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Business Process Management Systems (BPMSs) seek to bring key benefits to organisations through the modelling of structured business processes from which well-defined executable process instances can be derived. However, the process definition frameworks employed by BPMSs often make it difficult to support dynamic evolution and adaptation (i.e. modifying process enactments during execution) following unexpected or developmental change, and to handle deviations from the process model at runtime, even though it has been shown that such ‘exceptions’ are a common occurrence during almost all process enactments.
This colloquium will begin with a brief re-examination of the principles that underpin business process technologies, including the difficulties faced when adapting processes. Then, a set of principles derived from Activity Theory will be presented, which form the basis of a novel approach that provides extensive support for dynamic and extensible flexibility, evolution and exception handling. An implementation in the YAWL open-source BPMS, together with the benefits offered by the approach, will be discussed and demonstrated.
Dr Michael Adams is a Senior Lecturer in the Science and Technology Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and has been a member of the Business Process Management Research Discipline there since 2000. For the last decade, Dr. Adams has been the chief researcher and architect of the open source workflow system YAWL, which is unique within the field for its near-complete coverage of the full range of workflow patterns. Michael’s research interests include Process Flexibility and Adaptation, and Activity Theory.