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Work system theory (WST) provides a bridge between managerial and technical perspectives on BPM that often seem distant from each other. In combination, the work system framework, underlying work system metamodel, and the work system life cycle model provide a number of bridges between those perspectives. In relation to managerial BPM, the work system framework treats "business process" as one of nine elements in a basic understanding of a work system. The others are participants, information, technology, products/services, customers, environment, infrastructure, and strategies. The underlying metamodel outlines a precise structure for analysis and design of work systems and for links to technical aspects of BPM. It provides details that are omitted from the work system framework, which has proven useful for initial high level summaries but is not granular enough to support detailed design and documentation. The work system life cycle model combines planned and unplanned (emergent) change through which work systems evolve. This paper explains where WST fits in the general realm of BPM-related topics and how WST might help in developing BPM further. It also identifies challenges and next steps related to using WST to expand the scope of BPM.

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