Thursday, April 15, 2010

Commonly Used Business Process Management Terms

Business process Management is a term you hear very frequently both in technical and business area. It is a buzzword since last decade. It is not merely a technology or language. It is a concept, a bundle of technical knowledge, a collection of best practices and a world full of domain expertise.

I would like to simply describe some of commonly used keywords in this context. What can be better to start with Business Process.

-A Business Process can be defined as a set of interrelated tasks linked to an activity that spans functional boundaries. Business processes have starting points and ending points, and they are repeatable."

In more simple terms :

-A Business Process can be seen as a set of activities performed by a business entity in response to an event.

-A Business Process is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers.

Procedure - It represents the definition of a business process. It’s a technical term used for representation of workflow.

Workflow - A workflow is a depiction of a sequence of operations, declared as work of a person, work of a simple or complex mechanism, work of a group of persons, work of an organization of staff, or machines. Workflow may be seen as any abstraction of real work, segregated in work share, work split or whatever types of ordering. For control purposes, workflow may be a view on real work under a chosen aspect.

Case - This is particular instance of procedure. A case is created when a procedure is started. Just consider the simple example that if Procedure is a class then case is an instance object of Procedure type.

Step - A procedure is made up of several steps, which define activities that take place within flow of a procedure. Each step defines what must be done, who must do it and optionally a deadline by which it must be done.

Work item - A work item relates to a step in an active case. A user manages the work items in their work queue by performing some sort of action upon them, such as entering data on a form , forwarding the item to another group or user ,keeping it or releasing it.

Work Queue - This is list of work items that are awaiting action. A work queue can belong to an individual user or to a group of users. If it a group work queue, any user that belongs to that group has access to the work items in that group queue.

User - A user is an individual who has been defined in system as an actor. Each user has a work queue containing the work items assigned to him.

Group - A group represents a collection of users. Each group has a work queue that has the same name as the group name defined on the node. All user that are members of the group have access to the group work queue.

These are very general one liners about different terms. For more information you can always rely on resources on internet.

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