On the notion of soft‐goals in business process modeling

Pnina Soffer (MIS Department, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel)
Yair Wand (MIS Department, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel Sauder School of Business, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The paper aims at providing a conceptual framework based on clearly defined concepts and notions, which integrates goals into process modeling and specifically distinguishes goals from soft‐goals or business measures. The application of this framework facilitates a systematic use of soft‐goals in process design.


The framework is developed on the basis of Bunge's well‐established ontology. It is applied to processes taken from the SCOR supply chain reference model for demonstration and evaluation.


Applying the framework to the SCOR processes resulted in a set of focused relations between soft‐goals and processes, as opposed to the ones suggested originally in the SCOR model. This demonstrates the usefulness of the framework in process design.

Research limitations/implications

The approach presented in the paper is still rather a theoretical framework than a fully validated procedure. It should be tested on larger‐scale cases in more practical settings and evaluated accordingly.

Practical implications

Applying the clearly defined concepts of the framework and the suggested analysis procedure is expected to lead to focused and applicable measures tied to business process during process design, and provide a basis for process measurement requirements to be supported by an information system.


The contribution of the paper is both theoretical and practical. It provides clear‐cut ontology‐based definitions to concepts which so far have been assigned fuzzy and ambiguous meaning and uses these definitions for systematically tying business measures to business processes.



Soffer, P. and Wand, Y. (2005), "On the notion of soft‐goals in business process modeling", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 11 No. 6, pp. 663-679. https://doi.org/10.1108/14637150510630837

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.