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

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

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Categories: BPM, Enterprise 2.0, web 2.0

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