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Article

M.T. Wynn, H.M.W. Verbeek, W.M.P. van der Aalst, A.H.M. ter Hofstede and D. Edmond

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that process verification has matured to a level where it can be used in practice. This paper reports on new verification…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that process verification has matured to a level where it can be used in practice. This paper reports on new verification techniques that can be used to assess the correctness of real‐life models.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed approach relies on using formal methods to determine the correctness of business processes with cancellation and OR‐joins. The paper also demonstrates how reduction rules can be used to improve the efficiency. These techniques are presented in the context of the workflow language yet another workflow language (YAWL) that provides direct support for 20 most frequently used patterns found today (including cancellation and OR‐joins). But the results also apply to other languages with these features (e.g. BPMN, EPCs, UML activity diagrams, etc.). An editor has been developed that provides diagnostic information based on the techniques presented in this paper.

Findings

The paper proposes four properties for business processes with cancellation and OR‐joins, namely: soundness, weak soundness, irreducible cancellation regions and immutable OR‐joins and develop new techniques to verify these properties. Reduction rules have been used as a means of improving the efficiency of the algorithm. The paper demonstrates the feasibility of this verification approach using a realistic and complex business process, the visa application process for general skilled migration to Australia, modelled as a YAWL workflow with cancellation regions and OR‐joins.

Originality/value

Business processes sometimes require complex execution interdependencies to properly complete a process. For instance, it is possible that certain activities need to be cancelled mid‐way though the process. Some parallel activities may require complex “wait and see” style synchronisation depending on a given context. These types of business processes can be found in various domains, such as application integration, B2B commerce, web service composition and workflow systems. Even though cancellation and sophisticated join structures are present in many business processes, existing verification techniques are unable to deal with such processes. Hence, this paper plays an important role in making process verification a reality.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article

Sohei Ito, Dominik Vymětal and Roman Šperka

The need for assuring correctness of business processes in enterprises is widely recognised in terms of business process re-engineering and improvement. Formal methods are…

Abstract

Purpose

The need for assuring correctness of business processes in enterprises is widely recognised in terms of business process re-engineering and improvement. Formal methods are a promising approach to this issue. The challenge in business process verification is to create a formal model that is well-aligned to the reality. Process mining is a well-known technique to discover a model of a process based on facts. However, no studies exist that apply it to formal verification. This study aims to propose a methodology for formal business process verification by means of process mining, and attempts to clarify the challenges and necessary technologies in this approach using a case study.

Design/methodology/approach

A trading company simulation model is used as a case study. A workflow model is discovered from an event log produced by a simulation tool and manually complemented to a formal model. Correctness requirements of both domain-dependent and domain-independent types of the model are checked by means of model-checking.

Findings

For business process verification with both domain-dependent and domain-independent correctness requirements, more advanced process mining techniques that discover data-related aspects of processes are desirable. The choice of a formal modelling language is also crucial. It depends on the correctness requirements and the characteristics of the business process.

Originality/value

Formal verification of business processes starting with creating its formal model is quite new. Furthermore, domain-dependent and domain-independent correctness properties are considered in the same framework, which is also new. This study revealed necessary technologies for this approach with process mining.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

Keywords

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Article

Volker Gruhn and Ralf Laue

The purpose of this paper is to present a new heuristic approach for finding errors and possible improvements in business process models.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a new heuristic approach for finding errors and possible improvements in business process models.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the paper translates the information that is included in a model into a set of Prolog facts. It then searches for patterns which are related to a violation of the soundness property or bad modeling style or otherwise gives rise to the assumption that the model should be improved. To validate this approach, the paper analyzes a repository of almost 1,000 business process models. For this purpose, three different model‐checkers that explore the state space of all possible executions of a model are used. The result of these tools are compared with the results given by this heuristic approach.

Findings

The paper finds that the heuristic approach identifies violations of the soundness property almost as accurate as model‐checkers. However, other than these tools, the approach never ran into state space explosion problems. Furthermore, this heuristic approach can also detect patterns for bad modeling style which can help to improve the quality of models.

Practical implications

Heuristic checks can run in the background while the modeler works on the model. In this way, feedback about possible modeling errors can be provided instantly. This feedback can be used to correct possible problems immediately.

Originality/value

Current Prolog‐based validation tools check mainly for syntactical correctness and consistency requirements. This approach adds one more perspective by also detecting control‐flow errors (like deadlocks) and even pragmatic issues.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article

Pejman Ghasemi Poor Sabet and Heap-Yih Chong

New methods have been introduced as revolutionary approaches in the construction industry, such as off-site manufacturing (OSM) and building information modelling (BIM)…

Abstract

Purpose

New methods have been introduced as revolutionary approaches in the construction industry, such as off-site manufacturing (OSM) and building information modelling (BIM). Although these approaches can provide many benefits, there are still barriers to meeting the expectations of improved construction productivity via their implementation. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to critically review the capabilities of OSM and BIM techniques, as well as their potential interactions, in productivity improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

A scoping review approach was adopted, where 100 peer-reviewed journal articles were collected to analyse the capabilities of OSM and BIM, as well as their potential interactions, in productivity improvement as assessed by key productivity indicators (KPrIs).

Findings

The results reveal seven BIM-based capabilities and six OSM-based capabilities, as well as 12 potential OSM–BIM interactions that have significant potential for satisfying KPrIs.

Originality/value

An integrated framework has also been developed to clarify and conceptualise the roles of OSM–BIM interactions in their designated KPrIs. The research has developed insightful and practical references for strategic planning and management in OSM–BIM-based projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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Article

Christian Sonnenberg and Jan vom Brocke

The purpose of this paper is to integrate business process management (BPM) and accounting on a conceptual level in order to account for the economic implications of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to integrate business process management (BPM) and accounting on a conceptual level in order to account for the economic implications of process-state changes in process design-time and process run-time.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a design science research paradigm. The research, grounded in an “events” approach to accounting theory, builds on the REA accounting model that has been adapted for the design of a process accounting model (PAM).

Findings

The paper presents a PAM that can be used to structure event records in process-aware information systems (PAIS) to enable process-oriented accounting. The PAM is specified as a light weight data structure that is intended for the integration of PAIS and accounting information systems.

Research limitations/implications

As this paper is technical in nature, more research is needed to evaluate more thoroughly its approach in naturalistic settings.

Practical implications

The PAM can support traditional accounting approaches, and because of the adopted events approach, it readily supports use cases related to real-time analytics in BPM and accounting.

Originality/value

The PAM presents a novel approach to integrating BPM and accounting. The novelty of this approach lies in its use of event records to document flows of economic resources.

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Article

Sherif Mostafa, Nicholas Chileshe and Tariq Abdelhamid

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing research published on offsite manufacturing/construction. The study aims to highlight…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing research published on offsite manufacturing/construction. The study aims to highlight and associate the core elements for adopting the offsite concept in different construction contexts. This ultimately facilitates the enhancement of the offsite uptake.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study was carried out through a systematic literature review (SLR). The SLR was conducted to identify and understand the existing themes in the offsite research landscape, evaluate contributions and compile knowledge, thereby identifying potential directions of future research. The grand electronic databases were explored to gather literature on the offsite concept, lean and agile principles and simulation. A total of 62 related articles published between 1992 and 2015 have been included in this study. The relevant literature was systematically analysed and synthesised to present the emerging offsite themes.

Findings

The descriptive and thematic analyses presented in this paper have identified related offsite research studies that have contributed to setting a firm foundation of the offsite concept in different construction contexts. Each of the 62 articles was examined for achieving the aim and objectives of this study, the method of data collection and coverage of offsite themes. The results of the analyses revealed that the articles mostly provide information on the offsite concept and its definitions (53 per cent) and offsite barriers and/or drivers (27 per cent). However, limited attention has been paid to the integration of lean and agile principles (13 per cent) and simulation (7 per cent) within the offsite concept, which are therefore more open to research within the offsite concept.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review highlights the main themes and components of the offsite construction concept. This forms a solid basis and motivation for researchers and practitioners to build on to enhance the uptake of the offsite concept in different contexts. This study also presents a research roadmap within the offsite concept, along with a recommendation for further research to be conducted using the research framework proposed in this study. The framework could lead to validation of using simulation to integrate lean and agile principles within the offsite concept.

Originality/value

This paper presents a systematic review of the literature related to offsite construction in different contexts. The emerging components, that is, offsite definitions, drivers and/or barriers, lean and agile principles and simulation have been highlighted and discussed thematically. A research framework that enables pursuit of the integration of lean and agile principles offsite through the lens of simulation has been proposed. The framework is expected to open up new opportunities on the effectiveness of offsite development in different contexts.

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Article

Mayara Segatto, Silvia Inês Dallavalle de Pádua and Dante Pinheiro Martinelli

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the business process management (BPM) approach contributes to applying systemic characteristics in organisations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the business process management (BPM) approach contributes to applying systemic characteristics in organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a theoretical and descriptive work based on a review of the literature on BPM and systemic approach.

Findings

From the analysis of its stages, it was possible to find a strong correspondence between BPM and the systemic characteristics found in the literature.

Practical implications

The paper presents practical implications to professionals as well as academics. The contribution to the body of knowledge on BPM derives from the identification of systemic characteristics in it, thus justifying its practical application to organisations in order to ensure better systemicity and adaptability. As processes are directed to the same goal, unnecessary and misdirected steps are redesigned or eliminated, concentrating resources on core processes and improving the organisation's performance. The paper also contributes to education, since the systemic approach may be a key subject to clarify the inter‐relationships among processes, and processes and their contexts.

Originality/value

The originality resides on elucidating the systemic characteristics of BPM, being academically valuable for justifying the studies about such an approach, besides contributing to the characterisation of its basic assumptions as well. In addition, the value of the present work for business management resides in the identification of a practical approach which can be applied to organisations in order to ensure them systemicity and flexibility.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article

Evandro Leonardo Silva Teixeira, Benny Tjahjono, Sadek Crisóstomo Absi Alfaro and Jorge Manuel Soares Julião

Prognostics and health management (PHM) can support product‐service systems (PSS) contracts, especially in the case of high technology products where their condition and…

Abstract

Purpose

Prognostics and health management (PHM) can support product‐service systems (PSS) contracts, especially in the case of high technology products where their condition and performance can be monitored. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how PHM can support effective execution of some PSS contracts and to set out the future research agenda for the development of an online simulation modelling framework that will further harness the interaction between PHM and PSS.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology commenced by collating facts and figures from the existing body of knowledge, from which a set of key findings is presented from both technical and business perspectives. Analysis of the key findings highlights the current state of PHM‐PSS interaction, the capability of existing tools and techniques and a comprehensive analysis of PSS performances, with and without PHM.

Findings

Increased demand for total asset performance from the customers has been the main driver for PSS providers to adopt PHM technology. In the case of high value assets, PHM is used to capture the condition of the assets and to feed this information back to the PSS operations management which, in turn, will be used to plan a maintenance regime, spare parts provision, as well as to mitigate the dynamic behaviour which commonly occurs in PSS. Simulation modelling, driven by asset health condition, shows a considerable potential as an effective tool to control the execution of the PSS contract. In addition to the benefits from the maintenance services, the PHM‐PSS interaction can increase the controllability of the PSS contract execution and allow future modifications to PSS contracts.

Originality/value

The value of this paper lies in the comprehensive analysis of the interaction between PHM and PSS, especially focusing on the interaction during the PSS contract execution. This paper demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of existing research in the research domain, and highlights the opportunities for future research.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article

Felix Krause, Marc‐Andre Bewernik and Gilbert Fridgen

The continuous redesign of processes is crucial for companies in times of tough competition and fast‐changing surrounding conditions. Since the manual redesign of…

Abstract

Purpose

The continuous redesign of processes is crucial for companies in times of tough competition and fast‐changing surrounding conditions. Since the manual redesign of processes is a time‐ and resource‐consuming task, automated redesign will increasingly become a useful alternative. Hence, future redesign projects need to be valuated based on both a manual and an automated redesign approach. The purpose of this paper is to compare the manual and automated process redesign on the basis of the Business Process Management (BPM) lifecycle.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors compare the manual and automated process redesign on the basis of the Business Process Management (BPM) lifecycle. The results form the basis for a mathematical model that outlines the general economic characteristics of process redesign as well as for the manual and automated approaches. Subsequently, the authors exemplarily apply their model to a set of empirical data with respective assumptions on particular aspects of the automated approach.

Findings

In the problem setting described in the paper, the valuation model shows that automated process redesign induces an equal or higher number of optimized processes in a company. Therefore, the authors present a decision support that outlines how much to invest in automated process redesign.

Research limitations/implications

The model considers the cost side of automated process redesign; therefore, further research should be conducted to analyze the possibility of higher returns induced by automated redesign (e.g., through a quicker adaption to real‐world changes). Moreover, for automated redesign, there is no requirement for broad empirical data that should be collected and analyzed as soon as this approach leaves the basic research and prototyping stages.

Practical implications

This paper presents an approach that can be used by companies to estimate the upper limit for investments in manual and automated process redesign. Working under certain general assumptions and independently from actual cost and return values, the paper demonstrates that automated process redesign induces an equal or higher ratio of optimized processes. Thus, companies introducing automated redesign cannot only apply the model to evaluate their investments but can also expect a higher ratio of optimized processes for this approach.

Originality/value

As existing literature primarily focuses on the technical aspects of automated process redesign, these findings contribute to the current body of literature. This paper discusses a first decision‐support for the economic aspects of automated process redesign, particularly with regard to the investments that are required for it. This information is relevant as soon as the approach leaves the stage of a prototype.

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Article

Sarra Mamoghli, Luc Cassivi and Sylvie Trudel

The purpose of this paper is to assist organizations in the assessment of both information technology (IT) and human factors required to support their business processes…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assist organizations in the assessment of both information technology (IT) and human factors required to support their business processes (BPs) by taking into account the interdependence and alignment of these factors, rather than considering them independently.

Design/methodology/approach

A design science research methodology was followed to build a maturity model (MM) enabling this assessment. The proposed design process is composed of four steps: problem identification, comparison of 19 existing MMs in business process management (BPM), iterative model development, and model evaluation. The last two steps were specifically based on three research methods: literature analysis, case studies, and expert panels.

Findings

This paper presents a MM that assigns a maturity level to an organization’s BPs in two assessment steps. The first step evaluates the level of sophistication and integration of the IT systems supporting each BP, while the second step assesses the alignment of human factors with the technological efforts.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted with SMEs, leading to results that may be specific to this type of organization.

Practical implications

Practitioners can use the proposed model throughout their journey toward process excellence. The application of this model leads to two main process improvement scenarios: upgrading the sophistication and integration of the software technologies in support of the processes, and improving the cohesion of the resources the organization already owns (human and IT resources).

Originality/value

The proposed MM constitutes a first step in the assessment of the interdependence between the factors influencing BPM.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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