Using WfMS to Support Unstructured Activities

Using WfMS to Support Unstructured Activities

Hernani Mourao (Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, Portugal) and Pedro Antunes (University of Lisboa & LaSIGE, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-288-6.ch016
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Abstract

In this chapter the authors propose a solution to handle unexpected exceptions in WfMS. They characterize these events deeply and recognize that some of them require immediate reaction and users can not plan their response in advance. Current approaches that handle unexpected exceptions are categorized by their resilience property and it is identified that supporting unstructured activities becomes critical to react to these events. Their proposed system is able to change its behaviour from supporting structured activities to supporting unstructured activities and back to its original mode. They also describe how the system was implemented and we discuss a concrete scenario where it was tested.
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2. Adjusting The Wfms To Organizations

The work processes carried out by organizations have been identified to belong to a continuum ranging from totally unstructured to completely structured (Sheth et al., 1996). It is interesting to note that the majority of the available organizational information systems tend to fall close to both sides of the spectrum boundaries (Sheth et al., 1996), thus leaving a significant gap in between. Unfortunately, traditional WfMS fall into the highly structured boundary and thus contribute to this gap. WfMS emphasize the execution of work models and thus have a normative engagement (Schmidt, 1997). Closer to the other end of the spectrum limits, Suchman (1987) proposes the notion of maps, which position and guide actors in a space of available actions, providing environmental information necessary to decision making but avoiding the normative trait. Email systems, the newly developed collaborative Web platforms sharing information among users and group support systems are examples of systems that fall close to the unstructured limits of the spectrum. Usually these systems promote interaction and do not have a normative engagement.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Exception Handling: Activities carried out by the involved actors to overcome an exceptional situation and to replace the system into a coherent state.

Unstructured Activities: Users performing unrestricted activities eventually guided by and available procedure and rich contextual information. Even though a procedure may be used it does not have an engagement role and users may choose their actions freely.

Structured Activities: When procedures determine user’s actions having a normative engagement.

Unexpected Exceptions: Situations that where not foreseen during systems design. These events usually are not known by the organization when the system is being designed.

WfMS Resilience: The resilience property of a WfMS concerns its ability to maintain a coherent state and continue supporting business processes after being subject to any hazardous situations that affect its execution.

Exceptions in WfMS: Exceptions are situations that the WfMS is not designed to handle. Some of these events could have been foreseen during system design but designers did not include them.

WfMS Flexibility: The ability a WfMS shows to adjust to concrete user demand.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Preface
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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