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Aligning Business Process Quality and Information System Quality

Heinrich, Robert

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Business processes and information systems mutually affect each other in non-trivial ways. Frequently, the business process design and the information system design are not well aligned. This means that business processes are designed without taking the information system impact into account, and vice versa. Missing alignment at design time often results in quality problems at runtime, such as large response times of information systems, large process execution times, overloaded information systems or interrupted processes. Aligning business process quality and information system quality at design time requires to solve the following problems (P). Business process quality and information system quality have to be characterized. P1: In contrast to information system quality, which is specified in the ISO/IEC 9126 standard, for example, there is no common and comprehensive understanding of business process quality. P2: Beyond that, current business process modeling notations do not aim to represent quality aspects. The impact of a business process on the quality of an information system, and vice versa, is unknown at design time. P3: The mutual impact between business processes and information systems must be predicted at design time. In this thesis, the Business Process Quality Reference-Model (BPQRM), a quality model for business processes, is introduced. The model allows for a comprehensive characterization of business process quality (P1). The BPQRM is applied successfully in a case study to identify potential for process quality improvement in practice. Based on the BPQRM an existing process modeling notation is extended by model elements to represent quality aspects (P2). Simulation is a powerful means to predict the impact of a business process on the quality of an information system, and vice versa, at design time. This thesis proposes two simulation approaches to predict the mutual impact between business processes and information systems, in terms of performance (P3). The approach Business IT Impact Simulation (BIIS) defines interfaces between the business process simulation and the information system simulation. Performance-relevant information is exchanged via the interfaces between both simulations. Using business process simulation and information system simulation in isolation, workload burstiness is not adequately reflected. This is especially true for occasional, volatile peak loads. Workload burstiness can significantly affect the performance of business processes and information systems. The approach Integrated Business IT Impact Simulation (IntBIIS) for the integration of business processes and information systems in a single simulation allows for reflecting workload burstiness correctly. The simulation approaches support the comparison of design alternatives and the verification of a certain design against requirements. A case study confirms the feasibility in practice and the acceptance from practitioners’ point of view.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Paech, Prof. Dr. Barbara
Date of thesis defense: 18 December 2013
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2014 08:58
Date: 2013
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science > Department of Computer Science
Subjects: 004 Data processing Computer science
Controlled Keywords: Geschäftsprozess, Informationssystem, Qualität
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