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AGILIPO: Embedding Social Software Features – a literature review

March 24, 2010 4 comments

Antonio Rito Silva, Rachid Meziani, Rodrigo Magalhaes, David Martinho, Ademar Aguiar and Nuno Flores
Center for Organizational Design and Engineering – INOV, Rua Alves Redol 9, Lisbon, Portugal
http://www.fe.up.pt/si/PUBLS_PESQUISA.FORMVIEW?p_id=23068
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AGILIPO: Embedding Social Software Features

Rito-Silva et al (2009) discuss the view that business processes should not stifle human intervention and social technology should be embedded within the modelling and execution phases of these processes. They believe that this will support the bottom up design approach to model development and execution. By way of example, Rito-Silva et al (2009) describe how by employing a folksonomy approach, process stakeholders can tag their activities, share and search these tags, for the activities and comments of others (Marlow et al, 2006; Wal, 2007; Wu et al, 2006). Process modellers can then analyse these activities and create a newer version of the process model.

Rito-Silva et al (2009) discuss the work of Morgan (2002) and Cumberlidge (2007) who view BPM to be inherited from the Business Process Reengineering approach from the 1990’s. This top down, as is/to be view of process modelling is related to the model-reality divide between the process model development and implementation phases. This gap leads to a lack of understanding between the business model user and the IT model developer.

Rito-Silva et al (2009) provide insight into this issue by defining an Agile Business Process Methodology (AGILIPO) and tools designed to support a collaborative and incremental approach to BPM. The underlying concept of this paper is the iterative cycle of process improvement driven by user feedback. In addition, this collaborative approach empowers all process stakeholders to model and execute business processes iteratively and simultaneously.

The traditional as-is/to-be approach to understanding and defining process flows requires lengthy modelling activities before any intervention can commence (Rito-Silva et al, 2009). According to the Authors, this approach is not ideal due to several factors such as the different organisational perspectives of involved parties; undiscovered tacit knowledge of model users; rigid models of future change and modelling complexity for exception handling.

Rito-Silva et al (2009) believe that the solution to the model-reality divide is that the organisational BPM methodology should be agile enough to support short feedback cycles (Beck et al, 2001) and after each cycle a review is conducted to understand the impact of the last process change (Magalhaes and Rito-Silva, 2009). Key features of the agile business process proposal are model incompleteness; empowerment of the user community; intertwining of process design and execution; and design processes on a case-by-case, individual instance level.

Rito-Silva et al (2009) provide a case study to discuss the application of their AGILIPO tools to the Selling process of an online bookstore. In this case study, Modellers suggestions are captured in a wiki like application with new suggestions supporting the creation of process model revisions. This organic, knowledge creation process provides motivation of the contributors through the contributions of others (Garud et al, 2008). Communication and collaboration between process stakeholders is enabled through the use of the social technology features of folksonomy based content tagging, model versioning, stakeholder commentary and process model suitability ratings.

As outlined by Rito-Silva et al (2009), a key factor of emerging Business Process Management methodologies will be agility (Dreiling, 2009), and this is supported by the application of social technologies. This continuous improvement and knowledge creation & retention approach will assist to narrow the perceived gap between BPM designers and those who execute the models.

Categories: BPM, Enterprise 2.0, web 2.0

Web 2.0 Enhanced Automation of Collaborative Business Process Model Management in Cooperation Environments

March 16, 2010 2 comments

As I near completion of my Masters of Business Process Management at Queensland University of Technology, I have undertaken to write a literature review on how Business Process Management could be supported by Social Software (web 2.0 – wikis, blogs, twitter etc).

The following are just my workings as I go through this process over the next couple of months…please excuse my initial rough drafts!!
Of course, any feedback is appreciated.

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Web 2.0 Enhanced Automation of Collaborative Business Process Model Management in Cooperation Environments

http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/news/conferences/acis09/Proceedings/pdf/064.pdf

Thorsten Dollmann, Peter Fettke, Peter Loos
Institute for Information Systems (IWi)
at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI),
Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany
Email: thorsten.dollmann@iwi.dfki.de; peter.fettke@iwi.dfki.de; peter.loos@iwi.dfki.de

Dominik Vanderhaeghen
Deloitte Consulting Ltd.
Duesseldorf, Germany
Email: dvanderhaeghen@deloitte.de

Key Terms:
Business Process Management; Collaborative Networks; Tagging;

Summary:

The article discusses how BPM can be enhanced by web 2.0 concepts by integrating functions of cooperative modelling & using the collective intelligence.

Dollmann et al (2009) state that by implication there is an explicit divide between the part of the organisation that develops the abstract process model and the actual place of process execution -> the model-reality divide. They assert that there exists a knowledge/perspective gap that can lead to limitations in the developed process model, further compounded by an undefined feedback loop.

A recognised challenge for collaborative process modelling initiatives is the spatial distance of the contributors (Dollmann et al 2009) which also causes issues with the maintenance of distributed model repositories (Vanderhaeghen, Hofer and Kupsch 2006). The Authors clearly define their view with the statement “existing process management approaches are largely assuming a centralistic planning and controlling paradigm, the Web 2.0 perspective leads to a decentralisation of the planning and controlling tasks” (Dollmann et al 2009).

The emerging scenario of collaborative, cross-organisational business processes (Camarinha-Matos et al. 2005) can be addressed by the integration of Web 2.0 applications into the business process management approach (Dollmann et al 2009).

The Authors have also provided an interesting assessment of the different uses for “tagging” within the context of process management:
* Tagging of Actors and services to identify, search and contact Actors with specific capabilities within the process community
* Tagging of process problems and solutions to document and classify issues
* tagging of process patterns as reference models for future solutions

“BPM implies an explicit division of process design and process execution between organisational units” – i.e. there is a disconnect between those responsible for process modelling & those that execute the models – the model-reality divide as discussed by Rainer Schmidt in BPM and Social Software http://www.springerlink.com/content/tp147481w314ujq4/

Some issues identified –
* Process designers depend on others knowledge of tasks
* Modelling is always from a particular perspective & therefore has limitations
* Uncertainty around how to feedback for process improvement.

“While existing process management approaches are largely assuming a centralistic planning and controlling paradigm, the Web 2.0 perspective leads to a decentralisation of the planning and controlling tasks.” – & lowering the barriers to adoption.

This paper discusses the use of IT tools to help manage collaborative business processes. This appears driven by increasing process integration 7 collaborative business relations across organisations.

Defn of Web 2.0 –
* Self organization and utilization of collective intelligence – crowd sourcing
* Establishing of a global interconnectedness – fir geographically dispersed teams
* Assembly of data driven platforms – connected knowledge repositories
* Applications of web 2.0 are being continuously developed and enhanced by its users – application evolution
* Assembly of light-weighted architectures – quick creation & deployment

The article discusses “a platform for process management comprising different modules for the accomplishment of its specific tasks. The described modules are not tightly coupled, but rather allow for a “dynamic” runtime orchestration offering the possibility of further expansion through integration of new models with extended process management functionalities.” – This modular approach supports flexibility & responsiveness to process change.

The 4 modules –
1. Cooperative modelling management – collaborative modelling
2. Self-organization for process collaborative groups – collective intelligence
3. Transformation and converter management – supports different modelling languages
4. Management of dynamic process modules – business process configuration

The paper then goes on to discuss the actual components of the proposed architecture. The basic concept is “This can be used in both decentralized settings were global models have to be constructed as well as for modelling private processes and offers the possibility of modelling collaboratively and synchronously with different modellers in the role of peers and of communicating with these over the exchange of chat messages during the modelling process.”

Themes:

Model-Reality divide; improving knowledge exchange; cooperative modeling management; self-organisation

Categories: BPM, Enterprise 2.0, web 2.0

A Collaboration and Productiveness Analysis of the BPM Community

March 13, 2010 Leave a comment

As I near completion of my Masters of Business Process Management at Queensland University of Technology, I have undertaken to write a literature review on how Business Process Management could be supported by Social Software (web 2.0 – wikis, blogs, twitter etc).

The following are just my workings as I go through this process over the next couple of months…please excuse my initial rough drafts!!
Of course, any feedback is appreciated.

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A Collaboration and Productiveness Analysis of the BPM Community

http://www.springerlink.com/content/1w6318130081l713/

Hajo A. Reijers1, Minseok Song1, Heidi Romero1, Umeshwar Dayal2,
Johann Eder3, and Jana Koehler4
1 Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven,
The Netherlands
{h.a.reijers,m.s.song,h.l.romero}@tue.nl
2 HP Laboratories, 1501 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, 94304, USA
umeshwar.dayal@hp.com
3 University of Klagenfurt, Universittsstrae 65-67, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria
johann.eder@uni-klu.ac.at
4 IBM Zurich Research Laboratory CH-8803 Rueschlikon, Switzerland
koe@zurich.ibm.com

Key Terms:
Social network analysis;

Summary:

Pertains to the annual international BPM conference & the authorship networks that have developed from these conferences 2003-2008.

“this paper identifies the hotbed of BPM research and maps the progressive collaboration patterns within the BPM community.”

The Authors use the defn “Business Process Management (BPM) has been characterized as the study of those methods, techniques, and software that can be used to design, enact, control, and analyze operational processes involving humans, organizations, applications, documents and other sources of information” – same defn as used by Reijers H. in A Collaboration and Productiveness Analysis of the BPM Community.

So this paper is more about collaboration between BPM Researchers than Organisational process collaboration – can draw some similarities though….

Themes:
Co-authorship networks;

Categories: BPM

Towards an Integrated Collaboration Space for eProfessionals

March 13, 2010 Leave a comment

As I near completion of my Masters of Business Process Management at Queensland University of Technology, I have undertaken to write a literature review on how Business Process Management could be supported by Social Software (web 2.0 – wikis, blogs, twitter etc).

The following are just my workings as I go through this process over the next couple of months…please excuse my initial rough drafts!!
Of course, any feedback is appreciated.

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ECOSPACE – Towards an Integrated Collaboration Space for eProfessionals

http://www.cwe-projects.eu/pub/nj_bscw.cgi/d300733/ECOSPACE-OverviewPaper.pdf

Wolfgang Prinz, Herman Löh, Marc Pallot, Hans Schaffers, Antonio Skarmeta, Stefan Decker
Fraunhofer FIT, CeTIM, ESoCeNet, Telematica Instituut, Univ. of Murcia, DERI
wolfgang.prinz@fit.fraunhofer.de

Key Terms:
Collaborative Work Environments; social computing

Summary:
The authors believe that societal & technological changes will change the nature of our working environment “People will no longer work according to chain production models but rather more as dynamically and spontaneously assembled groups of people working together in a collaborative mode, which means a seamless work to achieve common goals”. -> social capital is the driver…
The paper asserts that in a study “workplace innovations account for 89% of multi-factor productivity gains” (Black and Lynch, San Francisco Federal Reserve, 2004).

The development of “New collaboration aware tools that reduce the complexity of collaboration in dynamic work environments and which enable users for creative
and knowledge intensive tasks. Instant collaboration is supported by the integration of asynchronous and synchronous collaboration tools, which results into augmented virtual presence/social networks and rich virtual collaboration.” -> will require ->
“a subtle combination of social, technological (ICT), organizational, legal and business perspectives.”

Themes:
Asynchronous & synchronous collaboration tools

Categories: BPM, Enterprise 2.0, web 2.0

Workflow Enactment in a Social Software Environment

March 4, 2010 Leave a comment

As I near completion of my Masters of Business Process Management at Queensland University of Technology, I have undertaken to write a literature review on how Business Process Management could be supported by Social Software (web 2.0 – wikis, blogs, twitter etc).

The following are just my workings as I go through this process over the next couple of months…please excuse my initial rough drafts!!
Of course, any feedback is appreciated.

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Workflow Enactment in a Social Software Environment

Davide Rossi and Fabio Vitali
Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Informazione
Universit`a di Bologna, Italy
{rossi,fabio}@cs.unibo.it

Key Terms:
Structured coordination; emerging coordination; space of knowledge;

Summary:
“Both Business Process Management tools and social software applications help organisations in enacting multi-actor processes”

Rossi and Vitali (2009) write that both BPM and social technologies have the same goal of enabling multi actor processes but differ in the application of actor coordination. BPM is typified by well defined process models referred to as structured coordination. Conversely, social technology supports the collaboration of users is what the Authors call emerging coordination. This paper discusses how structured coordination can be introduced to a social software environment.

McAfee (2006) asserts that Enterprise 2.0 is a trend where Organisations adopt social software tools to support business processes. These software tools can accommodate dramatic process changes, have the required flexibility and empower the knowledge workers. Rossi and Vitali (2009) assert that one of the main strengths of social technologies is that they provide an array of collaboration tools (blogs, wikis, forums) that support user interaction.

BPM: well defined process models which enforce interactions -> “structured coordination” – process first
Social Software: enactment of processes via collaboration tools -> “emerging coordination” – tools first
Change requires a paradigm shift from structured to emerging coordination…
.
“Human factors and cultural resistance are well known limiting factors for BPM tools “ – Bernstein, A.: How can cooperative work tools support dynamic group process?
bridging the specificity frontier. In: CSCW 2000: Proceedings of the 2000 ACM
conference on Computer supported cooperative work, pp. 279–288. ACM, New York
(2000)

Identified ss adoption challenge – “relaxing the constraints of the stakeholders”

The Authors make the important point that “one of the main strengths of the social software approach, is that of providing users with a wide array of different tools (blogs, wikis. Forums, shared calendars) that can be used synergically, and no existing tool or service allows the enactment of workflows spanning across multiple applications”

Social X-Folders support the “natural evolution of coordination patterns typical of social software”…a collaboration platform.

The paper proposes the idea that “processes mixing BPM tools and social software tools are probably bound to find interaction points around artefacts, and artefacts in a social software environment are often bits & pieces of scattered information”.

Themes:
Social X-Folders; orchestration of social software tools

Categories: BPM, Enterprise 2.0, web 2.0

Combining BPM and Social Software: Contradiction or Chance?

March 3, 2010 Leave a comment

As I near completion of my Masters of Business Process Management at Queensland University of Technology, I have undertaken to write a literature review on how Business Process Management could be supported by Social Software (web 2.0 – wikis, blogs, twitter etc).

The following are just my workings as I go through this process over the next couple of months…please excuse my initial rough drafts!!
Of course, any feedback is appreciated.

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Combining BPM and Social Software: Contradiction or Chance?


Selim Erol, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria
Michael Granitzer, Know-Center Graz, Austria
Simone Happ, T-Systems Multimedia Solutions GmbH, Dresden, Germany
Sami Jantunen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
Ben Jennings, University College London, London, UK
Paul Johannesson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, SU/KTH, Stockholm, Sweden
Agnes Koschmider, Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods
University Karlsruhe (TH), Germany
Selmin Nurcan1,2, 1
CRI, University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne
2 IAE de Paris, Sorbonne Graduate Business School, France
Davide Rossi, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Informazione Università di Bologna – Italy
Rainer Schmidt, HTW-Aalen,
Rainer.Schmidt@htw-aalen.de
Anton-Huber-Str. 25
73430 Aalen, Germany

Key terms: Social software; Business process; social production; trust; reputation; folksonomy; adoption

Summary

This paper extends upon the article BPM and Social Software written by Schmidt and Nurcan (2009). The author’s belief is that “social software provides a better integration of all stakeholders into the business process life-cycle and offers new possibilities for a more effective and flexible design of business processes” (Erol et al, 2008). Key benefits from incorporating social technologies include the integration of process knowledge from all Stakeholders; continuous process improvement opportunities due to community intelligence; workflow support; and stakeholder digital identity & reputation (Erol et al, 2008).

Typically, social technologies are self-organising with a bottom-up approach to process modelling, supported by the collective intelligence of the user community in an egalitarian manner (Erol et al, 2008). This content is visible to the contributors and open to continuous improvement by the community, which overcomes some of the openness issues of social software (Viegas et al, 2007). This issue of information reliability remains but is in part addressed based on the trust between and reputation of stakeholders in the process community (Erol et al, 2008).

The authors discuss the use of tags, links or bookmarks to capture the context of information. This context could be annotation used to locate objects; reputation for information validity; or social links to display social network connections between individuals (Erol et al, 2008). Also discussed is the concept of Enterprise 2.0 and how this supports multidirectional communication patterns between the Organisation and its Customers.

In their paper, Erol et al (2008) outline some emerging concerns that have been discussed at conferences and workshops about the future of Business Process Management.
1. Model-Reality Divide: The Authors define this as the “divide between the abstract process models and the executed processes” where employees do not follow the defined business process models but implement their own processes.
2. Lost innovation: According to the Authors, there often exists Organisational knowledge that could be used for process improvement but it is unknown to the process owner and therefore not applied.
3. Information pass-on threshold: This exists where process improvement ideas are not passed on to the responsible individuals due to the amount of effort involved (regulations/restrictions), the benefits are not apparent or success is considered unlikely Erol et al (2008). The Authors consider this to be another reason why implemented processes may differ from best practice -> the model-reality divide.
4. Lack of information fusion: Seen as the cause of the model-reality divide and lost innovation factors. Thresholds such as organisational hierarchies or process modelling knowledge may inhibit model adoption as model users are only viewed as uninvolved “consumers”.

Erol et al (2008) believe that social technologies can be used to address these issues and their paper discusses combining these social computing concepts with Business Process Management to:
* Present new opportunities
* Discuss the benefits of incorporating social software in the business process lifecycle
* Discuss digital identity & reputation.

The Erol et al (2008) paper is broken into the following sections –
1. How social software can be used to support business process design.
To contrast the conventional Business Process Management approach with social software, the Authors use the metaphor of an assembly line process versus a workstation. On an assembly line, an artefact is moved between participants; communication is minimal & uses the workflow to coordinate activity. By contrast, a workstation is fixed, modifications are made by workers according to demand & communication is frequent & spontaneous.
Social software provides a number of tools that should be taken into consideration when designing a business process (Erol et al 2008) :
* Self identification – Actors identify themselves as competent
* Transparency – results are visible to the community
* Signing – the user performing the activity is identified
* Open modification – users can modify contributions of others
* Logging – all activities are logged
* Discussion – comments & discussions can be linked to artefacts
* Banning – inappropriate users may be banned

Erol et al (2008) also suggest a methodology to follow to incorporate these tools:
• Avoid the use of control flows
• Embed processes in a social context – give users a view into the wider context of the process & other potential contributors
• Design low activity threshold – reduce the activity threshold to increase user participation
• Use honour points for rewards
The Authors believe that “”The benefit of introducing social software in the design is most beneficial when business processes concern production of non-standardised goods and services” Erol et al (2008). Processes that require a high degree of communication and collaboration will also benefit from this approach.
The Authors discuss the use of a recommendation-based modelling support system to utilise the process modeller’s context and the modelling history of the user community. This view encourages trust and participation amongst these social networks. Erol et al (2008) also outline several drawbacks that may arise through the use of social technologies:
• Information quality tends to decrease whilst data quantity increases
• Users have to be encouraged to participate to achieve future benefits

2. Social software concepts that can be applied to business process deployment and enactment
Erol et al (2008) discuss process flexibility and consider that social software can assist via the intent of transparency and participation. This is demonstrated by the description of a wiki collaboration system and a fictitious example of using a forum for a photo contest.
3. A dimensional view of Organisational social software utilisation
Erol et al (2008) demonstrate the organisational influence of social technologies specifically the improved communication channels between industry partners and customers.
4. Digital identity & reputation considerations

SS assists with
* the integration of process knowledge from stakeholders
* collection of process improvement information from the user community
* workflow support

As discussed by Schmidt and Nurcan, “social software supports interaction and social production and raises the level and scope of interaction facilitated by computers & computer networks”.
The concept that ss is self-organised and driven from the bottom-up where interaction is coordinated by the “collective intelligence” of the user community is evidenced in it’s egalitarian approach to decision making. “Terms are developed collaboratively and not imposed by experts”. – presumes motivated participants….incentives may be necessary.

Ss support the continuous assessment approach to process improvement.

Trust & reputation is crucial though the reliability (quality) of information may be an issue.
Ss can define both content (text/documents/multi-media) & context (tags/links/bookmarks).
Reputation & social links to provide connections between individuals & create social networks.

Model-Reality divide: “divide between abstract process models and the executed processes”
Lost innovation: organisational knowledge that could improve business processes is unknown to the process owner & therefore not applied
Information pass-on threshold: as discussed by Schmidt and Nurcan, process improvement ideas arte not passed on as too difficult/not transparent/considered improbable – may occur due to restrictions in the change submissions process. Consequence is that potential improvements are unrealised & a model-reality divide is generated.
Lack of information fusion: process users are only “consumers” forced to accept processes due to organisational boundaries or lack of modelling knowledge.

The authors believe that ss could provide a solution to the above by
* making it easier to participate in process design.
* no complex process change procedure
* all changes & history are transparent to all users
* supports the group construction of common terminology & frames of reference
* exclusion via organisational hierarchies may be avoided
* supports user participation due to lack of formal modelling tools/knowledge

A metaphor is provided which contrasts BPMS with ss as the assembly line and the workstation.

Social software over the top of a BPM repository provides the following capabilities:
* self identification
* transparency
* signing
* open modification
* logging
* discussion
* banning

Suggested guidelines for use ->
* avoid the use of control flows
* embed processes in a social context – provide information about other users & process history
* design low activity threshold – increases user participation
* use honour points for rewards or incentive system to persuade employees to contribute

According to the authors “The benefit of introducing social software in the design is most beneficial when business processes concern production of non-standardised goods & services”. – also advantages where the process requires a high degree of communication/collaboration.

The paper also discusses drawbacks & pitfalls to the use of social software in business process design –
* data quality tends to be lower
* data quantity increases
* expert users still reqd to quality assure

“Social software has proved to be particularly promising in supporting ill-defined (often knowledge intensive) processes which tend to require rich human collaboration”. ..solution must be attractive for participation…

According to Burt (A note on Social Capital and network content, 1997), “For an enterprise to integrate social software into business processes there is a need for both reputation, trust and an authoritative voice”.

Through the application of “collective intelligence”, “instead of pre-defining the inputs of all participants in a top down manner, all stakeholders are encouraged to provide their inputs without the existence of an overall plan in a bottom up manner”

The question remains – “How is quality & trust ensured?”

Themes:Model-Reality divide; Social production; lost innovation; Information pass-on threshold; information fusion; recommendation based modelling support system; digital identity

Categories: BPM, Enterprise 2.0, web 2.0

BPM and Social Software

March 3, 2010 1 comment

As I near completion of my Masters of Business Process Management at Queensland University of Technology, I have undertaken to write a literature review on how Business Process Management could be supported by Social Software (web 2.0 – wikis, blogs, twitter etc).

The following are just my workings as I go through this process over the next couple of months…please excuse my initial rough drafts!!
Of course, any feedback is appreciated.

—————————————————————-
BPM and Social Software

http://www.springerlink.com/content/tp147481w314ujq4/
Rainer Schmidt1 and Selmin Nurcan2,3
D. Ardagna et al. (Eds.): BPM 2008 Workshops, LNBIP 17, pp. 649–658, 2009.
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Key terms:
Social software; social interaction; social production; model-reality divide; collaborative marketing; reputation; fusioning capabilities; trust

Summary:
A great paper that hits the mark with the application of social computing to BPM to challenging the traditional organisational paradigms of Fordism and Taylorism.

The authors defn social software as “software that supports the interaction of human beings and production of artefacts by combining the input from independent contributors without predetermining the way to do this” The key outputs from this statement are that the contributors are independent & don’t necessarily know each other & that there is no prescribed process of interaction to follow.

Social technology has been defined as “software that supports the interaction of human beings and production of artefacts by combining the input from independent contributors without predetermining the way to do this”, Schmidt and Nurcan (2009). It is through this knowledge exchange process that social technologies can be applied to overcome deficiencies with traditional BPM methodologies. Some key benefits include more inclusive integration of process stakeholder requirements, detailed aggregation of process impediments, improved codification of knowledge and an enhanced process improvement cycle Schmidt and Nurcan (2009). It is their belief that the improved knowledge exchange will enhance business processes and models.

Schmidt and Nurcan 2009, define the concept of a model-reality divide as the “divide between abstract process models and the executed processes”. The inferred meaning is that well defined and structured process models created by BPM experts are not followed and are often replaced by locally derived and executed processes. Typically users develop local processes when it is perceived to be too difficult to include optimisations into the official process (Schmidt and Nurcan, 2009). The Authors believe that the reason for the model-reality divide is that process users are viewed as “Consumers”, these users in turn view the terms and concepts of the abstract models as imposed.

SS – “The continuous fusioning of information originating from different self-organising users”.
Their point is that it is through the exchange of knowledge & information (supported by ss) that business processes can be enhanced. This paper explores the different phases of the BPM lifecycle & how wiki’s blogs, recommender & reputation systems can be used to enhance these steps:
Design -> integration of user needs via the “fusioning capabilities of ss & lowers the threshold to contribute. Also supports a participative modelling approach with common understanding of models.
Implementation & deployment -> easier aggregation & detailing of constraints & helps to collect & broadcast issues.
Evaluation & improve -> collection & community evaluation of suggestions & continuous assessment.

SS supports social interaction & production:
Social interaction – the interaction of non-predetermined individuals
Social production – creation of artefacts by combining independent/non-predetermined input. These artefacts may be context or content focussed – “the interaction of the contributors controls the creative process”

The paper discusses how ss follows an egalitarian and meritocratic approach where trust & reputation are crucial and hierarchic structures of authority are avoided. This concept of “trust” was also mentioned in the paper “Social Software for Modelling Business Processes” by Koschmider A, Song M, Reijers H

SS can enhance business processes by –
* improving the exchange of knowledge & information.
* speeds up decisions
* provides new communication channels between customers & organisations – with customers & among customers
* integrate customers into product/service/process development using blogs etc to capture new ideas

The authors discuss the Model-Reality Divide as the “divide between abstract process models and the executed processes”. The inferred meaning is that the well defined BPM models & structures created by the process dept or Consultants are not used and are replaced by “locally” derived & executed processes.
NB. “Employees tend to do their own private processes which contains the optimisations that they have regarded as too difficult to integrate in the official process”.
A reason is given for this divide -> process users are viewed as “Consumers” and not involved (lack of ownership/responsibility) in the BPM process & the terms & concepts are viewed as imposed.

The information pass-on threshold suggest that:
* “ideas for improvement are not passed on to those responsible because this creates too much effort for the user”
* “further processing is not transparent”
* “success is considered improbable”

Another good point raised by the authors is that “formal process models create a threshold for participation, because users without modelling knowledge cannot bring in their ideas”. -> information is lost & improvements stifled.

Weak ties -> “crucial to improve enterprise agility and innovation”.
Wisdom of the Crowds -> combining many different voices & not just from a few experts.
Service-Dominant logic -> “collaborative marketing” – the Customer is not just a consumer of value but a co-creator.

Benefits of social software approach to BPM:
* self organised & bottom-up approach – community of users develop structures interactively
* egalitarian – all users have the same rights & no separation between contributor & consumer, this lowers the threshold to contribute.
* continuous, immediate fusioning & aggregation of information – immediate visibility
* continuous & recursive assessment
* use of tags/links/bookmarks

The author states that “reputation is a substitute for trust in social software” because most users don’t know each other.

In summary, “social software enhances business processes by improving the exchange of knowledge & information to speed up decisions”. SS can narrow the model-reality divide, lowers the threshold to contribute, integrates user requirements & supports the collection of process improvement ideas.

I believe that we still require facilitation by experienced BPM Practitioners to convert the “wisdom of the crowds” to documented process models and methodologies.

Themes:
Improving knowledge exchange
Aggregation & fusioning of knowledge
Egalitarian and meritocratic
Trust & reputation
Model-Reality divide
Information pass-on threshold
Weak ties; wisdom of the crowds; social production; service-dominant logic

Categories: BPM, Enterprise 2.0, web 2.0