Software & Systems Modeling

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 1159–1188 | Cite as

Design science in action: developing a modeling technique for eliciting requirements on business process management (BPM) tools

  • Ilia BiderEmail author
  • Erik Perjons
Special Section Paper


Selecting a suitable business process management (BPM) tool to build a business process support system for a particular business process is difficult. There are a number of BPM tools on the market that are available as systems to install locally and as services in the cloud. These tools are based on different BPM paradigms (e.g., workflow or case management) and provide different capabilities (e.g., enforcement of the control flow, shared spaces, or a collaborative environment). This makes it difficult for an organization to select a tool that would fit the business processes at hand. The paper suggests a solution for this problem. The core of the solution is a modeling technique for business processes for eliciting their requirements for a suitable BPM tool. It produces a high-level, business process model, called a “step-relationship” model that depicts the essential characteristics of a process in a paradigm-independent way. The solution presented in this paper has been developed based on the paradigm of design science research, and the paper discusses the research project from the design science perspective. The solution has been applied in two case studies in order to demonstrate its feasibility.


Business process modeling Workflow  Case management Shared space Design science 



The authors are grateful to all members of our team without whose efforts this paper would have never been written. Special thanks to Athanasios Karapantelakis and Nirjal Khadka, who participated in the project aimed at validation of the modeling technique suggested in this project. The authors are also much in debt to the anonymous reviewers whose comments helped us to improve the structure and readability of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DSVStockholm UniversityKista, StockholmSweden
  2. 2.IbisSoft AB StockholmSweden

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