The complexities involved in managing intrafunctional as well as interfunctional activities have triggered many organizations to deploy large information technology (IT) systems such as ERP and CRM. While such systems have focused mainly on providing solutions to problems such as enterprise-wide application integration and customer driven revenue management, one of the prime issues of managing coordination among activities in organizational processes has not gained adequate attention and support. Business process management (BPM) systems have emerged as a key technology primarily in the past two decades with a goal of providing process support to organizations and supporting better decision making. This article focuses on highlighting this role of BPM systems while discussing some of the recent advances and approaches from a decision making standpoint, both for supporting individual and collaborative decision making activities.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Workflow Management System (WFMS): A software system that defines, creates, and manages the execution of workflows through the use of software, running on one or more process engines, which is able to interpret the process definition, interact with workflow participants, and, where required, invoke the use of IT tools and applications.
Group Support System (GSS): A software system used for improving team productivity in collaboration tasks.
Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS): A type of GSS geared towards collaborative decision making tasks.
Business Process Management Systems (BPMS): A generic software system that is driven by explicit process designs to enact and manage operational business processes.
Business Process Management (BPM): Supporting business processes using methods, techniques, and software to design, enact, control, and analyze operational processes involving humans, organizations, applications, documents, and other sources of information
Collaboration Engineering: An approach for designing, modeling, and deploying repeatable collaboration tasks for recurring high-value collaborative workflows that are executed by practitioners (knowledge workers) without the ongoing intervention of facilitators.
Organizational Decision Support System (ODSS): A decision support system focused on coordinating and disseminating decision making across functional areas and hierarchical layers such that decisions are congruent with organization goals and management’s shared interpretation of the competitive environment.
Workflow: The automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information, or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules.