, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 191-201
Date: 20 Jun 2010

A flexible, object-centric approach for business process modelling

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Abstract

Mainstream business process modelling techniques often promote a design paradigm wherein the activities that may be performed within a case, together with their usual execution order, form the backbone on top of which other aspects are anchored. This Fordist paradigm, while effective in standardised and production-oriented domains, breaks when confronted with processes in which case-by-case variations and exceptions are the norm. We contend that the effective design of flexible processes calls for a substantially different modelling paradigm. Motivated by requirements from the human services domain, we explore the hypothesis that a framework consisting of a small set of coordination concepts, combined with established object-oriented modelling principles, provides a suitable foundation for designing highly flexible processes. Several human service delivery processes have been designed using this framework, and the resulting models have been used to realise a system to support these processes in a pilot environment.