The People Integration Challenge

The People Integration Challenge

Karsten Ploesser (SAP Research CEC, Australia) and Nick Russell (Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-288-6.ch013
OnDemand PDF Download:


This chapter discusses the challenges associated with integrating work performed by human agents into automated workflows. It briefly recounts the evolution of business process support systems and concludes that although the support for people integration continues to evolve in these offerings, in broad terms it has not advanced markedly since their inception several decades ago. Nevertheless, people are an integral part of business processes and integration of human work deserves special consideration during process design and deployment. To this end, the chapter explores the requirements associated with modelling human integration and examines the support for people integration offered by WS-BPEL, which (together with its WS-BPEL4People and WS-HumanTask extensions) currently represents the state of the art when defining and implementing business processes in a service-oriented environment. In order to do this, it utilises a common framework for language assessment, the workflow resource patterns, both to illustrate the capabilities of WS-BPEL and to identify future technical opportunities.
Chapter Preview

2. Background Information Overview: Existing Technologies, Notations And Approaches

In this section we provide background information about the lifecycle of business processes. We also give an overview of the existing Semantic Web Service frameworks used to describe the semantics of services by means of ontologies as the underlying paradigm and motivate the need for the use of semantics in the context of BPM.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Human Role: The organizational or process-related role (or roles) that a human agent assumes in a particular business process. Roles are typically used as a grouping mechanism for individual agents with similar capabilities or responsibilities. They increase the flexibility of process definitions by providing a means of specifying work distribution that is independent of individual resources and allow individual work items to be directed suitable resources on a dynamic basis at runtime rather than requiring their identification in the design-time process model.

Work Distribution: The distribution of individual work items to agents in an organization based on both static criteria specified as part of the design-time process model and also on dynamic criteria (also contained in the process model) evaluated at runtime on the basis of the current process state, resource characteristics and preceding execution history.

Web Service Business Process Execution Language for People: A language extension for the Web Service Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL), an industry standard for the automation of business processes in a service-oriented environment. Initially, WS-BPEL lacked support for creating and scheduling tasks to be performed by human resources. This was perceived as a major impediment to its adoption in a broader context and an industry consortium formed to develop the Web Service Business Process Execution Language for People (WS-BPEL4People) proposal. The proposed extension standardizes the invocation and coordination of service-enabled human tasks (cf. Web Service Human Task) via a WS-BPEL process.

Workflow Resource Patterns: A comprehensive collection of patterns identifying desirable work distribution and resource management capabilities in workflow management systems. They are part of a larger framework that includes coverage of related workflow perspectives, such as control flow, data flow, and exception handling. The patterns are frequently used as a reference against which workflow systems, web service composition standards and business process modeling languages can be evaluated and compared.

Human Task: A defined unit of work undertaken by a human agent in the context of a business process. Human tasks typically relate to activities for which there is no potential or requirement for automation. Individual human tasks are often composed into workflows that document a broader organizational process and in doing so identify the division of labor between the various organizational agents and groups that undertake the constituent human tasks.

Web Service Human Task: A Web Service standard that is independent of, but often used in conjunction with, the Web Service Business Process Execution Language for People (WS-BPEL). Web Service Human Task (WS-HumanTask) defines a common metamodel for the description of human tasks and standardized interfaces as well as a coordination protocol for their invocation by Web Service clients. The standard thus facilitates the deployment of human task as services, enabling the reuse of existing business task management components in a service-oriented environment.

Service Enablement: An architectural paradigm that advocates the encapsulation of functions into reusable components by means of a platform-independent interface description language. Such components can be freely assembled into new solutions, promoting both the flexibility and reuse of existing IT assets.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Table of Contents
Jorge Cardoso, Wil van der Aalst
Chapter 1
Tiziana Margaria, Bernhard Steffen
The one thing approach is designed to overcome the classical communication hurdles between application experts and the various levels of IT experts.... Sample PDF
Business Process Modeling in the jABC: The One-Thing Approach
Chapter 2
Huy Tran, Ta’id Holmes, Uwe Zdun, Schahram Dustdar
This chapter introduces a view-based, model-driven approach for process-driven, service-oriented architectures. A typical business process consists... Sample PDF
Modeling Process-Driven SOAs: A View-Based Approach
Chapter 3
Stefan Jablonski
This chapter presents a process modeling approach for holistic process management. The main idea is that domain specific process models are required... Sample PDF
Process Modeling for Holistic Process Management
Chapter 4
Matthias Kloppmann, Dieter Koenig, Simon Moser
This chapter introduces a set of languages intended to model and run business processes. The Business Process Modeling Notation 1.1 (BPMN) is a... Sample PDF
The Dichotomy of Modeling and Execution: BPMN and WS-BPEL
Chapter 5
Chun Ouyang, Michael Adams, Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede
Due to the absence of commonly accepted conceptual and formal foundations for workflow management, and more generally Business Process Management... Sample PDF
Yet Another Workflow Language: Concepts, Tool Support, and Application
Chapter 6
Modelling Constructs  (pages 122-141)
Ekkart Kindler
There are many different notations and formalisms for modelling business processes and workflows. These notations and formalisms have been... Sample PDF
Modelling Constructs
Chapter 7
Kwanghoon Kim, Clarence A. Ellis
This chapter introduces the basic concepts of information control net (ICN) and its workflow models. In principle, a workflow model is the... Sample PDF
ICN-Based Workflow Model and its Advances
Chapter 8
Manfred Reichert, Peter Dadam
In dynamic environments it must be possible to quickly implement new business processes, to enable ad-hoc deviations from the defined business... Sample PDF
Enabling Adaptive Process-Aware Information Systems with ADEPT2
Chapter 9
Macello La Rosa, Marlon Dumas, Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede
A reference process model represents multiple variants of a common business process in an integrated and reusable manner. It is intended to be... Sample PDF
Modeling Business Process Variability for Design-Time Configuration
Chapter 10
Cesare Pautasso
Model-driven architecture (MDA), design and transformation techniques can be applied with success to the domain of business process modeling (BPM)... Sample PDF
Compiling Business Process Models into Executable Code
Chapter 11
Cinzia Cappiello, Barbara Pernici
This chapter illustrates the concept of repairable processes and self-healing functionalities and discusses about their design requirements.... Sample PDF
Design of Repairable Processes
Chapter 12
Web Process Adaptation  (pages 245-253)
Kunal Verma
Adaptation is an important concept for Web processes. The author provides an overview of adaptation with respect to control theory and how it is... Sample PDF
Web Process Adaptation
Chapter 13
Carlo Combi, Giuseppe Pozzi
Time is a very important dimension of any aspect in human life, affecting also information and information management. As such, time must be dealt... Sample PDF
Temporalities for Workflow Management Systems
Chapter 14
Karsten Ploesser, Nick Russell
This chapter discusses the challenges associated with integrating work performed by human agents into automated workflows. It briefly recounts the... Sample PDF
The People Integration Challenge
Chapter 15
Dimka Karastoyanova, Tammo van Lessen, Frank Leymann, Zhilei Ma, Joerg Nitzche, Branimir Wetzstein
Even though process orientation/BPM is a widely accepted paradigm with heavy impact on industry and research the available technology does not... Sample PDF
Semantic Business Process Management: Applying Ontologies in BPM
Chapter 16
Hernani Mourao, Pedro Antunes
In this chapter the authors propose a solution to handle unexpected exceptions in WfMS. They characterize these events deeply and recognize that... Sample PDF
Using WfMS to Support Unstructured Activities
Chapter 17
Guillermo Jimenez
In this chapter the authors introduce the role of a business process engineer (BPE) and necessary competencies to define, simulate, analyze, and... Sample PDF
Business Process Engineering
Chapter 18
Christoph Bussler
This chapter introduces the application of process management to business-to-business (B2B) integration and enterprise application integration... Sample PDF
B2B and EAI with Business Process Management
Chapter 19
Paul Grefen
This chapter is devoted to automated support for interorganizational business process management, that is, formation and enactment of business... Sample PDF
Systems for Interorganizational Business Process Management
Chapter 20
Guido Governatori, Shazia Sadiq
It is a typical scenario that many organisations have their business processes specified independently of their business obligations (which includes... Sample PDF
The Journey to Business Process Compliance
Chapter 21
M. Castellanos, A.K. Alves de Medeiros, J. Mendling, B. Weber, A.J.M.M. Weijters
Business Process Intelligence (BPI) is an emerging area that is getting increasingly popular for enterprises. The need to improve business process... Sample PDF
Business Process Intelligence
Chapter 22
Diogo R. Ferreira
This chapter introduces the principles of sequence clustering and presents two case studies where the technique is used to discover behavioral... Sample PDF
Applied Sequence Clustering Techniques for Process Mining
Chapter 23
Kamal Bhattacharya, Richard Hull, Jianwen Su
This chapter describes a design methodology for business processes and workflows that focuses first on “business artifacts”, which represent key... Sample PDF
A Data-Centric Design Methodology for Business Processes
Chapter 24
Laura Sanchez, Andrea Delgado, Francisco Ruiz, Felix Garcia, Mario Piattini
The underlying premise of process management is that the quality of products and services is largely determined by the quality of the processes used... Sample PDF
Measurement and Maturity of Business Processes
About the Editors
About the Contributors