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The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance

  • SAP SE Walldorf, Germany

Abstract and Figures

Successful monitoring is essential for managing security-critical or business-critical processes. The paper seeks to understand and empirically evaluate benefits of the BPM use case “monitor” in the context of Operations Control Centers (OCCs). OCCs create visibility about critical events and statuses in very sensitive processes. In IT Service Management (ITSM) they support the event management process with real-time monitoring and event analysis of critical systems in complex system landscapes. This special focus of OCCs on visibility is a promising context to study fundamentals of process visibility. The paper develops a Process Monitoring Benefits Framework that draws on the Situation Awareness Theory and the Theory of Constraints. The authors conceptualize process visibility and suggest that it is positively related to process performance. A multiple case study in seven organizations is carried out to examine the framework and its propositions. The case study indicates that the impact of process visibility on process performance is mediated by the situation awareness of the process participants as well as the identification of bottlenecks in processes. Moreover, factors are identified that potentially influence process visibility outcome – namely continuous improvement culture, outsourcing quality, and maturity of the software tool used for monitoring.
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The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance
A Multiple Case Study of Operations Control Centers in ITSM
Martin Berner
Jino Augustine
Alexander Maedche
Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2015
Abstract Successful monitoring is essential for managing
security-critical or business-critical processes. The paper
seeks to understa nd and empirically evaluate benefits of the
BPM use case ‘monitor’ in the context of Operations
Control Centers (OCCs). OCCs create visibility about criti-
cal events and statuses in very sensitive processes. In IT
Service Management (ITSM) they support the event man-
agement process with real-time monitoring and event anal-
ysis of critical systems in complex system landscapes. This
special focus of OCCs on visibility is a promising context to
study fundamentals of process visibility. The paper develops
a Process Monitoring Benefits Framework that draws on the
Situation Awareness Theory and the Theory of Constraints.
The authors conceptualize process visibi lity and suggest that
it is positively related to process performanc e. A multiple
case study in seven organizations is carried out to examine
the framework and its propositions. The case study indicates
that the impact of process visibility on process performance
is mediated by the situation awareness of the proce ss par-
ticipants as well as the identification of bottlenecks in pro-
cesses. Moreover, factors are identified that potentially
influence process visibility outcome namely continuous
improvement culture, outsourcing quality, and maturity of
the software tool used for monitoring.
Keywords BPM use case monitor Process visibility
Continuous improvement Situation awareness ITSM
event management
1 Intro duction
Huge benefits are expected from data assets created by
advanced information technologies that enable new ways
of data capturing, storing, managing, and analyzing
(Manyika et al. 2011). In business process management
(BPM) such data assets are most important for the use case
monitor which refers to data measurements for decision
support during process execution (van der Aalst 2013).
This monitoring of business processes is relevant to sup-
porting continuous improvement as well as day-to-day
operations. Accordingly, process monitoring is an essential
and common element in lifecycle models that define the
managerial practices of BPM, although in these models
process monitoring is sometimes also referred to as process
control, evaluation, or diagnosis (Morais et al. 2014).
Hence, BPM software vendors and analysts increasingly
focus on the monitor use case: for example Gartner (2012)
stresses the importance of integrating state-of-the-art ana-
lytics into operational processes under the label intelligent
Business Process Management Suites (iBPMS), and Rus-
som (2013) proposes the term Real-time Operational
Intelligence which describes ‘an emerging class of
Accepted after two revisions by the editors of the special issue.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (doi:10.1007/s12599-015-0414-0) contains supplementary
material, which is available to authorized users.
Dipl.-Hdl. M. Berner (&) J. Augustine A. Maedche
Institute of Enterprise Systems (InES), University of Mannheim,
L15, 1-6, 68131 Mannheim, Germany
J. Augustine
A. Maedche
Institute of Information Systems and Marketing (IISM),
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Fritz-Erler-Straße 23,
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Bus Inf Syst Eng
DOI 10.1007/s12599-015-0414-0
analytics that provides visibility into business processes,
events, and operations as they are happening’’. The
underlying assumption in this discussion regarding
sophisticated process monitoring and next generation
intelligent BPM is that higher process visibility ultimately
leads to highe r process performance. However, currently it
remains vague how increased process visibility actually
contributes to process performance.
The performance impact of visibility is intensively
studied in the field of supply chain management (SCM).
Visibility is identified as an essential contributor to SCM
process performance and its degree depends on the level to
which the accessible information is relevan t, trustworthy,
and timely (Swaminathan and Tayur 2003; Barratt and Oke
Besides SCM, lean production literature stresses the
importance of making information visible during process
operation (Womack and Jones 2003). Visual controls that
create immediate transparency about abnor malities are a
crucial part of lean production systems (Shingo 1989), and
they are essential for banishing waste to continuously
improve processes (Womack and Jones 2003).
Recent research generalizes the visibility concepts of
SCM and lean production to a broader business process
context (Klotz et al. 2008; Pidun et al. 2011; Graupner
et al. 2014). Based on these foundations, this paper
understands process visibility as a characteristic of a pro-
cess that describes the quality of information to support
process operation and im provement.
For processes where visibility is of utmost importance,
we see the use of Operations Control Centers (OCCs).
Most prominent OCCs are the area control centers used to
manage the air-space in aviation and control rooms in the
energy sector.
To a large degree, visibility has the same importance for
IT Service Management (ITSM) because in a growing
digitalized world the IT infrastructure is the backbone for
every kind of business. ITSM is a process-oriented
approach to managing IT services, and the most important
element of monitoring in ITSM is referred to as end-to-end
visibility (OGC 2007a). System and service downtimes can
result in serious regulatory liabilities or accumulate up to
multi-million dollar costs (Martinez 2009). Therefore,
OCCs are increasingly implemented to support the ITSM
event management process by providing visibility via real-
time monitoring of business critical systems and processes
(EMC 2012; SAP 2013). Such OCCs are typically physical
rooms where IT operators jointly carry out this monitoring
and big screens show the operational status of the IT
environment and the managed processes with the objective
to detect and solve issues before business is affected.
The business process under investigation in our study
about OCCs is the ITSM event management process, which
deals with the monitoring and systematic management of
alerts originating from the observed IT infrastructure. It is a
‘loosely framed process’ (van der Aalst 2013) where a
process model typically describes the standard way of
doing things, but actual executions can deviate.
OCCs with their special focus on monitoring in ITSM are
a promising research arena to study the impact of process
visibility on process performance and its influencing factors.
Hence, we empirically examined the ITSM event man age-
ment process of seven organizations that recently introduced
an OCC and implemented a new software package for it. Our
paper studies fundamentals of process visibility in the con-
text of OCC s, but is guided by a more general research
question regarding monitoring benefits:
How does process visibility influence process
Our work contributes to empirical BPM research in the
context of the outlined highly relevant use case monitor,
which is currently underrepresented in the BPM literature
(van der Aalst 2013). We develop a Process Monitoring
Benefits Framework that seeks to describe how process
visibility impacts process performance. It builds on a
conceptualization of process visibility, its impacts, and
influencing factors based on existing literature. To empir-
ically examine the proposed framework we carry out a
positivist multiple case study in several companies. The
results of our empirical examination lead to a refined and
extended framework.
2 Conc eptual Foundations
2.1 Process Monitoring Benefit Dimensions
As outlined before, the intended benefit of process moni-
toring is to gain process visibility with the ultimate
objective to increase process performance. Thus, the
dependent variable of our study is process performance.
We argue that the process as unit of analysis is favorable to
evaluate the net benefit of process monitoring, as it chooses
the unit that process monitoring affects directly and at
which its impact is best observable and measurable. There
are two classical approaches to define process performance
(Ray et al. 2005): First, based on productivity measures
such as throughput time, and secon d, based on the quality
of the process output. The latter is adopted in our study
since in OCCs the output is significantly more important
than the productivity of the event management. In our
context of ITSM event management the quality of the
process output is defined by the creation of a reliable ser-
vice asset and the minimization of system downtimes
(Cater-Steel and McBride 2007). In other words, process
performance in OCC context can be determined by the
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
service quality of ITSM and the system quality of the
managed systems (see online Appendix B for more details
about the conceptualization of these qualitie s in our study).
We argue that the impact of process visibility on process
performance is mediated by situation awareness of the
process operators as well as bottleneck identification for
continuous process improvement. Therefore, we differen-
tiate and introduce the constructs process visibility, situa-
tion awareness, and bottleneck identification in the
2.1.1 Process Visibility
We already introduced process visibi lity as an information
quality in respect to operating and improving a process. In
our conceptualization we leverage information quality as
one of the key constructs of the D&M IS Success Model
(DeLone and McLean 2003). It is a multi-dimensional
construct determined by accuracy, completeness, currency,
and format of information (Nelson et al. 2005). In this
regard, visibility should not be confused with visualization
because the representation format of information is only
one aspect of it.
Information quality in the D&M IS Success Model is a
characteristic of an information system whereas process
visibility is defined as a characteristic of a process. Pro-
cesses as unit of analysis are beneficial because the orga-
nizational benefits of IT are mediated by business
processes (Melville et al. 2004 ). Therefore, we suggest to
derive the process visibility dimensions from inf ormation
quality dimensions by putting them in a process informa-
tion context. Information that plays a supporting role in
process operation and improvement is called process
information (Davenport 1993).
In addition, information quality is influenced and inter-
linked with system quality (Xu et al. 2013). Hence, also
several system quality dimensions of the monitoring sys-
tem itself may contribute to the level of process visibi lity
namely accessibil ity, flexibility, and integration (Nelson
et al. 2005). Process monitoring systems intend to improve
these dimensions explicitly, while other system qualities
(reliability and response time) are of generic relevance and
therefore no specific dimensions of process visibility. The
quality of the monitoring system itself (which is defined
here as an antecedent of process visibility) should not be
mistaken with the quality of the systems that are monitored
by an OCC (which we defined above as a criteria for
process performance in the ITSM event management
Table 1 summarizes all identified and relevant dimen-
sions of process visibility and defines them based on Nel-
son et al. (2005) and Berner et al. (2012).
2.1.2 Situation Awareness (SA)
In the moni toring use case the impact of process visibility
on process performance depends on the operators who do
the monitoring. They have to permanently classi fy and
understand situations, basically they need to know ‘what’s
going on’ (Endsley 1995). Cognitive psychology identified
situation awareness (SA) as crucial concept for operators’
decision outcome: In the context of control rooms the
phenomenon of SA in highly dynamic environments is
intensively studied based on the SA Theory (Endsley 1995)
for the domains of air traffic cont rol (e.g., O’Brien and
O’Harea 2007) and nuclear power plants (e.g., Hogg et al.
1995). Similar to IT support team members, ‘the operator
of a nuclear power plant must have knowledge of the
current process state at all times, and the ability to use this
knowledge effectively in predicting future process states
and controlling the process to attain operational goals’
(Hogg et al. 1995, p. 2394). SA is defined as ‘the per-
ception [Level 1] of the elements in the environment within
a volume of time and space, the comprehension [Level 2]
of their meaning and the projection [Level 3] of their status
in the near future’ (Endsley 1995, p. 36). These coherent
levels of SA are outlined in more detail in Table 2.
Table 1 Dimensions of process visibility
Dimension Definition (based on Nelson et al. 2005; Berner et al.
Accuracy The degree to which process information is correct,
unambiguous, meaningful, consistent, and
trustable (perceived to be valid, reliable and objective
and a positive attitude is embraced towards the
Completeness The degree to which all possible process states and
other information relevant for the process
participants are represented
Currency The degree to which process information is up-to-
date, or the degree to which the information precisely
reflects the current state of a process instance
Format The degree to which process information is presented
in a manner that is useful, readily useable,
analytically interpreted, and contextualized (centered
on process steps and is set into relation with previous
and adjacent process steps)
Accessibility The degree to which process information can be
accessed by the process participants with relatively
low effort
Flexibility The degree to which process information analysis
and representation can adapt to a variety of process
participants needs and to changing conditions
Integration The degree to which process information is available
for the entire process by facilitating the combination
of information from various sources to support
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
SA can be analyzed on individual as well as on team
level (Endsley 1995). The involved teams and individuals
in ITSM event management process are the operators and
managers of the IT support team who we call subsequently
process participants. SA research identified system factors,
particularly system design in terms of how the needed
information is provided, as an important driver of SA
(Endsley 1995). These system factors are reflected to a
large degree also in our conceptualization of process visi-
bility, and thus we analogously propose:
[P1] The higher the level of process visibility, the higher
the SA of the process participants.
SA describes a very important antecedent for operators
to make better decisions and take appropriate actions
(Endsley 1995). Therefore, we conclude
[P2] The higher the level of process participants’ SA, the
higher the process performance.
2.1.3 Bottleneck Identification
Besides supporting daily process operations, process
monitoring additionally aims to provide the informational
baseline to improve processes. Existi ng research recog-
nizes the importance of information visibility of business
processes for identification of process bottlenecks (Cot-
teleer and Bendoly 2006). The concept bottleneck identi-
fication of Cottele er and Bendoly (2006) is based on the
Theory of Constraints (Goldratt and Cox 1992), which
claims that process bottlenecks hinder highe r process per-
formance due to physical or managerial constraints
(Table 3).
Hence, the level of bottleneck identification of a process
is defined by the degree to which physical and managerial
constraints of a process are recognized by the process
participants. In summary, we sugges t:
[P3] The higher the level of process visibility, the higher
the level of bottleneck identification of a process.
[P4] The higher the level of bottleneck identification, the
higher the process performance.
2.2 Influencing Factors
Neither new monitoring tools nor pote ntially resulting
higher situation awareness or bottleneck identification can
guarantee better process performance. There are additional
influential factors in key areas where ‘things must go
right’ (Iden and Eikebrokk 2013) in order to gain benefits
of process monitoring. In our context a systematic literature
review by Iden and Eikebrokk (2013) identified several
influencing factors for ITSM success. Particularly, staff’s
skills and knowledge as well as willingness to change
might be important for monitoring and are outlined in the
following, because they directly link to process operation
and improvement.
First, a crucial aspect in ITSM processes are skills and
knowledge of the IT professionals (Galup and Dattero
2010). Th us, skills and knowledge of operators is one
potential factor that moderates the impact of process visi-
bility o n process performance in OCC context. Skills are
commonly defined as acquired cognitive or metacognitive
competency that develops with training and/or practice
(McCombs and Marzano 1990). Likewise, SA theory rec-
ognizes experience and training as individual factors
influencing SA (Endsley 1995). In conclusion, we propose:
[P5] The lower the skills and knowledge of the operators
who monitor the process, the lower is the situation
awareness (whic h lowers the impact of process visibility on
process performance).
Second, successful ITSM requires a Continuous
Improvement (CI) culture that welcomes changes and
improvements (OGC 2007b). The culture of a group
manifests itself at three different levels (Schein 2004):
artifacts (e.g., structures), values (e.g., strategies), and
underlying basic assumptions. The shared basic assump-
tions on the deepest level are most difficult to observe, bu t
represent the biggest part of an organizational culture.
Table 2 Levels of SA
Level Definition (Endsley 1995)
Level 1 SA
The degree to which an operator or operation
teams perceive the status, attributes, and
dynamic of relevant elements in the
Level 2 SA
The degree to which an operator or operation
teams are able to understand the significance of
elements in the environment in the light of his/
her goals based on his/her level 1 perception
Level 3 SA
The degree to which an operator or operation
teams are able to project the (near) future based
on his/her level 2 comprehension
Table 3 Dimensions of bottleneck identification
Dimension Definition (based on Goldratt and Cox 1992)
Physical constraint
The degree to which physical constraints
such as materials, machines, people and
demand that limit a process from achieving
higher performance versus its goal are
Managerial constraint
The degree to which managerial constraints
in the form of policies, procedures, rules and
methods that limit a process from achieving
higher performance versus its goal are
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
Organizations with a strong CI culture are more likely to
seek out for new bottlenecks as others are solved (Goldratt
and Cox 1992). Thus, we conclude:
[P6] The lower the CI culture of the organization, the
lower is the bottleneck identification (which lowers the
impact of process visibility on process performance).
The derived propositions P1–6 are visualized in Fig. 1.
In the course of our study the initial conceptual framework
was enhanced by additional influencing factors and
propositions (P7–8) based on the results of our empirical
study which are described subsequently.
3 Research Methodology
3.1 Introduction
We follow a multiple case study research approach to
explore our propositions in multiple firms. This enables
us to treat each case as an empirical test of our proposed
framework and ensure generalizability by applying
replication logic (Yin 2003). We follow the widely
accepted positivist case study perspective of theory
testing (Dube
and Pare
2003). Additionally, the qualita-
tive approach enables adoption or po tential theory
extensions in an exploratory manner (e.g., Dibbern et al.
Our study is done in cooperation with the software
company SAP SE. Recently, the OCC concept has been
integrated into the RunSAP like a Factory methodology
which is SAP’s approach to operate and continuously
improve the operations of SAP and non-SAP IT landscapes
(SAP 2013). In this methodology the OCC is positioned as
a central IT support entity at the customer sites to monitor
the status of business processes and IT landscape compo-
nents. SAP implements OCCs based on their software tool
SAP Solution Manger and recommends to set up a physical
room for the OCC including large screens (SAP 2013).
SAP supported our study by providing assistance in
establishing contact to the organizations where such OCCs
have been implemented.
3.2 Case Selection
We began the case selection by classifying potential
companies with finished OCC implementations based on
data from a customer database of our industry partner
including organization size, geographic locations, com-
plexity of the event management process, etc. (Table 4).
Additionally, we asked managers in the support orga-
nization of SAP SE, who have broad overview of different
OCC implementations, to give a rough estimate of the
OCC success in the potential cases. These managerial
perceptions helped to select a case mixture with more and
less successful OCC implementations potentially result-
ing in lower and higher process visibility levels. Thus, we
applied literal and theoretic al replication strategies to
ensure external validity of our research (Yin 2003). First,
theoretical replication requires a selection of cases that
vary in their characteristics and thus in their proposed
impact. Therefore, our cases shall have different degrees of
process visibility. Second, literal replications refer to sim-
ilar cases and accordingly leading to similar proposed
outcomes. Thus, we need multiple cases with the same
process visibility level.
Process Monitoring Benefit Dimensions
Influencing Factors
Skills and
Knowledge of
(CI) Culture
(not confirmed)
P6 P7
Fig. 1 Process monitoring
benefits framework
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
3.3 Data Sources and Analysis
After the case selection based on the customer database and
the high-level assessment of the support managers, we
conducted 17 semi-structured interviews. Before the
interviews a questionnaire with open-ended questions
along our conceptual framework was created (online
Appendix D). The questionnaire was used as a generic
baseline for the interviews, and additional questions were
asked during the individual discussions (Myers and New-
man 2007).
We executed one comprehensive interview with the
OCC team leads (TL) from every case organization and
one further interview with the technical quality manager
(TQM) from our industry partner who support the respec-
tive case organizations. By doing so, we were able to get
perspectives on our cases from inside and outside the
affected companies. Additionally, for three cases operators
were interviewed in order to consi der als o the perspective
of the operational workers. All interviews were conducted
by the first two authors of the paper.
Beyond interview data, the authors had access to a
customer data base of our industry partner that contained
information of the OCC implementations such as imple-
mentation challenges, number of alert events, and hours of
unplanned downtimes of the monitored systems. These
information were used for the detailed preparation of the
individual interviews and to triangulate the interview
Data analysis consists of examining, categorizing, tab-
ulating, testing quantitative and qualitative evidence to
address the propositions (Yin 2003). With this aim, we
applied open coding and axial coding techniques (Corbin
and Strauss 2008) supported by the coding software
In order to mitigate potential bias and improve coding
reliability, the authors encoded the interviews in an itera-
tive dual coding approach as follows: First, all transcrip ts
were encoded independently by two coders based on a
codebook that explained the code system and how the
codes should be applied. Second, always after 3–4 dual
encoded transcripts the mismatches were discussed by the
authors. If inter-coder reliability was below 85 %, the
codebook was adjusted and the affected transcripts were
encoded again. In total an inter-coder reliability according
to Holst i (1969) of 91 % was achieved (Table 5), which is
beyond the recommended reliability threshold for textual
content analysis of 85 % (Kassarjian 1977).
Hence, in multiple iterations we identified information
that is linked to our conceptual framework and adjusted the
code system if required. Additionally the weight feature of
MAXQDA was used to document whether a coded seg-
ment is an indication for a low, medium or high level of a
variable in our model (online Appendix C). This helped to
assess the overall level of a variable in a case relatively to
the other cases.
4 Results
The level of process visibility in the ITSM event man-
agement process of all the case sites was found to be low
prior to the OCC implementation. In fact the motivation for
these organizations to opt for an OCC was the high effort
required to monitor and assess the system statuses. To
compartmentalize the benefits of the enhanced process
monitoring, we specifically present results with regards to
process visibility, situation awareness, bottleneck identifi-
cation, and process performance after OCC implementa-
tion. Furthermore, we describe influential factors that can
explain differences between the cases.
4.1 Level of Process Visibility
The results show that there are positive impacts regarding
process visibility in the organizations as a result of OCC
implementation. It came to light in the process of the
interviews that cross-system monitoring was performed
manually and sporadically before OCC implementation.
With the automation of system monitoring the process
Table 4 Descriptive case data
Industry Number of
Region Offshore outsourcing
Months since
OCC go-live
Managerial perception of
OCC implementation
A Retail [40k Europe significant involvement 20 Expectations met
B Manufacturing [60k North America No 15 Expectations not met
C Finance [50k Europe No 22 Expectations not met
D Finance [20k Europe No 22 Expectations met
E Manufacturing [20k North America Significant involvement 23 Expectations not met
F Manufacturing [70k Europe Significant involvement 2 Expectations not met
G Energy [10k North America Minor involvement 18 Expectations exceeded
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
visibility in event management process increased. After
OCC implementation most cases (A, C, D, E, G) show high
degree of process visibility examined against dimensions
of accuracy, completeness, currency, format, accessibility,
flexibility and integration. This is exemplified by the fol-
lowing interv iew quote (The coding corresponding to the
process visibility dimension is added in squared brac kets to
the quote):
‘We are now able to discuss with our service pro-
vider on the same level. This information was not
available to us before OCC [Accessibility] The
vendor worked in one direction based on the infor-
mation they had and we worked in another direction
based on the information we had [Integration] This
is a huge gain for us it was very unaligned and also
the root cause analysis deliveries coming from ser-
vice vendor were taking very long time, perhaps even
as long as one to two months, and this is of course not
good [Currency]’ (TL Case A).
Cases B and F were identified to have a relative lower
level of process visibility as they showed more lacks in the
dimensions of process visibility. The TL of organization B
reported for example the following shortages:
I think there is more available than what we currently
have [Completeness], but then also we have some
underlying issues of the reliability of being able to
keep the system managed and sending us good
alerts Some of the information on alerts has to be
created from manual interventions [Format] There
are scenarios where we get alerts too late [Currency]’
(TL Case B).
4.2 Level of Situation Awareness
With the OCC some process participants (cases A and G)
experienced substantial gains in situation awareness. The
information that was formerly not easily available can now
be accessed in real-time, which helps the IT support team
to raise their perception of critica l situations and mitigate
issues. Example interview excerpts in this regard are:
‘We have information on the performance, avail-
ability, database issues and what not. When you
receive an alert, we can investigate instantly to make
sure that it is a real alert [Comprehension]’ (TL Case
‘We can get total information about the alert [Per-
ception] and we can take action [Comprehension] in a
short span of time and resolve the issue which is
the main comparison before and after OCC imple-
mentation In the last half quarter the benefit came
back to us where we actually before the system
went down, catch the iss ue We are extremely
Table 5 Inter-coder reliability
Interview transcript Total number
of coded
segments in
Total number of
coded segments
(Holsti 1969) (%)
1. Case A Interview TL 70 77 91
2. Case A Interview TQM 24 28 86
3. Case A Interview Operator 22 25 88
4. Case B Interview TL 64 73 88
5. Case B Interview TQM 8 9 89
6. Case C Interview TL 70 73 96
7. Case C Interview TQM 20 21 95
8. Case C Interview Operator 36 38 95
9.a) Case D Interview TL 38 41 93
9.b) Case D Written Response TL 32 35 91
10. Case D Interview TQM 52 58 90
11. Case D Interview Operator 32 35 91
12. Case E Interview TL 118 129 91
13. Case E Interview TQM 28 30 93
14 Case F Interview TL 62 71 87
15. Case F Interview TQM 38 44 86
16. Case G Interview TL 110 116 95
17. Case G Interview TQM 38 43 88
Total 862 946 91
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
pleased because these are proactive actions, not
reactive [Projection]’ (Operator Case A).
Whereas in other cases still bigger deficiencies of situ-
ation awareness are reported, for example:
‘We have missed critical events if that person
doesn’t look at that inbox within 15 minutes, that
event won’t be addressed [Perception] How do I
know the cause ? So, we have a lot of information
but putting it together and get one comprehensive
picture is not there [Comprehension]’ (TL Case E).
4.3 Level of Bottleneck Identification
The examined organizations made information available
through the OCC which helped them identify issues in their
existing proce sses and streamline operations. Most bottle-
necks that were newly identified with help of the OCC
relate to physical constraints coming from misconfigura-
tions of the managed systems for example:
‘We were able to identify some capacity issues
and we were able to identify some configuration
issues’ (TL Case G).
‘We got a lot of events around memory utiliza tion
That of course means there’s something wrong,
something needs to be properly configured’ (TL Case
Benefits regarding the identification of managerial
constraints were reported only for the cases A and G, e.g.:
‘What we do is: refini ng alerts, identifying new
alerts that might need to be created, reviewing and
refining standard operating procedures, eliminating
those things that we don’t need’ (TL Case G).
For the other cases (B, C, D, E, F) we observed a lack in
the identification of managerial constraints by the IT sup-
port team. Therefore, these cases have a lower level of
bottleneck identification. Even though some of these
organizations have a strong emphasis on the creation of
policies and procedures to deal with the different event
types, they are still occupied with the initial creation of
these ‘guided procedures’ and do not systematically
identify and improve managerial constraints.
4.4 Level of Process Performance
The performance of the ITSM event management process
improved since OCC implementation in most of the studied
cases. Our qualitative examination of the interview data
indicates that organizations A, D, and G reached relatively
high process performance. The exemplified quotes stand
testimony to that.
‘There are around 9 priority incidents handled
internally every month. Meaning we prevented 9
major breakdowns monthly We had a lot of issues
last year with memory and we had three crashes. This
year we did not have any issue’ (TL Case A).
‘The last major incident in production environment
was 12 months ago. So the systems have been very
stable’ (TQM Case G).
Even though in cases B and E good system stability and
proactive incident resolution was reported, we rated their
overall process performance with medium, because they
show a weak perception of their service quality by their
‘We struggle within our own management to pro-
mote the value of OCC’ (TL Case G).
‘They [stakeholders] don’t remember what used to
be and now it [high service quality] is just an
expectation’ (TL Case E).
In cases C and F system and service quality still shows a
lot of flaws. The potential reasons for these deficiencies are
discussed in the next section. However, even cases with
low process performance after OCC implementation report
some first gains for example:
‘There is already a shift. I would not say that it is
proactive now. But at least it has become real-time
now, for the reactive approach that was in place
earlier We were able to identify some issues that
our service provider chose to ignore or postpone
earlier We were also able to avert a major issue the
past weekend’ (TL Case F).
4.5 Explaining Variations
Table 6 summarizes the high-level evaluation of the pro-
cess monitoring benefit dimensions of the different cases. It
shows that high process performance is only observed, if
beside high process visibility also high SA or high bottle-
neck identification is reached. This is line with the pro-
posed mediating effects of SA (P1–2) and bottleneck
identification (P3–4). However, the question remains why
there are different outcomes while all case organizations
implemented the same software package to realize an
OCC. Therefore, Table 6 outlines potential influential
factors that might impact process monitoring benefits. The
moderating effects of these factors on the observed impacts
are elaborated in the following.
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
4.5.1 Skills and Knowledge of Operators
Skill and knowledge of operators significantly differ
between the cases. In some cases (A, B, G) there are very
experienced and knowledgeable experts in the ITSM event
management domain for example:
‘The OCC team comes from our historical basis
support team [with deep tec hnical knowledge]. After
a few years there, they may move on to the OCC
team’ (TL Case B).
Whereas in other cases (C, D, E, F, G) the IT support
team is staffed by junior level employees. Interestingly the
OCC introduction was partially even the reason to assign
less skilled employees:
‘Before OCC the monitoring was done by senior
analysts. This was a humo ngous waste of resources
It is part of our cost savings by getting these reall y
junior level resources with just basic SAP knowledge
from a two weeks training’ (TL Case E).
Altogether, our cross case analysis shows that the
influence of skills and knowledge of the OCC team
members might be less important than expected. In case B
also the highly experienced operators could not reach high
process performance, whereas in case D less skilled IT
operators could reach high process performance. Thus, we
cannot confirm proposition P5 that low skills and knowl-
edge of process operators necessarily have negative impact
on process performance.
4.5.2 CI Culture
With CI culture there are strong differences between the
organizations. Some organizations (A, B, G) have dedi-
cated strategies, functions, and processes for CI. On the
other hand, some of the cases (C, F) did not have CI focus
at all. Resource issues and internal politics played a role in
case C not having any meaningful CI strategy:
‘But now, the next step will be to prevent them. Do
some root cause analysis and problem management.
For this, you need people. The way we are working
makes it impossible to get people’s time’ (TL Case C).
One important artifact of a CI culture that we recognize
in the OCC context is the documentation and continuous
improvement of instructions about how to react on events:
‘We are trying to create more guided procedures. We
don’t have that many but it’s our aim to use more
guided procedures on alerts [because] we hope to
work on a more efficient way, that’s to me also
continuous improvement’ (TL Case D).
Furthermore, our data indicate that there is a relation
between CI culture and the level of bottleneck identifica-
tion. All cases with lower CI culture achieved also lower
levels of bottleneck identification. Or in other words, in an
environment where CI is not valued, process visibility is
also not leveraged for bottleneck identification. Thus we
confirm proposition P6 that low levels of CI culture leads
to lower levels of process visibility’s benefits regarding
bottleneck identification and ultimately to lower process
performance impact.
4.5.3 Further Influential Factors
In the course of our research we identified two further
influential factors that seem to affect the benefits of process
monitoring. First, open coding of the interviews showed
that outsourcing quality partially had strong impact on the
OCC outcome, e.g.:
‘It was quite a challenge because our service provi-
der did not have a motivation to change. They did not
want to use the new processes and tools to support
our busi ness’ (TL Case F).
In some organizations (A, E, and F) the OCC is running
at external offshore serv ice providers which are operating
Table 6 High-level summary of case by case analysis
Case Process Monitoring Benefit Dimensions Influential Factors
Skills and knowledge
of operators
Outsourcing (OS)
A High High High High High High High High
B Medium Medium Medium Medium High High No OS Low
C High Medium Medium Low Medium Low No OS Low
D High High Medium High Medium Medium No OS High
E High Low Medium Medium Medium Medium Low Low
F Medium Low Low Low Medium Low Low Medium
G High High High High High High No OS High
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
major parts of the ITSM event management process. For
well managed outsourcing relationships we couldn’t iden-
tify a negative impact on process monitoring benefits (case
A). However, outsourcing in cases E and F required a lot of
coordination and controlling, which are recognized in IS
outsourcing research as potentially expensive activities in
labor-intensive offshoring relations (Dibbern et al. 2008).
This impacted the overall benefit realization to a large
extent and situation awareness as well as bottleneck iden-
tification were relatively low. Accordingly, we conclude
with an additional proposition:
[P7] The lower the quality of the relationship to out-
sourcing partners who are significantly involved in a
process, the lower is the situation awareness and bottle-
neck identification (which lowers the impact of process
visibility on process performance).
Second, the maturity of the monitoring tool in use was
found to be another important factor why organizations
reached lower performance gains than others as they faced
deficiencies in situation awareness and bottleneck identifi-
cation. We define tool maturity as the degree to what extent
a software tool is ready for use in its intended operational
environment to be validated against user requirements
(Tetlay and John 2009). In case C for example the sole focus
of the OCC implementation on efficiency resulted in with-
drawal of experienced IT professionals from the project
before the basic configuration of the monitoring tool was
finished. In cases B, E and F we identified issues with the
initial setup of the software tool which led to extra efforts in
the implementation and running of the solution. These
issues were coming from gaps in the implementation pro-
cedure, configuration errors, or from functional deficiencies
in early versions of the software:
‘One main issue is the overall OCC stability. Some
of these issues are related to our personal setup of not
having a quality test environment’ (TL Case B).
‘There are already lots of things that we can only use
now, and, yes, and it’s a pity that we didn’t have
those earlier’ (TQM Case C).
Therefore, regarding tool maturity we suggest:
[P8] The lower the maturity of the monitoring software
tool, the lower is the situation awareness and bottleneck
identification (which lowers the impact of process visibility
on process performance).
By the identification of this final proposition from our
empirical examination, we present the resulting Process
Monitoring Benefits Framework in Fig. 1. This conceptual
framework summarizes our suggested process monitoring
benefit dimensions, its relations, and influencing factor s.
5 Discussion and Conclusion
Our Process Monitoring Benefits Framework and its
propositions were empirically verified in a multiple case
study in 7 organizations that had implemented an OCC. An
OCC aims to improve monitorin g in the ITSM event
management process by increasing its process visibility.
We conceptualize process visibility as a multidimensional
construct on the process level. Drawing on the SA Theory
and the Theory of Constraints, our conceptual framework
suggests that process visibility increases situation aware-
ness in process operation and bottleneck identification for
process improvement. Both, situation awareness and bot-
tleneck identification are proposed to positively influence
process performance. Furthermore, we identified influential
factors for benefit realization of process monitoring in
ITSM event management based on existing literature and
our empirical investigation. Our multiple case study data
proposes that process visibility increases process perfor-
mance, mediated by situation awareness and bottleneck
identification. The potential benefits of process monitoring
in ITSM were influenced by three factors: CI culture,
outsourcing quality, and maturity of the monitoring tool.
Regarding skills and knowledge of the process operators, it
was found that process visibility seems to reduce the
impact of this factor on process performance.
Our study is subject to specific limitations: First, the
amount of qualitative data is limited as only 2–3 interviews
per case have been conducted. However, the interview data
were triangulated with information from a customer data-
base of our industry partner. Second, hindsight bias might
have influenced our findings as we could not observe
process participants inside concrete critical situations,
which particularly for SA assessments would have been
beneficial and should be considered for future research.
Likewise, changes attributed to the OCC impleme ntations
were evaluated only in retrospect. Third, for generaliz-
ability to a broader process context our Process Monitoring
Benefits Framework ought to be studied also outside ITSM
operations. Finally, although we acknowledge that the
close collaboration with one software vendor bears the risk
of being influenced by biases of the industry partner, we
also see it as an opportunity to ensure the relevance of our
However, we believe to have made significant contri-
butions to theory and practice. From a theoretical per-
spective, this paper adds to the body of knowledge related
to empirical BPM research in the important domain of the
monitoring use case. The conceptualization of process
visibility offers a generalization of concepts coming from
SCM and lean production to a broader process context,
which is a promising foundation for more studies of the
process visibility phenomenon in and beyond ITSM. Our
M. Berner et al.: The Impact of Process Visibility on Process Performance, Bus Inf Syst Eng
suggested Process Monitoring Benefits Framework and its
propositions helps to guide future research about the
impact of process visibility on process performance. From
a practitioner perspective, our paper proposes several
anchors on how to increase benefits of process monitoring
in organizations. Particularly, it describes what influencing
factors should be considered while implementing new
software for process monitoring. Furthermore, it identifies
situation awareness and bottleneck identification as areas
where leveraging data assets is of utmost importance for
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Supplementary resource (1)

... The formal procedures are frequently supported by ITSM tools, either workflow management systems proscribing specific activities (Trusson et al., 2018), or decision support systems recommending actions in response to system alerts (Cater-Steel et al., 2016), the more sophisticated of which will automatically trigger the recommended action (Wulf et al., 2015). The creation of help desks or operations centers as specialized organizational units to support the ITSM processes is another form of administrative control (Berner et al., 2016;Salah et al., 2019). ...
... Customer attitudes are affected by the higher levels of service quality (Lucio-Nieto & Colomo-Palacios, 2012) and by their perceptions of interactions with the IT function. Customers associate a higher level of professionalism with more formalized processes and with the greater visibility they will have on the operations of the IT function (Berner et al., 2016). ...
... The service-centric approach of ITSM can increase the alignment of IT resources and operations with the vision and strategy of the organization (Winkler & Wulf, 2019); ITSM is a response to the need for improved business-IT alignment (Goldkuhl et al., 2020). The continual improvement aspect of the ITSM process management can lead to services that better meet current and future organizational goals (Berner et al., 2016). These improvements may ultimately lead to improved organizational performance. ...
In recent years, organizations have made significant IT investments, including digital transformation programs, with the aim of enhancing the quality and delivery of services, and creating greater value for stakeholders. However, deriving value from IT investments and digital transformation necessitates, among other factors, a solid mastery of the IT function. In light of this, IT Service Management (ITSM) has emerged as a crucial and widely implemented approach to managing an organization's IT function, with the goal of achieving both operational and strategic benefits. Yet, despite its wide adoption, this approach has been undertheorized by academics, and there is limited understanding of the impacts that ITSM can generate for organizations as well as the mechanisms through which these impacts are achieved. In order to address this problem, this paper performs a systematic literature review examining research published on ITSM between 2012 and 2021 in order to understand what has occurred rather than what could or should be expected. Based on the findings, the paper advances that ITSM should be considered a Management Control System that includes a variety of control practices to achieve greater performance, transparency, and customer-focus within the IT function. It is also argued that these outcomes in turn increase client satisfaction and business/IT alignment. A model of the organizational impacts of ITSM is developed and ITSM is suggested as a subject for further, richer research into IS controls.
... Production research largely focuses on technical process analysis tools to increase performance, for instance, the identification and elimination of bottlenecks, balancing the work across resources, or creating demand-oriented staffing plans (Cachon & Terwiesch, 2008). In addition to such process optimisation, management research agrees that a correct and homogeneous process understanding -or, to adapt the terminology from dynamic decision-making research (Gary & Wood, 2011) -accurate and similar mental models of a business process (MMBP) among the actors engaged in this process is beneficial (Berner et al., 2016;Figl, 2018;Hammer & Stanton, 1999). It is argued that employees in such a team can better control and coordinate their workflow in processes running across several functions within and even beyond the organisational boundaries (Kettenbohrer et al., 2016;Segatto et al., 2013) if their team's MMBP accuracy and similarity is higher (Babić-Hodović et al., 2012;Olaisen & Revang, 2018). ...
... The only two studies identified in the review that relate such aids to performance are very limited to one showing that some depictions (no swim lanes) of processes have a positive effect on individuals' problem-solving performance (Bera, 2012) while the other one shows that a syntax highlighting with colors has no effect on experts' performance (Reijers et al., 2011). Only one study by (Berner et al., 2016) provides evidence that enhanced process visibility has an impact on performance on an aggregated level using multiple case studies in the environment of IT service management (Berner et al., 2016). However, the measurement of process performance is limited, as it is based on team leaders' perceptions. ...
... The only two studies identified in the review that relate such aids to performance are very limited to one showing that some depictions (no swim lanes) of processes have a positive effect on individuals' problem-solving performance (Bera, 2012) while the other one shows that a syntax highlighting with colors has no effect on experts' performance (Reijers et al., 2011). Only one study by (Berner et al., 2016) provides evidence that enhanced process visibility has an impact on performance on an aggregated level using multiple case studies in the environment of IT service management (Berner et al., 2016). However, the measurement of process performance is limited, as it is based on team leaders' perceptions. ...
Full-text available
Efficient business process execution is an essential part of an organisation’s success. It depends on good dynamic decision making of process actors that is guided by their mental models of business processes (MMBP). The study investigates the effect of MMBPs on process performance at two levels. At the level of individuals, the impact of MMBP accuracy on performance is analyzed, and at the level of a team, the effect of similarity of MMBPs of all team on performance is researched. At both levels, MMBPs are differentiated in a narrow part that focuses on the mental representations of process steps that precede or follow on the one conducted by the actor and a holistic model that captures the process as a whole. We use laboratory observations with 159 participants in 10 teams from a real effort loan processing role play. We obtain individual MMBP accuracy measures by using a process knowledge test and measure the process performance of teams with the outcome of the role play. Our study contributes in three ways to existing research. First, the measurement approach of individual MMBP accuracy and similarity is extended to the level of teams. Second, the study shows that the accuracy of both narrow and holistic MMBPs as well as similarity of holistic MMBPs positively impact team process performance. Third, by using an observable team process performance measures from a real-effort task, we increase the validity of our findings compared to other research relying on self-assessed performance measures.
... In retail industry, process visibility, additionally called process perceivability, is the capacity to see the procedures, exchanges and different exercises working precisely and totally inside an undertaking [7]. The principal objective is to empower perceivability into each business procedure, especially where there are issues of execution. ...
... According to the definition provided by [7] Procedure Visibility gives perceivability into forms that run in the cloud, on-premises or in half and half conditions [12]. Without productive procedures, we commit errors, lose clients and bring about avoidable expenses [13]. ...
... What's more, this is one reason why associations have such a great amount of trouble in dealing with forms more proficiently and persistently improving them [33]. [7] evaluated that Before utilizing process displaying programming and different advances, the view of procedures was unique, with the utilization of a great deal of paper and printed archives [34]. That is the reason, today, numerous individuals despite everything like to print records and spreadsheets. ...
Service quality improvement is the biggest challenge faced by many organizations in the era of competition. Due to the advancement and customers’ knowledge about product and services organizations are facing many challenges to satisfy them. In this research study we have discussed how service quality effected by process visibility and work stress. Qualitative study was conducted and over the phone interview approached helped us in collecting primary data. The results show that retail industry has become very modernized due to best utilization of technology and easy to access customers, but this brought challenges also.
... However, there is a high level of correlation between information and process latent variables (r = 0.92). The information plays a crucial role for actualisation and improvement of processes (Berner et al., 2016;Davenport, 1993). Therefore, information visibility makes great contributions to SC processes such as easier SC performance evaluation, enhanced flexibility, easier access to product and status information, lessened lead time and smooth operation of stock management, increased inter-organisational relations (Khan et al., 2012). ...
... When the extant literature is investigated, it is possible to state that information visibility is a prerequisite for process visibility because the real-time information sharing and the actualisation of high-quality information provide visibility in companies' and whole SCs' processes (Rai et al., 2006;Wei and Wang, 2010). Information sharing in SC is fundamental for the visibility of processes (Berner et al., 2016;Gavirneni et al., 1999). SCV is a complex structure that includes people, process, technology, and information sharing (Tohamy et al., 2003). ...
The concept of supply chain visibility has enabled many critical contributions to supply chains such as coping with crises more easily, better assessing risks in disruptions, enhancing flexibility and performance, constituting more resilient supply chains and ensuring sustainability. Therefore, it is acknowledged as a dynamic capability that vitally affects the success of supply chain management in the disruptive technology era. The aim of this paper is to make a tremendous contribution to the relevant literature by developing and validating a measurement instrument in this field. It deals with the structure in a more comprehensive way and in line with its theoretical framework, unlike extant measurement tools. Accordingly, the paper was performed in six steps and the sample size consisted of 48 firms for pilot study and 484 firms for main study. As a consequence of the paper, a nine-item and single-factor scale has been developed and validated. The paper ends with the evaluation of the findings.
... The following research adds to our understanding of useful transparency. Berner et al. (2016) define process visibility as the property of processes to provide the information required to support process control and improvement. Their work shows that process visibility is positively related to process performance in "Operations and Control Centers". ...
... TPM focuses on overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) to measure process performance (Bamber et al. 1999) and emphasizes the improvement of equipment through (a) process control, and (b) process improvement. Process control refers to the continuous monitoring and management of processes, while process improvement refers to the identification of inefficiencies and the determination of countermeasures (Berner et al. 2016). Information from multiple sources is used to support these tasks. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research highlights transparency as a critical requirement for the design of information systems—especially in complex systems where decision-making benefits from a collaboration between humans and machines. However, little research has been conducted on how information systems should be designed to provide actionable information—a property also referred to as useful transparency. We explore this relevant question in the manufacturing context by examining the continuous improvement process of an automated production line. Following the design science research paradigm, we iteratively develop an artifact based on design requirements derived with employees. Using the developed artifact, we study two phenomena: First, we show through a focus group conducted with domain experts that making process information accessible to employees is a viable means to facilitate useful transparency. Second, we determine that useful transparency improves process performance—by observing a statistically significant reduction in the duration of downtime incidents. We conclude by discussing two refined design principles for facilitating useful transparency.
... These issues compounded for the clinic's management team during the pandemic. From a process improvement perspective, the dispensary function lacked visibility and traceability, which was the key pain point for patients and an obstacle in reaching operational excellence [20]. ...
Objective: To improve patients' experience concerning insufficient informational flow to patients waiting at the dispensary station-case study of a traditional Chinese medicine clinic. Method: The service system was explored via qualitative techniques such as interviews and constructing the customer journey map. Then, experience and operational issues were defined through experience ratings at each touchpoint, patient interviews, and root cause analysis. The solution was identified via brainstorming and prototyping. A prescription tracking system was proposed with a finish time estimation algorithm. Results: The overall satisfaction score at the dispensary station, comparing before-after system implementation in 2019, was increased 37% from the average score of 3.27 to 4.47 using 5-point Likert scales. The mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) of the waiting time estimation model that included the buffer time (upper bound at 95%) is 52%. Conclusion: This methodology, which included both patient experience and operational improvement viewpoints, could successfully improve both the patient experience and the related operation system at its critical touchpoints. Moreover, the data from the prescription tracking system could be used to estimate the number of patients waiting in the system, allowing the clinic to better manage its waiting space and capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
... From related research in applied psychology we learned that shared understanding is a very broad concept (e.g. , which has also been discussed as a meta-construct for concepts like shared mental models , shared situation awareness (Berner et al. 2016), strategic consensus or transactive memory systems ). In our research, we attempt to answer the question whether shared understanding of each other's work environments helps to build a shared understanding of task-related and team-related aspect of a project team, which in turn has been found to enable project success. ...
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Das gemeinsame Verständnis zwischen IT und Fachbereichen wurde in vergangenen For-schungsstudien immer wieder als eine der wichtigsten Voraussetzungen für eine harmonische und effektive Zusammenarbeit identifiziert. Ein hohes gemeinsames Verständnis unterstützt die Entwicklung von strategischen Business/IT Alignment, das Anforderungsmanagement in der Softwareentwicklung sowie die Systemimplementierung in Infrastrukturprojekten. Auch wenn die Relevanz eines gemeinsamen Verständnisses immer wieder hervorgehoben wird, so weichen die Beschreibungen des Konzeptes teilweise stark voneinander ab. Beispielweise be-schreiben Forschungen im Bereich des strategischen Alignments das gemeinsame Verständnis als Einigkeit zwischen CIO und CEO über die Rolle der IT in der Organisation, während die Forschungen im Bereich der Teamkoordination gemeinsame Wertvorstellungen oder das Ver-ständnis über die Vorlieben, Stärken und Schwächen der Teammitglieder in den Vordergrund rücken. Die unterschiedlichen Konzeptualisierungen haben einen direkten Einfluss auf die Forschungsergebnisse, aus denen teilweise sehr widersprüchliche Empfehlungen abgleitet wer-den. So herrscht beispielsweise Uneinigkeit, ob das gemeinsame Verständnis in strukturierten Arbeitsumfeldern an Relevanz verliert. Die Entwicklung eines gemeinsamen Verständnisses binde viele Ressourcen, während das gemeinsame Verständnis in strukturierten Arbeitsumfel-dern gleichzeitig an Relevanz verliere. Andere Forschungen legen dar, dass nicht die Relevanz im Allgemeinen sinke, sondern dass sich lediglich die Relevanz einzelner Dimensionen ver-schiebe. Die kontextbezogene und aktuelle (zeitbezogene) Situation in der Kooperation be-stimme also die Konzeptualisierung und somit die Relevanz einzelner Dimensionen eines ge-meinsamen Verständnisses. Um die Ausprägungen des gemeinsamen Verständnisses zu erforschen, unterscheidet diese Arbeit somit zwischen den Kontingenzfaktoren Kontext und Zeit. Es wird angenommen, dass sich die Ausprägungen und Einflüsse des gemeinsamen Verständnisses in Abhängigkeit zum Kontext, in der es entwickelt wird, sowie im Zeitverlauf verändert. Die resultierende For-schungsfrage lautet: Wie beeinflussen der Kontext und die Zeit die Entwicklung des gemeinsamen Verständnisses und dessen Einfluss auf den Erfolg der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Fach- und IT-Bereichen? Zur Beantwortung der Forschungsfrage ist diese Dissertation in drei Themenblöcke gegliedert. Der erste Teil der Arbeit analysiert und konsolidiert die bisherigen Diskussionen im zugrunde-liegenden Forschungsumfeld. Dabei werden die Ergebnisse aus verschiedenen Forschungs-strängen (Paper I) zu einem umfassenden Konzept zusammengefasst (Paper II) und Empfeh-lungen für die Operationalisierung entwickelt (Paper III). Der zweite Teil der Arbeit kon-zentriert sich auf die kontextbezogenen Konzeptualisierungen und Einfluss des gemeinsamen Verständnisses auf den Erfolg der Kooperation. Ein zu dem Zweck entwickeltes Rahmenwerk (Paper IV) wird in einer explorativen Fallstudienserie mit qualitativen Belegen untermauert (Paper V). In einer abschließenden empirischen Studie (Paper VI) wird der statistische Zu-sammenhang zwischen dem Kontingenzfaktor Komplexität und dem gemeinsamen Verständ-nis zwischen Fach- und IT-Bereichen analysiert. Der dritte Teil der Arbeit konzentriert sich auf den zweiten Kontingenzfaktoren im Forschungsmodell: die Zeit. Eine Folge von zwei longitu-dinalen Fallstudienserien (Paper VII und Paper VIII) bildet das Fundament für die anschlie-ßende empirische Studie (Paper IX), in der die Entwicklung sowie Auswirkungen des gemein-samen Verständnisses im Lebenszyklus von IT-Projekten analysiert wird. Die Ergebnisse der Dissertation zeigen, dass das gemeinsame Verständnis zwischen Fach- und IT-Bereichen ein multidimensionales Konstrukt darstellt, welches sich entsprechend des Kon-textes im Zeitverlauf verändert. Die entwickelten Rahmenwerke können in Forschung und Praxis angewandt werden, um ein tieferes Verständnis der Auswirkungen des gemeinsamen Verständnisses innerhalb und zwischen verschiedenen Kooperationsformen und über die Zeit zu erreichen. Die drei wichtigsten Ergebnisse lassen sich wie folgt zusammenfassen: Erstens hilft diese Dissertation die Vielzahl an Konzeptualisierungen zu strukturieren, indem ein umfassendes Konzept entwickelt wird, das die wichtigsten Dimensionen bisheriger For-schung umfasst. Das Konzept wird durch empirische Belege gefestigt, die zeigen, dass die Be-deutung von „gemeinsam“ von der jeweiligen Dimension abhängt, über die ein gemeinsames Verständnis herrschen soll. Gemeinsames Verständnis von technischen und aufgabenspezifi-schen Aspekten muss als ähnlich oder teilweise überlappend verstanden werden, da diese Über-lappungen den Kooperationspartner helfen, gemeinsame Lösungsverfahren zu entwickeln. Im Gegensatz dazu sollte das gemeinsame Verständnis zu fachlichen, geschäftsspezifischen As-pekten als verteiltes oder kompatibles Verständnis konzipiert werden, da die Herausforderung in der Regel darin besteht, das Fachwissen verschiedener Personen zu nutzen und neue Ideen und Ansätze zu entwickeln. Zweitens trägt diese Dissertation zur Diskussion über die Relevanz des gemeinsamen Ver-ständnisses in strukturierten Arbeitsumgebungen (d.h. modulare IT- und Geschäftsstrukturen) bei. Die Ergebnisse widersprechen früheren Untersuchungen, die argumentieren, dass die Notwendigkeit des Wissensaustauschs in strukturierten Umgebungen abnimmt. Ein gemein-sames Verständnis, welches durch eine strukturierte Umgebung gefördert wird, steigert den positiven Effekt einer strukturierten Umgebung auf den Kooperationserfolg zusätzlich. Jedoch zeigt sich auch, dass eine strukturierte Umgebung die Entwicklung des gemeinsamen Ver-ständnisses nicht per se fördert, wie bisher angenommen. Vielmehr ist die Kombination aus fachlicher und technischer Arbeitsumgebungsstruktur von zentraler Bedeutung. Drittens unterstreichen die Ergebnisse, dass eine universelle Empfehlung für das ideale Timing in der Implementierung des gemeinsamen Verständnisses nicht möglich ist. Unterschiedliche Perspektiven des gemeinsamen Verständnisses beeinflussen den Kooperationserfolg in unter-schiedlichen Phasen der Kooperation. Ein überlappendes Verständnis der IT-Domäne zu Be-ginn einer Kooperation hilft dem Team, den Ablauf der Kooperation zu strukturieren, während ein überlappendes Verständnis von aufgabenbezogenen Aspekten im weiteren Verlauf hilfreich ist, um den Fokus der gemeinsamen Ziele nicht aus den Augen zu verlieren. Ein unterschiedli-ches bzw. ergänzendes fachliches Verständnis über alle Teammitglieder in den späteren Koope-rationsphasen trägt zum Teamerfolg bei, indem es dem Team hilft das Fachwissen zu konsoli-dieren und etwas Neues zu schaffen. Somit ist eine zeitabhängige Kombination der verschie-denen Perspektiven des gemeinsamen Verständnisses wichtig, um den Kooperationserfolg zu maximieren. Diese Dissertation unterstreicht die Notwendigkeit einer gezielteren Diskussion der Entste-hung und Wirkung des gemeinsamen Verständnisses zwischen Fach- und IT-Bereichen, um scheinbar widersprüchliche Forschungsergebnisse zu vereinen und konkrete Empfehlungen für die Praxis zu entwickeln. Dabei erweitert die Dissertation Tiefe und Spezifizität zu früheren, eher universellen Empfehlungen, welche leicht missinterpretiert werden können, und öffnet damit neue Türen in der laufenden Forschung zum gemeinsamen Verständnis zwischen Fach- und IT-Bereichen.
Continuous innovation (CI) in large, established companies aiming to both produce incremental innovations as well as to create more radical ones is complex and complicated. It is affected by many simultaneous hard and soft factors and interrelationships. One suggested way how CI performance can potentially be improved is by increasing transparency in the innovation process, through which better employee participation to the process can possibly be achieved. Modern information/knowledge management and sharing IT tools can support that in practice. In this paper, we investigate those questions in an industrial software-intensive B2B company case. The company augmented its former, formal stage-gate based innovation process with new practices in order to accelerate the business innovation decision-making with validated information. We collected empirically rich qualitative and quantitative data and analyzed it to extract a set of statements grounded on the data. Those statements suggest that it is central to engage and connect right people and key information for effective and efficient idea generation, idea development, and business incubation. However, in different phases various stakeholder feedback and expert knowledge are critical for successful innovation progress. Increased transparency supported by integrated and versatile innovation, and knowledge management IT tools can intensify them. In effect, the clock speed of the organization for connecting people, ideas, knowledge (even tacit), and business decisions is accelerated. Overall the CI process should be flexible but at the same time it should frame the central direction. Consequently, it is hard to measure CI performance fully decisively with traditional KPIs. KeywordsContinuous innovationInnovation performanceIdea management system
Process monitoring is one of the key activities in business process management (BPM). However, surveys indicate that there are still fundamental weaknesses in today’s BPM practices regarding collection and availability of relevant process information. Furthermore, current BPM research lacks concepts and empirically grounded recommendations concerning needs, effects, and constraints of process monitoring. Although there is a large amount of technology addressing the process monitoring topic, the underlying concepts are unclear and have not been aggregated and conceptualized explicitly. We suggest process visibility as a possible approach and conceptualize it as a characteristic of a business process. It is an outcome of process monitoring and refers to the quality of process information to support process operation as well as improvement. New process monitoring technologies are associated with substantial investments. This raises the question, where organizations should deploy them. Theoretically grounded in the Information Processing View of the Firm (IPV) we propose a prioritization framework for business processes regarding their process visibility requirements and process visibility capabilities. Our Process Visibility Fit Framework supports the identification of process with a mismatch of their process visibility requirements and process visibility capabilities based on a parsimonious survey instrument. The hypotheses of our Process Visibility Fit Framework and the measurement instrument were tested in a quantitative study with 115 process experts from a multinational company. This study confirmed the validity and reliability of the survey instrument. The empirical relevance of our framework could be shown, as the analysis of the survey data identified a positive relation between process visibility fit and process performance. Additionally, the practical applicability of the framework was demonstrated by applying it to the process landscape of the company. A second study examined the impact of process visibility on process performance. The basic belief regarding process monitoring activities and related technologies are that they increase the performance of business processes. influence these benefits? We propose a Process Monitoring Benefits Framework, which builds on our conceptualization of process visibility as well as on the Situation Awareness Theory and the Theory of Constraints. It argues that the key benefits of process monitoring refer to process visibility, situation awareness for process operation, bottleneck identification for process improvement, and ultimately, process performance – whereby bottleneck identification and situation awareness mediate the effects of process visibility on process performance. For the evaluation of the Process Monitoring Benefits Framework and its propositions, we conducted case studies in seven companies that implemented an Operational Control Center (OCC) for the monitoring inside their IT service management event management process. OCCs with their focus on monitoring of critical infrastructure and processes, offer a great research context to study the impact of process visibility. Our multiple case studies provide preliminary evidence for the proposed process monitoring benefit dimensions and their relations. Additionally, we identified factors that influence these benefits – which are the continuous improvement culture of the organization, the outsourcing quality regarding potentially involved third party partner organizations, and the tool maturity of the used process monitoring technology. Regarding the expected potentially influential factor skills and knowledge of the process participants, our study indicates that process visibility reduces the impact of this factor on process performance. The Process Monitoring Benefits Framework structures the success dimensions of process monitoring technologies and activities. Our research proposes several links on how practitioners can increase success of process monitoring in organizations. It describes what influencing factors should be considered for the implementation of process monitoring technologies.
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Purpose – Business process management (BPM) is an emerging research theme in management. BPM lifecycles are models that systematize the steps and activities that should be followed for conducting BPM projects. The theoretical and empirical studies present differences regarding the number of steps and activities that should be carried out for promoting BPM. Using the BPM lifecycle model of the Association of Business Process Management Professionals (ABPMP) – an entity that proposes a common body of knowledge on BPM, as a parameter, this paper conducts a literature review to investigate lifecycle models within the academic-scientific ambit, identify convergences and variations and analyze the alignment between business strategy and processes in BPM activities in these models. The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework that deals with alignment between strategy and business processes in an explicit manner. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review was conducted aimed at prospecting papers about the BPM lifecycle. For such, the Scopus, Google Schoolar and Science Direct databases were accessed. The selection process was structured in two steps: the first filtered studies based on a reading of the title, abstract and key words; the second step consisted of selecting papers based on a complete reading of those papers resulting from the first step and from the references they contained. Findings – Seven BPM lifecycle models were selected and analyzed. A comparison was presented between the model steps and the model proposed by ABPMP. The particularities of each model were identified and the study suggests an alignment of these models with the BPM lifecycle proposed by ABPMP, in particular with the analysis, design and modeling, implementation and monitoring and control steps. Four models do not include the planning step, whereas four others do not incorporate refining. The majority of models studied projects the automation of business processes. This study reinforces that ABPMP's BPM lifecycle is a reference model, observing that the activities in the other models studied are projected in it. However, it was observed that in the ABPMP model as well as the models studied, there is little emphasis on organization strategy and on defining process architecture. Thus, this study suggests the incorporation of activities proposed by Burlton (2010) as an additional instrument for the ABPMP BPM lifecycle model to align strategy to processes in BPM projects. For such, a framework was proposed that deals with alignment between strategy and business process in an explicit manner. Originality/value – This study presents a typology of BPM lifecycle models, with common characteristics and peculiarities, and it analyzes the alignment between processes and strategy in the models’ activities. This study can assist professionals in the adoption of a model for implementing BPM projects and for continuous improvement.
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Wixom and Todd (2005) integrated the user satisfaction and the technology acceptance literatures to theorize about and account for the influence of the information technology artifact on usage. Based on Wixom and Todd’s integrated model of technology usage, we propose the 3Q model by investigating the role of service quality (SQ), in addition to system quality (SysQ) and information quality (IQ), in website adoption. Attention to SQ is critical, as consumer websites have increasingly become the target of SQ assessment made by consumers, not just traditional SysQ and IQ evaluations. As part of our study, we further theorize and empirically test the relationships among these three types of quality constructs and hypothesize that perceived SysQ influences perceived IQ and perceived SQ, and perceived IQ influences perceived SQ. Our study extends the Wixom and Todd model in the e-service context and is the first of its kind to empirically examine the combined impact of perceived SQ, perceived SysQ, and perceived IQ on usage intention. Our study advances the theoretical understanding of SQ and the relationships among perceptions of SysQ, IQ, and SQ in the e-service context. The results also inform practitioners that high IQ and SysQ can directly or indirectly improve SQ in the e-service context.
Wixom and Todd (2005) integrated the user satisfaction and the technology acceptance literatures to theorize about and account for the influence of the information technology artifact on usage. Based on Wixom and Todd's integrated model of technology usage, we propose the 3Q model by investigating the role of service quality (SQ), in addition to system quality (SysQ) and information quality (IQ), in website adoption. Attention to SQ is critical, as consumer websites have increasingly become the target of SQ assessment made by consumers, not just traditional SysQ and IQ evaluations. As part of our study, we further theorize and empirically test the relationships among these three types of quality constructs and hypothesize that perceived SysQ influences perceived IQ and perceived SQ, and perceived IQ influences perceived SQ. Our study extends the Wixom and Todd model in the e-service context and is the first of its kind to empirically examine the combined impact of perceived SQ, perceived SysQ, and perceived IQ on usage intention. Our study advances the theoretical understanding of SQ and the relationships among perceptions of SysQ, IQ, and SQ in the eservice context. The results also inform practitioners that high IQ and SysQ can directly or indirectly improve SQ in the e-service context.
Conference Paper
Real-time visibility of relevant information during process execution becomes increasingly feasible leveraging advanced information technologies. However, it remains vague where organizations should exploit the new, but also cost-intensive opportunities. Theoretically grounded in the Information Processing View (IPV) this paper proposes a decision framework that identifies business processes which need technology investments enabling real-time visibility. The framework considers both, visibility requirements of processes as well as visibility capabilities of information technology.
The process controller is required to remain updated regarding developments in the dynamically changing process state, this being referred to as the maintenance of situation awareness. Alarm systems play an important role within this task, and therefore a measure of how effective the system is for enhancing the operator's situation awareness is desirable. One proposed measure is the Situation Awareness Control Room Inventory (SACRI). The methods and results of four simulator studies undertaken to develop and evaluate SACRI are outlined in this paper. It is concluded that SACRI is of use alongside measures such as detection time and diagnostic accuracy in simulator-based evaluations of alarm system design.