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Article

Julian Krumeich, Benjamin Weis, Dirk Werth and Peter Loos

The business operations of today's enterprises are heavily influenced by numerous of internal and external business events. With the Event Driven Architecture and…

Abstract

Purpose

The business operations of today's enterprises are heavily influenced by numerous of internal and external business events. With the Event Driven Architecture and particularly the Complex Event Processing (CEP), the technology required for identifying complex correlations in these large amounts of event data right after its appearance has already emerged. The resulting gain in operational transparency builds the foundation for (near) real-time reactions. This motivated extensive research activities especially in the field of Business Process Management (BPM), which essentially coined the term Event-Driven BPM (EDBPM). Now, several years after the advent of this new concept, the purpose of this paper is to shed light to the question: where are we now on our way towards a sophisticated adoption of the CEP technology within BPM?

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology of this paper is a structured literature analysis. It basically follows the procedure proposed by vom Brocke et al. (2009). This verified five-step process – entitled “Reconstructing the giant” – allowed a rigorous study. As a result, various research clusters were derived, whose state-of-the-art exposed existing research gaps within EDBPM.

Findings

First of all, the paper provides a concise conceptual basis on different application possibilities of EDBPM. Afterwards, it synthesizes current research into six clusters and highlights most significant work within them. Finally, a research agenda is proposed to tackle existing research gaps to pave the way towards fully realizing the potentials of the paradigm.

Originality/value

So far, a comparable study of the current state-of-the-art within EDBPM is non-existent. The findings of this paper, e.g. the proposed research agenda, help scholars to focus their research efforts on specific aspects that need to be considered in order to advance the adoption of the CEP technology within BPM.

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Article

Christian Janiesch, Martin Matzner and Oliver Müller

The purpose of this paper is to show how to employ complex event processing (CEP) for the observation and management of business processes. It proposes a conceptual…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how to employ complex event processing (CEP) for the observation and management of business processes. It proposes a conceptual architecture of BPM event producer, processor, and consumer and describes technical implications for the application with standard software in a perfect order scenario.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors discuss business process analytics as the technological background. The capabilities of CEP in a BPM context are outlined an architecture design is proposed. A sophisticated proof‐of‐concept demonstrates its applicability.

Findings

The results overcome the separation and data latency issues of process controlling, monitoring, and simulation. Distinct analyses of past, present, and future blur into a holistic real‐time approach. The authors highlight the necessity for configurable event producer in BPM engines, process event support in CEP engines, a common process event format, connectors to visualizers, notifiers and return channels to the BPM engine.

Research limitations/implications

Further research will thoroughly evaluate the approach in a variety of business settings. New concepts and standards for the architecture's building blocks will be needed to improve maintainability and operability.

Practical implications

Managers learn how CEP can yield insights into business processes' operations. The paper illustrates a path to overcome inflexibility, latency, and missing feedback mechanisms of current process modeling and control solutions. Software vendors might be interested in the conceptualization and the described needs for further development.

Originality/value

So far, there is no commercial CEP‐based BPM solution which facilitates a round trip from insight to action as outlines. As major software vendors have begun developing solutions (BPM/BPA solutions), this paper will stimulate a debate between research and practice on suitable design and technology.

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Article

Alexandros Bousdekis, Babis Magoutas, Dimitris Apostolou and Gregoris Mentzas

The purpose of this paper is to perform an extensive literature review in the area of decision making for condition-based maintenance (CBM) and identify possibilities for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to perform an extensive literature review in the area of decision making for condition-based maintenance (CBM) and identify possibilities for proactive online recommendations by considering real-time sensor data. Based on these, the paper aims at proposing a framework for proactive decision making in the context of CBM.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting with the manufacturing challenges and the main principles of maintenance, the paper reviews the main frameworks and concepts regarding CBM that have been proposed in the literature. Moreover, the terms of e-maintenance, proactivity and decision making are analysed and their potential relevance to CBM is identified. Then, an extensive literature review of methods and techniques for the various steps of CBM is provided, especially for prognosis and decision support. Based on these, limitations and gaps are identified and a framework for proactive decision making in the context of CBM is proposed.

Findings

In the proposed framework for proactive decision making, the CBM concept is enriched in the sense that it is structured into two components: the information space and the decision space. Moreover, it is extended in a way that decision space is further analyzed according to the types of recommendations that can be provided. Moreover, possible inputs and outputs of each step are identified.

Practical implications

The paper provides a framework for CBM representing the steps that need to be followed for proactive recommendations as well as the types of recommendations that can be given. The framework can be used by maintenance management of a company in order to conduct CBM by utilizing real-time sensor data depending on the type of decision required.

Originality/value

The results of the work presented in this paper form the basis for the development and implementation of proactive Decision Support System (DSS) in the context of maintenance.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 115 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article

Christian Janiesch and Jörn Kuhlenkamp

Changes in workflow relevant data of business processes at run-time can hinder their completion or impact their profitability as they have been instantiated under…

Abstract

Purpose

Changes in workflow relevant data of business processes at run-time can hinder their completion or impact their profitability as they have been instantiated under different circumstances. The purpose of this paper is to propose a context engine to enhance a business process management (BPM) system’s context-awareness. The generic architecture provides the flexibility to configure processes during initialization as well as to adapt running instances at decision gates or during execution due to significant context change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses context-awareness as the conceptual background. The technological capabilities of business rules and complex event processing (CEP) are outlined in an architecture design. A reference process is proposed and discussed in an exemplary application.

Findings

The results provide an improvement over the current situation of static variable instantiation of business processes with local information. The proposed architecture extends the well-known combination of business rules and BPM systems with a context engine based on CEP.

Research limitations/implications

The resulting architecture for a BPM system using a context engine is generic in nature and, hence, requires to be contextualized for situated implementations. Implementation success is dependent on the availability of context information and process compensation options.

Practical implications

Practitioners receive advice on a reference architecture and technology choices for implementing systems, which can provide and monitor context information for business processes as well as intervene and adapt the execution.

Originality/value

Currently, there is no multi-purpose non-proprietary context engine based on CEP or any other technology available for BPM, which facilitates the adaptation of processes at run-time due to changes in context variables. This paper will stimulate a debate between research and practice on suitable design and technology.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Book part

Irina Farquhar and Alan Sorkin

This study proposes targeted modernization of the Department of Defense (DoD's) Joint Forces Ammunition Logistics information system by implementing the optimized…

Abstract

This study proposes targeted modernization of the Department of Defense (DoD's) Joint Forces Ammunition Logistics information system by implementing the optimized innovative information technology open architecture design and integrating Radio Frequency Identification Device data technologies and real-time optimization and control mechanisms as the critical technology components of the solution. The innovative information technology, which pursues the focused logistics, will be deployed in 36 months at the estimated cost of $568 million in constant dollars. We estimate that the Systems, Applications, Products (SAP)-based enterprise integration solution that the Army currently pursues will cost another $1.5 billion through the year 2014; however, it is unlikely to deliver the intended technical capabilities.

Details

The Value of Innovation: Impact on Health, Life Quality, Safety, and Regulatory Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-551-2

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Article

Peter Zettinig and Zsuzsanna Vincze

The purpose of this paper is to construct a process theory of cluster development, in order to complement the many studies focusing on the factors that determine…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to construct a process theory of cluster development, in order to complement the many studies focusing on the factors that determine successful clusters.

Design/methodology/approach

This theory‐building effort relies on event‐driven methodology, which triangulates narratives collected at different points in time with other documented materials, in order to trace cluster development over a six‐year period. The empirical data are analysed according to theoretical classes formed a priori and anchored in Aldrich's framework of emergence, events and consequences. The idea is to identify critical events that subsequently inform theory development.

Findings

The authors show that three critical processes drive sustainable cluster development: the exploitation of current opportunities, the exploration of future opportunities, and processes that facilitate the balancing of the two. Whereas the conceptual focus in the extant literature is on exploration and exploitation processes, the authors find that balancing processes are also critical.

Practical implications

The paper's findings are of practical relevance to private and public policy makers with regard to the management and financing of balancing mechanisms that help to secure sustainable development. The authors will continue to follow the development of this specific cluster in order to identify a wider range of sub‐processes that contribute to the long‐term viability of clusters in general.

Originality/value

This work is original in the sense that it extends March's exploration and exploitation theory, applies it to the inter‐organisational context of clusters, and links the two processes through a process of balancing. The empirical evidence and the methodological approach used contribute in terms of building a “real process theory”, according to Aldrich's specification of an event‐driven research approach.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

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Article

Christopher R. Jones

Customer satisfaction assessment is now widely recognized as a vital input to any strategy for customer focused business performance improvement. The need to improve…

Abstract

Customer satisfaction assessment is now widely recognized as a vital input to any strategy for customer focused business performance improvement. The need to improve responsiveness and reduce overheads is focusing management attention on the major internal business functions such as IT. Argues that these functions, threatened with major cost reductions or outsourcing, are increasingly feeling the need to understand better their customers business needs and to assess how successful they are in satisfying them. Any customer satisfaction assessment tool must recognize the varying needs of individual “customers” within the “customer” organizations. Data collection must lead to prompt action: “event‐driven” assessments owned by “empowered” teams of service providers can help achieve this. Such a “fast cycle” satisfaction assessment/improvement process will not happen spontaneously: “selling”, training, culture change and management leadership are needed to embed action‐oriented customer‐satisfaction assessment in internal service providers.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article

Kanana Ezekiel, Vassil Vassilev, Karim Ouazzane and Yogesh Patel

Changing scattered and dynamic business rules in business workflow systems has become a growing problem that hinders the use and configuration of workflow-based…

Abstract

Purpose

Changing scattered and dynamic business rules in business workflow systems has become a growing problem that hinders the use and configuration of workflow-based applications. There is a gap in the existing research studies which currently focus on solutions that are application specific, without accounting for the universal logical dependencies between the business rules and, as a result, do not support adaptation of the business rules in real time. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

To tackle the above problems, this paper adopts a bottom-up approach, which puts forward a component model of the business process workflows and then adds business rules which have clear logical semantics. This allows incremental development of the workflows and semantic indexing of the rules which govern them during the initial acquisition.

Findings

The paper introduces an event-driven model for development of business workflows which is purely logic-based and can be easily implemented using an object-oriented technology, together with a model of the business rules dependencies which supports incremental semantic indexing. It also proposes a two-level inference mechanism as a vehicle for controlling the business process execution and the process of adaptation of the business rules at real time based on propagating the dependencies.

Research limitations/implications

The framework is strictly logical and completely domain-independent. It allows to account both synchronous and asynchronous triggering events as well as both qualitative and quantitative description of the conditions of the rules. Although our primary interest is to apply the framework to the business processes typical in the construction industry we believe our approach has much wider potential due to its strictly logical formalization and domain independence. In fact it can be used to control any business processes where the execution is governed by rules.

Practical implications

The framework could be applied to both large business process modelling tasks and small but very dynamic business processes like the typical digital business processes found in online banking or e-Commerce. For example, it can be used for adjusting security policies by adding the capability to adapt automatically the access rights to account for additional resources and new channels of operation which can be very interesting ion both B2C and B2B applications.

Social implications

The potential scope of the impact of the research reported here is linked to the wide applicability of rule-based systems in business. Our approach makes it possible not only to control the execution of the processes, but also to identify problems in the control policies themselves from the point of view of their logical properties – consistency, redundancies and potential gaps in the logics. In addition to this, our approach not only increases the efficiency, but also provides flexibility for adaptation of the policies in real time and increases the security of the overall control which improves the overall quality of the automation.

Originality/value

The major achievement reported in this paper is the construction of a universal, strictly logic-based event-driven framework for business process modelling and control, which allows purely logical analysis and adaptation of the business rules governing the business workflows through accounting their dependencies. An added value is the support for object-oriented implementation and the incremental indexing which has been possible thanks to the bottom-up approach adopted in the construction of the framework.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article

Florian Johannsen, Susanne Leist and Reinhold Tausch

The purpose of this paper is to specify the decomposition conditions of Wand and Weber for the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). Therefore, an interpretation of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to specify the decomposition conditions of Wand and Weber for the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). Therefore, an interpretation of the conditions for BPMN is derived and compared to a specification of the conditions for enhanced Event-Driven Process Chains (eEPCs). Based on these results, guidelines for a conformance check of BPMN and eEPC models with the decomposition conditions are shown. Further, guidelines for decomposition are formulated for BPMN models. The usability of the decomposition guidelines is tested with modelling experts.

Design/methodology/approach

An approach building on a representational mapping is used for specifying the decomposition conditions. Therefore, ontological constructs of the Bunge-Wand-Weber ontology are mapped to corresponding modelling constructs and an interpretation of the decomposition conditions for BPMN is derived. Guidelines for a conformance check are then defined. Based on these results, decomposition guidelines are formulated. Their usability is tested in interviews.

Findings

The research shows that the decomposition conditions stemming from the information systems discipline can be transferred to business process modelling. However, the interpretation of the decomposition conditions depends on specific characteristics of a modelling language. Based on a thorough specification of the conditions, it is possible to derive guidelines for a conformance check of process models with the conditions. In addition, guidelines for decomposition are developed and tested. In the study, these are perceived as understandable and helpful by experts.

Research limitations/implications

Research approaches based on representational mappings are subjected to subjectivity. However, by having three researchers performing the approach independently, subjectivity can be mitigated. Further, only ten experts participated in the usability test, which is therefore to be considered as a first step in a more comprising evaluation.

Practical implications

This paper provides the process modeller with guidelines enabling a conformance check of BPMN and eEPC process models with the decomposition conditions. Further, guidelines for decomposing BPMN models are introduced.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to specify Wand and Weber's decomposition conditions for process modelling with BPMN. A comparison to eEPCs shows, that the ontological expressiveness influences the interpretation of the conditions. Further, guidelines for decomposing BPMN models as well as for checking their adherence to the decomposition conditions are presented.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article

Thomas R. Gulledge and Rainer A. Sommer

Business process management has received much attention in the industrial engineering and management literature, and its benefits are well known. Much less has been…

Abstract

Business process management has received much attention in the industrial engineering and management literature, and its benefits are well known. Much less has been written in the public sector management literature, and what has been written has been very general. Hence, there is confusion among public managers about how business process management concepts should be implemented. How should public organizations reorganize to accommodate business process management? How are existing or new enterprise systems aligned with business process management methodologies? This paper addresses these issues, and concludes that public organizations will have to change their organizational structures radically as well as their enterprise systems in order to implement business process management concepts successfully. The paper also discusses the benefits of public sector process management, and focuses in some detail on two of the reasons that public organizations have incentive to implement business process management methodologies.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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