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Subject: RE: Definition of business process

Christian Huemer wrote:
>i'm sure that you
>are not refering to content (here dain is right, we cannot
>predict the future), but to which extend is it necessary to
>consider business processes in the modelling phase.

That is part of my question, although I understood that
ebXML decided in Orlando to get deeper into business
process modeling, thus the new name of the Business
Process Methodology group, which is now just Business

>so why is (2) not enough? why do i prefer to include the internal operations
>as defined in (3), when the focus is on inter-organisational operations.
>my opinion is that the data interchanged between organisations heavily
>depends on the internal processes. take the following example from
>an order: the seller will determine whether the ordered goods are available
>or not. if not the following conditions might hold: not an offered product
>by the seller, out of stock ... if not deliverable, the seller might offer
>a substitute, a later delivery date ...
>=> the described process is internal to the seller. but accoring to this
>business process the reply message will look differently (will include
>different semantics). therefore, i think it is necessary to include internal
>business processes to that extend as they influence the interchange.

It is difficult to know where to stop (and where to focus),
which was really the basis of my question.

Also, the internal processes are very different for example
for a) purchases of capital goods which might have a long
and involved approval process and many documents
floating back and forth between buyer and seller;
or b) purchases of office supplies which just might mean
cutting a PO, receiving a shipment, getting an invoice,
and paying once a month;
or c) manufacturing components which want to minimize
paper work and do not use orders or invoices, but
work off the end item production schedule and
dependent demands or electronic Kanbans 
and maybe evaluated receipts settlements.

So I think if I was making the decision I would
not model processes at all, because the word
is too overloaded.

I would model activities in a lightweight way.
There are basically only two kinds of economic activities:
transformations where inputs are transformed into outputs,
and exchanges where one resource is exchanged for another
between two or more economic agents.

I would probably start with exchanges.
A basic exchange is very simple, and is the core of
each of the above scenarios.
I would leave the administrative documents and processes
which vary so much for add-ons:  that is, purchase orders,
requisitions, invoices, approvals, etc etc.
That does not mean they are not important, 
but you cannot assume that everyone wants
to use purchase orders any more, so they are 
better off as optional accessories.

Anyway, that is just to make clear where I
am coming from.  But I am a mere mailing list
and conference call participant, and do not
really set the policies, so I was trying to get
some feedback about what the policies were
as well as what other people thought.

Thanks for your feedback,
Bob Haugen
Logistical Software LLC

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