Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 343–371 | Cite as

Business process flexibility - a systematic literature review with a software systems perspective

  • Riccardo Cognini
  • Flavio Corradini
  • Stefania Gnesi
  • Andrea Polini
  • Barbara ReEmail author


Business Process flexibility supports organizations in changing their everyday work activities to remain competitive. Since much research has been done on this topic a better awareness on the current state of knowledge is needed. This paper reports the results of a systematic literature review to develop a map on Business Process flexibility with a special focus on software systems related aspects. It covers a spectrum of the state of the art from academic point of view. It includes 164 research works from the main computer science digital libraries. After an introduction into the topic the applied methodology is described. The output of the paper is in the form of schemes and reflections. Starting from the needs for Business Process flexibility, its impact on Business Process life-cycle is introduced. Successively instruments used to express and to support Business Process flexibility are presented together with related validation scenarios. In this paper we also highlight possible future research lines needing further investigations. In particular we identified room for future works in the area of languages for modeling flexibility, on-the-fly verification solutions, adaptation of Business Process running instances, and techniques for evolution recognition.


Business process Flexibility Variability Looseness Adaptability Evolution Process aware information systems Business process management Business process life-cycle Languages Mechanisms Cases study Systematic literature review 



This research has been partially funded by the EU project Learn PAd GA: 619583.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Cognini
    • 1
  • Flavio Corradini
    • 1
  • Stefania Gnesi
    • 2
  • Andrea Polini
    • 1
  • Barbara Re
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of CamerinoCamerinoItaly
  2. 2.ISTI-CNRPisaItaly

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