Title: Infusing agility in business processes through an event-centric approach

Authors: Nancy Alexopoulou, Mara Nikolaidou, Panagiotis Kanellis, Vasiliki Mantzana, Dimosthenes Anagnostopoulos, Drakoulis Martakos

Addresses: Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Ilissia 15784, Athens, Greece. ' Department of Informatics and Telematics, Harokopio University of Athens, El. Venizelou Str, 17671, Athens, Greece. ' Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Ilissia 15784, Athens, Greece. ' Department of Technology, Education and Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, 80 Karaoli and Dimitriou Str, 18534, Piraeus, Greece. ' Department of Informatics and Telematics, Harokopio University of Athens, El. Venizelou Str, 17671, Athens, Greece. ' Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Ilissia 15784, Athens, Greece

Abstract: For business processes we consider agility to be the capability to modify and adjust them in the face of unexpected contingencies even during execution phase. Traditional process-centric approaches dictate action sequence definition within the context of a specific business process designed to cover organisations requirements at some former point in time. To address the phenomenon of business processes that fail to match newly evolved organisational needs we propose an event-centric approach identifying meaningful events that drive action execution. We consider actions as autonomous units being aware of only the events initiating them as well as the events they trigger. In that sense, the notion of business process sequence is eliminated; the needed functionality is modelled in a flexible manner in terms of autonomous actions, events and event combinations, promoting the dynamic formation of process instances at execution time. Our approach materialises through a set of methods, named actors-actions-events (AAE), which can be followed as a guide towards identifying the events and actions representing enterprise functionality. Its practical applicability is demonstrated through a simplified example in a medical setting.

Keywords: business processes; unexpected contingencies; action sequences; evolved organisational needs; evolution; meaningful events; autonomous actions; execution time; autonomy; enterprise functionality; flexibility; event combinations; dynamic formations; process instances; actors; healthcare; doctors; medical secretaries; hospitals; patients; Greece; management procedures; event-centric modelling; agility; business information systems; simulation; business modelling; agile systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2010.034005

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2010 Vol.6 No.1, pp.58 - 78

Available online: 06 Jul 2010 *

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