Kurt Lewin’s statement “There is nothing more practical than a good theory” says not so much about what is good for practice, but rather what it means to have a good theory. There exist a number of competing theories in the business process domain. The current paper is devoted to one of those that lie outside the mainstream direction. The purpose of the paper is not to present the theory as such, but to present the stages of how it was developed with the aim of becoming a “good” theory from the practical point of view. The paper is written as an experience report and goes through different stages of the development where research efforts where intermixed with practical tests. The theory in question is the state-oriented view on business processes. The basic idea of this theory lies in application of the general principles of the theory of dynamic systems to the business domain. The main direction for practical application of theoretical results is the development of IT-support for loosely structured business processes. Besides giving the history of the related research and practical efforts, the paper discusses the lessons learned that can be of interest for the development of other theoretical models/views in the business process domain.


business process theory practice dynamic system state space 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lewin, K.: Field theory in social science: Selected theoretical papers by Kurt Lewin. Tavistock, London (1952)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    Meyrowitz, N., van Dam, A.: Interactive Editing Systems. ACM Computing Surveys 14(3), 321–415 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bider, I., Khomyakov, M., Pushchinsky, E.: Logic of change: Semantics of object systems with active relations. Automated Software Engineering (ASE) 7(1), 9–37 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bider, I., Khomyakov, M.: New technology - Great Opportunities. How to Exploit Them. In: Filipe, J. (ed.) Enterprise Information Systems IV, pp. 11–20. Kluwer, Dordrecht (2003)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bider, I.: State-oriented business process modeling: principles, theory and practice. PhD thesis, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bider, I.: Developing tool support for process oriented management. In: Handbook of Systems Development, vol. 1999, pp. 205–222. CRC Press, Boca Raton (1998)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bider, I.: Object driver: a method for analysis, design, and implementation of interactive applications. In: Handbook of Systems Development, vol. 1999, pp. 81–96. CRC Press, Boca Raton (1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bider, I., Khomyakov, M.: Object-oriented model for representing software production processes. In: Dannenberg, R.B., Mitchell, S. (eds.) ECOOP 1997 Workshops. LNCS, vol. 1357, pp. 319–322. Springer, Heidelberg (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kalman, R.E., Falb, P.L., Arbib, M.A.: Topics in Mathematical System Theory. McGraw-Hill, New York (1969)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Khomyakov, M., Bider, I.: Achieving Workflow Flexibility through Taming the Chaos. In: OOIS 2000-6th International Conference on Object Oriented Information Systems, pp. 85–92. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Andersson, B., Bider, I., Johannesson, P., Perjons, E.: Towards a Formal Definition of Goal-Oriented Business Process Patterns. BPMJ 11(6), 650–662 (2005)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Regev, G., Bider, I., Wegmann, A.: Defining Business Process Flexibility with the help of Invariants. SPIP 12(1), 65–79 (2007)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bider, I., Striy, A.: Controlling business process instance flexibility via rules of planning. IJBPIM 3(1), 15–25 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Andersson, T., Andersson-Ceder, A., Bider, I.: State Flow as a Way of Analyzing Business Processes – Case Studies. Logistics Information Management 15(1), 34–45 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Perjons, E., Bider, I., Andersson, B.: Building and Exploiting a Business Process Model for Lobbying: Experience Report. Communications of the IIMA (CIIMA) 7(3), 1–14 (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bider, I., Perjons, E.: Evaluating Adequacy of Business Process Modeling Approaches. In: Handbook of Research on Complex Dynamic Process Management: Techniques for Adaptability in Turbulent Environments, pp. 79–102. IGI (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Andersson, T., Bider, I., Svensson, R.: Aligning people to business processes experience report. Software Process Improvement and Practice (SPIP) 10(4), 403–413 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bider, I., Perjons, E., Johannesson, P.: In Search of the Holy Grail: Integrating social software with BPM. In: Experience Report, Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling. LNBIP, vol. 50, pp. 1–13. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bider, I., Perjons, E., Johannesson, P.: A strategy for integrating social software with business process support. LNBIP, vol. 66, p. 12. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    iPB Reference Manual on-line documentation, [Online] (accessed June 20, 2010) Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Weinberg, G.M.: An Introduction to General Systems Thinking. Dorset House, New York (2001)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilia Bider
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.IbisSoft ab SwedenSweden
  2. 2.DSVStockholm UniversitySweden

Personalised recommendations