Courses

 

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 Below you will find a brief description of the courses I teach.

  • MIST 5750/7690: Business Process Management
  • MIST 5600: Advanced BPM

MIST 5750/7690: Business Process Management

Business processes, the activities performed by people or technology, to get products and services to customers, have always been the heart of a business. This course will develop your business analysis skills for modeling, analyzing, managing and changing businesses focusing on business processes. The emphasis will be on using information technology/systems (IT) to manage and improve business processes. Developing these business analysis skills will be essential for IT and non-IT professionals and managers who want to succeed in the changing business environment!

Business Process Management (BPM) is a systems management approach that defines an organization as a collection of processes focused on customer satisfaction, managing process using well-defined measures, and continually improving processes. Business Process Management System (BPMS) is a platform for developing and running information systems. BPMS is a new style of IT environment that focuses on moving more control of IT activities back into the business areas and improving business-IT collaboration. BPMS enables the BPM approach. This course will focus on both BPM the management approach and its enabler, BPMS technologies. BPMS are enabled by IT services-oriented architecture (SOA) framework that is fast becoming the norm for most companies. Software code will be generated for a SOA or web services environment.

More and more business application products sold worldwide are service-oriented, software as a service business model. However, this BPMS_SOA environment is leading to an even bigger change!  We have powerful development tools (BPMS), supervised by small one-three-person teams of business analysts, will create most business systems without programming. Large programming teams working to months-long schedules will fade away. The emerging research is clear that managing by process or adopting the BPM approach and adopting BPMS technologies leads to improve business results. Many argue that BPM will be the dominant management paradigm of the 21st century.

No matter what your current or future desired roles are, BPM is going to be critical to them. The future skills that will critical to IT and non-IT professionals and management at all levels will be business analysis skills. Analysis skills used to identify business process problems and opportunities and use people and technology to solve problems or make opportunities happen. This course will improve your process analysis and management skills as outlined in Course Outcomes.

MIST 5600: Advanced BPM

This course focuses on implementing IT-Facilitated Business Processes. The primary outcome is to enable students to implement and manage a business process using business process management software. Students will apply four core models that guide the development of process-based systems: Business Process, Business Decision, Service-Oriented Architecture, and Business Data Model.

Motivation

Business processes, the activities performed by people or technology, to get products and services to customers, have always been the heart of a business. There is an exciting paradigm shift happening within the information systems (IS) field to better support the management of business processes. This means a new breed of information systems is emerging as are new approaches for developing them.  There are two major areas for change that are driving the creation of a new breed of information systems. They are the desire or need to:

(1)  manage business process and business rules as separate resources but are closely connected; and

(2)  decompose software or programming code into reusable modules, call services, and managed by a service oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure.

These changes lead to the creation of process-based information systems as opposed to traditional data-based driven systems.  Similar to what happen with data 50 years ago, the business process is separated and managed by a Business Process Management System (BPMS) and the business rules (business logic), are separated and managed by a Business Rules/Decision Management System (BRMS/BDMS).  Within this new type of system, the application is the business process actually executed by the BPMS.   During execution, the different services assigned to activities in the business process are executed and may be a task (application logic), rule/decision, database or human service.  The SOA infrastructure manages and mediates services used in the business process. Students are introduced to BPMS in MIST 5750 using RunMyProcess.

 

It is now possible with these powerful process-based systems development tools for business analysts to create business systems without programming.  Large programming teams working on months-long schedules will fade away.  The key word here is “business analysts/architect”; the future skills that will be critical to IS and non-IS professionals are business analysis skills.  Analysis skills are used to identify business problems and opportunities and to use people and technology to solve problems or take advantage of present opportunities.  This course will improve your analysis and development skills as well as prepare you for the changing IS paradigm.

 

This course offering is currently somewhat unique in that only a handful of universities (mostly, outside the US) offer a BPMS implementation course for undergraduate credit. The reasons for this are varied but, rest assured, it is how business applications are and will be developed going forward. Whether one calls this MDE (model-driven execution), EUBA (end-user business applications), process-based or something similar, the objective is to create flexible, agile, transparent and manageable business processes that are easy to implement, incrementally improve, and provide responsive business intelligence.

 

The view of this course is that these concepts are best understood and learned by doing, not reading about them, although you will certainly do some reading! By implementing increasingly “real” business processes; and not toy problems and examples (although there will be some of these as well). Seventy percent of your grade will be based on projects where you will be developing process-based information systems.

 

So, if you want to be at the leading edge of how business applications (and their underlying processes) are viewed, defined, justified, implemented, managed, changed and monitored for (continuous) improvement, then this is the course is likely for you. You do not need an understanding of programming but some programming would be useful. What you do need is a willingness to learn new ideas, install and use technology with a small footprint but significant capabilities, and perhaps set aside some ideas regarding how to go about defining and implementing IT-enabled business applications for process owners and users.

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