quantitative quantech


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QUANTITATIVE MODELLING AND ANALYSIS OF BUSINESS PROCESSES Henk Jonkers and Henry M. Franken Telematics Research Centre P.O. Box 589, 7500 AN Enschede The Netherlands E-mail: {h.jonkers, h.franken}@trc.nl KEYWORDS Business re-engineering, model design, performance analysis, optimisation ABSTRACT Redesign of administrative business processes is currently attracting a lot of interest. Although many software tools exist to model such processes, hardly any attention is paid to the analysis of quantitative aspects to support or opti- mise the (re)design. In other application areas in which distributed systems play a role, such as computers and telecommunication systems, manufacturing systems and traffic, many techniques for quantitative analysis of, among others, temporal aspects have been developed. Be- cause of the similarities between these kinds of systems and administrative business processes, it will often be pos- sible to apply these techniques, possibly with small modi- fications, to business processes. In this paper, we describe the similarities and differences between business processes and other distributed systems; we distinguish several re- lated temporal performance measures, and we give an overview of quantitative analysis methods. INTRODUCTION Recently, business process redesign (BPR) and related subjects, such as business process improvement (BPI), have been receiving a lot of attention. In addition to lit- erature on the management aspects of BPR (Hammer 1990; Davenport and Short 1990), several modelling frameworks and software tools to support the redesign trajectory have been presented. An important advantage of such frameworks is that they allow for the off-line analysis of the effects of BPR, without disturbing actual business processes (and jeopardising their continuity) (Franken et al. 1996). Most of the currently available tools provide some kind of (informal) diagramming technique to docu- ment a process. Some of these also allow for model simu- lation, stressing the functional aspects and in some cases allow for the analysis of a limited number of quantitative aspects. However, hardly any studies are found in the lit- erature that show the use of models for a study of the quantitative behaviour and optimisation of business proc- esses. The cost of a process generally depends on its time behaviour, because of time-dependent cost factors (e.g., salaries and office rents). Also, factors which cannot easily be quantified, such as customer satisfaction, often depend on performance measures (e.g., the response time). For, among others, these reasons, optimising the quantitative performance of a business process is important. This is closely related to the process of benchmarking (Camp 1989), the study of methods that will lead to optimal business performance. For the effective (re)design and op- timisation of business processes, feedback to the designer, concerning the functional as well as the quantitative prop- erties of alternative design options, is indispensable. Quantitative feedback is useful during all design stages. In
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