Defining the Business Processes

A business process represents a series of user interactions with the system (one user interaction can consist of multiple steps). To be more precise a user interaction is made of a request by the user, i.e. clicking on a link, button or typing in a URL and pressing return. The response will be the screen that is returned by the system. The sequence of user interactions usually fulfills a purpose, i.e. browsing special offers, ordering a book, transferring some money.

Business Process

A business process contains a number of transactions that are performed with a defined user think time between transactions. Usually a business process defines a series of user interactions with a system to achieve a business goal, i.e. entering an order.

User Action

A User Action contains a group of steps that describe a single user interaction with a system. Transactions are defined by a start and end tag, contain criteria for success and failure and are measured in their duration (transaction response time).


A step represents a single client-server request/response. This means that, i.e. a single request and response for a HTML page from a user point of view will usually contain more than one step according to this definition.

Each of the business processes that will be selected need match at least one of the following criteria:

  • The business process is used with a high frequency and the user perceived response time should not exceed certain values for each individual user interaction.
  • The business process is essential for the company to make money and a minimum number of User Actions for this business process need to be able to be performed at all times on the system regardless of the perceived response time.
  • The perceived response time for user interactions with the system for the business process is too high even with only one user working.

Once the relevant business processes are selected they need to be documented. The format as in the technical questionnaire (see <to be created>) should be used.

It is very important to define each data entry in terms of data range and frequency of change. This should match real system usage.

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