Since the 1950s, organizations have taken benefit from quality management practices and methodologies such as Six Sigma or Total Quality Management in manufacturing and logistics. Their positive impact with respect to competitiveness as well as profitability has been demonstrated by a wide variety of empirical studies. At the same time, an ever-growing share of the organizational value chain centers around transactional administrative processes addressed by business process management concepts (e.g., in finance and accounting, human resource management and procurement). In fact, quantitative research has shown these so-called “overhead” activities to contribute more than 50% to the cost base of typical industrial companies. This development has led to the evolution of business process management as a well-established field integrating management and computer science.
Accordingly, bridging the gap between quality management and business process management is very promising from a management perspective. Successful integration would enable organizations to apply effective quality management to a substantial area that has been only sparsely covered so far. Obtaining a clear understanding of business process quality, i.e. of what constitutes a good business process, poses the most important prerequisite in this respect. Related approaches have not provided an effective solution to this issue yet, which becomes clear when matching available results against effectiveness requirements from the perspective of operational management. However, once a well-founded notion of business process quality is available, it will become possible to commence with more detailed quality modeling and the development of appropriate quality management practices aiming at the specific requirements of business process management.
Our project therefore wants to address the following research questions based on a top-down design science paradigm:
1. Derive a concise business process quality definition framework to enable discussion of business process quality notions
2. Derive a business process quality model comprising quality attributes, criteria and predicates to enable business process quality assessment
3. Facilitate the integration of procedures enabling business process quality management into the broader business process management perspective as well as respective tools and systems