Specifying Flexible Business Processes Using Pre and Post Conditions
Today’s business processes have to address many, complex requirements. Mass customization leads to personalized, contextual products being offered by governments and enterprises and, as a result, the business processes for selling and offering these products are divers and contextual as well. At the same time, regulations in the area of compliance and a growing rate of change introduce additional complexity. These developments pose major challenges to the field of business process modeling. Conventional process modeling, in terms of activities and the flow they are executed in, has proven to lead to complex and often rigid business processes.
In this paper, we present our experiences with specifying business processes based on activities and their pre and post conditions instead of flow. The resulting business processes are flexible: they allow knowledge workers to influence their own process and they do not require the explicit modeling of flows to deal with exceptions and switching between straight through and human processing.
Our formalism facilitates an agile modeling process. The formalism helps involving business users in modeling as it can be expressed well into natural language. Furthermore, it allows for separation of concerns in modeling by having an algorithm consolidate the different areas of requirements into an executable business process. Analysts can focus on modeling the different concerns and are no longer required to manually consolidate all the requirements into a business process that is believed to address all of them.
KeywordsBusiness Processes Adaptive Processes Goal Orientation Business Rules Complexity Natural Language Generation
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