A New Methodology for Business Process Improvement

A New Methodology for Business Process Improvement

Paula Ventura Martins (University of Algarve, Portugal & Research Centre of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (CIEO), Portugal) and Marielba Zacarias (University of Algarve, Portugal & Research Centre of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (CIEO), Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3664-4.ch008
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Information flows across the organization are complex, and procedures employed to understand, share, and control organizational knowledge and experiences should be properly supported by collaborative environments. Nevertheless, few collaborative methodologies have been proposed to describe and evolve business processes. In the future, business processes models should be the result of cross-team and cross-departmental collaboration, with involved business people sharing their personal knowledge and formalizing it. This chapter focuses on a methodology for business process discovery and the importance of integrating local information into coherent and sound process definitions. Business Alignment Methodology (BAM) is a methodology that provides guidance about how organizational practices and knowledge are gathered to contribute to business process improvement against current BPM approaches.
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This methodology deals with important topics in several areas: Business Processes Improvement (BPI) and Enterprise Modeling (EM). The development of a new approach for BPI, designed by Business Alignment Methodology (BAM), allows to propose solutions to current challenges in Business Process Management (BPM), such as: existing Business Process Management (BPM) approaches are based on the top-down paradigm; knowledge acquisition and modeling are time consuming activities; existing BPM approaches don’t provide means to react to change; existing BPM mechanism don ́t allow identifying business practices which are diverging from the base business process description. This project will focus on managing organization’s response to change and will address areas such as business process discovery (Ghose, Koliadis, & Chueng, 2007), business process modeling (Aguilar-Savén, 2004).

BPM systems were built to automate processes ignoring the increasing amount and frequency of change in the business environment. BPM systems don’t analyze business. Notable examples of BPM systems are Staffware, MQSeries, COSA, and FLOWer. Other systems, like ERP systems, SAP, PeopleSoft and Oracle also include BPM facilities (van der Aalst, 2003). None offer all the necessary capabilities for BPI, such as: iterative discovery methods, change management, collaboration abilities, appropriate models and agile practices. Our proposal provides mechanisms to organizations trigger their own process changes as they become clear about changes in their daily work.

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