Exploring Business Process Agility From the Designer's Perspective: The Case of CMMN

Exploring Business Process Agility From the Designer's Perspective: The Case of CMMN

Ioannis Routis (Harokopio University of Athens, Greece), Mara Nikolaidou (Harokopio University of Athens, Greece) and Nancy Alexopoulou (Harokopio University of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7271-8.ch002

Abstract

Business process agility remains an intriguing issue for business process management (BPM) when it comes to modeling human-centric processes. Several attempts were made from academia to find alternative approaches, with the reputable adaptive case management to be introduced recently as an alternative to BPM methodology and case management modeling and notation (CMMN) standard, as an alternative language of business process management notation (BPMN), targeting the modeling of human-centric processes characterized by agility. This chapter identifies the nature of human-centric processes, as its main objective is to examine whether using CMMN for the design and modeling of such processes could cover their agility requirements.
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Background

Business Process Agility

Business process agility (or flexibility) has been a matter of interest for numerous researchers (Milanovic et al., 2011; Van der Aalst et al., 2009; Snowdon et al., 2007; Pesic et al., 2007; Daoudi & Nurcan, 2007; Reijers, 2006; ShuiGuang et al., 2004; Rinderle et al. 2004; Mangan & Sadiq, 2002; Millie & Balasubramanian, 1997). Agility in the context of business processes can be defined as the ability of an organization to effect changes in the process components (activities, roles, resources, information etc.) in a timely manner, usually in response to changes in business environment and stakeholders’ needs (Alexopoulou et al., 2008). The intense interest on business process agility stems from the fact that business process automation supported by the utilization of process-aware information systems (Dumas et al., 2005) has increased accuracy and efficiency in process execution on one hand, but it has also rendered business process modification a complex and time-consuming task. This is because well-structured business process models executed by Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) (Dumas et al., 2005) proved to be inflexible to change. Since modern enterprises operate in highly turbulent environments having to cope with a frenetic pace of change (Oosterhout et al., 2006) and continuously sense opportunities for competitive action in their product-market spaces, it is business process agility, which underlies enterprises’ success in constantly enhancing and redefining their value creation in highly dynamic environments (Sambamurthy et al., 2003).

In an effort to make business process agility true, researchers propose various methods, techniques or approaches in general, focusing on business process automation. Therefore, although business process design is an equally important phase of the business process lifecycle (Weske, 2007), the exploration of agility in the design phase, associated with the ability of the process designer to easily and effectively describe business process modifications, has not been given adequate attention.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Process Nature: The characteristics and key features of the process that could affect the way it is designed and implemented.

Dynamic Behavior: The behavior of a process to continuously change according to some conditions.

Case Management: The organization of activities within the context of a case so as it can be completed.

Action-Driven Processes: Processes designed and implemented having the tasks that should be executed as the center of attention.

Human-Centric Processes: Processes designed and implemented, having the human factor as the center of attention.

Modular Models: Models that could be examined in modules, namely, independent parts of the model.

Process Modeling Language: A combination of terms and notation that aim to model a process according to an approach.

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