BPM Milan: From Personal Task Management to End User Driven Business Process Modeling

Todor Stoitsev of SAP Research presented the last of the flexibility and user interaction papers, From Personal Task Management to End User Driven Business Process Modeling. This is based on research about end-user development, but posits that BPMN is not appropriate for end users to work with directly for ad hoc process modeling.

There is quite a bit of related research to this: workflow patterns, ad hoc workflow, email-based workflow, instance-based task research, process mining, and other methods that provide better collaboration with the end users during process modeling. In this case, they’ve based their research on programming by example, where processes are inferred by capturing the activities of process participants. This involves not just the process participants (business users), but also a domain expert who uses the captured ad hoc activities to work towards a process model, which is eventually formalized in concert with a programmer, and turned into formal workflow models. In formalizing ad hoc processes, it’s critical to consider issues such as pattern reuse, and they have built tools for exploring task patterns as well as moving through to process definition, the latter of which is prototyped using jBPM.

As with most of the other papers today, I can’t do justice to the level of technical detail presented here; I’m sure that the proceedings are available in some form, or you can track down the authors for more information on their papers.

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