Business Process Research & Analysis

Business Process Research & Analysis

The term ‘business process modeling’ was coined in the 1960s in the field of systems engineering by S. Williams in his 1967 article ‘Business Process Modeling Improves Administrative Control’. It was however not until the 1990s that the term became popular and the term ‘process’ became a new productivity paradigm. Companies were encouraged to think in processes instead of functions and procedures.

Today, there are multiple books, white papers, articles, blogs, and even entire conferences on the subject of Business Process Management (BPM). However, many people still struggle to find a precise definition around the concepts, such as what is BPM. The opinion varies wildly making people unclear whether BPM is a process, technology, or management discipline. The answer depends upon whom you ask. If the question is asked of a technology company, most likely the definition of BPM will be centered more on technology than business. It is not only that, all the process frameworks and or BPM concepts, methods and or approaches like LEAN, Sig Sigma, BPR, TQM, Zero Defect, BPMN, BPMS etc., have their own vocabulary. Each of these vocabularies has its own definition of terms like business process, process step, process activity, events, process role, process owner, process measure or even process rule.

There is no underlying ontology, taxonomy, folksonomy, clear defined semantics, templates and artefacts that both can be applied within the area of process modelling, process engineering and process architecture. The lack of a widely accepted definition, objects, templates and concepts has arguably had the single most harmful effect on the industry.

Together with the Global University Alliance (GUA) the standards organizations OMG, ISO, IEEE, NATO, CSIR and LEADing Practice intend to collaborate to solicit information and research into basis for the comparison, assessment, and selection of process concepts and their evolution as the discipline as a practice matures.

Research Focus

Information and research is sought on topics related to the understanding and comparison of Business Process concepts, including, but not limited to:

  • What is a Business Process and what is Business Process Management
  • Which different process concepts exist
  • Comparing Business Process concepts, method and approaches
  • What are the most common Business Process concepts, method and approaches
  • Identify missing concepts
  • Specify the difference and the common between process modelling, process engineering and process architecture concepts
  • Ontology foundations of Business Process concepts
    • What common Ontology aspects do they have?
    • What common meta objects do they have?
    • What are the most common object descriptions?
    • Are there any underlying meta models
  • Model and viewpoint considerations:
    • Typical models they work with?
    • What challenges are not being addressed by current models?
    • What are the most common templates and model are used?
    • Are there any underlying meta models
    • Are there missing components
  • LifeCycle considerations:
    • Typical LifeCycle phases?
    • What are their tasks/steps within the phases?
    • Roles involved in the lifecycle?
    • Are there specific quality and or value gates
    • Continuous feedback loop build into the lifecycle
  • Maturity considerations:
    • Typical maturity measured?
    • What are the most common areas?
    • Which Maturity Benchmarks are done?
    • Are there specific Maturity Roadmaps?
  • Categorization considerations:
    • What are the most common categorization and classification used?
    • Categorization schemes?
    • Tagging types
  • Patterns
    • What works well (repeatable patters)
    • What doesn’t work well (anti-patterns)

Research Approach

When involving in such a complex research and analysis as defined in the research focus, this is where the Global University Alliance (GUA) has developed a unique collaborative process between academia and industry. After 5 years of already working together, the GUA was founded in 2004 as a non-profit organization and today (1Q 2016) they are an international consortium consistent of over 450 universities, professors, lecturers and researchers whose aim it is to provide a collaborative platform for academic research, analysis and development.

As illustrated in figure 1, they do this through defining clear research themes, with detailed research questions, where they analyse and study patterns, describe concepts with their findings. This again can lead to additional research questions/themes as well as development of artefacts which can be used as reference content by practitioners and industry as a whole.

What the GUA also does uniquely is the collaboration with standards bodies like:

  • OMG: Object Management Group: Develops the software standards.
  • ISO: ‘The International Organization for Standardization (French: Organisation internationale de standardization)
  • CEN: The European Committee for Standardization (CEN, French: Comité Européen de Normalisation).
  • IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is the largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members
  • NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO’s) with the 28 member states across North America and Europe and the additional 37 countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace and dialogue programmes, NATO represents the biggest non-standard body that standardises concepts across 65 countries.
  • ISF: The Information Security Forum, Investigates and defined information security standards.
  • W3C: World Wide Web Consortium-The W3C purpose is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth of the Web/Internet.
  • LEAD: LEADing Practice, the largest enterprise standards body (in member numbers), which actually has been founded by the GUA.  The LEADing Practice Enterprise Standards are the result of both the GUA research and years of international industry expert consensus and feedback on the artefacts and thereby repeatable patterns.
Global University Alliance Workflow
Figure 1: Overview of the Academia – Industry Concept process which is used in the Global University Alliance and the various collaborative industry practitioners involved in partnerships. The Academia – Industry process used in the Global University Alliance and the various collaborative industry practitioners has two types of different cycles. The one where Academia is leading the research and innovation, this is called the Academia Industry Research (AIR) process. The other is where practitioners from Industry describe concepts and develop artefacts and thereby they bring about innovation. This process is called the Academia Industry Design (AID).

Research Team

The Business Process Research & Analysis contacts are:

Research Leader:
Prof. Mark von Rosing
ISO 42010 Development Member
Global University Alliance, Chairman
OMG Business Architecture Special Interest Group, Co-Chair
OMG Academia & Research Working Group, Chair

The team involved in this work are among others the following academics, researchers and analysts:

  • Business Process Ontology (meta objects), Prof. Wim Laurier
  • Business Process Semantics (relations and rules), Prof. Simon Polovina
  • Comparing Business Process concepts, method and approaches, Prof. Mark von Rosing
  • Typical enterprise models applied, Prof. Hans Scheruhn
  • Most common process strategies applied, Jamie Caine
  • Most common process KPIs, Ulrik Foldager
  • Most common process Roles, Maria Hove
  • Most common process Viewpoints, Maxim Arzumanyan
  • Most common process Stakeholder & Concerns, George Etzel
  • Most common process automation with smart technology Smart process strategies applied, Elizabeth Uruchurtu

Collaboration Partners

Enterprise Standard Body:
George Etzel,
LEADing Practice, Co-CEO

Enterprise Architecture Framework:
John A. Zachman,
Inventor and Father of Enterprise Architecture,
Zachman International

International Organization for Standardization:
Johan H Bendz,
ISO, SC 7, WG 42 Convener

IEEE Coordinator:
Rich Hilliard,
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,
Editor of IEEE Std 1471:2000,
Project editor, ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010

Software Standards Body:
Henk DeMan,
OMG VDML Chairman

NATO Coordinators:
Johan Goossens, NATO Allied Command Transformation
Branch Head, Technology & Human Factors

UNESCO Coordinators:
Dr. Selin N. Şenocak
UNESCO Chair Holder
Cultural Diplomacy, Governance and Education
Director, Occidental Studies Applied Research Center
Political Sciences and International Relations Faculty Member

CSIR Coordinator:
Rentia Barnard
Research Institute CSIR, Enterprise Architect Research Group Leader

Information Security Standard Body:
Steve Durbin,
CEO of Information Security Forum

The research findings we have made so far:

  • What is a Business Process & Business Process Management
  • The Ontology foundations of Business Process concepts
    • The common meta objects within process modelling, engineering and architecture
    • The most common object descriptions
    • A process meta models
  • Model and viewpoint considerations
    • The typical models process experts work with
    • What challenges are not being addressed by current models
    • What are the most common templates and model used
  • Lifecycle considerations
    • The Typical Process LifeCycle phases
    • What are their tasks/steps within the phases
    • Roles involved in the lifecycle and in the tasks/steps
    • The specific quality and or value gates
    • The most common Continuous feedback loop build into the lifecycle
  • Maturity considerations
    • Typical maturity measured
    • What are the most common areas applied for maturity models
    • Which Maturity Benchmarks are done
    • The specific Maturity Roadmaps and development paths
  • Categorization considerations:
    • The most common categorization and classification used?
    • Categorization schemes
    • Tagging types

In addition to that we identified advanced process concepts such as:

  • Value oriented process modelling
  • Role oriented process modelling
  • The link between Sustainability Frameworks and process concepts
  • Extended BPMN concepts
  • Most common process training programs

All of these findings have been published in the following publications:

The Complete Business Process Handbook Body of Knowledge from Process Modeling to BPM, Volume 1

Author(s): Mark von Rosing, Georg Etzel, A.W. Scheer, et al
Release Date: 15 Dec 2014
Pages: 776
Imprint: Elsevier Morgan Kaufmann
Print Book ISBN :9780127999593
eBook ISBN :97 801280047 22

The Complete Business Process Handbook is the most comprehensive body of knowledge on business processes with revealing new research. Written as a practical guide for Executives, Practitioners, Managers and Students by the authorities that have shaped the way we think and work with process today. It stands out as a masterpiece, being part of the BPM bachelor and Master degree curriculum at universities around the world, with revealing academic research and insight from the leaders in the market.

This book provides everything you need to know about the processes and frameworks, methods, and approaches to implement BPM. Through real-world examples, best practices, LEADing practices and advice from experts, readers will understand how BPM works and how to best use it to their advantage. Cases from industry leaders and innovators show how early adopters of LEADing Practices improved their businesses by using BPM technology and methodology. As the first of three volumes, this book represents the most comprehensive body of knowledge published on business process. Following closely behind, the second volume uniquely bridges theory with how BPM is applied today with the most extensive information on extended BPM. The third volume will explore award winning real-life examples of leading business process practices and how it can be replaced to your advantage.

The Complete Business Process Handbook Extended Business Process Management Volume 2

Author(s): Mark von Rosing, John A. Zachman & George Etzel, et al
Expected Release Date: 01 Dec 2018
Pages: 714 (adjusted from the scoped 576) Book ISBN :97 80128028605

The Complete Business Process Handbook: Extended Business Process Management, Volume Two provides extensive information on every aspect of the processes, frameworks, methods, and approaches to implement BPM, an aÍea with increasing interest (in the domain of BPM) for an ever-growing colnmunity of managers, end users, analysts, consultants, vendors, and acadernics. This book reflects the increasing interest in BPM and meets its demands by covering groundbreaking new research on best practices, leading practices, and outperformers vs. underperfoÍners. It provides real-world best practices and examples of award-winning industry leaders and innovators.

Along with an in-depth look at extended BPM ontology, readers will discover enhanced modeling capabilities that enable an entirely new way of working with processes, along with tactics on how to combine enterprise architecture and BPM. The book provides a comprehensive assessment of the topic, helping users gain a better understanding of business process management, how to get started, and how to avoid the common pitfalls that can lead to failed projects and poor BPM adoption.

The Complete Business Process Handbook Leading Practices of the Outperformers Volume 3

Author(s): Mark von Rosing & George Etzel, et al
Expected Release Date: 12. 2017
Pages: 712 (adjusted from the scoped 664)
Book ISBN :9780128030684

The Complete Business Process Handbook: Leading Practices from Outperformers, Volume Three, provides lessons from leaders in the industry who share topics relevant to all levels of an orgarization. Using numerous examples, illustrations, and an established framework, author- editors Mark von Rosing and Henrik von Scheel guide readers through the executive layers that define the strategies, critical success factors, and goals of business. This volume speaks to the business managers who administer tasks and govern, evaluate, and monitor the business, and to the operational layer, which is responsible for delivery and execution.

Through the use of detailed cases from early industry adopters such as Lego Systems, Saxo Bank, US Defence, Candian Government, Maersk, and others, the book explains how successfully deploying business process management can have a profound impact. Examples of these strategies cover how leaders apply business process today, how to get started, how to adopt leading BPM practices to improve competitive advantage, how to differentiate by linking business models to process models, and learning the structured way of thinking, working, and modeling.

In addition to that the following articles reflect or use the findings that have been researched:

  • von Rosing, M., Chase, G., Omar, R., Taylor, J., Rosenberg, A., (2011) Applying Real-World BPM in an SAP Environment, SAP Press, 698 pages, ISBN 978-1-59229-877-8.
  • von Rosing, M., Hove, M., Subbarao, R., Preston, T., Getting Business Transformation Right – Combining BPM and EA, (2012) Commerce and Enterprise Computing (CEC), IEEE 13th Conference.
  • Hendrickx, H. H. M., Daley, ; K. Mahakena, M., von Rosing, M., (2012) The business architecture profession, Commerce and Enterprise Computing (CEC), IEEE 13th Conference  DOI: 10.1109/CEC.2011.55            ISBN: 978-0-7695-4535-6.
  • Polovina S., von Rosing M., Laurier W. (2014) Conceptual Structures in LEADing and Best Enterprise Practices. In: Hernandez N., Jäschke R., Croitoru M. (eds) Graph-Based Representation and Reasoning. ICCS 2014. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 8577. Springer, Cham, DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08389-6_25.
  • von Rosing, M., & Laurier, W. (2015). An Introduction to the Business Ontology. International Journal of Conceptual Structures and Smart Applications, 3(1), 20–41. doi:10.4018/IJCSSA.2015010102.
  • von Rosing, M., Urquhart, B., & Zachman, J. A. (2015). Using a Business Ontology for Structuring Artefacts: Example – Northern Health. International Journal of Conceptual Structures and Smart Applications, 3(1), 42–85. doi:10.4018/IJCSSA.2015010103.
  • von Rosing, M., & von Scheel, H. (2016). Using the Business Ontology to develop Enterprise Standards. International Journal of Conceptual Structures and Smart Applications, 4(1), 48–70. doi:10.4018/IJCSSA.2016010103.
  • von Rosing, M., Fullington, N., Walker, J., Using the Business Ontology and Enterprise Standards to Transform Three Leading Organizations 2016, International Journal of Conceptual Structures and Smart Applications, 4(1), (pages 71-99).
  • Polovina, S., Scheruhn, H. J., Weidner, S., von Rosing, M., (2016) Discovering the Gaps in Enterprise Systems via Conceptual Graphs & Formal Concept Analysis, In: HAEMMERLÉ, Ollivier, STAPLETON, Gem and ZUCKER, Catherine Faron, (eds.) Poster proceedings The 22nd International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2016). ICCS.
  • Polovina, S., Scheruhn, H. J., Weidner, S., von Rosing, M., (2016) Highlighting the Gaps in Enterprise Systems Models by Interoperating CGs and FCA, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 1637, 46-54.
  • Polovina, S., Scheruhn, H. J., von Rosing, M., (2017). Modularising the complex meta-models in enterprise systems using conceptual structures. In: SUGUMARAN, Vijayan, (ed.) Developments and trends in intelligent technologies and smart systems. Advances in Computational Intelligence and Robotics (ACIR) . Hershey, PA, IGI Global, 261-283.
  • von Rosing, Zachman, J. (2017). The Need for a Role Ontology. International Journal of Conceptual Structures and Smart Applications. Volume 5, Issue 1.
  • von Rosing, M. C., Arzumanyan, M., Zachman, J. A. (2017). The relationship between Ontology and Modelling concepts: Example Role Oriented Modelling. International Journal of Conceptual Structures and Smart Applications. Volume 5, Issue 1.
  • von Rosing, M., Bach, B., & von Scheel, H. (2017). Using the Role Oriented Modelling concepts to develop smart applications. International Journal of Conceptual Structures and Smart Applications. Volume 5, Issue 1.
  • Okpurughre, P., von Rosing, M., Grube, Dennis (2017) Using Ontology and Modelling Concepts for Enterprise Innovation and Transformation: Example SAL Heavylift, International Journal of Conceptual Structures and Smart Applications. Volume 5, Issue 1 (pages 70-104).