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When Social Software Meets Business Process Management

This conference paper from 2009 offers the concept of process-orientated mashups (in contrast to data oriented) designed to support lightweight, agile & time critical business (or personal) processes. Li (2009) proposes the importance of agility & flexibility with the design of collaborative business processes to adapt “to the situational needs of the business”. The Author asserts that the integration of web services and human interaction in an SOA environment can be used to build a process-oriented mashup, allowing a User to automate activities leading to the execution of that process via a workflow system.

A rudimentary example of an “information gathering” process is given where a User accesses data from three different social, online sources – an RSS feed; a blog; and a recommendation list on a social networking site. The Author asserts this process of gathering information (data) from different locations could be represented in a workflow (YAWL?) and in effect link social technology to existing business process management (BPMS) systems i.e. a process- mashup.
The paper also offers a view of current (2009) web based resources, technologies & tools & examples of some “social software providers” (Amazon, Google, eBay etc) who provide their web services for mashup purposes. Importantly, these services support participation, provide a rich user experience, are scalable and can harness the benefits of collective intelligence.

An interesting concept briefly raised is the use of a recommendation approach in a online community based environment for Users to rank different process parts of similar models. This approach of social process design & verification will ideally deliver best practice and repeatability with process models. Given the rapidly growing web resources landscape, the challenge now is to discover & utilise these services to provide agile, process-centric mashups.

Li, X. (2009). When Social Software Meets Business Process Management.

Categories: BPM, Enterprise 2.0, web 2.0
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