Implementing IT-Facilitated Business Processes
Richard Welke, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Process Innovation
Professor, Computer Information Systems
Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
Proposed Catalog Description
Implementing IT-Facilitated Business Processes. The three objectives of this course are: to enable
students to implement a business process directly from a business process model using a
professional business process management software suite (BPMS); to develop and deploy the
associated process interfaces, business object model, application software (where required); and
to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to initially implement, and then to continuously
evaluate, manage and improve the resulting process via the process model.
This course offering is currently somewhat unique in that only a handful of universities (mostly,
outside the US) currently offer a BPMS implementation course for undergraduate credit. The
reasons for this are varied but, rest assured, it is how business applications are and will be
developed going forward. Whether one calls this MDE (model-driven execution), EUBA (end-
user business applications) or similar, the objective is to create flexible, agile, transparent and
manageable business processes that are easy to implement, incrementally improve, and provide
responsive (not reflective) business intelligence.
The view of this course is that these concepts are best understood and learned by doing, not
reading about them. By implementing “real” business processes; not toy problems and
examples. Five years ago, this would have been impossible, as the business process
management suites (BPMS’s) at that time were quite complex and difficult to use. However,
considerable progress has been made since then and we now have several modern examples of
BPMS’s that are quite tractable for student implementation and use. And, of course, this will
only improve as time progresses.
So, if you want to be at the leading edge of how business applications (and their underlying
processes) are viewed, defined, justified, implemented, managed, changed and monitored for
(continuous) improvement, then this is the course for you. You do not need an understanding of
programming, etc. What you do need is a willingness to learn new ideas, install and use (on
your own computer) technology with a small footprint but significant capabilities, and perhaps
set aside some ideas regarding how to go about defining and implementing IT-enabled business
applications for process owners and users.