Cost-Aware Business Process Management

Cost-Aware Workflow Systems: Support for Cost Mining and Cost Reporting

Organizations nowadays face stronger and more aggressive competition. Not only do they need to operate seamlessly, a low operational cost must also be ensured to maintain their competitive advantage. The ability to monitor the overall cost of business operations closely and effectively, and then make necessary changes to their operations quickly, is highly desirable for any organization. In order to do this, organizations enable business automation by making use of workflow management systems (WFMS). Process mining is used to mine the data models generated by a WFMS to gain insight into business processes. Management accounting techniques are used to capture business operation costs that will be used to generate reports internal to the organization, where it can facilitate managers to make informed business decisions. However, there is a lack of integration between WFMSs and management accounting, resulting in process mining not being able to support cost reporting for management accounting purposes.

This research aims to enable cost reporting by incorporating cost-related information into process mining. This work improves upon the data model generated from the WFMS in accordance with literature review findings, and subsequently proposes an architecture to enable management accounting report generation via a process mining tool ProM. This thesis presents a first implementation result by generating various types of management accounting cost reports. The findings will enable process mining to be cost-aware, thus promoting more accurate and near real-time cost analytics of organizations.

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