Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives are typically centrally managed and follow a top-down design based on management commitment. Although that procedure is highly effective when managing a few structured processes at a time, emerging process-oriented organizations have shown increased demand for supporting, maintaining, and optimizing all of their processes comprehensively. Due to the scarcity of organizational resources, enterprises prioritize processes based on their strategic importance, dysfunctionality, and feasibility to be redesigned. Thus, a few highly relevant processes are improved, while a considerable amount of lower prioritized processes, which would still add value to the enterprise, are deferred. Furthermore, because the amount of low-value processes exceeds the amount of centrally managed processes, central BPM initiatives leave a large untouched potential for process optimization. In this paper, we conceptualize that phenomenon as the long tail of business pro-cesses. As a theoretical foundation, we formalize the management of long-tail process distributions as an optimization problem. We further introduce a novel methodology that integrates approaches from collaborative production models and concepts of centrally managed BPM initiatives to facilitate a holistic management of business processes.

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