Standards for Process Integration and Management
The application of process management technology is moving beyond the corporate firewall as organizations strive to componentized their processes, outsource process functions, or offer their own processes in form of Web Services.
In the light of the popularity of the Web Services movement, open standards for process interoperability are an essential ingredient for a sustainable infrastructure. Currently a number of alternative standards are being developed in this area, for example Wf-XML, BPEL, BPDM and WS-CDL.
The Process of Standardization
The creation of BPM standards is a process in which people and ideas move across many venues. Some participants engage in design activities, and seek legitimacy for their ideas by establishing or joining working groups within specific standards bodies. Other participants uphold the bylaws and culture of the standard bodies. The encounters between these groups sometimes produce standards, and sometimes produce movement, as participants seek alternative venues for their ideas.
Research in BPM Standards
Our research in the area of standardization addresses two issues:
- At a technical level we are interested in the architectural philosophies behind the alternative standard proposals. We have analyzed the properties of two popular design patterns for process interoperability, and studied the possible motives of those who pushed for either one or the other.
- At an organizational level we are interested in building a theory that explains the movement of participants and ideas across standard venues, and the birth and death of these venues. We have traced the movement of more than 500 standard participants over the past 11 years, and draw from different ecological theories to form a counterpoint to the prevailing economic theories of standardization.