Evaluation and development models for business processes
Most organisations are working hard to improve their performance and to achieve competitive advantage over their rivals. They may accomplish these ambitions through carrying out their business processes more effectively. Hence it is important to consider such processes and look for ways in which they can be improved. Any organisational business process encompasses several elements that interact and collaborate with each other to achieve the required objectives. These elements can be classified into hard aspects, which deal with tangible issues related to the software system or the technology in general, and soft aspects, which deal with issues related to the human part of the business process. If the business process needs to be analysed and redesigned to improve its performance, it is important to use a suitable approach or intervention that takes into account all of these elements. This thesis proposes an approach to investigate organisational business processes by considering both soft and hard aspects. The approach, Soft Workflow Modelling (SWfM), is developed as a result of reviewing several workflow products and models using a developed workflow perspectives framework which involves several perspectives covering the soft and hard aspects of the workflow system. The SWfM approach models the organisational business process as a workflow system by handling the various perspectives of the workflow perspectives framework. This approach combines the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) with the Unified Modelling Language (UML), as a standard modelling language of the object-oriented paradigm. The basic framework adopted is that of SSM with the inclusion of UML diagrams and techniques to deal with the aspects that SSM cannot handle. The approach also supports SSM by providing a developed tool to assist in constructing a conceptual model which is considered as the basis to model the workflow system. A case study is developed for illustrative purposes.