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Tutorial 1
A Business Process is more than a Workflow
Jan Dietz
Delft University of Technology
The Netherlands


Current approaches (methods, techniques, languages) to business process modeling hardly distinguish between business processes and workflows.
Examples of these approaches are Flowcharts, Petri Nets, YAWL, EPC, BPMN, BPEL, UML, and IDEF0. However, reducing a business process to a workflow is only acceptable in the final stage of (re-) designing and (re-) engineering business processes, i.e. the stage at which the process is going to be implemented. As will be demonstrated and clarified, workflow models are hopelessly unsuitable for (re-) designing and (re-) engineering business processes. First, the sheer size of workflow model representations (easily running into dozens of pages) as well as the degree of detail prohibits a normal human being to understand and to overlook the modeled process. Second, workflow models do not show the deep structure of the modeled business processes, i.e. the tree structures of transactions. Third, workflow models do not make a distinction between the essential, ontological, parts of a business process and the supporting infological and datalogical parts. These drawbacks make the validation of process models virtually impossible.

As an alternative and complementary approach, DEMO will be presented and applied. This methodology is based on a sound theory about the construction and operation of organizations. Business processes become insightful structures of "atoms" and "molecules" instead of mind-boggling railroad yards. DEMO models do not suffer from the drawbacks listed above. Moreover, they provide a deep understanding of business processes, clearly distinguished from workflows. At the same time, workflows can be systematically derived from DEMO models.


This is a 3 hours tutorial according to the next program:
- Analysis of the state of the art in business process modeling
- The DEMO methodology
- Example cases and exercises

Brief biography of Jan Dietz

Jan Dietz is full professor in Information Systems Design at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). He holds a Master degree in Electrical Engineering and a Doctoral degree in Computer Science. He has published over 200 scientific and professional articles as well as several books. His current research interests are in Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Ontology, and Enterprise Governance, the three pillars of Enterprise Engineering. Before his academic career, he has been in business automation for 10 years.
He is the spiritual father of DEMO (Design & Engineering Methodology for Organizations), as well as co-founder and honorary chairman of the DEMO Center of Expertise (http://www.demo.nl). For developing the emerging discipline of Enterprise Engineering, he chairs the international research network CIAO! (Cooperation & Interoperability - Architecture & Ontology) (http://www.ciaonetwork.org). He also acts as editor-in-chief of a book series on Enterprise Engineering, published by Springer. He can be reached at j.l.g.dietz@tudelft.nl.