Many business process management (BPM) and/or process frameworks, methods, or approaches (e.g., Lean, Six Sigma, Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Total Quality Management (TQM), Zero Defect, Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)) have their own vocabulary. Each of these vocabularies has its own definition of terms, such as business process, process step, process activity, events, process role, process owner, process measure, and process rule. This chapter introduces a BPM ontology that can be applied within the area of process modeling, process engineering, and process architecture. It provides fundamental process concepts that can be used to document corporate knowledge and structure process knowledge by defining relation process concepts (e.g., the order of process steps).
The BPM ontology is presented as a shared vocabulary (i.e., folksonomy) that structures knowledge in two ways. First, it allows practitioners to structure their business knowledge by adding meaningful relationships between the vocabulary terms. Second, it organizes concepts in hierarchic “is-a” relationships that allow a polymorphic inheritance of properties.