International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management (13 papers in press)
Operation of selected processes in SMEs.
by Monika Březinová
Abstract: Processes and process management are an important part of corporate management. The paper presents a comparison of the developments at the level of functioning of selected processes in SMEs in the South Bohemian region for the period of three years. It describes the process both in general and in the division of the selected sectors: trade, services, construction, and manufacturing. If we evaluate the entire sample examined in the period, we can say that business is focused on increasing the level of functioning of the production process, which increased from 70 to 90%. Minimal or no change was observed in the processes of finance (80% in both years) and marketing (73%). The process of HR decreased the level of functioning from 80 to 76%.
Keywords: management; SME; process; production; marketing; finance; human resources management.
Improving workflows in community pharmacies for competitive advantage
by Archie Lockamy III, John Galdo
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to provide a methodology for improving workflows in community pharmacies. Field research conducted at a community pharmacy along with academic literature in the areas of process management and workflow analysis form the basis for the conclusions and managerial implications provided in this article. The methodology illustrated in this article for improving workflows in community pharmacies can be used as a process enabler for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness. The managerial implications regarding the methodology provided in the article can be used to facilitate a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. The concepts presented in the article can be used by healthcare planners to improve the delivery of pharmaceutical goods and services within their organisations. This article begins to fill a void in the literature concerning how community pharmacies can continue to provide high quality patient counselling and remain profitable.
Keywords: community pharmacies; pharmacy delivery systems; pharmacy processes; pharmacy technology; pharmacy strategy.
Towards an integrative view of AIS: using integrated business processes approach to framework the paradigm shift of AIS
by Ahmed Mohammad, Fethi Saidi, Mustafa Abdulkarim
Abstract: The establishment of the inter-organisational paradigm across business has led to a new wave of process and information systems to stimulate the emerging trends. Analysis of the related literature often results in a large number of misconceptions. This paper attempts to give a coherent picture on how integrated business processes have transformed AIS from being information into a knowledge system. In particular, the aim of our research is to introduce integrated business processes as a new approach for defining AIS. This paper empirically measures and analyses the determinants of IOAIS, and also provides empirical evidence on how integrated business processes have technically supported new roles and contributions of such systems. Our empirical analysis leads to three main findings. First, our findings suggest that use of inter-organisational technologies has a significant association with dynamic and extension of AIS. Second, the inter-organisational technologies have transformed AIS through increasing interactivity and connectivity. Finally, these technologies also have led to a real shift in the reliability and uses of accounting information, which in turn has established the knowledge contributions of AIS.
Keywords: integrated business processes; AIS; IOAIS; IOIS; inter-organisational technologies; knowledge contributions.
Business process graph matching based on vectorial signatures
by Farid Kacimi, Abdelkamel Tari, Hamamache Kheddouci
Abstract: During the last decade, business processes have gained in popularity leading to a rapid proliferation of business process model collections. The need for an efficient and fast system for similarity search or matching of process models from these collections is becoming an important issue with the increasing number of models. Graph-based approaches are very efficient for measuring the similarity of process models. However, they suffer from high complexity that grows exponentially with the size of the graphs. In this paper, we propose an approach for comparing and evaluating the similarity of process models based on vectorial signatures, taking into account the loops that may occur in the process. To reduce the complexity of matching, we split the process graphs into paths, then calculate their similarity based on the similarity of the different vectorial signatures of their paths. Experimental evaluations show the good performance of the proposed approach using several measures.
Keywords: graph matching; business process matching; vectorial signature; process model similarity.
Machine-to-infrastructure middleware platform for data management in IoT
by Richard Lomotey, Sumanth Sriramoju, Rita Orji
Abstract: The emergent usage of network-based consumer devices has created an ecosystem for heterogeneous 'aware' and interconnected devices with unique IDs interacting with other machines/objects, infrastructure, and nature. This is called the Internet of Things (IoT), and it is inspired by smart devices with sensing and connectivity capability that can aid with data collection. While the data from sensors can give insightful enterprise information through analytics, it is needful to first and foremost create the IoT framework with automation support for machine-to-infrastructure (M2I) communication. However, there are only few research works that focus on enabling M2I communication, though many studies are dedicated to machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Key challenges in the IoT infrastructure design are multiple device semantics and protocol variations which can limit interoperability. This work proposes a middleware with both M2I and M2M capabilities that addresses these problems based on mapping techniques between the heterogeneous device semantics and provides a common interface for data exchanges via varied protocols. When a device is discoverable, our middleware uses an enhanced environment-context ontology to match the appropriate communication protocol. This aids with pushing data from within-range sensors to a cloud-hosted infrastructure. The extensive experiments conducted on the proposed system show superiority over similar services.
Keywords: internet of things; sensors; mobile devices; middleware; mapping; environment context; cloud computing.
CA4BPS: an end-to-end context-based approach for business process socialisation
by Fadwa Yahya, Khouloud Boukadi, Zakaria Maamar, Hanêne Ben Abdallah
Abstract: Todays enterprises seek innovative ways that would help them to demystify the social relations that exist between them and their stakeholders. To this end, these enterprises have been looking into integrating Web 2.0 into their Business Processes (BP) to develop Social Business Processes (SBP). Evidently, an enterprise cannot socialise all its BPs for reasons related to security and feasibility (e.g., technical and financial). This paper proposes an end-to-end approach to assist enterprises in socialising BPs. The approach builds on enterprise architecture to define contextual elements that would guide the socialisation exercise. It uses the analytic hierarchical process to assess the eligibility of BPs to socialisation based on these elements. It also embraces model-driven architecture to model and implement the socialised BPs. The preliminary evaluation of the approach shows encouraging results.
Keywords: business process; analytic hierarchical process; enterprise architecture; model-driven architecture; social business process; Web 2.0.
Defining business process improvement metrics based on BPM life cycle and process mining techniques
by Zineb Lamghari, Maryam Radgui, Rajaa Saidi, M. Driss Rahmani
Abstract: Nowadays, organisations use Business Process Management (BPM) around the world to maintain a competitive advantage related to their Business Processes (BP). In this sense, business process improvement implies often a challenge in identifying specific improvement metrics according to the BP types, which involve different scenarios. Thus, we present in this paper an integrated approach for defining improvement metrics according to the BP types. Our proposed approach is validated through a case study involving the enhancement of a BP. This BP is about requests for compensation within an airline company. Our approach consists of three main pillars: (i)management BP metrics,(ii)operational BP metrics, and (iii)support BP metrics. In order to identify appropriate improvement interventions, modelling, analysis, simulation, monitoring and process mining techniques are used.
Keywords: business process types; BPM life cycle; key performance indicators; performance metrics; process mining; support BP; management BP; operational BP.
Collaboration analysis among stakeholders in strengthening the export-oriented ceramic industry centre: a study in Puwakarta Regency in Indonesia
by Samun Jaja Raharja, Rivani, Ria Arifianti
Abstract: This study uses the collaboration perspective to describe and analyse the roles and relationships among stakeholders in the ceramic industry centre in Purwakarta Regency. This research used the qualitative method and data were collected through literature review, field observation and interviews. Results show the following condition of the existing ceramics industry in Purwakarta: (1) export is generally through an export agent; (2) the majority of the human resources are unskilled and with low education; (3) operation and production activities are constrained by technology and raw materials; and (4) financial aspects have difficulty in accessing financial institutions. Moreover, results of the research related to the role and relationships among stakeholders show that the stakeholder roles, tasks, influence and interest vary from extremely strong to weak. Each stakeholder has a different power, tasks and interest, works independently and has yet to establish a permanent collaboration with other stakeholders.
Keywords: collaboration; stakeholders; ceramics industry centre; Purwakarta.
Formal semantics and transformation of BPMN models
by Toufik Messaoud Maarouk, Elkamel Merah, Sara Ghaoui, Nihed Rahabi
Abstract: Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) represents an industrial standard created in order to provide a graphical semi-formal notation that is readily understandable by all business users, from the business analyst to the technical developers, and, finally, to the business people who will manage those processes. However, BPMN models are expressed in a semi-formal modelling language and need a well-defined formal semantics base for their notations. This formalisation enables analysis and verification tasks. Some efforts have been made to transform BPMN models into formal representations, including Petri nets, but, to the best of our knowledge, no work has been done for transforming BPMN models into a language that supports a true concurrency semantics: DD-LOTOS. The DD-LOTOS language is defined for the formal specification of distributed real-time systems and has been defined on a semantic model of true concurrency. The main goal of this paper is to propose a formal semantics for a subset of BPMN defined in terms of DD-LOTOS code. The paper also proposes a model transformation approach to generate DD-LOTOS code from BPMN models. This approach has been implemented using Eclipse Sirius and Eclipse Acceleo. Two well-known case studies are given to illustrate the transformation.
Keywords: BPMN; business process; formal semantics; true concurrency; meta-modelling; model transformation; DD-LOTOS.
Deriving strategic information for software development processes using provenance data and ontology techniques
by Gabriella Costa, Cláudia Werner, Regina Braga, Humberto Dalpra, Marco Araújo, Victor Stroele
Abstract: Processes improvement is a key feature to achieve quality in products. The investments in defining and refining an organisation's processes are always a concern. This fact also occurs in the software development processes domain. A practice considered to support the continuous improvement of software processes is the reuse of knowledge acquired in previous executions. After defining measures to assess the software processes performance (e.g., time and productivity), an analysis of process data can be carried out to derive implicit information from the software process. A way to capture this data is by using provenance models. Then, process provenance data can be analysed by using mechanisms to derive new information, such as inference engines, to obtain implicit information that can contribute to process improvement. The main goal of this work is to define, implement and evaluate the iSPuP (improving Software Process using Provenance) approach to support the phases of execution, monitoring, analysis, and feedback of processes to derive strategic information that can be used to improve software process in future executions. The iSPuP approach is specified to deliver strategic information using data provenance from processes and ontologies. All the steps taken and related technologies to achieve the objective are detailed in this paper. An evaluation was carried out with two Brazilian software development companies. The results have shown initial evidence that the iSPuP approach can derive strategic information. The evaluation has revealed that by using provenance data and ontologies, the iSPuP could provide strategic information and the project manager will be able to use this information for improving process performance runtime, according to defined process metrics. Therefore, this work presents, as contributions, an approach to derive strategic information that can help to improve software process based on provenance data and ontology, as well as an initial iSPuP evaluation with two Brazilian companies.
Keywords: software development process; process strategic information; process improvement; data provenance; ontology; web semantics.
Total quality management and organisational performance: the mediating role of market orientation
by Abdullah Kaid Al-Swidi, Gaboul Faiz, Hamid Gelaidan
Abstract: The main objective of this study was to investigate the mediating link of Market Orientation (MO) on the relationship between Total Quality Management (TQM) and Organisational Performance (OP). To achieve the objective of this study, a survey questionnaire was distributed to 350 people of managerial positions in Libyan bank branches. Of these, 230 questionnaires were returned. The data were then analysed using Structural Equation Modelling Partial Least Squares (SEM-PLS) approach to confirm the validity and reliability of the measures, before undertaking hypotheses testing analysis. The results of this study revealed that TQM has a positive and significant effect on market orientation and organisational performance. More importantly, the results have also confirmed the mediating effect of MO between TQM and organisational performance. This might explains better the competitive power of companies adopting TQM strategy to outperform their rivals in the market.
Keywords: total quality management; market orientation; organisational performance; banks; Libya.
KIPN: a visual notation for knowledge-intensive processes
by Joanne Netto, Tatiana Barboza, Fernanda Baião, Flavia Santoro
Abstract: Modelling Knowledge-intensive Processes (KiP) is not an easy task, owing to their essential characteristics of being unstructured, based on social interactions, experience and intentions of the actors involved. The Knowledge-intensive Process Ontology (KiPO) provides a structural conceptualisation for KiPs, precisely specifying all concepts and relations that are necessary to make a KiP explicit. However, KiPO does not provide a graphical notation, which is crucial for organisation managers, as well as process managers, modellers and executors. Some visual notations exist for the visual representation of KiP, but they miss at least one of these relevant features in the KiP representation. In this paper, we propose a notation for modelling KiP: the Knowledge-intensive Process Notation (KiPN), which is based on the principles of the theory of visual notations to develop the cognitive efficacy of a visual representation. The evaluation of KiPN indicates the cognitive effectiveness and perceived usefulness of KiPN.
Keywords: knowledge-intensive process; visual notation; process modelling; conceptual modelling; cognitive effectiveness.
Robotic process automation: assessment of the technology for transformation of business processes
by Sourav Dey, Arindam Das
Abstract: We examine how Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be deployed as a technology solution in business processes and services as a transformation lever beyond traditional business process management and outsourcing. RPA is a new breed of software that allows for enterprise-wide automation of repetitive business processes, with the promise of potential FTE savings, better service quality and improved service delivery. Through an extensive survey of practitioners involved with RPA, this exploratory research identifies the motivation and challenges of RPA implementation as envisaged by the user communities. We also find the complementary perspectives of RPA product development communities. Consequently, we recommend ways to align the perspectives of the user communities and the developer communities to enable definitive value creation for the organisations. The findings and recommendations would help practitioners who develop RPA products or adopt these products in their IT ecosystems.
Keywords: business process management; process reengineering; robotic process automation; software product development.