Business Process Feature Model

Keywords: business proccess flexibility, Business Process Management, business process variability, feature model

Affiliation: University of Camerino

Area of Application

Business Process Variability is the ability of deriving different Business Process (BP) variants from a configurable BP model, that is a generic model integrating all the possible BP variations eliminating model redundancies by representing the commonalities of different process variants only once. Furthermore since the possibility to explicitly express variability it fosters models reuse improving the number of  target organizations for the model. Given a configurable BP model relevant are the steps used deriving BP variants through configuration. A select is performed in order to derive a specific BP variant from the configurable BP model. Finally, each supported BP variant acts as a blueprint for a set of BP instances that can be executed.  This means that a configurable BP model  guides the user to a solution that bitter fits to a specific working context.

For instance if you  consider municipalities they all have to deliver the same services to citizens, but depending on specific characteristics of a specific municipality, on available resources, and other contextual information they generally behave differently to reach the same objective, even though they show clear commonalities. This kind of context can be represented using a Configurable BP model in which all the possibile behaviors are described, and then each single municipality can choose the best solution considering its requirements.



Business Process Feature Model notation (BPFM) is an extended version of Feature Models named BPFM proposed to deal with Business Process Variability. The BPFM notation permits to model a family of business processes introducing different levels of detail (going up-to-down on a tree structure) and focusing on the point of view of a specific organization. In BPFM features represent activities of a Business Process, they can be atomic in the case they are leafs of the Feature Model tree, or composed in the case they are fathers of other activities. Each BPFM model can be automatically mapped in a BPMN 2.0 process.

The BPFM notation permit to represent all the Business Processes included in a family within a single diagram. In BPFM features represent activities, whereas feature constraints express if an activity must or can be inserted in a variant, and if it must or can be included within a path during execution. Data objects are also included in BPFM expressing information useful for the definition of business process variants.

The BPFM Modelling Platform provides an environment to model using the BPFM notation including mapping functionalities to BPMN 2.0. Moreover, the tool also provides BPMN 2.0, Standard Feature Diagram and Feature Diagram for Data representation notations.

BPFM Modelling Platform is developed by the Computer Science section of the University of Camerino.