Business Process Architectures (BPA) and Requirements Engineering (RE)

For over a decade, chapter leader Dr Stewart Green and a number of colleagues have been focusing our research on business process architectures (BPAs), business process modelling, and providing IT support for business processes. A business process architecture identifies the business processes that either exist or ought to exist in an organisation and the relations between them.

A business process model depicts the activities that comprise a business process and how they are organised in series and in parallel. IT support can range from support for one activity by a database-centric information system to automated support of a whole process using a so-called business process management system.

We think that better quality requirements for IT support will be derived by first considering the processes that the IT is intended to support.

Riva method

We have focused our effort mainly on understanding, applying and extending Martyn Ould's Riva method for identifying business process architectures and modelling processes. In particular, our published work has focused on assessing Ould's assertion that organisations in the same business should have the same business process architecture. We have assessed this assertion by applying Riva to higher education institutions to identify and compare their BPAs.

Currently, we are addressing the concept of the "case strategy process" which is mentioned, but not developed, in the Riva method.

Research supervision

In addition, three PhDs which address related problems in this area are being supervised and co-supervised. Supervision is also given for MSc Software Engineering dissertations that tend to address opportunities and problems in this area.

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