Business Process Design and Intelligence within the IT area
90 hp Computer and Systems Sciences
This is an advanced course on workflow and business process management systems. After taking the course the students should be able to:
- explain and apply the central terminology within the area (e.g., case, process, task, activity, role, resource, work list, etc) as well as describe the architecture of a workflow management system (according to the reference model by the Workflow Management Coalition) and account for the basic functionality of contemporary workflow- and business process management systems. Read, analyse and discuss material from the scientific literature in the area.
- produce a formal process model from an informal textual domain description. Represent a process in different modelling notations, as well as translate a process model from one notation to another
- implement a process model in a workflow management system, deploy and run it
- analyse process models, i.e. apply verification techniques to check the soundness of a process model
- suggest redesign of existing processes and motivate it with best practises principle
Business process management systems (BPMS) are information systems aimed to support the business processes in an organisation. Business processes describe the organisation of work into work tasks, the distribution of work task into different resources and the provision of necessary information for the performance of the individual tasks. With other words these systems aim to support the administration of work in organisations. Characteristic is that BPMS are configured on the basis of process models which are usually graphical.
The course contains the following three elements: Modelling; Analysis and Redesign; and Implementation.
Modelling refers to the activity of analysing a domain (description) from a certain point of view and structuring the outcome in a model, in this case a process model. Given an informal textual description students should be able to produce process models in a formal notation, i.e. high level Petri nets. The focus will initially be on the control-flow perspective, but gradually even the data and resource perspectives will be introduced. To support the modelling, an extensive number of design patters will be introduced.
Analysis and Redesign
Two common types of analysis in business process management context are a-priori and a-posteriori analyses. A-priori analyses refer to the analyses made on a process model before the enactment of a process management system. They are based on simulation techniques. A-posteriori analyses are realised through process mining and business intelligence technique which are performed on the actual business processes (often facilitated through the enactment of a business process management system). Both types of analyses may lead to process redesign. This course will introduce some techniques for a-priory analyses. Best practises for process redesign will be presented. Furthermore, some techniques for a-posteriori analysis will be introduced.
Implementation refers to the activity of defining the process models resulting from the modelling phase in a workflow management system. The course will introduce the main functionality and architecture of such systems. The students will be trained in implementing their process models in such systems.