Confirming design guidelines for evolvable business processes based on the concept of entropy
Contemporary organizations need to be agile at both their IT systems and organizational structures (such as business processes). Normalized Systems theory has recently proposed an approach to build evolvable IT systems, based on the systems theoretic concept of stability. However, its applicability to the organizational level, including business processes, has proven to be relevant in the past and resulted among others in a set of 25 guidelines for designing business processes. In subsequent work, the Normalized Systems theory was confirmed and extended based on the concept of entropy from thermodynamics. This perspective allows for the investigation of the observability of IT systems or at the organizational level business processes. Therefore, this paper explores whether the guidelines which have been proposed to design business processes from an evolvability point of view can be confirmed or extended from the entropy reasoning as well. More specifically, the validity of 25 business process design guidelines is investigated for this purpose. While 9 of these guidelines were already analyzed in earlier work, this paper supplements the earlier analysis by including a discussion of the other 16 guidelines. Our results indicate that the investigated guidelines are rather consistent among both approaches: guidelines required to attain evolvability also enable low entropy (i.e., high observability) and vice versa. Part of one guideline was found to be not strictly necessary from the entropy viewpoint. Moreover, several guidelines were able to be refined to some extent based on our entropy reasoning or were subject to some additional nuancing. KeywordsBusiness Processes; Observability; Entropy; Stability; Normalized Systems
Source (journal)
International journal on advances in software
7:1-2(2014), p. 341-352
Full text (publishers version - intranet only)
Research group
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Creation 09.10.2014
Last edited 11.12.2015
To cite this reference