In conjunction with CAiSE*04 

Next Event 

BPMDS series of international workshops

Fifth Workshop on Business Process Modeling, Development, and Support

BPMDS'04

Creating and maintaining the fit between business processes and support systems

7-8 June 2004, Riga, Latvia

Final program + Proceedings + Slides

Printed proceedings: CAiSE 2004 Workshops: Riga, Latvia - Vol. 2
Special issue that followed: SPIP, vol. 10 issue 4, 2005, guest editors Gil Regev, Pnina Soffer, Ilia Bider
Another special issue that followed : REJ, vol 10, issue 3, 2005, guest editors Gil Regev, Pnina Soffer, Ilia Bider


Abstract

Business process orientation is considered to be an efficient way for companies and organizations to survive and flourish in the ever faster changing business world. The process-oriented way of working is difficult, if ever possible, to introduce without a properly designed business process support (BPS) system. This leads to a need to create and maintain the fit between the business and its BPS system, as well as between the business and its environment. Creating and maintaining such a fit is termed co-development of the business and the BPS system. It may be viewed as having two main phases, of first creating the fit and then maintaining it. The focus of the creation phase is on concurrently designing business processes and business software applications. It involves RE activities as well as development and implementation activities of both business processes and BPS systems. All the involved activities relate to business as well as to technological issues. The maintenance phase is about the parallel evolution of the business and its BPS system.

This workshop is meant as a forum for discussing issues related to creating and maintaining the fit between business processes and BPS systems. It is the fifth in a series of international workshops on business process modeling, development, and support, designed as a meeting place for both researchers and practitioners in the fields of business development, and business application software development. Some of the main topics this time are: (a) the role of models and modeling in the co-development of business processes and BPS; (b) tools, techniques, and conceptual framework for analyzing, creating and maintaining the alignment of business processes, business structure and BPS systems; (c) change and evolution management for business processes, business structure and BPS; (d) enterprise application integration (EAI) in terms of both business and IT. In addition, any other topics that concern the co-development of business processes and a BPS are of interest for discussions at this forum. The discussion will start prior to the workshop, facilitated by a mailing list and an interactive web site that were initiated as a result of the last workshop (REBPS’03). The results of the discussions will be summarized in a working document that will be produced after the workshop.


Call for Papers

Motivation

 The BPMDS series of workshops was designed to follow the following principles:

1. A workshop should serve as a meeting place for researchers and practitioners in two fields:

a. business development and
b. business applications (software) development

2. Each workshop has its own, relatively narrow focus to facilitate meaningful discussions and brainstorming

The last workshop, REBPS’03, focused on Requirements Engineering (RE) for Business Process Support (BPS) systems. The conclusion of this workshop was that the next workshop should focus on the larger context that gives meaning to RE. This context was defined as the need to create and maintain the fit between the business and its environment, and between the business and its BPS system.

The focus of the creation phase is on concurrently designing business processes and business software applications. It involves RE activities as well as development and implementation activities of both business processes and BPS systems. All the involved activities relate to business as well as to technological issues. The maintenance phase is about the parallel evolution of the business and its BPS system.

Modeling should form the bridge between business and BPS systems and facilitate their alignment throughout these phases.

Creating and maintaining the fit between the business and the BPS system leads to their co-development (their parallel development where each one supports the other).

Creating the fit

Business process orientation is considered to be an efficient way for companies and organizations to survive and flourish in the ever faster changing business world. The process-oriented way of working is difficult, if ever possible, to introduce without a properly designed business process support (BPS) system. Currently in most practical cases, a project of development and introduction of a BPS system in operational practice is conducted in the environment of a non-process-oriented organization. In such a project, the system under development is to support a way of working that has been never proven in the organization before; what’s more, it cannot be proven without the system. To succeed in such a project, thorough coordination between its business and technical parts are required. The project should implement some kind of evolutionary development method aimed at converging the business and system so that they fit each other.

Maintaining the fit

As we live in the fast changing world, an organization cannot “cement” its business processes. It should constantly change them to reflect changes in the external and internal business environment (e.g., new competitors, or changes in the educational level of employees), and advances in technology. Changes in the environment require changes in the business processes to which the BPS system should be adjusted.

Changes in the technology could radically improve the system functionality and allow the introduction of new, more effective business processes.

Important organizational issues

Business processes are made possible by, and influence, the structure of the business, i.e. the business units, departments, buildings, machines etc. At the heart of this structure we most often find the people who make this structure possible. The current structure of a given business supports its business processes and therefore the fit between these processes and the business’s environment. This structure often needs to change when the business processes change and vice versa. Both structure and processes may change when a BPS system is introduced. The current structure is often a barrier when it comes to changing the business processes in order to fit into a new environment. Both the structure and the business processes need to be maintained stable to be used efficiently. When thinking about maintaining the fit, it is therefore important to think about the amount of change that is necessary and that the business can absorb without major failure (Vickers 1987).

To reflect about the fit between business processes and BPS, a broad set of socio-technical (Coakes et al.2000) issues need to be exposed, such as:

Topics for discussion

The objective of the workshop is to discuss the main issues of creating and maintaining the fit between business processes and BPS. The following topics are of particular interest:

However, any other topic related to the fit between business processes and BPS is also of interest.

Discussion will be facilitated by the existence of a mailing list and an interactive web site, established as a result of the last workshop (REBPS’03). The list, whose members are the participants of the workshop, has served for discussions and exchanging ideas since then, and will continue to do so towards BPDMS’04.

Glossary

Submissions

Prospective workshop participants are invited to submit a position paper, maximum 5 pages, related to one or more of the main topics. The submitted papers will be reviewed by the organizers. The selection will consider relevance to the main topics as well as potential to generate relevant discussions.

Being a basis for discussion, a position paper does not necessarily need to include answers to the problems described above. A position paper that raises the relevant questions, describes successful or unsuccessful practice, or experience will be welcome as well.

All accepted position papers will be published on our website before the workshop, so that everybody can get some knowledge about the problems that are important for other participants. In addition, accepted papers will be published by CAiSE*04 organizers in the workshop proceedings volume. The volume will be distributed to workshop attendees.

Discussion is expected to begin prior to the workshop, through the already active discussion group, which submitters are welcome to join. To facilitate the interaction between the participants, the organizers will try to compile a list of questions that are of common interest for the group. The list will be published on our website and the mailing list well in advance of the workshop. Any proposals of what should be included in the list will be appreciated.

Expected results

Based on the discussions, a working document will be produced to summarize the results and outline the promising directions in the field. The pre-workshop interaction will assist in focusing the discussion during the workshop towards producing the working document.

After the workshop, the workshops materials together with a selection of the best papers will be considered for publishing in a special issue of the Requirements Engineering Journal, see separate CFP.

Important dates

Submission deadline: March 22 2004
Notification of acceptance: April 12 2004
Submission of camera-ready version: April 26 2004

Papers should be submitted by email as Word or PDF documents to gil.regev@epfl.ch

Organizers

 Ilia Bider is a cofounder and Director R&D of IbisSoft, a small consulting business based in Stockholm, Sweden. The company specializes in the borderland between Management and IT, the main focus being on organization of operative work in non-manufacturing business processes. Ilia has PhD in Computer and System Sciences, and combined experience of over 30 years of research (in the fields of computational linguistics, databases, and business modeling), and practical work (business analysis, and software design, coding, sales, and marketing) in five countries (Norway, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States). Ilia's engagement in BPMDS'04 is supported by by the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems, Vinnova under the grant for a project on Integrating Business Process Support with Knowledge Management.

 Gil Regev is a researcher at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Gil has recently earned a Ph.D. in the area of Requirements Engineering and Enterprise Architecture, in which he developed a systemic method for defining early IT system requirements. Gil has 9 years of industrial experience as a software engineer and project manager for Logitech in Switzerland and the United States.

 Pnina Soffer is a faculty member in the MIS department in Haifa University in Israel. She has Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, for which she developed a requirement-driven approach to the alignment of enterprise processes and an ERP system. Pnina has practical experience as an industrial engineer and as a consultant in ERP implementation projects. Her current research areas are process modeling and requirements engineering.

References

Chan, Y. E., “Why Haven't We Mastered Alignment? The Importance of the Informal Organization Structure,” MISQ Executive, Vol. 1 Number 2, June 2002.

Checkland, P. and Holwell, S. “Information, Systems and Information Systems, making sense of the field.” Chichester, UK: Wiley, 1998.

Coakes, E., Willis, D., and Lloyd-Jones, R. “The New SocioTech: Graffiti on the Long Wall.” London: Springer, 2000.

Engelbart, D. C., “Toward High-Performance Organizations: A Strategic Role for Groupware,” Proceedings of the GroupWare '92 Conference, San Jose, CA, August 3-5, 1992, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

Vickers, Sir G. “Policymaking, Communication, and Social Learning.” New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Books, 1987.

Zachman, J. A. “A framework for information systems architecture.” IBM Systems Journal Vol 26. no 3, 1987.