The field of Business Process Management (BPM) is now an established one, as reflected in a growing research community, a large volume of research publications, and specialised conferences. In spite of that, BPM techniques developed in a research context can falter when confronted with real-world enterprise situations. Large organisations can have hundreds or even thousands of business processes in place, and often those processes are poorly documented and the relationships between them poorly understood. Business processes might be duplicated partially or wholly, with little or no reuse of process fragments. The problem of complexity becomes even greater when one considers the impact of ubiquitous computing in a globalised world: the number of business processes as well as their complexity grows over time, and processes increasingly cross organisational boundaries.
The technique of process mining (in which business processes are inferred or refined from production event logs) and the use of searchable business process model repositories can help to manage complexity, reduce duplication, and promote best practice in real- world business process design and maintenance. At UCC, in collaboration with QUMAS and Accenture, we have developed the Process Data Analytics (PDA) tool, which improves on those approaches and which delivers new functionality in an accessible manner to the non-technical user.
The PDA system architecture
The PDA system is available to any organisation which is prepared to standardise on the Business Process Model Notation (BPMN) for the representation of its business process models. By adopting this technology, organisations will have at their disposal software which can assist the user by carrying out the following operations:
- monitor the partially developed process model as it evolves;
- compare the evolving process model definition with existing definitions in the process model repository, looking for commonly recurring text terms and process patterns; and
- when appropriate, prompt the user to accept the existing process model or a fragment thereof into the new process model.
The application also allows the user to populate the process model repository.
The PDA application in action
Team Company Partners
- Barry O’Sullivan,
- Ken Brown,
- Derek Bridge,
- Liam O’Toole,
- Paul Davern (UCC)
- Nick Grattan,
- Tom Crispie (QUMAS)
- Kieran Towey (Accenture)