Semantic Technologies in Business Process Management
Semantic Technologies inBusiness Process Management Gábor, András* – Szabó, Zoltán** *Corvinno Technology Transfer Center Ltd, **Corvinus University of Budapest5th International Conference on Integrated Systems: Design and Technologies 12-15 May 2012, Mallorca, Spain
Introduction• Organisations today try to survive in turbulent economic environment. – Complexity, process orientation and process thinking – Increasing competition, globalisation, deregulation and – operational challenges: shorter product life-cycles, personalised customer needs – Reengineering was one of the first options to answer these challenges.• Reengineering vs.Business Process Management (BPM) – knowledge-intensive activities. – Knowledge can be barrier in the implementation and long-term sustainability of process management. – Knowledge management is a major facilitator of BPM initiatives.• BPM provides several benefits – strategy-driven, transparent, traceable, flexible and responsive organization – Improving the alignment between the business and IT. – BPM focal points: cost, quality and time – the magic triangle of BPR.• Semantic technologies – overall success and coverage of the Internet, – demand for added value IT services. – e-Commerce, e-government also brought closer the users’ community with the technology – while technology is always smart, the usability depends on the positioning of the business process, task allocation, responsibilities – advanced technology and advanced business process modelling go hand-in-hand.• What the connections are between process modelling and semantic technologies?
Reengineering and Knowledge• BPR critical analysis and radical redesign of existing business processes to achieve breakthrough improvements in performance measures.• BPR know-how development : redesign must penetrate the company’s core organisational elements: – roles and responsibilities, measurements and incentives, organisational structure, information technology, shared values and skills – change management is critical part of BPR.• Process management is key success factor – Speed – exhaustive description of the processes, and the definition of the underlying and interrelating connections.• BPM Life cycle – Business process strategy – Process documentation – Process analysis and design – Implementation and change management – Process operation – Process controlling/monitoring• Recursive relationship between IT and BPM• BPM technologies : business process description/modelling and automation, – workflow, groupware, BAM applications. – wide range of technologies focusing on the knowledge aspect – process mining, business rule mining, enterprise content management, semantic technologies.
Process Business controlling/ process monitoring strategy Process Semantic Processoperation technologies documentation in BPM Implementatio Process n and change analysis and management design
Knowledge Management Challenges in BPM• BPM : activities, input-output, organizational context, decision points, competencies, and infrastructural requirements• Necessary but not sufficient : harmonization of competencies, responsibilities, information flow and organization,• Optimization of process-structure along the conditions, – the specification of up-to-date and innovative info-communication technologies – savings will be realized on the expenditure side, and other non-pecunier objectives will be achieved• Management of information and knowledge move toward the efficient management of changes in the information and knowledge.• Existing approaches are inadequate for processes – highly dynamic and volatile processes, – steps cannot be planned in advance, and – unanticipated “knowledge needs” frequently arise. – fast adaptation of individuals and organization is a must• BPM knowledge management challenges – Knowledge discovery and codification – Knowledge transfer – Knowledge sharing – Knowledge utilization – Knowledge renewal• Semantic technologies as facilitators of transforming process models to executable applications.
Knowledge renewal Knowledge discovery & codification Process Business controlling/ process monitoring strategyKnowledge Process Semantic Processutilization operation technologies documentation in BPM Implementatio Process n and change analysis and management design Knowledge transfer Knowledge sharing
Business Process Modelling• BPM has four basic pillars: – modelling activities – Modelling information flow – Organisational view – BPM output and outcome.• Most frequent utilisation of BPM is the regulation – optimization of processes, – radical simplification of the process connectivity, – simplification of decision, – reporting routes, cutting through the useless iterations. – information systems requirement specification• Outcomes of the BPM which are hardly investigated: – how to use BPM for intra- and inter-organisational knowledge transfer and – how to make use of matching the activity related and job role related competences. – Opens the road to knowledge management – looking for semantic solutions.
Semantic Business Process Management• BPR and BPM is traditional tools that transforms business requirements to system specification.• BPM: integration of Business and IT architecture, – systematically aligning organization structure, process and technology. – the conceptual model facilitates the exploration, documentation, and validation of requirements. – due to implicit semantics has limitations in the automation of further processing – BPM is challenged to transform the traditional solution into development lifecycle, meaning – description, automation, monitoring and improvement as a part of continuous innovation.• Business process design based software development. – The main challenge is the continuous and seamless translation between the business requirements view and the IT systems and resources. – Semantic Business Process Management (SBPM) is a new approach, that can increase the level of automation in the translation between these two domains. – The two levels can be represented using ontology languages and automated translation.
SBPM: the “missing link” is the ontology• Due to the organic development of business processes and IT solutions, there is a significant gap between them. Narrow the gap, if – technically executable processes, workflows were deducted from business process structures and a standardized repository of business – automatic generation of workflow systems - based on BPM defined ontologies. – The extended use of BPEL as modelling language, – the BPMN as modelling notion• The enterprise architecture, the enterprise architect understands importance of the application of the seamless modelling methodology.• The “missing link” is the ontology, – knowledge representation helps the architect to map business processes against the information processing technology. – The models are exported and annotated into ontology, and – the ontology already gives ample munitions to behave as input to the workflow modelling. – This is how the loop is closed.• There are big expectations, because the exisiting methods – are not sensitive enough to cope with every kind of business processes, – standardization, interoperability, or – ASP solutions may mean constraints.
Knowledge Transfer in BPM• The knowledge management and BPM not always meet.• Knowledge management has – human resource management view, – artificial intelligence view (how to solve a problem?) and – organisational, systems development (what is the problem solution?) view• Organisational view: – the proper management of the intellectual capital, – saving the intellectual asset of an organisation.• Process modelling cannot be complete without the exact definition of the activities related competencies - the knowledge management option is there. – The articulation of the organisational knowledge, and – the representation of the related knowledge – makes the knowledge transfer relatively easy, however – the maintenance of the articulated and represented knowledge still a delicate issue.
Competence Matching as Knowledge Transfer• Competences are distingushed according to the source an d purpose – Starting from the from the process view, the source is the activity and they are associated with the role, – From HRM point of view the source is the employee and they are associated with the position• From HRM point of view the difference: – recruitment/selections is done to fill an open position – one position might contain more roles• Matching is a must, because the differences shows how adequate are the job role definitions (right people on the right places doing the right,…). – The discrepancies are direct indications of in-house or other, formal, informal, non-formal training needs. – The job role requirements hardly can be understood or interpreted without the process context, and BPM provides this context.• Competence as a term is often used in the sense of a meta-concept. – the instance of the competence is the piece of concrete knowledge – a procedure, rule, etc. – the abstraction enables the users to compare two structures, e.g two ontologies – it is already a matter of properly chosen algorithm
Project Game as Proof of Evidence• During the last two decades several applications developed by our team in national and EU projects.• Project game: the projects are different and they depend on the ideas, underlying objectives of the funding agencies• Long term a strategy to build up the “big picture” piece by piece.• This “lego” type research strategy resulted the cases to be introduced next.
• Optimization • Semi-automated• Roles and responsibiities implementation:• Define structure for KBS BPMN/BPEL/SOA • Support training: • Competence-based HR development Implemen- Process tation & Modelling & Design Change Management Process Controll & Operations Monitoring• Evaluation and check of • HR development: competence consistency matching• Enable process adaptiveness • Tratining focused on roles & responsibilities:e-learning and adaptive testing • Flexible adaption of knowledge base
Next… BPM Knowledge extraction Knowledge transfer Text /Process mining Ontology Domain building Ontology Content Content Application repository development development
Next… BPM Knowledge extraction Knowledge transfer Text /Process RACI mining Ontology Ontology Domain Process implementation Ontology modell building Content Content Content Application delivery repository development development
Q&A Dr. Gábor András firstname.lastname@example.org Corvinno Technology Transfer CenterH-1093 Budapest, Közraktár utca 12/a. Tel/Fax: 06 1 210 80 62 http://www.corvinno.com
STUDIO• STUDIO is an e-learning platform.• The main idea is – to represent the basic concept hierarchy of a given domain in ontology and – build up around the learning content and an engine – which will test the user where are the knowledge gaps, – And based upon the result customizes the learning material.• The main benefits of this approach were twofold, – directly helps the learner to learn according to his/her learning style, pace, in an informal or non-formal learning style. – Indirectly, the system is domain specific, in the corporate environment the construction of the system is equal to knowledge articulation, knowledge elicitation, knowledge transfer.• The evaluation on the basis of the statistics give a very detailed and fine picture about the learners’ activitiy, the learning habits, the relevance of the learning material.
E-learning• A part of the reference process model addresses the student mobility questions – mainly aroused from the transition to the Bologna system.• Another project, also under the Structural and Cohesion Fund umbrella in the cooperation of 12 universities tried to find solution.• The problem what the consortium tried to solve how to homogenize the input competencies on master level if the students may come with any kind of bachelor degree.• As a test laboratory, the business informatics master was chosen. Assumed the biggest mobility, the incoming students should have very different knowledge level, while the minimum requirement on the input side was known.• The solution developed to handle the case was the discovery of knowledge gap individually and giving an individually customized learning material to the learner.• The iterative use of the system resulted a sufficient and homogenous knowledge level.
HEI Reference Process Modell• Under the Structural and Cohesion Fund umbrella a big, nationwide project were launched in 2004-2007.• The objective of the project was to create the reference process model of the HEI with the contribution of 13 universities (representing 42% of the total number of the students).• The reference model serves two purposes, one is the starting point for the individual institutions to develop their own localised and customized solution, second it is common platform of understanding between the institutions and the ministry to control the feasibility and effect of the planned measures.• The model contains over 400 processes in grouped into 14 main categories. It covers every aspects of university management from strategic planning to the detailed bookkeeping action, from student administration to facility management.• Apart from the professional experiences, the best and little bit surprising experience was the involvement of over 200 academics into process modelling who first understand how the world is working around them different than their strict academic interests. The common platform provided a solid base to the further developments –.• Later high level executive information systems, decision support systems were introduced using data warehouse technology, and several level and solution of business intelligence.• The concept of using reference process model fits to the most advanced enterprise architecture principles (e,g, TOGAF 9), and in 5 cases served directly as information systems requirement specification, Debrecen University used it for SAP implementation.
SAKE “Semantic enabled Agile Knowledge-based E-government”• SAKE project gave a unique opportunity to model output and outcome competencies in ontology, to embed it into an agile knowledge intensive groupware and decision support system.• One part of the research project was devoted to the competence matching• The test scenario we tried to follow was offering and looking for systems analysts.• A well designed and customized intelligent groupware system can manage very well if there is an output from the competence matching.• In combination with other techniques the time horizon gaps can be bridged over: the gap is between the demand is in the present, the output is in 3 or 5 years.• The SAKE system could provide good environment to integrate other forecasting methods with economic growth assumptions, forecast of investment climate, etc.
„Wall-to-wall” design with SOA• 3A layer architecture, the introduction of the SOA architecture opened a new horizon.• The business and IT looked for jointly the “wall-to-wall” design, – starting the design procedure from high level, what – the business line can understand (and they also deliver the business logic) – to the automatic code generation.• Several trials had been conducted with – Process modelling with ARIS and ADONIS to connect process model with ERP systems. – The trials through Webshpere was supported by IBM, – Microsoft and SAP products were tested from the connectivity point of view.• The results of these tests proved the strength of the connectivity, it verified and validated the priority of the BPM modelling.
Empowering Business Ecosystems of Small Service Enterprises to face the economic crisis• BPM challenge : continuous translation between the business requirements and the IT systems and resources. – SBPM : using ontology languages and employ automated translation. – Business processes perform within the dynamic organizational environments. – Conceptual modeling captures the semantics of an application through the use of a formal notation, but the descriptions are intended to be used by humans – The semantics contained in these models are especially implicit and cannot be processed.• With semantic schema the creation and the use of the conceptual models can be improved, the implicit semantics having been contained in the models can be – partly - articulated and used for further processing.• eBest solution starts from the high level process model and through an ontology interpretation and the workflow is automatically generated. – The real benefit of the solution is not the first application but it can be “cashed” after the first modification. – workflow management and business process management is very often mixed up. – The end result is a work flow system, but since it is generated from a business process model, no contradiction at all.
Ontology based competency matching• The comparison of output and outcome competences having earned in the education with the job role competences stayed longer in the focus of the research interests.• In the OntoHR project the problem was analysed and tried to be solved from Human Resource Management point of view.• Typical HR consulting firm: recruitment, selection and executive search• Pre-selection has been proved to be the proper scope.• Comparison between competence based job role requirements, and the individually have competencies became a crucial point.• The job seekers’ competencies defined by the knowledge gap discovery, the solution is now marketed under the brand name of STUDIO.• The comparison between the demand and supply is paired with the investigation of the mental ability of the job seekers. It gives more clues to conclude with the pre-selection.