Marco Aiello, Pavel Bulanov and Heerko Groefsema

A Survey of Variability Management Requirements

Explicit and software-supported Business Process Management has become the core infrastructure of any medium and large organization that has a need to be efficient and effective. The number of processes of a single organization can be very high, furthermore, they might be very similar, be in need of momentary change, or evolve frequently. If the adhoc adaptation and customization of processes is currently the dominant way, it clearly is not the best. In fact, providing tools for supporting the explicit management of variation in processes (due to customization or evolution needs) has a profound impact on the overall life-cycle of processes in organizations. Additionally, with the increasing adoption of Service-Oriented Architectures, the infrastructure to support automatic reconfiguration and adaptation of business process is solid. In this paper, after defining variability in business process management, we consider the requirements for explicit variation handling for (service based) business process systems. eGovernment serves as an illustrative example of reuse. In this case study, all local municipalities need to implement the same general legal process while adapting it to the local business practices and IT infrastructure needs. Finally, an evaluation of existing tools for explicit variability management is provided with respect to the requirements identified.

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