SIKS Course 2008

Advanced Course on Business Process Management
Organized by Wil van der Aalst and Manfred Reichert

Netherlands Research School for Information and Knowledge Systems (SIKS),
Vught, The Netherlands, 6-7 November 2008


Business Process Management (BPM) is concerned with the development and use of generic software systems that is driven by explicit process designs to enact and manage operational business processes. The classical example of a BPM system is a workflow management system. However, over the last two decades many other process-aware information systems emerged, e.g., EPR systems like SAP often have multiple process engines, high-tech devices such as medical equipment can be configured based on workflows, web-services are being driven by BPEL-based workflow engines of companies like IBM and Oracle, and even the Vista operating system has workflow inside (cf. Microsoft's Workflow Foundation). These show the relevance of BPM for SIKS researchers: "processes are everywhere and need to be supported".

Despite the abundance of commercial BPM systems, many research challenges remain. Still there is a huge gap between the idealistic "PowerPoint process models" made by managers and the complexity and limitations of actual systems and their configuration. This Advanced SIKS course on Business Process Management will focus on such challenges.

The course will cover the following subjects:

  • Formal foundations of BPM
  • Overview of challenges and paradigms in workflow management
  • Advanced techniques for process analysis
  • Advanced issues on process flexibility
  • Implementation of process engines
  • Business process redesign
  • Practical experiences with BPM

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