Towards Living Inter-Organizational Processes

R. Breu, D. Schahram, J. Eder, C. Huemer, G. Kappel, J. Köpke, P. Langer, J. Mangler, J. Mendling, G. Neumann, S. Rinderle-Ma, S. Schulte, S. Sobernig and B. Weber

In: Proc. CBI'13 (accepted), 2013.

Abstract. Business Process Management (BPM) has gained significant adoption in practice for enabling organizations to increase their effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility. This broad adoption has not only been fostered by a rich and well established theory to model, analyze, simulate, and enact business processes, but also by internationally accepted standards and mature technologies. Caused by the ever increasing speed and volatility of markets and the dynamics of new technologies, such as cloud infrastructures and mobile communications, we face a new generation of business processes, which we refer to as living inter-organizational processes. Such processes are not in control of one single organization; instead, they are enacted by multiple organizations, where no participating party possesses full control over the entire process. Such processes often involve a high number of actors that might even be unknown in advance. These actors require various degrees in participation, they are acting in heterogeneous environments. Moreover, such processes are often weakly structured or designed in an ad-hoc manner, and have to be continuously subject to evolution. Unfortunately, existing theories, methodologies, and technologies cannot cope with this challenging combination of aspects, which all have to be considered when dealing with living inter-organizational processes. The state of the art typically addresses singular aspects in isolation. However, a holistic approach to these challenges bears a tremendous potential. This paper aims to contribute towards a holistic approach to living inter-organizational processes. To this end, we describe different perspectives on inter-organizational processes and identify challenges for making them living processes.

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Barbara Weber