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Green Business Process Management. Usage of Existing and New Tools for Achieving the Ecological Goals

Seminararbeit 2018 26 Seiten

Informatik - Wirtschaftsinformatik

Leseprobe

Content

Figures

Tables

Abbreviations

1 Business Process Management in the Green IS Domain

2 From BPM to Sustainability
2.1 Business Process Management and Green IS
2.2 Approaches in the field of BPM
2.3 BPM Lifecycle

3 Methodology

4 Analysis of Green BPM tools and techniques
4.1 Green BPM Approaches
4.2 Mapping into the Lifecycle
4.3 Four application areas of Green BPM approaches

5 Discussion

6 Holistic consideration

References

Appendix

A Additional information

Figures

Fig. 1 Transformation from Devil’s Quadrangle to Pentagon

Fig. 3 BPM Lifecycle with corresponding cases

Fig. 3 BPM Lifecycle

Fig. 4 Green BPM Lifecycle

Tables

Tab. 1 Application areas of Green BPM approaches

Tab. 2 Keywords

Tab. 3 Allocation of Tools and Techniques to the BPM Lifecycle

Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1 Business Process Management in the Green IS Domain

Companies have been looking at sustainability for several decades, recognizing that by reducing pollution they can also maximize their profits. Thus, sustainability in the field of Information Systems (IS) is becoming increasingly important as topics like Green IS and IT are addressed. These deal with the reduction of IT consumption and emissions because of the implementation of more sustainable business activities (Watson et al. 2010). However, this raises the requirement for approaches in the field of Business Process Management. Research and practice lacked an appropriate approach to connect these two areas of Green IS and BPM, which is why the notion of Green Business Process Management was introduced. Experts are developing instruments and techniques whose primary objective is to integrate sustainability into the different phases of the business process Lifecycle so that more ecological processes can be realized. Such approaches help organizations in defining their optimal business strategies regarding the four dimensions of time, quality, flexibility, cost and now adding the aspect of environment (Opitz et al. 2014, p. 3808).

However, according to HOUY ET AL. (2010, p. 509), the research field of Green BPM “has to examine whether existing tools can be adapted or new ones have to be developed”. The objective of this seminar thesis is to find an answer towards this problem. For this reason, the research question “Do Green BPM approaches involve the adaptation of existing tools and techniques or the introduction of new ones in order to achieve their ecological goals?” is going to be examined during the different stages of this thesis.

In order to do so, the thesis is structured as follows. First, the current state of research regarding more sustainable business processes, approaches in the domain of Business Process Management and a framework for integrating the approaches are reviewed, which motivate the specific research question (Section 2). To answer this question, the methodology of this work is introduced in the following (Section 3). Thereafter, an analysis of current Green BPM tools and techniques and how they fit into an adapted (Green) BPM Lifecycle are presented, followed by a brief classification of the approaches in relation to their primary objectives (Section 4). Moreover, a discussion of these results (Section 5) precedes the final conclusion (Section 6).

2 From BPM to Sustainability

In the following subsection a theoretical background on the concepts of BPM, Green IS and also the rise of Green BPM is provided. Thereafter, approaches of the traditional BPM field are shown which derives the importance for a BPM Lifecycle as a framework considering the allocation of different BPM tools and techniques.

2.1 Business Process Management and Green IS

Due to the ever increasing globalization and the associated competition, companies had to adjust to the ever changing needs of customers. These continuous adjustments eventually led to the introduction of a management approach that supported organizational processes in companies called Business Process Management (BPM) (Scheer and Hoffmann 2015, pp. 351). This process-oriented practice contains a whole range of different definitions in literature. Therefore, KARAGIANNIS (2013, p. 1) describes BPM as "a set of structured methods and technologies for managing and transforming organizational operations". ROHLOFF (2011, p. 383) clarifies “a management practice which encompasses all activities of identification, definition, analysis, design, execution, monitoring & measurement, and continuous improvement of business processes.” In general, BPM is seen as the discipline that applies different approaches to the organizations processes in order to improve their business activities by increasing flexibility, reducing costs, saving time and improving quality (Hammer and Champy 1993). However, the further adjustments in the market show that these four dimensions are no longer sufficient to stand up against the competition. Raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce, people’s living standards are changing and also the requirements of customers. Consequently, the management of a company must adapt its business processes to meet the rising importance of sustainability in organizational context (Seidel et al. 2012, p. 4). For this reason, the research area of BPM has to adapt its techniques and tools to dedicated requirements. Due to strong interdependence between environmental impact and resource usage, IS and the IT infrastructure have also to be taken into account, defined under the term of Green IS which refers to “an integrated and cooperating set of people, processes, software, and information technologies to support individual, organizational, or societal goals” (Watson et al. 2010, p. 24). As an intersection of the conventional BPM and Green IS, the new field of Green Business Process Management or simply Green BPM has raised (Opitz et al. 2014). It is seen as “the sum of all IS-supported management activities that help to monitor and reduce the environmental impact of business processes in their design, improvement, implementation or operation stages, as well as lead to cultural change within the process Lifecycle” (Opitz et al. 2012, p. 3812). When improving process activities, Green BPM does not only consider the optimization of existing processes, but also the negative environmental impact of these business processes. The environmental objectives may be the reduction of energy and material flows as well as the reduction of emissions and waste (Seidel et al. 2012). By adding the aspect of sustainability into the Devil’s Quadrangle introduced by MANSAR AND REIJERS (2005), which declines the four dimensions of successful Business Process Management, it is transformed into a Devil’s Pentagon (Fig. 1):

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Seidel et al. (2012), p. 4

Fig. 1 Transformation from Devil’s Quadrangle to Pentagon

It is particularly clear that the enlargement to an ecological dimension can also cause conflicts between the different dimensions. For instance, the use of environmentally sustainable products can lead to better quality but with higher costs. In other cases, business processes have to be executed within a certain period of time, which can also result in higher costs. This is precisely why Green BPM approaches must demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in order to realize agile process activities. Under certain circumstances, improving time efficiency is more important for achieving the objective than natural resource efficiency. Taking into account the extended dimension of optimization, the transformation of traditional BPM towards Green BPM needs to be considered at different levels (Ghose et al. 2010).

2.2 Approaches in the field of BPM

In the BPM perspective, an approach refers to a wide range of sub-concepts related to a strategic understanding of the major subject Business Process Management. In addition, the term "approach" is used in the context of a broad definition of BPM (Møller et al. 2008). The usage and definition of BPM in literature is often difficult to turn it into something which is easy in implementation. Due to the difficulties of generalization, a more holistic approach is pursued (Pritchard and Armistead 1999). On the other hand, it is expected that a holistic BPM approach is needed to capture all the relevant parties, not just solving the enterprise vulnerability or using it for the IT department itself (Redshaw 2005, p. l5). Of course, this difference in approach gives different perceptions and views of BPM. Although the BPM literature is not exhaustive, it describes the scope and definition that should be collected (Lee and Dale 1998). Because of the different perceptions of BPM and the conflicts that arise, understanding BPM might refer to the use of BPM instead of understanding the potential and needs for process thinking. This lack of process competencies in the workforce leads to different process management approaches across the organization and is therefore crucial in eliminating the added value of the company's BPM thinking (Melenovsky 2006, p. 6).

Over the last years, a large number of approaches have been proposed to support BPM or certain phases of it. Popular examples are in the area of Business Process Modelling and methods for reengineering the business processes (Bucher et al. 2015, p. 204). But there are also approaches which apply Activity Based Costing based on STAUBUS (1971) to BPM, where the focus lies on the definition of actual costs as the starting point for the internal cost allocation and the external cost calculation by defining a transparent activity based costing (Karagiannis 2013, p. 9).

VOM BROCKE AND MENDLING (2018) proposed a set of 31 cases which relate to different phases of the BPM Lifecycle (see Section 2.3). Five of these cases deal with process identification, seven relate to process discovery, two report process analysis, eight focus on process redesign, six involve process implementation and three deal with process monitoring and controlling (Fig. 3).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

vom Brocke and Mendling (2018), p. 10

Fig. 2 BPM Lifecycle with corresponding cases

Although only two cases mainly contribute to process analysis, most cases involve process analysis by discussing process redesign. This interaction of the two phases demonstrates that the cases went beyond process analysis and saw analysis as a means of iterative process improvement. These cases then help to surpass the knowledge that previous BPM research has reported on organizations whose BPM initiatives have failed because they focused too much on process analysis and did not deliver business value through actual process improvement (vom Brocke et al. 2014).

2.3 BPM Lifecycle

In order to be able to use BPM in a targeted manner, it is necessary to identify processes that are relevant to the actual problem statement, evaluate the scope of these processes, and establish relationships between these processes. In the literature, this initial phase is often referred as process identification. This phase results in a process architecture that represents the different relationships between various processes. Once the processes are identified, the next phase deals with the detailed understanding of the business process, which is called process discovery. From this, one or more as-is process models are derived, which should reflect the understanding of the employees in the company regarding the executable work. The primary goal of these process models are to facilitate communication between the involved stakeholders. However, problems may occur because of miscommunication, technical errors or lack of information. Only if the root causes of such inconsistencies are identified, classified and understood, the main problems may be resolved. The identification and evaluation of possible challenges and problem areas for process improvement culminate in the analysis phase. Once the problem areas are identified through potential remedial action, the processes can be redesigned. Such a revised version supports a to-be process that addresses the problems of the as-is process. This creates a connecting factor to the analysis phase since there are several redesign options that can be analysed, so that the best option can be chosen at the end. Thereafter, the implementation phase follows by implementing the necessary information systems in order to capture and track activities so that the to-be process can ultimately be executed. As the implemented business process does not immediately meet the expectations, some adjustments are expected. For this reason, processes have to be monitored and the collected data reviewed in order to make adjustments as well as better control of the process execution. This happens in the process monitoring and controlling phase, which is of particular value since solving the problem is not enough to implement successful processes. The activities have to be continuously monitored and improved so that degradation can be avoided. All of these phases are part of the BPM Lifecycle which helps to clarify the immense importance of technology in BPM. In this occasion, technology is considered as a key component to improve business processes (Dumas et al. 2013).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Fig. 3 BPM Lifecycle

Dumas et al. (2013), p. 21

3 Methodology

To accomplish the research objective, a structured literature review following the principles of WEBSTER AND WATSON (2002) have been conducted and applied according the methods of LEVY AND J. ELLIS (2006) in the first step since they take the essential characteristics of reproducibility, systematics and explicitness of a literature search into account and include a framework for a systematic approach to work. The research subject can be attributed to three different literature domains: Green BPM as the primary subject and its intersections of Green IS and BPM. To identify search terms relevant for the study, keywords, variations and word-stems in relation to the three areas were searched in a set of publications in well known IS journals and high quality conferences, since most IS and BPM publications are published in these channels, including the Association for Information Systems (AIS), the Business Process Management Journal (BPMJ) as well as top BPM and IS community conferences such as ECIS, ICIS, ACIS, PACIS, AMCIS and BPM. Not all papers do directly mention the term of Green BPM approaches, but are still focusing on approaches in the field of BPM and sustainability (e.g. such as energy, emission, ecological, carbon-footprint). By broadening the search terms and combining them with Boolean operators, additional papers used by IS and BPM researchers could be identified for the further analysis. Therefore, these terms were also included in the search process using different databases such as Google Scholar, IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, Springer Link and EBSCOhost. In order to achieve a higher relevance of the respective articles, the search in all databases was reduced to contributions published after 2009 thus Green BPM played a significant role from that point on (Ghose et al. 2010). Furthermore, the papers were chosen according to their title and abstract. Through the identification process of the most regular used Green BPM terms in IS and BPM publications, a list of relevant keywords and their potential combinations is derived (see Appendix). Afterwards, iterative forward and backward searches were performed in order to explore bibliographic references and authors in other publications.

In the further step, a relevant framework needed to be found in order to put the different approaches regarding Green BPM in a structured manner and analysing their purpose. Performing a second literature review, the BPM Lifecycle seemed to be the most appropriate one. Therefore, the founded results from the first stage were mapped into the Lifecycle so that implications for the research objective could be derived. The particular allocation is made in accordance with the used tools and techniques and their matching accuracy with respect to the different phases of the BPM Lifecycle.

4 Analysis of Green BPM tools and techniques

This chapter constitutes the main part of this thesis. First, the main findings with regard to the Green Business Process Management approaches are presented in order to investigate the current stage-of-the-art. Based on these findings, the named approaches are put into the Business Process Lifecycle and reviewed. Further, a concept matrix is conducted in order to give an overview of the current Green BPM tools and techniques according to their provided objectives.

4.1 Green BPM Approaches

In the field of Green Business Process Management there exist only a handful of approaches with regards to sustainable process management. ARDAGNA ET AL. (2008) developed mechanisms for energy-aware resource allocation and policies for process- based applications while ensuring certain Quality of Service (QoS) requirements. Therefore, three layers (process, infrastructure and control) should be capable of decreasing the energy consumption in information and communication technology (ICT). The approach has been further refined in CAPPIELLO ET AL. (2011) who proposed an approach for designing Energy-Aware Business Process (E-BP) by extending the typical business process conceptual model to capture the energy consumption of the involved business activities, which is constantly monitored by Green Performance Indicators (GPIs) such as Energy Consumption, CO2 Footprint, Recycling, Waste and Water Consumption, that have to be satisfied together with the more functional and non- functional requirements (QoS).

NOWAK ET AL. (2011) used ecological sustainable adaptation patterns (Green Business Process Patterns) in order to provide a broad applicability of patterns within different scenarios of sustainability. However, their application affected the business process layer, the application component and the infrastructure layer which is why they also needed Cloud Patterns to guide developers through the adaptation process (Nowak et al. 2012). Later, the study was extended to help organisational stakeholders identifying patterns of their interests and design environmentally-aware business processes (Nowak and Leymann 2013). Another approach in the field of pattern-based business process management was done by LÜBBECKE ET AL. (2016). They identified environmental weaknesses of processes from existing literature and process models and used the concept of Ecological Workflow Patterns (EWPs) to formalize these weaknesses. As a result, they have created four initial EWPs from control-flow, data and operational perspective that serve as a blueprint for the development of environmentally sustainable processes at design time or to optimize existing processes. Later, they extended the study to the concept of sustainability patterns, which can be used to improve existing processes or to design new processes by considering environmental objectives such as the reduction of resource consumption (Lübbecke et al. 2017).

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Details

Seiten
26
Jahr
2018
ISBN (eBook)
9783346053367
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v505644
Institution / Hochschule
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Note
2.3
Schlagworte
green ecological achieving tools existing usage management process business goals

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Titel: Green Business Process Management. Usage of Existing and New Tools for Achieving the Ecological Goals