Process Management

Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach to making an organization’s workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment. A business process is an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal. The goal of BPM is to reduce human error and miscommunication and focus stakeholders on the requirements of their roles. BPM is a subset of infrastructure management, an administrative area concerned with maintaining and optimizing an organization’s equipment and core operations. A business process is an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal.

From a system perspective the processes must realize the system purpose and sub-system functions in order to achieve its stated objective. The processes need to operate within the governance model in order to maintain system ‘set-course’.

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Events are passive elements in event-driven process chains (EPC). They describe under what circumstances a function or a process works or which state a function or a process results in. Examples of events are “requirement captured”, “material in stock”, etc. In the EPC graph an event is represented as hexagon. In general, an EPC diagram must start with an event and end with an event.


Functions are active elements in an EPC. They model the tasks or activities within the company. Functions describe transformations from an initial state to a resulting state. If different resulting states can occur, the selection of the respective resulting state can be modeled explicitly as a decision function using logical connectors. Functions can be refined into another EPC. In this case it is called a hierarchical function. Examples of functions are “capture requirement”, “check material in stock”, etc. In the event-driven process chain graph a function is represented as rounded rectangle.

Process owner

Process owner is responsible for a function (i.e. a booking clerk is responsible for booking journeys). The process owner is usually part of an organization unit (i.e. a booking clerk belongs to the booking department). It is represented as a square with a vertical line.

Organization unit

Organization units determine which organization within the structure of an enterprise is responsible for a specific function. Examples are “sales department”, “procurement department”, etc. It is represented as an ellipse with a vertical line.

Information, material, or resource object

In the event-driven process chain, the information, material, or resource objects portray objects in the real world, for example business objects, entities, etc., which can be input data serving as the basis for a function, or output data produced by a function. Examples are “material”, “order”, etc. In the EPC graph such an object is represented as rectangle.