Business & Information Systems Engineering

Document Type

Research Paper


Deciding which business processes to improve is a challenge for all organizations. The literature on business process management (BPM) offers several approaches that support process prioritization. As many approaches share the individual process as unit of analysis, they determine the processes’ need for improvement mostly based on performance indicators, but neglect how processes are interconnected. So far, the interconnections of processes are only captured for descriptive purposes in process model repositories or business process architectures (BPAs). Prioritizing processes without catering for their interconnectedness, however, biases prioritization decisions and causes a misallocation of corporate funds. What is missing are process prioritization approaches that consider the processes’ individual need for improvement and their interconnectedness. To address this research problem, the authors propose the ProcessPageRank (PPR) as their main contribution. The PPR prioritizes processes of a given BPA by ranking them according to their network-adjusted need for improvement. The PPR builds on knowledge from process performance management, BPAs, and network analysis – particularly the Google PageRank. As for evaluation, the authors validated the PPR’s design specification against empirically validated and theory-backed design propositions. They also instantiated the PPR’s design specification as a software prototype and applied the prototype to a real-world BPA.