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Enterprise Engineering Tutorial - Prof Jan Dietz


The deep structure of business processes: A practical method to reveal it, model it, and use it





Intended audience

Business process and workflow architects, managers, and researchers. Enterprise and Information System architects, managers, and researchers.

Theme and goals

The success of your work in (re) designing and (re) engineering business processes heavily depends on the profundity of your understanding of these processes. Unfortunately, the kind of understanding you need cannot be drawn from the rich sources of the organizational and management sciences because of their predominant functional orientation. Functional knowledge is sufficient (and necessary) if you only need to use or control an organization, like you use the car you are driving in. But your task is to change the business processes or to improve their efficiency by applying information and communication technology. To do so, you need knowledge of the construction and the operation of organizations, like a car mechanic needs to know how a car is constructed and how it operates. But even if you take the constructional perspective, the complexity of the problems you are faced with and the high pressure on timely delivery of high quality solutions makes that you cannot come off any longer with drawing informal and/or too detailed process diagrams as a basis for re-design and re-engineering. Doing your work in a professional way requires a solid scientific methodology. In this tutorial you will learn how the DEMO* methodology reveals the deep essential structure of business processes. Business processes need not be mind-boggling railroad yards; they can be crystal structures of ‘atoms’ and ‘molecules’. The question only is how to reveal these structures, how to extract them from the observable surface structures that blur the sight on them.

Planned activities

-     Analysis of current problems

-     The DEMO methodology

-     Example cases and exercises


* DEMO is an acronym for Design and Engineering Methodology for Organizations. 


Dietz, J.L.G.: Generic recurrent patterns in business processes. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Weske, M. (eds.) BPM 2003. LNCS, vol. 2678, Springer, Heidelberg (2003)

Dietz, J.L.G.: Enterprise Ontology – Theory and Methodology. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)


Dietz, J.L.G.: The deep structure of business processes. In: Communications of the ACM, Vol. 49, No. 5 (2006)




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