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Über dieses Buch

Business Process Management (BPM) is the art and science of how work should be performed in an organization in order to ensure consistent outputs and to take advantage of improvement opportunities, e.g. reducing costs, execution times or error rates. Importantly, BPM is not about improving the way individual activities are performed, but rather about managing entire chains of events, activities and decisions that ultimately produce added value for an organization and its customers.

This textbook encompasses the entire BPM lifecycle, from process identification to process monitoring, covering along the way process modelling, analysis, redesign and automation. Concepts, methods and tools from business management, computer science and industrial engineering are blended into one comprehensive and inter-disciplinary approach. The presentation is illustrated using the BPMN industry standard defined by the Object Management Group and widely endorsed by practitioners and vendors worldwide.

In addition to explaining the relevant conceptual background, the book provides dozens of examples, more than 100 hands-on exercises – many with solutions – as well as numerous suggestions for further reading. The textbook is the result of many years of combined teaching experience of the authors, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as in the context of professional training. Students and professionals from both business management and computer science will benefit from the step-by-step style of the textbook and its focus on fundamental concepts and proven methods. Lecturers will appreciate the class-tested format and the additional teaching material available on the accompanying website fundamentals-of-bpm.org.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction to Business Process Management

Abstract
Business Process Management (BPM) is the art and science of overseeing how work is performed in an organization to ensure consistent outcomes and to take advantage of improvement opportunities. In this context, the term “improvement” may take different meanings depending on the objectives of the organization. Typical examples of improvement objectives include reducing costs, reducing execution times and reducing error rates. Improvement initiatives may be one-off, but also display a more continuous nature. Importantly, BPM is not about improving the way individual activities are performed. Rather, it is about managing entire chains of events, activities and decisions that ultimately add value to the organization and its customers. These “chains of events, activities and decisions” are called processes.
In this chapter, we introduce a few essential concepts behind BPM. We will start with a description of typical processes that are found in contemporary organizations. Next, we discuss the basic ingredients of a business process and we provide a definition of business process and BPM. In order to place BPM in a broader perspective, we then provide a historical overview of the BPM discipline. Finally, we discuss how a BPM initiative in an organization typically unfolds. This discussion leads us to the definition of a BPM lifecycle around which the book is structured.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 2. Process Identification

Abstract
Process identification is a set of activities aiming to systematically define the set of business processes of a company and establish clear criteria for prioritizing them. The output of process identification is a process architecture, which represents the business processes and their interrelations. A process architecture serves as a framework for defining the priorities and the scope of process modeling and redesign projects.
In this chapter, we present a method for process identification that is based on two phases: designation and evaluation. The designation phase is concerned with the definition of an initial list of processes. The evaluation phase considers suitable criteria for defining priorities of these processes. After that, we discuss and illustrate a method for turning the output of this method into a process architecture.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 3. Essential Process Modeling

Abstract
Business process models are important at various stages of the BPM lifecycle. Before starting to model a process, it is crucial to understand why we are modeling it. The models we produce will look quite differently depending on the reason for modeling them in the first place. There are many reasons for modeling a process. The first one is simply to understand the process and to share our understanding of the process with the people who are involved with the process on a daily basis. Indeed, process participants typically perform quite specialized activities in a process such that they are hardly confronted with the complexity of the whole process. Therefore, process modeling helps to better understand the process and to identify and prevent issues. This step towards a thorough understanding is the prerequisite to conduct process analysis, redesign or automation.
In this chapter we will become familiar with the basic ingredients of process modeling using the BPMN language. With these concepts, we will be able to produce business process models that capture simple temporal and logical relations between activities, data objects and resources. First, we will describe some essential concepts of process models, namely how process models relate to process instances. Then, we will explain the four main structural blocks of branching and merging in process models. These define exclusive decisions, parallel execution, inclusive decisions and repetition. Finally, we will cover information artifacts and resources involved in a process.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 4. Advanced Process Modeling

Abstract
In this chapter we will learn how to model complex business processes with BPMN. The constructs presented in this chapter build on top of the knowledge acquired in Chap. 3. In particular, we will expand on activities, events and gateways. We will learn how to use activities to model sub-processes and how to reuse these sub-processes across different processes. We will also extend activities to model more sophisticated forms of rework and repetition. As per events, we will expand on message events, present temporal events and show how race conditions can be modeled among these event types via a new type of gateway. We will also learn how to use events to handle business process exceptions. Finally, we will show how a collaboration diagram can be abstracted into a choreography diagram that only focuses on the interactions between the involved business parties.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 5. Process Discovery

Abstract
The previous chapters showed how to create a BPMN model. This chapter goes further by showing how to create models that are both correct and complete. To this end, one needs to thoroughly understand the operation of a business process, and one needs to possess the technical skills to represent it in an appropriate BPMN model. These two types of skill are hardly ever unified in the same person. Hence, multiple stakeholders with different and complementary skills are typically involved in the construction of a process model.
This chapter presents the challenges faced by the stakeholders involved in the lead-up to a process model. Then, we discuss methods to facilitate effective communication and information gathering in this setting. Given the information gathered in this way, we show step by step how to construct a process and what criteria should be verified before a process model is accepted as an authoritative representation of a business process.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 6. Qualitative Process Analysis

Abstract
Analyzing business processes is both an art and a science. In this respect, qualitative analysis is the artistic side of process analysis. Like fine arts, such as painting, there is not a single way of producing a good process analysis, but rather a range of principles and techniques that tell us what practices typically lead to a “good” process analysis. When learning to paint, you learn how to hold the brush, how to produce different types of brushstroke, how to mix colors, etc. The rest of the art of painting is up to you to acquire by means of practice, discernment and critical self-assessment.
In this chapter, we introduce a few basic principles and techniques for qualitative process analysis. First, we present principles aimed at making the process leaner by identifying unnecessary parts of the process in view of their elimination. Next, we present techniques to identify and analyze the weak parts of the process, meaning the parts that create issues that negatively affect the performance of the process. In particular, we discuss how to analyze the impact of issues in order to prioritize redesign efforts.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 7. Quantitative Process Analysis

Abstract
Qualitative analysis is a valuable tool to gain systematic insights into a process. However, the results obtained from qualitative analysis are sometimes not detailed enough to provide a solid basis for decision making. Think of the process owner of BuildIT’s equipment rental process wanting to make a case to the company’s COO that every site engineer should be given a tablet computer with wireless access in order to query suppliers’ catalogs and to make and modify rental requests from any construction site. The process owner will be asked to substantiate this investment in quantitative terms and specifically to estimate how much time and money would be saved by doing this investment. To make such estimates, we need to go beyond qualitative analysis.
This chapter introduces a range of techniques for analyzing business processes quantitatively, in terms of performance measures such as cycle time, total waiting time and cost. Specifically, the chapter focuses on three techniques: flow analysis, queueing analysis and simulation. All these techniques have in common that they allow us to calculate performance measures of a process, given data about the performance of individual activities and resources in the process.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 8. Process Redesign

Abstract
The thorough analysis of a business process typically sparks various ideas and directions for redesign. The problem is, however, that redesign is often not approached in a systematic way, but rather considered as a purely creative activity. The critical point with creative techniques is that parts of the spectrum of potential redesign options could be missed. As an alternative, suitable methods can be utilized to yield more and, hopefully, better redesign options.
This chapter deals with rethinking and re-organizing business processes with the specific purpose of making them perform better. We clarify the motivation and the trade-offs of redesign. Then, we present two methods for systematically redesigning processes. First, we introduce Heuristic Process Redesign as a method that builds upon an extensive set of redesign options. The method is illustrated by the help of a case of a health care institute. Second, we present Product-based Design. This method derives a process design based on the composition of a product.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 9. Process Automation

Abstract
This chapter deals with process automation. First, we will briefly explain what an automated business process is, after which we will focus on a specific kind of technology that is particularly suitable to achieve process automation, i.e. Business Process Management Systems (BPMSs). We will explain the features and advantages of these systems, present the different types of BPMS, and discuss some of the challenges that are involved with introducing a BPMS in an organization. Finally, we will discuss what changes are required to a business-oriented process model like the ones seen so far, to make it executable and run in a BPMS.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Chapter 10. Process Intelligence

Abstract
It is a central idea of BPM that processes are explicitly defined, then executed, and that information about process execution is prepared and analyzed. In this way, this information provides a feedback loop on how the process might be redesigned. Data about the execution of processes can stem from BPMSs in which processes are specified, but also from systems that do not work with an explicit process model, for instance ERP systems or ticketing systems. Data from those systems have to be transformed to meet the requirements of intelligent process execution analysis. This field is typically referred to as process mining.
This chapter deals with intelligently using the data generated from the execution of the process. We refer to such data as event logs, covering what has been done when by whom in relation to which process instance. First, we investigate the structure of event logs, their relationship to process models, and their usefulness for process monitoring and controlling. Afterwards, we discuss three major objectives of intelligent process analysis, namely transparency, performance and conformance. We discuss automatic process discovery as a technical step to achieve transparency of how the process is executed in reality. Then, we study how the analysis of event logs can provide insights into process performance. Finally, we discuss how the conformance between event logs and a process model can be checked.
Marlon Dumas, Marcello La Rosa, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Backmatter

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