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Master thesis MSc Program in Innovation Management. Comparing BPM approaches in the healthcare Domain: Case Handling vs. Model Driven Engineering (BPMone vs. Mendix) G.J.M. Muijres, student ID: 0555168. August, 2011 Supervisors Dr. P.M.E. Van Gorp, IS Dr. ir. H.A. Reijers, IS Company

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Comparing bpm approaches in the healthcare domain case handling vs model driven engineering

Master thesisMSc Program in Innovation Management

Comparing BPM approaches in the healthcare Domain:

Case Handling vs. Model Driven Engineering

(BPMone vs. Mendix)

G.J.M. Muijres, student ID: 0555168

August, 2011

SupervisorsDr. P.M.E. Van Gorp, IS

Dr. ir. H.A. Reijers, IS


Eye Care Network Rotterdam

Models and Results

The selected case for implementing an executable prototype was the glaucoma treatment process. With both tools, a first version of the glaucoma process model was prepared. All the different aspects of the models were considered and compared using the comparison framework, as can be seen in table 2.

Table 2: Comparison framework for the first model

Compared to BPMone, Mendix’s primary weakness is the lower level of abstraction. Therefore, a higher specification effort is needed, which leads to the risk of making bad design decisions. Decisions that are already implicitly made in BPMone. However, this limitation can be overcome by adding a number of novel patterns to the Mendix model. These patterns are influenced by some apparently stronger BPMone principles. The created patterns are reusable and even generalizable outside of the healthcare domain, in a manufacturing domain with the same flexibility by design requirement. The patterns are used to create a new Mendix model. With these improvements (to the design level), no clear winner can be seen in table 3.

Table 3: Comparison framework for the improved model

Conclusions and Future Research

Since both approaches were acceptable, and they both have their (dis)advantages, it really depends on the situation which one of them is most suitable. When only one process model is needed (with the same user requirements as stated in this study), modeling with BPMone is preferable based on the required modeling effort. When multiple processes need to be modeled, Mendix is recommendable based on the reusability aspect. Developing the first model would require more time compared to the BPMone approach, but all further models can be created by reusing parts of this first model. When process monitoring is required, BPMone is the better option, whereas Mendix is the better option based on the intuitive way of working and the clearer data view.

Future research could add transformations to the Mendix solution. By automatically generating parts of the model, some modeling effort might be avoided, which benefits the Mendix model.


In a world of continuously changing business environments, organizations are forced to deal with, and adjust to the demands for such level of change. To manage these changes, many companies use different approaches and tools which include modeling and measuring business processes. Business Process Modeling (BPM) provides support for business operations to improve business efficiency and to find new opportunities for the company. Not all organizations have recognized the added value of this approach. Especially healthcare organizations do not fully use the benefits of IT support. This thesis presents the pros and cons of two promising BPM approaches in the healthcare domain, with the Eye Care Network in Rotterdam as case study. The two approaches were Model Driven Engineering (MDE) and Case Handling. BPMone from Pallas Athena was used as a specialized case handling tool, and Mendix was used as a MDE tool.

To be able to objectively compare the two approaches, a comparison framework was formed. To make sure this framework makes a broad comparison, it is based on four levels; case study level, design level, language level, and tool level. Each level consists of a number of principles that are based on the highlights of four existing frameworks from (Becker, Rosemann, & von Uthmann, 2000), (Green & Petre, 1996), (Mendling, Reijers, & Aalst, 2008), and (Bosilj-Vuksic, Ceric, & Hlupic, 2007). The different principles can be seen in table 1.

Table 1: comparison framework

Research questions

The Eye Care Network provided a set of requirements which the business process model should meet. A key element in the requirements was flexibility, and specifically flexibility by design.

The research question was:

Which BPM approach is best suiting the requirements given by the Eye Care Network, for their business process?

Furthermore, the possibility to generalize these findings outside of this case study was examined.

/ School of Industrial Engineering