An important task of a business process management system is the coordination
of work among the personnel of an enterprise. To fulfil this, the system
has to be provided with information on the organizational structures in which
the business process will execute.
As in process modelling and data modelling, the metamodel level
provides the means to express models, in this case organizational models.
Concepts at this level are positions, roles, teams, and relationships between
positions like supervisor. In organization modelling, there are a few formal
rules on how to express organizational structures, as well as notations to express
The general principle behind organization modelling is the resource, an entity
that can perform work for the enterprise. The general concept of resource
subsumes humans and other resources, such as trucks, warehouses, and other
equipment a company requires to fulfil its goals.
Persons are part of an organization, typically a business organization. The
persons in these organizations work to fulfil the business goals of the enterprise.
Each person typically occupies some position, and the duties and
privileges of that person come with the position, not with the person. This allows filling positions according to an overall organizational plan. In addition,
the company can cope better with changes in personnel. Organizational units
are permanent groupings of persons based on their positions. Organizational
teams or project teams are specific organizational units without a permanent
In order for us to not overload that figure, it contains positions only at the top
levels, the chief executive level and the department level. Departments are
organizational units with a set of member positions.
The link between the organizational structure of an enterprise and the
business processes is accomplished by work items. Work items represent activity
instances to be performed, and work items are associated with knowledge
workers to facilitate their selection by knowledge workers. In particular, when the business process management system determines that a certain activity
instance enters the ready state, a work item is offered to a set of knowledge
Each work item is associated with exactly one activity instance. The selection
of the process participants is subject to resource allocation mechanisms,
which will be discussed below. When a knowledge worker completes the activity
instance, the business process management system is informed, so that
the process instance can be continued accordingly.
In order to discuss the resource allocation principles, a state transition
diagram of work items is considered, and a relationship of activity instances
to the respective state transitions is provided.
The assignment of process participants to activities in a business process
can be classified by resource patterns. A rich set of resource patterns have
recently been introduced; in this book, the most relevant resource patterns