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BPMN Research:
What we Know and What we Don’t
                        Know
                     Professor Dr Jan Recker
                      Information Systems School
                    Science and Engineering Faculty
                 Queensland University of Technology
                 Q                   y            gy
                                 Brisbane, Australia
Main Messages
 BPMN scholarship has matured, which is why we need to
 identify truly novel research problems.

 Research should shift from explaining Knowns to exploring
 Unknowns.

 We need to be Boundary Spanners to bridge the different
 BPMN communities.

 Community Understanding, Leverage and Engagement are
 some of the pathways that can aid the further development of
 this research field.

                                                                2
Agenda
 Looking backward: Reviewing BPMN Research
 Looking forward: Exploring U
       g            p     g Unknown U
                                    Unknowns
 Looking inwards: Researching the “Right Things”
 Q&A




                                                   3
Agenda
 Looking backward: Reviewing BPMN Research
 Looking forward: Exploring U
       g            p     g Unknown U
                                    Unknowns
 Looking inwards: Researching the “Right Things”
 Q&A




                                                   4
BPMN Research Publications
(1000+)
                                                 Peak                      Maturity or
                      2000                      of hype                              180
                                                                           Retirement?
                      1800




                                                                                             mber of publications
                                                                                    160
                 ns




                      1600
 umber of citation




                                                                                    140
                      1400                                                          120
                      1200
                                                                                    100
                      1000




                                                                                                     p
        f




                                                                                    80
                       800      Early
                       600     movers                                               60
                                                                                    40




                                                                                           Num
Nu




                       400
                       200                                                          20
                         0                                                          0
                             2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
                                        Citations     Number of publications

                                                                                                                    5
Popular themes in BPMN research
                                           How                      Can
                                                                    C
Formal

                  How                     do we                     we
                 does it                  extend                   scale
                 work?          How         it?                      it?
F




                               do we e




                                                                            Lin of Maturity
                                make
                                  it
    rical




                               better?                Can
                                            How                    Can
                                                      we
                                           should                   we
Empir




                                                                              ne M
                                                     under-
                                            it be                 lever-
                                                     stand
                                           used?                  age it?
                               How is                  it?
                                 it
                               used?
  alytical




                 How
                 good                                               …
Ana




                 is it?




             The early years     We’re up and running! Current efforts
                                                                                              6
               2005-2007                 2008-2010            2011-...
Which papers have impact?
                   400                                                                                                            120%


                   350
                                               332                                                                                100%




                                                                                                                                                                        rs
                                                                                                                                                           ution of Paper
                   300

                                                                                                                                  80%
                           Zone of                                                                              Zone of
Number of Papers




                   250

                                                             Zone of indifference




                                                                                                                                            ulative Distribu
                   200
                         ignorance                                                                              impact            60%
                                                               181
                                                                    (41%)
                   150
                            (57%)                                                                                (2%)             40%




                                                                                                                                         Cumu
                   100       105
                                                                             77
                                                                                                                                  20%
                    50                                                                      43
                                                                                                              15              8
                     0                                                                                                            0%
                         0               1-3            4-10            11-19           20-49           50-99            100+

                                   Cumulative Distribution           Number of Papers            Regular power distribution



                                                                                                                                                                             7
Which papers have impact?
      Authors                                  Title                            Year Citations
P Wohed, W Van der    On the suitability of BPMN for business process
Aalst, M Dumas…       modelling                                                  2006      181
RM Dijkman, M         Semantics and analysis of business process models in
Dumas, C Ouyang       BPMN                                                       2008      171
                      An evaluation of conceptual business process modelling
B List, B Korherr     languages                                                  2006      141
C Ouyang, M Dumas,
AHM Ter Hofstede…     From BPMN process models to BPEL web services              2006      127
M zur Muehlen,        How much language is enough? Theoretical and
J Recker              practical use of the business process modeling notation    2008      121
C Ouyang, WMP Van
Der Aalst, M Dumas…
    Aalst    Dumas    Translating BPMN to BPEL                                   2006      109

A Ghose, G Koliadis   Auditing business process compliance                       2007      107
                      On the translation between BPMN and BPEL:
                      Conceptual mismatch between p
                             p                      process modelingg
J Recker, J Mendling languages                                                   2006      106
A Awad, G Decker, M Efficient compliance checking using BPMN-Q and
Weske                 temporal logic                                             2008       96
J Recker, M Indulska, How good is BPMN really? Insights from t eo y a d
   ec e ,     du s a,   o        s         ea y   s g ts o theory and
M Rosemann, P Green practice                                                     2006       92
                                                                                                 8
Work that defined the BPMN
research community y
 Analysis of BPMN’s modeling capabilities


 Formalization of BPMN Semantics


 BPMN use in practice                       All well-researched and
                                            well-solved by now

 BPMN-to-BPEL


 BPMN and Compliance



                                                                      9
Some tentative conclusions
 Several key problems are “solved” (at least academically)
                           solved
   Capabilities in-theory and in-use
   Translation
   Semantics
 Increased maturity of the field increases demand for new research
 to avoid retirement as a research topic
   Novel contributions
   Advanced methodological and th
   Ad     d   th d l i l d theoretical rigor
                                  ti l i
   Blue ocean problems and topics?
 BPMN is becoming a commodity – not only as a standard but also
 in research
   Is there time to do something new? And if so, how do we get there?
                                                                        10
Agenda
 Looking backward: Reviewing BPMN Research
 Looking forward: Exploring Unknown Unknowns
       g            p     gU        U
 Looking inwards: Researching the “Right Things”
 Q&A




                                                   11
There Are Unknown U k
Th    A U k       Unknowns




       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v jtkUO8NpI84
       http://www youtube com/watch?v=jtkUO8NpI84
                                                    12
Implications for BPMN research
I  li ti     f               h


      Unknown                     Unknown




                         ion to
                 S ting fromm
                             t
      Knowns                      Unknowns




                  exp ation
        Moving beyond the


                     anati
                    plora
      research comfort zone

                expla
      K
      Known      Shift             K
                                   Known
      Knowns    e                 Unknowns


                                             13
BPMN Research Examples
- Known Knowns
 BPMN is used selectively in organizations, and not to its full extent.


 BPMN can be mapped to executable semantics.


 There are advantages and disadvantages of BPMN in comparison to
 other modeling approaches.


 BPMN is implemented in different ways by process engines.


 Model t t
 M d l structure, complexity, size, colour etc i fl
                       l it    i      l     t influence h
                                                        how well
                                                              ll
 participants understand a BPMN model.


                                                                          14
BPMN Research Examples
- Unknown Knowns

 Organizations use BPMN differently for different projects (redesign,
 implementation, compliance)
 implementation compliance).


 The individual and organizational benefits that flow from BPMN use.
                      g


 Defining and implementing workflow systems starting with BPMN models.


 The BPMN usage differences between experts and novices.




                                                                         15
BPMN Research Examples
- Known Unknowns
 The level of errors in BPMN modeling is still high. How do we change that
 and what is the true impact?


 What is the best way to apply BPMN for process modeling?


 The use of BPMN in cultures with different aptitudes for forms, shapes
 and symbolic expressions.


 The process of BPMN development.


 The impact of new technologies for BPMN modeling.


                                                                             16
BPMN Research Examples
- Unknown Unknowns

 How do we use BPMN for different, future emerging purposes?


 What extensions to the standard will be required in the future?


 Will BPMN have a place in post-process paradigms?


 How will the BPMN community and its impact evolve?


 The influence of post-GFC, post-Greece on XXX…



                                                                   17
How do we shift our thinking?
 Analysis and selective expansion of three key research resources
 Choice of method:
    Diversify: expand portfolio of research approaches
    Consolidate: analyse the analyses
    Integrate: connect empirical findings to design, design as theory, theory as design
 Choice of theory:
    Create: Build theories germane to the BPMN context
    Expand: extend reference theories through new constructs, relationships or boundary
    conditions
    Critique: assist paradigm shifts through conclusive falsification
 Choice of expertise:
             p
    Select: identify and differentiate different bases of BPMN expertise
    Enable: include and integrate community members
    Transfer: allow expertise and knowledge to permeate boundaries of organizations or
    communities                                                                           18
Agenda
 Looking backward: Reviewing BPMN Research
 Looking forward: Exploring U
       g            p     g Unknown U
                                    Unknowns
 Looking inwards: Researching the “Right
 Things
 Things”
 Q&A




                                               19
What is the “right thing” to
               g       g
research?
 “A central mission of scholars is to conduct research that both advances
 a scientific discipline and enlightens practice in a professional domain.”
                                                        Herbert Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial

    Often argued to be a knowledge transfer problem:
        Academic journals not read and not understood
        Practitioner magazines too lightweight and ‘fluffy’, lacking credibility


 My view is that the knowledge transfer lens is misleading; and a boundary
 spanning perspective potentially more fruitful.


 Thus, our research community h an obligation t occupy a b
 Th               h       it has    bli ti to            boundary spanning
                                                             d         i
 role.
What does boundary spanning
                 y p      g
mean?
 Boundary spanners are roles in and across communities that perform a
 variety of important roles such as
    Sharer of expertise
    Representor instead of Gatekeeper
    Advice and trust broker
    Scout, ambassador, sentry and guardian


 Illustration by contrast:
    Academics continuously engage in practices that produce knowledge and new
    practices of relevance and interest to academia
        Develops a knowledge-based advantage (the raison d’etre for academics)
        These traditional practices also continuously reproduce and strengthen the
        boundaries to other fields
    Boundary spanning emerges through the identification of a new join t field
Towards Boundary Spanning
- Three Pathways with Examples

1. Understand the communities
    Develop an understanding of the topics and phenomena of
    interest and importance to different stakeholder groups


2. Leverage knowledge from the communities
    Utilize research and insights from other communities in own
    research


3.
3 Engage the communities in collaborative work
    Include communities in participatory research

                                                                  23
Understand the communities
- Delphi study on current Issues (2008)
   Academics                      IT/BPM Vendors                           BPM Practitioners
  Standardisation                   Standardisation                                 Training
   Model-driven                Model-driven process                           Standardisation
 process execution                  execution
  Modelling views
          g                      Process discovery
                                                 y                               Value of
                                                                            process modelling
     Flexibility                       Value of                                  Governance
                                  process modelling
   Compliance                   Model management                        Modelling level of detail
   Methodology               Modelling level of detail                     Model management


                   Indulska, M., Recker, J., Rosemann, M., Green, P. (2009): Business Process Modeling:
                   Current Issues and Future Challenges. In P. van Eck, J. Gordijn, and R. Wieringa (eds.):
                                                    g                           j                g (     )
                   Advanced Information Systems Engineering – CAiSE 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer
                   Science, Volume 5565. Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 501-514.                   24
Understand the communities
- Delphi study on future Challenges (by 2013)
    Academics                           Vendors                                Practitioners
    Model-driven                   Standardisation                              Value of
  process execution                                                        process modelling
    Methodology                       Value of                                     Training
                                 process modelling
    Compliance                     Model-driven                                      Buy-in
                                 process execution
 Service integration                     Training                               Governance
  Model integration            Model management                                    Adoption
   Standardisation              Service orientation                    Business-IT-Alignment


                  Indulska, M., Recker, J., Rosemann, M., Green, P. (2009): Business Process Modeling:
                  Current Issues and Future Challenges. In P. van Eck, J. Gordijn, and R. Wieringa (eds.):
                                                   g                           j                g (     )
                  Advanced Information Systems Engineering – CAiSE 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer
                  Science, Volume 5565. Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 501-514.                   25
Current boundary spanning is
limited at best

        Issues                                                   Challenges
    20 (2)               45 (4)                                 16 (1)                       62 (5)
P              A                           V          P                           A                           V


             37 (4)                                                           41 (3)



                   Indulska, M., Recker, J., Rosemann, M., Green, P. (2009): Business Process Modeling:
                   Current Issues and Future Challenges. In P. van Eck, J. Gordijn, and R. Wieringa (eds.):
                                                    g                           j                g (     )
                   Advanced Information Systems Engineering – CAiSE 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer
                   Science, Volume 5565. Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 501-514.                   26
Leverage communities
 Build research collaborations that include representatives from different
 communities
 Example: Apromore Initiative (www.apromore.org)
     p     p                  (     p         g)
    Combines researchers from 7 universities,
    from computer science, information systems,
    management science, and software engineering
         g                               g      g
    Sponsored by fed. government AND industry
    QUT Team:
        4 academic f
             d i faculty
                     lt
        1 Post-doc
        2 PhD students
        2 solution architects             In-kind
        2 senior developers          provision by
        1 business analyst
                       y        industry partner
        Various research assistants and graduate students                    27
an open‐source highly scalable SaaS platform to
                                       open source,
                                    manage large (BPMN) process model collections
Apromore

                                    variants management / organization




                                                    merging

                                                     80%
                    re-use                         similarity                      refactoring
                                                    search



             01000101
                                                 Process model
             10100101            mining                               querying
                                                   repository




    La Rosa, M., Reijers, H.A., van der Aalst, W.M.P., Dijkman, R.M., Mendling, J., Dumas, M., and Garcia-Banuelos, L.
                                                                                                                       28
 "APROMORE: An Advanced Process Model Repository," Expert Systems with Applications (38:6) 2011, pp 7029-7040.
Case St d S
 C    Study: Suncorp I
                     Insurance

Product
                 Sales   Service     Claims             500
  Dev
                                                          p
                                                       steps



    Home
    Motor                                              30
    Commercial
                                                   variations
    Liability
    CTP / WC




   • Estimated total number of process steps: 15,000
                               p          p     ,
   • Total number of models: 3,000+
Engage communities
 Include different communities directly in the
 research process
           p
 at one or several stages of the research
 lifecycle

 Examples
   Integrate: Research on use AND development of
   the BPMN standard
   Communicate: Research on the use of BPMN in
   practice
Engage Communities
            g g
        - through integration




                  Traditional                                                                                                 Extended
                   research                                                                                                   research
                    model                                                                                                      model




Recker, J., Indulska, M., Green, P. (2007): Extending Representational Analysis: BPMN User and Developer Perspectives. In G. Alonso, P.
Dadam and M. Rosemann (eds.): Business Process Management – BPM 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4714. Springer,
Brisbane, Australia, pp. 384-399.
Interviewing the BPMN team

                                                                  Proforma




                                                                                                         Popkin /
                                                                                                         Telelogic

                          IBM



                                                                          Mega




                                                                 Global 360
Recker, J., Indulska, M., Green, P. (2007): Extending Representational Analysis: BPMN User and Developer Perspectives. In G. Alonso, P.
Dadam and M. Rosemann (eds.): Business Process Management – BPM 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4714. Springer,
Brisbane, Australia, pp. 384-399.
Research & Findings




                                                                                                                                 33
Recker, J., Indulska, M., Green, P. (2007): Extending Representational Analysis: BPMN User and Developer Perspectives. In G. Alonso, P.
Dadam and M. Rosemann (eds.): Business Process Management – BPM 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4714. Springer,
Brisbane, Australia, pp. 384-399.
Example Feedback
              Problems in capturing Business Rules
                                    Developer feedback:

                                                              Voiced strong support that in the future there will be a better
                                                                                                   Transfer
                                                                                                   conducted
                                                              integration between process modelling and business rule
                                                              specification.
                                                                            Conduct transfer
                                                              […]Transfercurrently within the OMG, there’s quite a lot of work on
                                                                    and                                     Business Rule Editor (excerpt)
              Customer logged on to                                possible                                 Business Rule 1
              InternetBanking                                 business rules being done. […] the idea is that certainly, rules will
                                                              be kind of built better or at least more, made transferAmount BPMN at
                                                                                                            If
                                                                                                               to fit into < threshold(country)
                                                                                                            Then accept Else reject
                     Customer                                 least in terms of the underlying models, the meta models. Exactly
                     specifies            Check feasibility   where we fit it in on the notational side, that’s something they need
                      transfer                                                                              Business Rule Library (excerpt)
                                                              to work on in the future, so, we’re open to this and it seemed a Threshold
                                                                                                            Country         Currency little
                                                                                                            Germany         EUR (€) 12,000
                                                              beyond our scope at the time we were doing U.S.A. includeUSD ($) 15,000
                                                                            Business Rule 1                  it to            too much on
                                 transferAmount               business rule side of things.                 United Kingdom GBP (£) 10,000
                                                                 Transfer
                                                               impossible      Display
                                                                                error
                                                                               message


                                                                                                       Error message
                                                                                                       displayed




Recker, J., Indulska, M., Green, P. (2007): Extending Representational Analysis: BPMN User and Developer Perspectives. In G. Alonso, P.
Dadam and M. Rosemann (eds.): Business Process Management – BPM 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4714. Springer,
Brisbane, Australia, pp. 384-399.
Engage Communities
    g g
- through result debates
 Re-frame research in different articulations, reports and formats and
 invite discussions, critiques and involvement from “the others”.


    Easily and conveniently achievable: Twitter, Blogs, community magazines


    Frame for discussion, not for education!


    Impact effects cannot be neglected:
       Community interest   paper downloads    problem definition   academic
       interest citations


    Example: “How much language is enough?”
BPMN use is not as extensive as
        we thought it is




zur Muehlen, M., and Recker, J. "How Much Language is Enough? Theoretical and Practical Use of the Business Process Modeling Notation,"
in: Advanced Information Systems Engineering - CAiSE 2008, M. Léonard and Z. Bellahsène (eds.), Springer, Montpellier, France, 2008, pp.
465-479.
Users are making deliberate
                       g
        trade-offs



              Number of
              models that
              shared the
                framed
              constructs




zur Muehlen, M., and Recker, J. "How Much Language is Enough? Theoretical and Practical Use of the Business Process Modeling Notation,"
in: Advanced Information Systems Engineering - CAiSE 2008, M. Léonard and Z. Bellahsène (eds.), Springer, Montpellier, France, 2008, pp.
465-479.
Engage Communities
    g g
- through results
Recap: Main Messages
 We need to identify truly novel research questions to maintain
 BPMN research momentum and avoid being a fashion wave.

 Increased maturity also means stronger demands for
 research rigor and methodological quality.

 We can achieve this by shifting our research focus from
 explanation to exploration. This will require a shift in theory,
 method and expertise utilization.

 We will maintain relevance and impact by more strongly
 assuming a role of boundary spanners.

                                                                    40
Prof. Jan Recker, PhD
Woolworths Chair of Retail
Innovation
Information Systems School
Science and Engineering Faculty
Queensland U i
Q      l d University of T h l
                  it f Technology

e j.recker@qut.edu.au
w www janrecker com
   www.janrecker.com
t janrecker

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BPMN2012 Keynote Slides by Jan Recker

  • 1. BPMN Research: What we Know and What we Don’t Know Professor Dr Jan Recker Information Systems School Science and Engineering Faculty Queensland University of Technology Q y gy Brisbane, Australia
  • 2. Main Messages BPMN scholarship has matured, which is why we need to identify truly novel research problems. Research should shift from explaining Knowns to exploring Unknowns. We need to be Boundary Spanners to bridge the different BPMN communities. Community Understanding, Leverage and Engagement are some of the pathways that can aid the further development of this research field. 2
  • 3. Agenda Looking backward: Reviewing BPMN Research Looking forward: Exploring U g p g Unknown U Unknowns Looking inwards: Researching the “Right Things” Q&A 3
  • 4. Agenda Looking backward: Reviewing BPMN Research Looking forward: Exploring U g p g Unknown U Unknowns Looking inwards: Researching the “Right Things” Q&A 4
  • 5. BPMN Research Publications (1000+) Peak Maturity or 2000 of hype 180 Retirement? 1800 mber of publications 160 ns 1600 umber of citation 140 1400 120 1200 100 1000 p f 80 800 Early 600 movers 60 40 Num Nu 400 200 20 0 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Citations Number of publications 5
  • 6. Popular themes in BPMN research How Can C Formal How do we we does it extend scale work? How it? it? F do we e Lin of Maturity make it rical better? Can How Can we should we Empir ne M under- it be lever- stand used? age it? How is it? it used? alytical How good … Ana is it? The early years We’re up and running! Current efforts 6 2005-2007 2008-2010 2011-...
  • 7. Which papers have impact? 400 120% 350 332 100% rs ution of Paper 300 80% Zone of Zone of Number of Papers 250 Zone of indifference ulative Distribu 200 ignorance impact 60% 181 (41%) 150 (57%) (2%) 40% Cumu 100 105 77 20% 50 43 15 8 0 0% 0 1-3 4-10 11-19 20-49 50-99 100+ Cumulative Distribution Number of Papers Regular power distribution 7
  • 8. Which papers have impact? Authors Title Year Citations P Wohed, W Van der On the suitability of BPMN for business process Aalst, M Dumas… modelling 2006 181 RM Dijkman, M Semantics and analysis of business process models in Dumas, C Ouyang BPMN 2008 171 An evaluation of conceptual business process modelling B List, B Korherr languages 2006 141 C Ouyang, M Dumas, AHM Ter Hofstede… From BPMN process models to BPEL web services 2006 127 M zur Muehlen, How much language is enough? Theoretical and J Recker practical use of the business process modeling notation 2008 121 C Ouyang, WMP Van Der Aalst, M Dumas… Aalst Dumas Translating BPMN to BPEL 2006 109 A Ghose, G Koliadis Auditing business process compliance 2007 107 On the translation between BPMN and BPEL: Conceptual mismatch between p p process modelingg J Recker, J Mendling languages 2006 106 A Awad, G Decker, M Efficient compliance checking using BPMN-Q and Weske temporal logic 2008 96 J Recker, M Indulska, How good is BPMN really? Insights from t eo y a d ec e , du s a, o s ea y s g ts o theory and M Rosemann, P Green practice 2006 92 8
  • 9. Work that defined the BPMN research community y Analysis of BPMN’s modeling capabilities Formalization of BPMN Semantics BPMN use in practice All well-researched and well-solved by now BPMN-to-BPEL BPMN and Compliance 9
  • 10. Some tentative conclusions Several key problems are “solved” (at least academically) solved Capabilities in-theory and in-use Translation Semantics Increased maturity of the field increases demand for new research to avoid retirement as a research topic Novel contributions Advanced methodological and th Ad d th d l i l d theoretical rigor ti l i Blue ocean problems and topics? BPMN is becoming a commodity – not only as a standard but also in research Is there time to do something new? And if so, how do we get there? 10
  • 11. Agenda Looking backward: Reviewing BPMN Research Looking forward: Exploring Unknown Unknowns g p gU U Looking inwards: Researching the “Right Things” Q&A 11
  • 12. There Are Unknown U k Th A U k Unknowns http://www.youtube.com/watch?v jtkUO8NpI84 http://www youtube com/watch?v=jtkUO8NpI84 12
  • 13. Implications for BPMN research I li ti f h Unknown Unknown ion to S ting fromm t Knowns Unknowns exp ation Moving beyond the anati plora research comfort zone expla K Known Shift K Known Knowns e Unknowns 13
  • 14. BPMN Research Examples - Known Knowns BPMN is used selectively in organizations, and not to its full extent. BPMN can be mapped to executable semantics. There are advantages and disadvantages of BPMN in comparison to other modeling approaches. BPMN is implemented in different ways by process engines. Model t t M d l structure, complexity, size, colour etc i fl l it i l t influence h how well ll participants understand a BPMN model. 14
  • 15. BPMN Research Examples - Unknown Knowns Organizations use BPMN differently for different projects (redesign, implementation, compliance) implementation compliance). The individual and organizational benefits that flow from BPMN use. g Defining and implementing workflow systems starting with BPMN models. The BPMN usage differences between experts and novices. 15
  • 16. BPMN Research Examples - Known Unknowns The level of errors in BPMN modeling is still high. How do we change that and what is the true impact? What is the best way to apply BPMN for process modeling? The use of BPMN in cultures with different aptitudes for forms, shapes and symbolic expressions. The process of BPMN development. The impact of new technologies for BPMN modeling. 16
  • 17. BPMN Research Examples - Unknown Unknowns How do we use BPMN for different, future emerging purposes? What extensions to the standard will be required in the future? Will BPMN have a place in post-process paradigms? How will the BPMN community and its impact evolve? The influence of post-GFC, post-Greece on XXX… 17
  • 18. How do we shift our thinking? Analysis and selective expansion of three key research resources Choice of method: Diversify: expand portfolio of research approaches Consolidate: analyse the analyses Integrate: connect empirical findings to design, design as theory, theory as design Choice of theory: Create: Build theories germane to the BPMN context Expand: extend reference theories through new constructs, relationships or boundary conditions Critique: assist paradigm shifts through conclusive falsification Choice of expertise: p Select: identify and differentiate different bases of BPMN expertise Enable: include and integrate community members Transfer: allow expertise and knowledge to permeate boundaries of organizations or communities 18
  • 19. Agenda Looking backward: Reviewing BPMN Research Looking forward: Exploring U g p g Unknown U Unknowns Looking inwards: Researching the “Right Things Things” Q&A 19
  • 20. What is the “right thing” to g g research? “A central mission of scholars is to conduct research that both advances a scientific discipline and enlightens practice in a professional domain.” Herbert Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial Often argued to be a knowledge transfer problem: Academic journals not read and not understood Practitioner magazines too lightweight and ‘fluffy’, lacking credibility My view is that the knowledge transfer lens is misleading; and a boundary spanning perspective potentially more fruitful. Thus, our research community h an obligation t occupy a b Th h it has bli ti to boundary spanning d i role.
  • 21. What does boundary spanning y p g mean? Boundary spanners are roles in and across communities that perform a variety of important roles such as Sharer of expertise Representor instead of Gatekeeper Advice and trust broker Scout, ambassador, sentry and guardian Illustration by contrast: Academics continuously engage in practices that produce knowledge and new practices of relevance and interest to academia Develops a knowledge-based advantage (the raison d’etre for academics) These traditional practices also continuously reproduce and strengthen the boundaries to other fields Boundary spanning emerges through the identification of a new join t field
  • 22. Towards Boundary Spanning - Three Pathways with Examples 1. Understand the communities Develop an understanding of the topics and phenomena of interest and importance to different stakeholder groups 2. Leverage knowledge from the communities Utilize research and insights from other communities in own research 3. 3 Engage the communities in collaborative work Include communities in participatory research 23
  • 23. Understand the communities - Delphi study on current Issues (2008) Academics IT/BPM Vendors BPM Practitioners Standardisation Standardisation Training Model-driven Model-driven process Standardisation process execution execution Modelling views g Process discovery y Value of process modelling Flexibility Value of Governance process modelling Compliance Model management Modelling level of detail Methodology Modelling level of detail Model management Indulska, M., Recker, J., Rosemann, M., Green, P. (2009): Business Process Modeling: Current Issues and Future Challenges. In P. van Eck, J. Gordijn, and R. Wieringa (eds.): g j g ( ) Advanced Information Systems Engineering – CAiSE 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 5565. Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 501-514. 24
  • 24. Understand the communities - Delphi study on future Challenges (by 2013) Academics Vendors Practitioners Model-driven Standardisation Value of process execution process modelling Methodology Value of Training process modelling Compliance Model-driven Buy-in process execution Service integration Training Governance Model integration Model management Adoption Standardisation Service orientation Business-IT-Alignment Indulska, M., Recker, J., Rosemann, M., Green, P. (2009): Business Process Modeling: Current Issues and Future Challenges. In P. van Eck, J. Gordijn, and R. Wieringa (eds.): g j g ( ) Advanced Information Systems Engineering – CAiSE 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 5565. Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 501-514. 25
  • 25. Current boundary spanning is limited at best Issues Challenges 20 (2) 45 (4) 16 (1) 62 (5) P A V P A V 37 (4) 41 (3) Indulska, M., Recker, J., Rosemann, M., Green, P. (2009): Business Process Modeling: Current Issues and Future Challenges. In P. van Eck, J. Gordijn, and R. Wieringa (eds.): g j g ( ) Advanced Information Systems Engineering – CAiSE 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 5565. Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 501-514. 26
  • 26. Leverage communities Build research collaborations that include representatives from different communities Example: Apromore Initiative (www.apromore.org) p p ( p g) Combines researchers from 7 universities, from computer science, information systems, management science, and software engineering g g g Sponsored by fed. government AND industry QUT Team: 4 academic f d i faculty lt 1 Post-doc 2 PhD students 2 solution architects In-kind 2 senior developers provision by 1 business analyst y industry partner Various research assistants and graduate students 27
  • 27. an open‐source highly scalable SaaS platform to open source, manage large (BPMN) process model collections Apromore variants management / organization merging 80% re-use similarity refactoring search 01000101 Process model 10100101 mining querying repository La Rosa, M., Reijers, H.A., van der Aalst, W.M.P., Dijkman, R.M., Mendling, J., Dumas, M., and Garcia-Banuelos, L. 28 "APROMORE: An Advanced Process Model Repository," Expert Systems with Applications (38:6) 2011, pp 7029-7040.
  • 28. Case St d S C Study: Suncorp I Insurance Product Sales Service Claims 500 Dev p steps Home Motor 30 Commercial variations Liability CTP / WC • Estimated total number of process steps: 15,000 p p , • Total number of models: 3,000+
  • 29. Engage communities Include different communities directly in the research process p at one or several stages of the research lifecycle Examples Integrate: Research on use AND development of the BPMN standard Communicate: Research on the use of BPMN in practice
  • 30. Engage Communities g g - through integration Traditional Extended research research model model Recker, J., Indulska, M., Green, P. (2007): Extending Representational Analysis: BPMN User and Developer Perspectives. In G. Alonso, P. Dadam and M. Rosemann (eds.): Business Process Management – BPM 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4714. Springer, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 384-399.
  • 31. Interviewing the BPMN team Proforma Popkin / Telelogic IBM Mega Global 360 Recker, J., Indulska, M., Green, P. (2007): Extending Representational Analysis: BPMN User and Developer Perspectives. In G. Alonso, P. Dadam and M. Rosemann (eds.): Business Process Management – BPM 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4714. Springer, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 384-399.
  • 32. Research & Findings 33 Recker, J., Indulska, M., Green, P. (2007): Extending Representational Analysis: BPMN User and Developer Perspectives. In G. Alonso, P. Dadam and M. Rosemann (eds.): Business Process Management – BPM 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4714. Springer, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 384-399.
  • 33. Example Feedback Problems in capturing Business Rules Developer feedback: Voiced strong support that in the future there will be a better Transfer conducted integration between process modelling and business rule specification. Conduct transfer […]Transfercurrently within the OMG, there’s quite a lot of work on and Business Rule Editor (excerpt) Customer logged on to possible Business Rule 1 InternetBanking business rules being done. […] the idea is that certainly, rules will be kind of built better or at least more, made transferAmount BPMN at If to fit into < threshold(country) Then accept Else reject Customer least in terms of the underlying models, the meta models. Exactly specifies Check feasibility where we fit it in on the notational side, that’s something they need transfer Business Rule Library (excerpt) to work on in the future, so, we’re open to this and it seemed a Threshold Country Currency little Germany EUR (€) 12,000 beyond our scope at the time we were doing U.S.A. includeUSD ($) 15,000 Business Rule 1 it to too much on transferAmount business rule side of things. United Kingdom GBP (£) 10,000 Transfer impossible Display error message Error message displayed Recker, J., Indulska, M., Green, P. (2007): Extending Representational Analysis: BPMN User and Developer Perspectives. In G. Alonso, P. Dadam and M. Rosemann (eds.): Business Process Management – BPM 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4714. Springer, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 384-399.
  • 34. Engage Communities g g - through result debates Re-frame research in different articulations, reports and formats and invite discussions, critiques and involvement from “the others”. Easily and conveniently achievable: Twitter, Blogs, community magazines Frame for discussion, not for education! Impact effects cannot be neglected: Community interest paper downloads problem definition academic interest citations Example: “How much language is enough?”
  • 35. BPMN use is not as extensive as we thought it is zur Muehlen, M., and Recker, J. "How Much Language is Enough? Theoretical and Practical Use of the Business Process Modeling Notation," in: Advanced Information Systems Engineering - CAiSE 2008, M. Léonard and Z. Bellahsène (eds.), Springer, Montpellier, France, 2008, pp. 465-479.
  • 36. Users are making deliberate g trade-offs Number of models that shared the framed constructs zur Muehlen, M., and Recker, J. "How Much Language is Enough? Theoretical and Practical Use of the Business Process Modeling Notation," in: Advanced Information Systems Engineering - CAiSE 2008, M. Léonard and Z. Bellahsène (eds.), Springer, Montpellier, France, 2008, pp. 465-479.
  • 37. Engage Communities g g - through results
  • 38. Recap: Main Messages We need to identify truly novel research questions to maintain BPMN research momentum and avoid being a fashion wave. Increased maturity also means stronger demands for research rigor and methodological quality. We can achieve this by shifting our research focus from explanation to exploration. This will require a shift in theory, method and expertise utilization. We will maintain relevance and impact by more strongly assuming a role of boundary spanners. 40
  • 39. Prof. Jan Recker, PhD Woolworths Chair of Retail Innovation Information Systems School Science and Engineering Faculty Queensland U i Q l d University of T h l it f Technology e j.recker@qut.edu.au w www janrecker com www.janrecker.com t janrecker