PhD Thesis

Strategy-Aware Business Process Management

César A. L. Oliveira

Over the past two decades, management research has demonstrated a growing interest in the subject of uncertainty and in the means employed by organizations to cope with it. There is a consensus among researchers nowadays that organizations must be constantly changing and adapting their operations and strategies to match new market and economic requirements.

The ability of a firm to rapidly change its goals and strategies and to readily reconfigure its operations is called “strategic flexibility”. Such ability is being identified as a critical success factor for contemporary organizations. Nevertheless, information technology support for strategic flexibility has been limited. In most organizations, there is still a large gap that separates strategic planning activities from information systems development activities. This reduces the agility of the company to respond to new market necessities. A study of the management literature demonstrates that current requirements of managers in uncertain and changing environments have not been fulfilled by the management support systems available today.

In this thesis, we propose a mechanism to make information systems “strategy-aware”. Such strategy awareness is defined as a feature that allows for the rapid update of a system’s functions in response to strategic changes. This feature also improves an organization’s capacity for strategic alignment and performance monitoring. More specifically, we propose a software architecture that makes information system’s users become aware of the company’s strategic necessities while performing their job. Our focus in this work is on business process management and the concept developed by us is called Strategy-Aware Business Process Management (SA-BPM).

The strategy awareness is achieved through a modular adaptation infrastructure that changes the behavior of the business process management system at run-time. The system becomes able to capture information derived directly from the organization’s management support systems (e.g., its strategic planning systems). Through our framework, organizations can develop the capacity to make frequent changes to their strategies and to rapidly make these changes operational, contributing to the improvement of their strategic flexibility.

Keywords: business process management, strategic alignment, management support systems, context-aware information systems, results-oriented management, strategic flexibility

Advisor: Ricardo M. F. Lima

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BibTex Citation:

  author =	"Cesar A. L. Oliveira",
  title =	"Strategy-Aware Business Process Management",
  year = 	"2014",
  school =	"Universidade Federal de Pernambuco",
  address =	"Recife, Brazil"

Center for Informatics - CIn, 2014