Business Process Quality Management

Lohrmann, Matthias (2015) Business Process Quality Management. PhD thesis, Ulm University.

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During the past 25 years, research in the field of business process management as well as the practical adoption of corresponding methods and tools have made substantial progress. In particular, this development was driven by the insight that well-managed business processes enable organizations to better serve their stakeholders, save costs and, ultimately, realize competitive advantage. It is therefore not surprising that improving business processes ranks high on the list of priorities of organizations. In practice, this challenge is currently being addressed through approaches such as benchmarking, industry-specific best practice reference models or process reengineering heuristics. However, no systematic and generic proposition towards managing business process quality has achieved broad acceptance yet.

To address this gap, this thesis contributes to the field of business process quality management with the results lined out in the following. First, it defines a concise notion of business process quality based on organizational targets, and applies it to a sample real-world case. This definition is not specific to any particular application field, and thus constitutes a vital first step towards systematic and generic business process quality management. On that basis, an approach is developed to model business objectives in the sense of the requirements that shall be fulfilled by the results of a business process. In turn, this approach enables appraising if a business process achieves its business objective as one of the core criteria relevant to business process quality. Further, this thesis proposes extensions to common business process meta-models which enable quality-aware business process modeling, and demonstrates how fundamental quality characteristics can be derived from corresponding models.

At this stage, the results achieved have enabled an advanced understanding of business process quality. By means of these insights, a model of business process quality attributes with corresponding quality criteria is developed. This model complements and exceeds preceding approaches since, for the first time, it systematically derives relevant quality attributes from a business process management perspective instead of adopting these from related fields. It enables appraising business process quality independently of a particular field of application,
and deriving recommendations to improve the processes assessed. To enable practical adoption of the concepts developed, the integration of procedures and functionality relevant to quality in business process management lifecycles and system landscapes is discussed next. To establish the contribution of this thesis beyond the previous state of the art, the proposed quality model is then compared to existing business process reengineering practices as well as propositions in the area of business process quality. Further, quality attributes are employed to improve a substantial real-world business process. This experience report demonstrates how quality management practices can be applied even if quality-aware system landscapes are not in place yet. It thus contributes to bridging the gap between the research results proposed in this thesis and the conditions present in practice today. Finally, remaining limitations with regard to the research objectives pursued are discussed, and challenges for future research are lined out. Addressing the latter will enable further leveraging the potentials of business process quality management.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: DBIS Research > Master and Phd-Thesis
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Manfred Reichert
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 15:23
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2015 15:23

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