Business Process Extensibility

  • Sören Balko SAP AG
  • Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede Queensland University of Technology
  • Alistair Barros SAP Research
  • Marcello La Rosa Queensland University of Technology
  • Michael Adams Queensland University of Technology


Vendors provide reference process models as consolidated, off-the-shelf solutions to capture best practices in a given industry domain. Customers can then adapt these models to suit their specific requirements. Traditional process flexibility approaches facilitate this operation, but do not fully address it as they do not sufficiently take controlled change guided by vendors’ reference models into account. This tension between the customer’s freedom of adapting reference models, and the ability to incorporate with relatively low effort vendor-initiated reference model changes, thus needs to be carefully balanced. This paper introduces process extensibility as a new paradigm for customising reference processes and managing their evolution over time. Process extensibility mandates a clear recognition of the different responsibilities and interests of reference model vendors and consumers, and is concerned with keeping the effort of customer-side reference model adaptations low while allowing sufficient room for model change.
Research Articles