Processes research
Work is done in processes. So here the actual added value provided by IT is realized. This explains the focus we place in our research on the process aspect. IT, as a fast-changing basic production technology, is impacting business process on a continuous basis. At a strategic level this impact is looked at in the previous research lines. At a more operational design level, this issue is researched here.

Enterprise and process modelling

Enterprise Modelling is oriented towards the systematic analysis and modelling of strategies, business models, processes, business policies and rules, information systems and any other relevant business perspective. Within this domain, process modelling can be situated on the operational layer of the organization, with the aim of analyzing and communicating about internal activities. Enterprise modelling efforts are particularly useful to analyze the current and desired future state of enterprises, which enables them to faster react on external changes and developments.

Current topics:

  • Business models for value creation: how can business models be conceptualized to understand what a company needs for creating, delivering, and capturing value in its network of stakeholders.
  • Creating value from architecture models: how can architecture models yield more added value to architects and the organizations they work for. An example is Policy Checking in ArchiMate, where we try to support the automatic verification of organization-specific constraints.
  • Design patterns for co-evolution of business rules and their system-guided execution: This topic has been exploring business rule-based Semantic Web ontology design patterns for legal concepts and the efficient design of business system user interfaces for them. The current focus of this theme looking ahead is to develop more ontology design patterns that apply beyond law, and that form patterns applying constraints instead of only data models. We also continue exploring techniques for flexibly and efficiently deriving and designing interfaces supporting business data models and constraints on them.
  • Models of knowledge management systems in enterprises, extensions of information systems with concepts for decision making.: how to model the vision of enterprises in projects concerning knowledge management systems.

Business Process Management

Business process management (BPM) is the art and science of overseeing how work is performed in an organization to ensure consistent outcomes and to take advantage of improvement opportunities (Dumas et al, 2018). It studies business processes from a holistic point of view involving the people, organizations, applications, documents and other sources of information, to produce business outcomes in support of a business strategy (Gartner, 2020). Various methods, tools and techniques are used to elicit, discover, model, analyze, measure, improve and optimize business processes. The focus in this research theme puts special attention on human aspects of BPM.

Current topics:

  • Process model quality: the influence of structure, aesthetics, etc. of a process model on the understandability and comprehension of this model by a model viewer
  • The process of process modeling: understanding how do modelers create process models, which mistakes do they make, and how can they best be trained or supported to make better models
  • Continuous process improvement: developing and evaluating process analysis and redesign methods to identify bottlenecks and improvement opportunities
  • Task/resource allocation in BPM systems: advancing process automation with a focus on human capabilities, experience, and preferences to increase technology fit and adoption
  • Application and evaluation of BPM technology, tools and techniques in various (new) domains (e.g. high-tech manufacturing, healthcare).
  • Data analytics for BPM. This research theme relates to the application of a broad set of data analytics on business process management in order to create and evaluate new process analysis and improvement methods.


PhD students

  • E.M. Haddouchi
  • M.R. Dijkstra

Selected publications:

  • Bakelaar R., Roubtsova E., & Joosten S. (2017). “A Framework for Visualization of Changes of Enterprise Architecture”. In: Shishkov B. (eds.) Business Modeling and Software Design. BMSD 2016. LNBIP, vol. 275, pp. 140-160,Springer, Cham.
  • Claes, J., Vanderfeesten, I., Gailly, F., Grefen, P., & Poels, G. (2017). “The Structured Process Modeling Method (SPMM) what is the best way for me to construct a process model?”. Decision Support Systems, 100, 57-76.
  • Dijkstra, R., Roubtsova, E., “Analytic Pattern and Tool for Analysis of a Gap of Changes in Enterprise Architectures”. ENASE 2019: 226-233
  • Erasmus, J., Vanderfeesten, I., Traganos, K., Jie-A-Looi, X., Kleingeld, A., & Grefen, P. (2018). “A method to enable ability-based human resource allocation in business process management systems”. In D. Karagiannis, R. A. Buchmann, & M. Kirikova (Eds.), The Practice of Enterprise Modeling - 11th IFIP WG 8.1. Working Conference, PoEM 2018, Proceedings (pp. 37-52). (Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing; Vol. 335). Cham: Springer.
  • Hofman, C., Roubtsova, E., (2020), “A Reference Model for a Service Level Agreement. In domain of Information Sharing Services”. Accepted for BMSD 2020
  • Rafati, L., Roelens, B., & Poels, G. (2018). “A Domain-specific Modeling Technique for Value-driven Strategic Sourcing”. Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures, 13(8), 1-29. 
  • Roelens, B., & Poels, G. (2015). “The Development and Experimental Evaluation of a Focused Business Model Representation”. Business &. Information Systems Engineering, 57(1), 61-71.
  • Roubtsova, E. (2019), “Categories of Research Methods and Types of Research Results Illustrated with a Continuous Project”. ICEIS (2) 2019: 634-641
  • Rutledge L., Bouwer E., & Joosten S. (2019). “Rule Style: Patterns of and Extensions to Data System User Interface Specification for Business Rule Violations”. In: Shishkov B. (eds.) Business Modeling and Software Design. BMSD 2019. LNBIP, vol. 356, pp. 3-16, Springer, Cham.
  • Rutledge, L., Brenninkmeijer, T., Zwanenberg, T., Heijning, J. van de, Mekkering, A., Theunissen, J.N., and Bos, R., “From Ontology to Semantic Wiki – Designing Annotation and Browse Interfaces for Given Ontologies”, Volume 9507 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp 53-72, 16 April 2016.
  • Sales, T., Roelens, B., Poels, G., Guizzardi, G., Guarino, N., & Mylopoulos, J. (2019). “A Pattern Language for Value Modeling in ArchiMate”. In: Giorgini, P., Weber, B. (eds.) Advanced Information Systems Engineering. LNCS, vol. 11483, pp. 230-245, Springer, International Publishing.
  • Slootweg, P., Rutledge, L., Wedemeijer, L., & Joosten, S. (2016). “The Implementation of Hohfeldian Legal Concepts with Semantic Web Technologies”. Proceedings of the Artificial Intelligence for Justice Workshop of the 22nd European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI4J), The Hague, The Netherlands.
  • Türetken, O., Dikici, A., Vanderfeesten, I. T. P., Rompen, T. M. P., & Demirors, O. (2020). “The influence of using collapsed sub-processes and groups on the understandability of business process models”. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 62(2), 121-141.
  • Vanderfeesten, I.T.P., Erasmus, J., Traganos, K., Bouklis, P., Garbi, A., Boultadakis, G., Dijkman, R.M. & Grefen, P.W.P.J. 2019, “Developing process execution support for high tech manufacturing processes”. In:  D Lübke & C Pautasso (eds), Empirical studies on the development of executable business processes. Springer, Cham.
  • Vanderfeesten, I., Katerberg, D., Türetken, O., & Van De Ven, R. (2018). “A toolbox for the development and implementation of value based care pathways”. In T. Bures, & L. Angelis (Eds.), Proceedings - 44th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, SEAA 2018 (pp. 281-288). [8498220] Piscataway: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
  • Vanwersch, R. J., Shahzad, K., Vanderfeesten, I., Vanhaecht, K., Grefen, P., Pintelon, L., & Reijers, H. A. (2016). “A critical evaluation and framework of business process improvement methods”. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 58(1), 43-53.