functions can be connected by logical connectors in the following ways:
According to Brad, six things militate against success in the role of the process owner:
The management team’s attention shifts to other priorities.
Process owners misunderstand their role.
Process owners are not held accountable for improvements.
Process owners are not senior enough to have the necessary influence.
The organizational structure to accommodate the role is too complex.
Employees are uncomfortable belonging to business processes rather than functions.
Brad lists 6 specific bullet points how to address these issues:
Make the process owner role permanent and incorporate it into overall performance management.
Select process owners with strong leadership skills and develop those skills even further.
Make the process owner accountable for how well the process performs.
Give the process owner organizational power.
Minimize disturbance to the organizational structure. Create process owners outside the formal organization with a very small staff, leave most people in their functional organizations, and clarify the process owner’s role with respect to the functions and business units they will work with.
Help employees get comfortable thinking in terms of end-to-end activities that together generate value to customers. Encourage cross-departmental activities that solve customer problems, and reward cross-departmental teamwork.
This article summarizes the study “The Performance Effects of Process Cascade-Based Organizational Design” by Kohlbacher M. and Weitlaner D., which was presented at the IEEE 2011 7th International Conference on Next Generation Web Services Practices in Salamanca, Spain, in October 2011.
An organizational design based on process cascades is an approach where the business process design of the organization is based on internal customer-supplier relationships. This design principle was originally developed by Schantin (2004) and Suter (2004; 2009). The principle is based on the idea that, in general, each business process is activated by an order which is placed by another business process. The receiving process executes the order and delivers the results back to the ordering process. The ordering process therefore acts as an internal customer for the receiving process, which acts as an internal supplier. The approach is recursive, i.e. the supplier process may act itself as a customer process which places an order to a third process, and so forth. The principle is illustrated by the following figure:
The principle of cascading business processes.
The study discusses the idea of process-cascade based organizational design and empirically investigates the impact of such a design on firm performance. The empirical findings of the study are that firms which implemented process-cascade-based organizational design achieve higher firm performance. The paper is available via IEEE Xplore.