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School of Industrial Engineering

Exam Business Process Management (1BM05),

Friday June 12th 2009, 9:00 - 12:00 hours.

For this written exam a maximum number of 10 points can be obtained. Previous results for group work or exams are NOT taken
into account. It is not allowed to use the book, notes, or any other course-related material during the examination. (It is however
allowed to use a basic calculator.) The solutions of the assignments should be formulated in DUTCH or ENGLISH, concisely, and
list any assumptions that are not explicitly stated in the assignment.

Assignment 1 (1.5 points)

In chapters 11 – 13 of the book “Workflow Modeling” by A. Sharp and P. McDermott (2001), a practical and conventional method for modeling
the As-Is process is presented, i.e. without the use of process mining. In these chapters, a number of potential difficulties with this form of As-Is
modelling are discussed, as well as ways to work around those.

Characterize at least three problems with the intended way of capturing the As-Is situation that you consider serious, and describe for each of
them one proper work-around. Your solution for this exercise should not cover more than one page.

Solution Key: see chapters 11, 12 and 13 of Sharp and McDermott. In total there are 6 elements in this question 3 problems and 3 solutions.
Because the total for this question is 2 points, each element counts for 1/3. If all of the difficulties are minor issues the total will drop.

Assignment 2 (3 points)
In the outpatient clinic for dermatology oncology, patients are diagnosed and treated for skin cancer. The first step of the process is the planning
of a consultation meeting by a secretary of the dermatology oncology (DO) department. Then, the consultation meeting is performed by a
dermatologist of the DO department. After this consult, the dermatologist can decide that (1) the patient needs to be diagnosed, or (2) an earlier

diagnosis of the patient is still valid and that there is no need for an additional analysis. In the former case, two diagnosis steps are performed: a
picture of the affected skin is taken by a photographer at the Audio and Video Services (AVS) and after that a skin sample is taken by a
dermatologist of the DO department. The sample is packaged, registered and sent to the lab by a nurse of the DO department. If the lab does not
provide the results in a week time, a reminder is sent to them. When the results are received – which we assume will take place eventually – the
process continues with a decision on the treatment for the patient.

A decision on the particular treatment one should receive is generated for all patients, i.e., regardless whether path (1) or path (2) is chosen. The
decision is made by a dermatologist of the DO department. After the decision has been made, a nurse of the DO department informs the patient
by phone. During this phone call, a suitable date is also planned for the treatment. If the patient cannot be reached, an attempt to contact the
patient by phone call is immediately attempted again. In parallel with this patient contact, the patient record is updated by a dermatologist of the
DO department with the information on the treatment.

The next step in the process is the treatment of the patient. The treatment is either an excision which is performed by a dermatologist of the DO
department or a photo dynamic therapy (PDT) by a nurse of the PDT department.

After treatment, a post-treatment step is scheduled by the secretary of the DO department while the patient is still in the hospital. One of two
post-treatment steps is performed: either a wound check is to be performed or the stitches are to be removed. Both steps are performed by a nurse
of the DO department. Note that when a PDT is performed, the post-treatment always concerns a wound check. As a last step, a dermatologist of
the DO department decides if long-term health checks are necessary. If checks are necessary, a new consultation meeting is scheduled by the
secretary of the DO department, which means to start the process again. If no checks are necessary, the process is ended.

Model the above workflow process using the notation of the book, i.e., (I) a process definition (including triggers) and (II) a resource
classification. Make sure that the process definition is sound. As always carefully think about the “case concept”, e.g., when describing one
patient in isolation, a task can only change the status of a single case.




secretary photographer


Points will be subtracted for: modeling mistakes (e.g. deadlocks or incorrect implicit choices), omitted content (e.g. missing task to schedule
operation), missing resource classification, missing place names, duplicate inclusion of nurse role in resource classification, etc.

Assignment 3 (2 points)
Redesign best practices can be used to incrementally improve the performance of business processes. However, as illustrated by the Devil’s
quadrangle, the application of a best practice can have negative side-effects. For each of the following best practices:
• describe in roughly 3-4 sentences a realistic situation where the best practice seems attractive to be applied,
• name one potential negative effect of applying the best practice in this context,
• explicitly use the dimensions of the Devil’s quadrangle to categorize this negative effect
The best practices to discuss are:
a) Parallelism
b) Flexible assignment
c) Empower
d) Buffering

Examples are abundant; what is important is that they are *realistic*, e.g. not simply refer to “two tasks than can be placed in parallel”. For
the drawbacks, see the theory from the best practices paper:

• parallelism: A drawback of introducing more parallelism in a business process that incorporates possibilities of knock-outs is that the
cost of business process execution may increase. Also, the management of business processes with concurrent behavior can become
more complex, which may introduce errors (quality) or restrict run-time adaptations (1exibility).
• flexibile assignment: The disadvantages of this best practice can be diverse. For example, work load may become unbalanced
resulting in less job satisfaction. Also, possibilities for specialists to evolve into generalists are reduced.
• empower: A drawback may be that the quality of the decisions is lower and that obvious errors are no longer found. If bad decisions
or errors result in rework, the cost of handling a order may actually increase compared to the original situation (Fig. 22).
• buffering: Of course, the subscription fee for information updates may be rather costly. This is especially so when we consider
information sources that contain far more information than is ever used. Substantial cost may also be involved with storing all the

Assignment 4 (1.5 points)
The following model is a simple workflow where two tasks are carried out one after another:

24 arrivals per hour

2 resources, average
service time of 4 minutes
2 resources, average
service time of 4 minutes

c1 task1 c2 task2 c3
Figure 1: Example workflow

The arrival process is Poisson and on average 24 cases arrive each hour. There are two persons taking care of the first step in the process, i.e.,
task1 can be executed for two cases at the same time. Similarly, there are two other persons taking care of the second step in the process. The
processing times are negative exponential and the average service time per task is indicated in the figure. The average flow time of cases starting
in place c1 and ending in place c3 is approximately 22 minutes, which was established using the M/M/2 formula.

a) Determine the average utilization of each of the four employees. (0.5 points)

= 24/30 = 0.8

b) Determine the average number of cases in the process. (0.5 points)

= L = lambda * S = 24 * (22/60) = 8.8 cases (Little’s law)

c) If one applies the “Task composition (COMPOS)” best practice to the example workflow in Figure 1, assuming that the combined task takes
only 7 minutes, the average flow time drops spectacular. The resulting flow time is approximately 9.5 minutes. What are the two main reasons
for the spectacular flow time reduction? (0.5 points)

Reason 1) reduced set-up time

Reason 2) added flexibility in using the resources

Assignment 5 (2 points)
A process analyst is using the methodology of Product-based Design to create an improved design for the process for granting Dutch citizenship
to immigrants; a process which is carried out by the IND 1 , a Dutch governmental agency. She has the following specification at her disposal:

Statute law on Dutch citizenship, art. 8

1. For granting of the Dutch citizenship is only qualified the applicant
a. who is of age,
b. against whose permanent stay in the Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles or Aruba no objections exist,
c. who has had admittance and main residence in the Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles or Aruba, for at least five years immediately preceding the request,
d. who can be seen as adapted to the Dutch, Dutch-Antillean or Aruban society based on the fact that he has a sufficient level of knowledge of the Dutch
language [...] as well as sufficient knowledge about the Dutch constitution and society [...].

Draw the Product Data Model that captures this logic. Clearly describe the meaning of the information elements in a separate list.


Note that the arrows flowing to data elements B, C, D, F, and G are not mandatory.

Notation book

AND-split AND-join

Explicit OR-split OR-join

task condition



case variables

• Automatic
No trigger is required.

• User
A resource takes the initiative.

• External
A external event (message, phone call) is required.

• Time
The task requires a time trigger.

ρ=λ/μ, L = ρ/(1-ρ), W=ρ/(μ-λ), S=1/(μ-λ).


Redesign best practices

Control relocation Split responsibilities
Contact reduction Customer teams
Integration Numerical involvement
Order types Case manager
Task elimination Extra resources
Order-based work Specialist-generalist
Triage Empower
Task composition Control addition
Resequencing Buffering
Knock-out Task automation
Parallelism Integral technology
Exception Trusted party
Order assignment Outsourcing
Flexible assignment Interfacing