Business Process Modeling

FEB33003 Academic year 2010-2011

Lecturers:Drs. E.A.M. Caron
Practical lecturer:D. Vandic MSc
Contact:Drs. E.A.M. Caron
Coordinator:Drs. E.A.M. Caron
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Assignments, essays, ... (30%)
  • Written (re-)examination with open questions (70%)
Period: block 3
Exam period: Block 3, Resit (July)
Exam requirements:
  • Required attendance: Computer practica & guest lecture
  • Satisfactory result for assignments, essay, ...
  • Students can only participate in the exam after they have fullfilled the assignments
Study level:Bachelor 3
Secretary: ESE-Secretariaat Econometrie
Links:Channel , Timetable
Application:via SIN-Online


Business process modeling and management (bpm) is a research and business area that is part of the domains: information technology and business management. In particular, it connects both domains. In bpm the central goal is the management of business processes (workflows) with information technology. By defining, analyzing, and redesigning an organizationís resources and operations, bpm systems ensure that the right information reaches the right person or computer application at the right time.

The objective of this course is to give the student insight in both the practise as the theory of bpm.


In this course an introduction is given on business process management (or workflow management). The following topics (amonst others) are discussed:

  • Organizing workflows

  • Modeling workflows

  • Management of workflows

  • Analyzing workflows

  • Functions and architecture of bpm systems

Within many administrative organisations bpm has become an important area of attention. Two reasons can be given for this current interest.
  • Firstly, in many businesses the business process itself has become a main issue. In the past the handling of the business process was of minor importance compared to the design of the administrative organisation. The consequence of management trends such as Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and the implementation of complex information systems such as ERP, knowledge management and the integration of applications, the organisation is now designed based on business processes (workflows). Bpm is one of the instruments to implement process-driven thinking in practise.

  • Secondly, the increased interest in bpm can be explained by the technological development of the last five years. The broad distribution of networks and the availability of bpm systems are important enablers for the applicability of bpm. The current generation of bpm systems makes it possible to improve the support for business processes.

In the course, concepts, backgrounds, models, techniques and tools for the support of bpm are discussed. The emphasis is on the modeling and analysis of business processes. The point of departure here is that succesful application of bpm and bpm systems is preceded by a thorough analysis of the business process.

For the modeling of business process we will use a technique based on petri nets. By making use of a well defined process modeling technique it is possible to specify workflows uniformly. By following this approach we do not have to use a schema technique belonging to a specific bpm system. In addition, we can also make use of many publications, analysis techniques and tools based on petri nets. Next to modeling existing business processes attention is given to redesigning business processes.

In principal it is possible to apply bpm without making use of bpm systems. Therefore, the models and methods to be discussed are not connected with existing bpm systems. It is to be expected that the bpm system will become an important component for the implementation of complex information systems. At this moment bpm systems are introduced in, for example, banks, insurance companies and government organisations. That is why special attention in this course is given to the existing generation of bpm systems. Especially the functionality and architecture of these systems will be elaborated upon.


  • Van der Aalst, W., and K. van Hee, Workflow Management: Models, Methods, and Systems, MIT Press paperback edition, 2004 (ISBN: 0-262-720046-9)
  • Articles handed out in class

Business Process Modeling FEB33003 Academic year 2010-2011