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Business Process Management (BPM) is the discipline that combines knowledge from information technology and knowledge from management sciences and applies this to operational business processes. It has received considerable attention in recent years due to its potential for significantly increasing productivity and saving costs. Moreover, today there is an abundance of BPM systems. These systems are generic software systems that are driven by explicit process designs to enact and manage operational business processes.

BPM can be seen as an extension of Workflow Management (WFM). WFM primarily focuses on the automation of business processes, whereas BPM has a broader scope: from process automation and process analysis to operations management and the organization of work. On the one hand, BPM aims to improve operational business processes, possibly without the use of new technologies. For example, by modeling a business process and analyzing it using simulation, management may get ideas on how to reduce costs while improving service levels. On the other hand, BPM is often associated with software to manage, control, and support operational processes. This was the initial focus of WFM. However, traditional WFM technology aimed at the automation of business processes in a rather mechanistic manner without much attention for human factors and management support.


For more information see the following pages:



Recommended BPM Books

Modeling Business Processes

A Petri Net-Oriented Approach
Wil van der Aalst and Christian Stahl
MIT Press 2011, 400 p. 300 illus.

Modern Business Process Automation

YAWL and its Support Environment
ter Hofstede, van der Aalst, Adams, Russell (Eds.)
Springer 2010, XVIII, 676 p. 321 illus.

Process Mining

Discovery, Conformance and Enhancement of Business Processes
van der Aalst, Wil M. P.
Springer 2011, 1st Edition., XVI, 352 p. 184 illus., 6 in color.

Business Process Management

Concepts, Languages, Architectures
Mathias Weske
Springer 2012, 2nd ed. 2012, 403 p. 300 illus.

Handbook on Business Process Management

Introduction, Methods, and Information Systems Series: International Handbooks on Information Systems 
vom Brocke, Jan; Rosemann, Michael (Eds.)
Springer 2010, 1st Edition., XIX, 600 p. 191 illus.

Workflow Management

Models, Methods, and Systems
Wil van der Aalst and Kees van Hee
MIT Press 2004, 2nd Edition, 384 p.

Enabling Flexibility in Process-Aware Information Systems

Challenges, Methods, Technologies
Reichert, Manfred, Weber, Barbara
Springer 2012, XVIII, 515 p. 273 illus., 91 in color.

Fundamentals of Business Process Management

Dumas, M., La Rosa, M., Mendling, J., Reijers, H.
Springer 2013, Approx. 350 p.

Front Cover

Process-Aware Information Systems

Bridging People and Software Through Process Technology
Marlon Dumas, Wil M. van der Aalst, Arthur H. ter Hofstede
John Wiley & Sons 2005, 500 p.



The list of recommended books is partly taken from excerpt of interview with Springer Verlag in 2012


The European BPM Round Table

An Interview with Wil van der Aalst

Wil van der Aalst

Business Process Management (BPM) is probably that field in computer science with the highest impact on the way large and medium-size enterprises work. Prof. Wil van der Aalst, Springer author and according to Google scholar the highest ranked European computer scientist, recently launched the “European Round Table” Initiative. On this occasion, we could ask him a couple of questions.

·         European Round Table Initiative

Together with a couple of renowned colleagues, you recently launched the BPM round table initiative across Europe. What was your motivation to do so? Why now?

Wil van der Aalst: In The Netherlands we already had a BPM round table where people from industry (end users, consultants, and software vendors) regularly meet with BPM researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology to discuss new BPM technologies and challenges. The cross-fertilization of real-life problems and state-of-the-art techniques has shown to be valuable from both a practical and scientific point of view. Since we were aware of similar initiatives in other countries, we decided to lift this to the European level. The European BPM round table is supported by EIT ICT Labs which aims to turn Europe into the global leader in ICT innovation. Colleagues all around Europe responded very positive to this new initiative. More than 20 round tables distributed across 14 countries joined forces for this initiative.

·         EIT ICT Labs

What are your expectations for this initiative? How do you get practitioners and companies involved?

Europe is globally leading in the area of Business Process Management (BPM) but this is not always visible for non-experts. By joining forces across Europe we hope to make this more visible and get the attention of decision makers. Practitioners are eager to get involved as many organizations are struggling to support their processes using IT.

What are the attendees’ expectations? What is the first feedback?

The attendees expect to see innovative applications of BPM technologies and learn from each other’s experiences. We are still in the process of compiling the program, but it is designed in such a way that both practitioners and researchers reflect on shared problems and applications. An example is BPM in healthcare where one can find interesting challenges and many potential improvements.

What exactly are the information needs of practitioners?

Business Process Management (BPM) research resulted in a plethora of methods, techniques, and tools to support the design, enactment, management, and analysis of operational business processes. However, it is not easy to introduce these advanced techniques in organizations having short-term priorities. Moreover, software vendors and consultants are often trying to hype new buzzwords. This is confusing for end-user organizations. As the BPM discipline is maturing, this will improve.

How do Springer’s books help to fulfill these needs?

Recently, Springer published various books on BPM and related topics such as process mining. It is clear that there is currently no other vendor providing such a complete collection of books. Springer is also publishing the annual BPM conference proceedings ( The BPM workshop proceedings are also published in the new series called “Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing”. LNBIP provides a good platform for quickly disseminating new BPM research.

·         Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP)

Are there Springer books you would especially recommend to the audience?

As indicated a remarkable collection of BPM books appeared in recent years. The following Springer books provide an excellent coverage of the BPM domain:

  1. Weske: Business Process Management
  2. ter Hofstede, van der Aalst, Adams, Russell (Eds.): Modern Business Process Automation
  3. vom Brocke, Rosemann (Eds.): Handbook on Business Process Management
  4. van der Aalst: Process Mining
  5. Reichert, Weber: Enabling Flexibility in Process-Aware Information Systems
  6. Dumas, La Rosa, Mendling, Reijers: Fundamentals of Business Process Management


Thank you very much for these interesting insights.





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