||Business Process (BP) design reflects managerial needs and may directly influence business performance. A good design could substantially increase managerial performance, while a bad one would be inefficient, lack of flexibility, mess cost effective and eventually miss the business strategy.|
The widespread of information technology has raised the need to redesign or modify business processes in order to fit the trend of automation and computerization. As a result, business process reengineering (BPR) has gained much attention in 1990s. In recent years, a new paradigm, called Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME), becomes a new management innovation. Service process design becomes a new science that can be applied to support service innovation and management.
Previous research on BPR includes two major directions: one focuses on managerial aspects of business processes, including the planning, implementation, and critical factors of BPR; the other focuses on the design aspects pf business processes with a target of making processes more efficient. For research on process design, most deal with the syntactic structure of the process. They analyze the syntax structure of a process. This can help find design errors such as deadlocks, livelocks, and even infinite loops in a process. Not many studies have investigated whether a process design meets its managerial goals.
This research presents a knowledge-based approach to dealing with the managerial issue of whether a process design matches specific managerial goals. This thesis contains a new business process modeling method that allows a business process to be diagnosed by knowledge-based rules. We have defined three managerial goals in process design: effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility. Each activity in a business process has its goal. Through the analysis of activities and their associated goals, we can determine whether a business process is properly designed.
In order to show the feasibility of the proposed approach, we have implemented a JAVA-based prototype expert system and used it to check two sample business processes. The contributions of the study are two-fold. Academically, it proposed a new approach for business process diagnosis, which can help determine whether a process meets its managerial goal. In practice, businesses can use the concepts developed in the thesis to make their business processes more effective by matching activities with intended managerial goals.