Business process management has been an important topic in business informatics for years, including at the Institute of the same name at the University of Leipzig, led by Prof. Rainer Alt. That is why the modeling of workflows is taught in practice during the Bachelor degree course. Led by Dr. Martin Bartonitz for the fourth time now, who will explain Business Process Management this year (2013) using the ECM software by OPTIMAL SYTEMS.

By Martin Bartonitz

Prof. Alt became aware of me thanks to my series of articles on standards in business process management in the BPM network (now Camunda, editor’s note). Five years ago he asked me if I wanted to talk about trends in standardization and workflow modeling during his lecture. And that is why last Monday I was in Leipzig for the fourth time.

Modeling workflows: how exactly should I interpret work in the workflow? Processes from the user’s point of view

The students had previously learned how business processes with the ARIS Toolset are documented in detail via event-driven process chains. So I was able to join in and explain what technical information needs to be configured so that users can participate in a process. In other words: how the modeling of workflows works in practice.

Before that, I showed them the user view based on the approval process of an incoming invoice. Last but not least, invoice verification is most frequently displayed digitally for our customers as a process. From the inbox with the work orders, in the role of an accounting employee, I opened the work step “Create account entry” and while scanning added the index values entered, including explanations of the operating elements of the interface.

Modeling workflows: first processing step


After forwarding it to the purchasing manager, we checked the status and history of the workflow instance before further processing and release:

View of a running process in the ECM system by OPTIMAL SYSTEMS

Modeling workflows: what’s going on in my store?

 We also had a look at the possibilities of process evaluations for a line manager. In this way, the line manager can get an idea of the current average throughput time and recognize where the largest workload is currently building up.

Workflow evaluation: the statistics report displays the runtimes of a workflow, for example.

Modeling workflows: what do I have to configure as an administrator?

After approval, we finished the discussion about the user view and then spoke about the administrator view. First of all we created the user interface, the indexing form for the accounting:

Model workflows in the administrator view: set up index data

Afterwards I explained the possibilities of programming and linking the scripts with the corresponding events in the forms. Then we referenced the individual forms with the work steps in which they are to be used.

Workflows in the administrator view: work steps

And then finally you just need to get the users involved…

Next we talked about user management and possible synchronization with directory services like Microsoft’s AD. After assigning the user roles to the corresponding task, the last topic was the logical branching in the graphical work chains, i.e. how to deal with XOR, OR, and AND, as well as loops.

And having said that we have now reached the end and here is the summary of what we have learned:

Workflow management compact: What flows …. why …. according to which rules… to whom? (Source: Martin Bartonitz)