Best Practices

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Business Process Architecture: A Comparative Analysis of Reference Models and Methodologies

There is a general lack of awareness regarding the creation, use, and potential benefits of enterprise-wide process architectures. This article addresses these issues by attempting to address the question: What are the potential benefits of business process architecture and how may they be achieved? This article explores and analyzes a subset of the most popular and widely used process reference models, tools, and implementation methodologies as identified in popular practitioner literature. The models are then compared and critiqued for strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the selected sample of reference models will be evaluated and scrutinized for apparent themes. Considerations regarding how the reference models and methodologies can be selected and combined for maximum benefit are offered. The article provides an overview of the developing business process architecture discipline, and describes the practice conceptually and then discusses potential benefits and common challenges. Analysis of the various models, tools, and methodologies yields that they are often distinguished by relative strengths and weaknesses, and that the best option depends on the situation and objectives. By following generic initial phases of the selected methodologies, organizations can roughly visualize their business context and enterprise-level processes to facilitate the creation of process architecture vision and objectives.