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On the other hand, making activities too large may result in (a) smaller run-time flexibility and (b) lower quality as activities become unworkable. Both effects are exactly countered by dividing activities into smaller ones. This heuristic is related to the triage heuristic in that they both are concerned with the division and combination of activities.
Characteristics of Business Process Operation Heuristics•The assessment of the heuristics that aim at the business process operation is summarised in Table 8.2. The meaning of the signs is the same as in the previous table. For example, case-based work can be expected to be highly beneficial in the time dimension; triage may boost the quality of a process. Note that only one manifestation of the activity composition heuristic is shown, i.e. the case that large activities are composed of smaller ones.Business Process Behaviour Heuristics•Resequencing: “Move activities to more appropriate places”. In existing business processes, actual activity orderings often do not reveal the necessary dependencies between activities. Sometimes it is better to postpone an activity if it is not required for its immediate follow-up activities. The benefit would be that perhaps its execution may prove to become superfluous, which saves cost. Also, an activity may be moved into the proximity of a similar activity, in this way diminishing set-up times. This heuristic is also known as process order optimization.•Parallelism: “Consider whether activities may be executed in parallel”. The obvious effect of placing activities in parallel is that throughput time may beconsiderably reduced. The applicability of this heuristic in business process redesign is large. In practical settings, activities are often ordered sequentially without the existence of hard logical restrictions prescribing such an order. A drawback of introducing more parallelism in a business process that incorporates possibilities of knock-outs is that the cost of business process execution may increase. Also, the management of businessprocesses with concurrent behavior can become more complex (flexibility).
Business Process Behaviour Heuristics•Knock-out:“Order knock-outs in an increasing order of effort and in a decreasing order of termination probability”. A typical element of a businessprocess is the subsequent checking of various conditions that must be satisfied to deliver a positive end result. Any condition that is not met may lead to a termination of that part of the business process: the knock-out. If there is freedom in choosing the order in which the various conditions are checked, the condition that has the most favorable ratio of expected knock-out probability versus the expected effort to check the condition should be pursued. Next, the second best condition, and so forth. This way of orderingchecks yields on average the least costly business process execution.