An investigation into the relevance of flexibility- and interoperability requirements for implementation processes for workflow-management-applications
AbstractFlexibility and Interoperability have become important characteristics for organisations and their business processes. The need to control flexible business processes within an organisation’s boundaries and between organisations imposes major requirements on a company’s process control capabilities. Workflow Management Systems (WFMS) try to fulfil these requirements by offering respective product features. Evidence suggests that the achievement of flexible business processes and an inter-organisational process control is also influenced by implementation processes for Workflow Management Applications (WFMA). [A WFMA comprises the WFMS and "all WFMS specific data with regard to one or more business processes" [VER01]]. The impact of a WFMA implementation methodology on the fulfilment of these requirements is the research scope of the project. The thesis provides knowledge in the following areas: 1. Review of the relationship between workflow management and the claim for process flexibility respectively -interoperability. 2. Definition of a research-/evaluation framework for workflow projects. This framework is composed of all relevant research variables that have been identified for the thesis. 3. Empirical survey of relevant workflow-project objectives and their priority in the context of process flexibility and –interoperability. 4. Empirical survey of the objectives’ achievement. 5. Empirical survey of methodologies / activities that have been applied within workflow projects. 6. Derivation of the project methodologies’ effectiveness in terms of the impact that applied activities had on project objectives. 7. Evaluation of existing workflow life-cycle models in accordance with the research framework. 8. Identification of basic improvements for workflow implementation processes with respect to the achievement of flexible and interoperable business processes. The first part of the thesis argues the relevance of the subject. Afterwards research variables that constitute the evaluation framework for WFMA implementation processes are stepwise identified and defined. An empirical study then proves the variables’ effectiveness for the achievement of process flexibility and –interoperability within the WFMA implementation process. After this the framework is applied to evaluate chosen WFMA implementation methodologies. Identified weaknesses and effective methodological aspects are utilised to develop generic methodological improvements. These improvements are later validated by means of a case study and interviews with workflow experts.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
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