From business value models to process models: A case study

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Over the past 10 years, a substantial amount of research has been done in the field of business models. Business models are of particular relevance in e-commerce and can be defined as a semi-conceptual model that describes actors (e.g. enterprises and end-users) in a network (also called a value web) and shows what objects of economic value are exchanged between these actors. As such, a business model describes the economical aspect of a business case; other relevant aspects may be the business process aspect and the information technology aspect. Consider for instance the case of an online music store. Relevant actors are here the music store, right owners such as artists, producers, sing&song writers, and end users who listen to music tracks. All these actors exchange things of economic value with each other, including money, rights to listen to music, and so on. The VUA has done a significant amount of research on business models, which has resulted in the e3value methodology (see e.g. The e3value methodology focuses on business value modeling specifically; therefore we often refer to business value models rather than just business models.

A business value model cf. e3value describes actors who exchange things of economic value with each other. However, to put a business value model into operation, an inter-organizational business process must be in place, and in most cases also information technology. In case of the earlier mentioned music store, there will be a time-ordered flow of payments, deliveries (e.g. music tracks) and so on. Whereas a business value model concentrates which actors exchange what of economic value with each other, the business process shows how this is done in terms of operations, including the sequence of these.

A key problem is how to develop a business process model, given a corresponding business value model. Various researchers have worked on this problem, each with their own partial results. Currently, we are in the process of developing an easy to understand (and learn) approach to create business process models based on a given business value model. The aim of this assignment is to start with a simplified version of such an approach and to execute a case study in a company. The assignment includes (1) the creation of the business value model for a relevant part of the company, (2) to derive a business process based on that value model using provided guidelines, (3) to critically analyze the development of the business value and business process model, and (4) to suggest changes and improvements to the proposed guidelines. The value of this assignment is largely in the case study; the case study itself should be a significant part of the M.Sc. thesis.