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A Matrix for Context-Aware Business Process Management: Empirical Evidence from Hilti

Authors:

Abstract

We present a framework to classify business processes according to their contextual management requirements. Our framework results from a real-world project with Hilti, a globally operating company. Following a design science research approach, we identify two key dimensions to classify business processes: variability and frequency. As these two dimensions are present to different degrees, we develop four context clusters in which business processes can be organized: reliability, performance, agility, and innovation. Our framework provides several implications for business process management (BPM). It facilitates BPM approaches, which are sensitive towards contextual requirements and thus, are more likely to be adopted successfully. Specifically, our BPM Context Matrix can also be used to plan and scope the implementation of various digital technologies to support and advance BPM in organizations.
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A Matrix for Context-Aware Business Process
Management: Empirical Evidence from Hilti
1
Jan vom Brocke1, Manuel Weber1, Thomas Grisold1
1 University of Liechtenstein, Fürst-Franz-Josef-Strasse, 9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein
jan.vom.brocke@uni.li
manuel.weber@uni.li
thomas.grisold@uni.li
Abstract. We present a framework to classify business processes according to their con-
textual management requirements. Our framework results from a real-world project
with Hilti, a globally operating company. Following a design science research approach,
we identify two key dimensions to classify business processes: variability and frequency.
As these two dimensions are present to different degrees, we develop four context clus-
ters in which business processes can be organized: reliability, performance, agility, and
innovation. Our framework provides several implications for business process manage-
ment (BPM). It facilitates BPM approaches, which are sensitive towards contextual re-
quirements and thus, are more likely to be adopted successfully. Specifically, our BPM
Context Matrix can also be used to plan and scope the implementation of various digital
technologies to support and advance BPM in organizations.
Keywords: Business Process Management, Context-Aware BPM, Information
Technologies, Business Process Taxonomy, Process Mining, Robotic Process
Automation.
1 Introduction
Our case company, Hilti, is a globally operating company in the construction industry.
It develops products, software, and services for customers worldwide. Hilti has intro-
duced a process repository based on Microsoft (MS) Sharepoint. Like for many com-
panies, however, the adoption of such models as well as their maintenance has proven
challenging. Hilti decided to revisit their business process management (BPM) ap-
proach considering the state of the art in research. Hilti engaged with the ten princi-
ples of good BPM [10] and decided to develop a context-aware approach to manage
their business processes.
Context-awareness essentially states that there is no one-size-fits-allapproach for
the management of processes. This is because business processes have different func-
tions and thus, espouse different management requirements [8]. There are numerous
1
Authors Version. Please cite as: vom Brocke, J., Weber, M., and Grisold, T. (2021). A Matrix for
Context-Aware Business Process Management: Empirical Evidence from Hilti, presented at the
19th International Conference on Business Process Management Conferences, Rome, Italy.
2
advantages to context-aware process management, such as increased process flexi-
bility, better decision-making, and better risk management [8, 25, 30].
We have engaged with Hilti on their journey of revising their global process manage-
ment system within a project called GPMS next generation. We present our ap-
proach in the following. The global rollout is planned for 2022.
2 Situation faced
2.1 Case Description
Hilti is a globally operating corporation specialized in construction tools and ser-
vices. Employing more than 30000 people worldwide, the company develops prod-
ucts, services, and infrastructures, mostly in the B2B sector. The headquarters are lo-
cated in Schaan, Liechtenstein [6].
Hilti implemented a BPM approach many years ago. The founder, Martin Hilti, had
envisioned an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system long before this became the
standard [6]. In 2018, Hilti has been awarded with the Global Awards for Excellence in
BPM & Workflow by the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) [4].
Besides a traditional functional organization, Hilti implemented a process organiza-
tion and allocated resources to business process management along the BPM lifecycle
[14]. To this end, the company specified most of its 149 single processes.
The company currently uses a global process management system (GPMS). A pro-
cess repository based on MS Sharepoint is used for describing, designing, and dissem-
inating process models [16]and information throughout the organization [5] and along
the whole BPM lifecycle [14].
2.2 Problems and Challenges in BPM
Despite the strong success of the existing BPM approach, it became apparent that
the existing GPMS is being used only to a limited extent. Most of the stored documents
have not been accessed or modified in the ways it was envisioned when introducing
the system. This entails the risk that processes are executed incorrectly, inadequately,
or in an uncoordinated manner as process descriptions might not be accessed or if
accessed might prove outdated. Furthermore, stakeholders reported that opera-
tional staff is seeking for additional process information but lack user experience in
finding useful information or documents in the current process repository (database).
Also, it was reported that the implemented software had been perceived as outdated
because it would not align with the expectations of a modern digital work experience.
This has led to a rather negative attitude of many employees towards the GPMS and
also the BPM approach as a whole. In summary, it can be said that the problem at
hand goes beyond merely technical issues. The main reason lies in the limited user
experience with the existing tool, which is based on a "simple" process repository that
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does not account for various capability areas in BPM, such as governance, use of new
digital technologies, and new methods [26] along the whole BPM lifecycle [14].
Specifically, we identified the following problems:
One-size-fits-all approach: Most business processes are modeled, visual-
ized, and described in one and the same way, predominantly using traditional
modeling languages (e.g., BPMN). Different process requirements are hardly
or not at all considered in the modeling and description.
Outdated information and low access rates: More than two-thirds of the doc-
uments containing useful insights were not uploaded or modified within the
last two years. Moreover, most of them are seldomly opened.
No single source of truth’: Some functional areas have implemented addi-
tional systems providing useful and valuable insights for users. Data is scat-
tered across various systems and repositories, increasing the risk of incon-
sistent process information.
Missing functionality: The current GPMS is set up as a stand-alone repository
and has several shortcomings regarding its features and functionalities,
which are relevant for efficient process work.
These problems point to issues with respect to the existing BPM approach. To
solve these problems, the company recognized the need for a new approach to guide
their BPM initiatives. Given that processes have different contextual requirements,
we initiated a project where we explicitly accounted for context-awareness around
business process work.
2.3 Project Goal: Development of a Context-Aware BPM Approach
We decided to design a new BPM approach that is based on context-awareness.
Building on taxonomies that were developed to operationalize and measure the or-
ganizational context [30, 31], we set out to (1) pinpoint the relevant context at Hilti,
(2) identify project clusters, and (3) propose cluster-specific guidelines to manage the
processes. It has been decided to showcase and evaluate the approach focusing on
process descriptions (i.e., models, documentation, visualization) and the associated
process documents (e.g., attachments such as technical documentation, standard op-
erating procedures, manuals/instructions, forms, and templates).
To this end, we embraced context-aware process descriptions, which were not con-
sidered before. This means that processes can be described in different ways depend-
ing on their contextual requirements. Accordingly, processes are modeled, stored, and
represented differently unless they share very similar contextual needs. This approach
should also account for the fact that different stakeholders with different require-
ments access this application/platform to acquire existing or updated process
knowledge.
While working with the company on the context-aware process descriptions, it al-
ready became apparent that the context-aware approach would be of use beyond re-
vising the methods for process descriptions. The project team realized that context-
4
awareness affects the entire BPM approach. Using the BPM Billboard [9], we also in-
vestigated what management recommendations would apply in each of the clusters,
referring to the BPM capability areas [13, 26]. As one important outcome, the com-
pany envisioned that our approach can inform and guide the implementation of new
digital technologies; accordingly, we ensured that our approach can inform the selec-
tion of digital technologies, such as process mining and robotic process automation,
by accounting for the contextual needs of the processes.
3 Action taken
Our project has been following a design science research (DSR) approach [15],
where we closely collaborate with process experts in the company to obtain first-hand
knowledge about contextual requirements [2]. Following vom Brocke et al. [7], the key
motivation of any DSR-project is to generate design knowledge, which in our case was
design knowledge in the form of a new artifact: the BPM Context Matrix. In the fol-
lowing, we briefly outline the actions taken. More details regarding the methodologi-
cal procedure can be found in Weber et al. [29], vom Brocke et al. [4], and [11].
3.1 Kick-Off
In 2019, we first developed a joint understanding of the problem together with the
management. We informally discussed the case with the Chief Information Officer
(CIO) as well as with the Head of Operational Excellence. We then presented our vision
of a next-generation BPM approach at the semi-annual meeting of all global process
owners (GPOs), who have strategic responsibility for individual processes or process
areas. We emphasized the principles of purpose, context-awareness, technology ap-
propriation, and simplicity [10, 12].
There was agreement that these four principles are important and should drive the
development of a new BPM approach. In addition, there was consensus that the key
to such a new approach is to detail to operationalize context-awareness. Once we
knew distinct types of contexts at Hilti, we could for each context type focus on
the purpose (and requirements), identify the most appropriate technology, and de-
liver the purpose in the most simple and effective way. Hence, we decided to empha-
size context-awareness within this project.
3.2 The Survey
In the next stage, we conducted a company-wide global survey in order to assess the
contextual factors of all business processes at Hilti. We approached Global Process
Owners (GPO), Global Process Managers (GPM), and Regional / Local Process Manag-
ers (R/LPM) of the case company: 42 process experts were asked to specify the pro-
cess(es) they are responsible for [29].
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The survey was based on the contextual process dimensions as proposed by vom
Brocke et al. [8]. We slightly adapted these dimensions and included additional factors
that were considered important by key informants in the organization: standardiza-
tion, creativity, variability, interdependence (human interaction, process steps),
knowledge-intensity.
3.3 Expert Workshops and Task Force
Subsequently, we conducted a workshop and several individual meetings with GPOs
and the CIO to make sense of the survey data. Three researchers from the University
of Liechtenstein and three employees from Hilti’s Department for Operational Excel-
lence formed the core team (the task force). We held weekly heads-up meetings as
well as topic-specific ad-hoc meetings and brainstorming sessions. The overarching
goal of this task force was to identify the needs underlying different process types,
understand the impact of different contextual factors, and jointly develop an overall
process approach that considers contextual factors and integrate them under one
overarching BPM approach.
Occasionally, we engaged operational clerks to obtain feedback on the usefulness
and limitations of our context-aware approach for specific business processes. The
results were then presented and discussed with the CIO/GPO community, which
formed the steering board for this project.
4 Results developed so far
4.1 Development of the BPM Context Matrix
The following Fig. 1 shows the (survey-)evaluation of the six process-dimensions
across all 41 main processes. The survey participants rated these contextual process-
dimensions using the 7-point Likert-scale. In specific, we see that each process has
different characteristics with regards to the context dimensions.
6
Fig. 1. Overview of the six dimensions among the analyzed processes.
We created a single figure for each process. This allowed us to find similar or iden-
tical properties across business processes with respect to these six dimensions. We
developed a spider diagram for each process showing how the respective process has
been evaluated according to all dimensions. We printed each spider diagram on a sep-
arate sheet and conducted a card-sorting exercise together with all GPOs at the
CIO/GPO meeting. Fig. 2 shows two randomly selected spider diagrams we printed for
the workshop. We asked the participants to form groups on the grounds of similar
spider diagrams. Importantly, we did not reveal the names of the processes (as this
would bias the perception of the process) but only numbers. We had four groups of
3-4 GPOs working in parallel, and we subsequently discussed the groupings they came
up with.
The card sorting exercise demonstrated the actual differences of processes regard-
ing contextual needs. At the same time, we recognized the potentials for grouping or
clustering the processes with respect to similar properties. Interestingly, while the
groups worked independently, they all converged towards similar groupings. We used
these groups, then, to find key dimensions, which would serve best to distinguish the
processes regarding the relevant context.
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Fig. 2. Exemplary processes, evaluated using the six context process dimension [8]
Dimensions. Based on the groupings, we discussed which dimensions were most sali-
ent to distinguish process types. Together with the management of the company, we
agreed on two key dimensions: variability and frequency.
Variability is expressed as the degree to which a process can or should respond to
internal and external dynamics [15, 23]. We observed that some process groups need
variability (e.g., a R&D process, which differs according to the goal, timeline, and peo-
ple involved). Other processes such as those prevailing in Audit and Finance should
not be variable at all.
The second dimension, frequency, reflects how often the process is carried out [21].
We observed that some processes are performed often, and others are performed
once per month or year. Process executions are more similar when they often occur
[17]. Audit and finance processes, for example, need to conform to some defined
standard in contrast to R&D processes, which by their nature tend to occur rather
rarely but usually deviate from detailed guidelines and standards.
Context clusters. By using a combination of two dimensions (variability and fre-
quency), we developed a 4-quadrant matrix. We refer to this as the BPM Context Ma-
trix. Each quadrant represents a process cluster that contains processes with compa-
rable characteristics (identical nature) as well as the number of runs. We have as-
signed intuitive names to these process clusters (as shown in Fig. 3): Performance,
Innovation, Reliability, and Agility. In the following, we will exemplify our ideas, but
we would like to note that such processes occur in almost every organization.
Performance Cluster: Processes of high frequency and low variability. This cluster is
about processes which are performed very often (high frequency). Each performance
should be carried out in one pre-defined way (low variability). Consider a production
process. Ideally, the outcome of such a process is always the same, and the way of
production (production process) usually does not change.
Innovation Cluster: Processes of low frequency and high variability. Processes that
belong to the Innovation Cluster require a high degree of creativity [3]. Much of what
happens in these processes cannot be anticipated or prescribed. These processes oc-
cur rather rarely (low frequency). However, if such innovation processes are executed,
8
they usually run differently after each iteration (high variability). An example of this is
the design of a new product or service, which usually involves a high degree of crea-
tivity. Since the outcome of such processes is usually uncertain and not clear in detail
from the beginning, they exhibit a high degree of variability. However, the frequency
with which such processes are performed is rather low.
Reliability Cluster: Processes of both low frequency and low variability. This cluster
is about processes which are performed very rarely (low frequency). When they are
performed, however, the execution should be more or less the same (low variability).
Consider the preparation of a tax return. This process is typically always structured in
the same way and is usually carried out once a year. Consistency and reliability are
key, not only for reasons of compliance but also to ensure that information is inte-
grated when it is needed. The preparation of a tax return can be mentioned here as
an example. Since tax returns usually have to be filed once a year (low frequency) and
are usually always done in the same way (low variability), this type of process can be
assigned to the Reliability Cluster.
Agility Cluster: Processes of both high frequency and high variability. In the Agility
Cluster, we find processes that run frequently (high frequency) and, at the same time,
exhibit a strong potential to deviate across process executions (high variability). We
assume that we often have to deal with complex issues in the Agility Cluster. One ex-
ample is the talent acquisition process. The way in which new employees are acquired
may be similar in its basic steps, but the exact implementation varies depending on
the applicant (the talent) and the open position.
Fig. 3. BPM Context Matrix.
Impact of process clusters. For each cluster, we identified the key challenges for man-
aging these processes. Thereby, we clarify what is most critical in both running and
managing processes as part of a specific context cluster. We then mapped our insights
against the BPM capability framework [13, 26]. Table 1 gives examples for all context
types and all capability areas. These preliminary results and insights were obtained
Low Variability High
Low Frequency High
Innovation Agility
Reliability Performance
9
through close collaboration between researchers and key stakeholders from the com-
pany.
Table 1. Description of the process cluster according to six core elements in BPM [26].
4.2 Adapting the Framework for the Selection of New Digital
Technologies
Our BPM Context Matrix does not only enable the management of business processes
according to their contextual requirements. It can also inform and guide the selection
of relevant digital technologies, such as process mining and robotic process automa-
tion (RPA). Fig. 4. enlists requirements for digital technologies to ensure that the pro-
cess is running as desired. We assert that digital technologies need to fulfill different
functions and provide different affordances, depending on the contextual require-
ments of a respective business process. We sketch out implications for each cluster
below.
PERFORMANCE AGILITY INNOVATION RELIABILITY
Keep people motivated
Manage efficiently and
the first time right
Enable people
Be sensitive and adaptive for
change
Find innovative solutions to
largely unknown challenges
Focus on effectiveness
Ensure knowledge transfer
Improve by incorporating new
insights
Orient towards efficiency
KPIs
Consider the number of
variants and the process time
Be aware of the uniqueness of
the solution
Act result-oriented according
to measures like time, budget,
quality
Constantly monitor roles
and responsibilities
Take instant
countermeasures
Reduce variability to a
favorable level
Question the status
Involve experts and their
network
Appoint expert groups
Appoint a Center of
Excellence (CoE)
Standardize process steps Use decision models
Deploy reference cases
Apply a stage-gate and cook-
book approach
Use checklists
Utilize best practices
Standardize applications
Automate processes
whenever and wherever
possible
Deploy an event-based
architecture
Deploy specific functional
apps
Promote knowledge
management
Deploy collaboration tools
Apply and pursue a project
management approach
Make use of workflows and
templates
Employ reliable and hard
-
working people
Focus on continuous learning
Apply an agile approach
Set the focus on rapid
implementation
Look for and encourage
problem-solving skills
Enable and promote agile
solutions
Enable and encourage “out-of
-
the-box” thinking
Challenge existing processes
Stick to the standard
Establish a disciplined
and continuously
improving environment
Enable a functioning and
inspiring teamwork
Give and receive feedback
Commit to the extraordinary
Establish an “Excellence
Culture”
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Fig. 4. Framework for the Selection of New Digital Technologies.
Performance Cluster: For this cluster, we envision IT-enabled automation of pro-
cesses in order to make processes more efficient and effective. Since these processes
occur very often, and given they are supported through multiple digital technologies,
we typically have extensive event logs. Hence, process mining is a suitable digital tech-
nology, which can be used to ensure conformance and efficiency [18]. Furthermore,
robotic process automation can be useful to automate recurrent steps in the process
execution [1].
Innovation Cluster: We do not consider it necessary to document detailed steps of
a process belonging to the Innovation Cluster. This would also restrict the process us-
ers in their creative work. An example can be a product design process where design-
ers take new actions which respond to the specific needs of a given project [27]. Sup-
port can be provided by means of project management or messaging systems, which
afford knowledge sharing and process transparency, as well as social media [24, 28]
and web-conferencing tools [19].
Reliability Cluster: For processes belonging to the Reliability Cluster, we see the ne-
cessity to provide the users or employees only relevant process information (as far as
its execution is concerned). The documentation should therefore be available in a
compact and easy-to-use form. Knowledge management systems or simple checklists
could be used to support the process stakeholders as effectively as possible.
Agility Cluster: For processes belonging to the Agility Cluster, we recommend man-
aging their complexity (especially the variability factor) to be able to intervene at an
early stage. This is because such complex processes are usually difficult to manage and
adapt once they have been started. Similar to the performance cluster, these pro-
cesses also occur very frequently (high frequency). Hence, process analytics methods
and tools can also be used here.
5 Lessons learned
Lesson Learned (1): The process experts in our case company reported that the es-
tablished and old approach was of limited use. Our BPM Context Matrix provides more
Automation Management Support System
Automate the process
Review and revise annually
Document based on log data
Apply workflow management systems
Apply process analytical methods
Knowledge Management Support System
Make use of check lists (“yellow pages”)
Reduce to essential documentation
Apply knowledge management systems
Project Management Support System
Apply creative problem solving and
design methods as well as tools
Document only on stages
Apply project management systems
Apply messaging systems
Complexity Management Support System
Monitor variability
Continuously measure process data
Review and take measures
Document two levels:
standard (constrains) and variability
Apply process analytical methods
Low Variability High
Low Frequency High
Innovation Agility
Reliability Performance
11
support and acceptance within the company's internal BPM organization. They now
see the BPM Context Matrix (Fig. 3) as a map and guidance for their process modeling
activities. In addition, they use it as an internal tool to communicate, plan and coordi-
nate BPM initiatives.
It is important to note that our framework results from the work of a single com-
pany. Arguably, this limits the generalizability of our framework. However, after using
this framework in several other projects with different companies, we report that the
process clusters are suitable for many other organizations, too. This is because the
process clusters are organized in a way that any kind of business process can be as-
signed.
Lesson Learned (2): Digital technologies have been playing an important role for
BPM. They provide emerging opportunities to improve and innovate business process
work [22]. It often seems that companies want to select digital technologies (such as
RPA or process mining) because they are popular. What is often overlooked is that
such technologies need to respond to the specific requirements of a process [18]. Oth-
erwise, there is a high chance that these technologies fall into oblivion. Our framework
provides a pragmatic yet empirically grounded means to select and/or design digital
technologies that support business process work in the most suitable way. From this
point of view, our framework is not only helpful for the case presented herein but also
for any other organization which wants to capitalize on the potentials associated with
various digital technologies.
Lesson Learned (3): In the context of this university-industry project, we were able
to identify two motives for the implementation of a (new) context-aware BPM ap-
proach:
(3 a) Some companies are subject to external (international) standards. We strongly
advise that only those process events and issues should be included within process
models and descriptions, which are absolutely necessary. We advocate starting mod-
eling minimally inversiveprocesses, which are minimally viable for the time being
and meet the basic needs of all stakeholders. Hence, with this new BPM approach, we
want to promote an appropriate balance between the minimum requirements from a
regulatory perspective and the necessary requirements from a practical perspective.
(3 b) Although the advantages of such a context-aware BPM matrix outweigh the
disadvantages, this approach should only be seen as an offer for all process stakehold-
ers to align and coordinate their BPM initiatives and projects. Moreover, the process
stakeholders should only accept this new approach to model processes context-aware
if they can see a benefit in doing so. This also increases the acceptance of the involved
people of these conceived (context-aware) solutions and considerations.
Acknowledgments
This research has profited from funding provided by the European Union within the
Erasmus+ program [2019-1-LI01-KA203-000169], “BPM and Organizational Theory: An
Integrated Reference Curriculum Design”.
12
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Information systems students need to be prepared to understand and manage unfolding dynamics in businesses operating in a digital world. We present a university course that systematically integrates knowledge from two streams of research that deal with dynamics: business process management and routine dynamics. Both streams of research study processes, dynamics, and change, but from different perspectives and with different methods and approaches. Our course synthesizes concepts, methods, and theories from routine dynamics with traditional business process management education, to provide students with competences to not only design business processes but also recognize, explain, and react to process dynamics. We present two variants of our course design, which we implemented and delivered at two European universities to students who had different levels of prior knowledge about business process management. We report on evaluations, provide recommendations for teaching and point to implications for research. All course materials are freely available at www.bpm-and-routines.com.
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Design science research (DSR) is an established research paradigm aiming to create design knowledge on innovative solutions for real-world problems. As such, DSR has the potential to contribute to the solution of real-world problems of great societal value. In this article, we discuss how DSR can maximize such practical impact. Reflecting on our long-standing collaboration with the globally operating Hilti company, we report on a rich empirical case and derive principles in order to increase the practical relevance and societal contribution of DSR projects. We also derive quality criteria through which DSR articles can demonstrate practical relevance and societal value contribution.
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Given the diversity of business processes, isn't it strange that BPM approaches aim at a unified management approach? We report on research challenging this common assumption: We present an approach to account for contextual differences of processes in BPM. Specifically, we report on research that has developed a matrix to classify business processes according to their contextual management requirements. This matrix results from both in-depth research, specifically with SAP, and a real-world project with Hilti, a globally operating company. Following a design science research approach, we identify two key contextual dimensions to distinguish processes: variability and frequency. As these two dimensions are present to different degrees (high versus low), we present four context clusters in which business processes can be organized: reliability, performance, agility, and innovation. The BPM Context Matrix provides several implications for BPM. It facilitates BPM approaches, which are sensitive towards contextual requirements and, thus, more likely to be adopted successfully. Specifically, the BPM Context Matrix can also be used to plan and scope the implementation of various digital technologies to advance BPM in organizations.
Conference Paper
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In this article, we point to the importance of considering the organizational context when deciding on an enterprise modeling approach. Based on extant research in the area of context-aware Business Process Management, we present results from an empirical investigation on how the context of an organization can be assessed regarding requirements for process modeling and what implications this has on the choice of process modeling languages. We show that, also in one organization, different contexts exist, that actually call for a portfolio of process modeling approaches. Applying a design science approach, we conceptualize four process context types which are organized along two dimensions: variability and frequency of processes. We present these four process types, discuss their implications for modeling and design, and reflect on the broader implications for practice and research.
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Design Science Research (DSR) is a problem-solving paradigm that seeks to enhance human knowledge via the creation of innovative artifacts. Simply stated, DSR seeks to enhance technology and science knowledge bases via the creation of innovative artifacts that solve problems and improve the environment in which they are instantiated. The results of DSR include both the newly designed artifacts and design knowledge (DK) that provides a fuller understanding via design theories of why the artifacts enhance (or, disrupt) the relevant application contexts. The goal of this introduction chapter is to provide a brief survey of DSR concepts for better understanding of the following chapters that present DSR case studies.
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Purpose: This study explores how process managers perceive the adoption, use and management of process mining in practice. While research in process mining predominantly focuses on the technical aspects, our work highlights organizational and managerial implications. Design/methodology/approach: We report on a focus group study conducted with process managers from various industries in Central Europe. This setting allowed us to gain diverse and in-depth insights about the needs and expectations of practitioners in relation to the adoption, use and management of process mining. Findings: We find that process managers face four central challenges. These challenges are largely related to four stages; (1) planning and business case calculation, (2) process selection, (3) implementation, and (4) process mining use. Research implications: We point to research opportunities in relation to the adoption, use and management of process mining. We suggest that future research should apply interdisciplinary study designs to better understand the managerial and organizational implications of process mining. Practical implications: The reported challenges have various practical implications at the organizational and managerial level. We explore how existing BPM frameworks can be extended to meet these challenges. Originality/value: This study is among the first attempts to explore process mining from the perspective of process managers. It clarifies important challenges and points to avenues for future research.
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Regulations to contain the spread of COVID-19 have affected corporations, institutions, and individuals to a degree that most people have never seen before. Information systems researchers have initiated a discourse on information technology's role in helping people manage this situation. This study informs and substantiates this discourse based on an analysis of a rich dataset: Starting in March 2020, we collected about 3 million tweets that document people's use of web-conferencing systems (WCS) like Zoom during the COVID-19 crisis. Applying text-mining techniques to Twitter data and drawing on affordance theory, we derive five affordances of and five constraints to the use of WCS during the crisis. Based on our analysis, our argument is that WCS emerged as a social technology that led to a new virtual togetherness by facilitating access to everyday activities and contacts that were "locked away" because of COVID-19-mitigation efforts. We find that WCS facilitated encounters that could not have taken place otherwise and that WCS use led to a unique blending of various aspects of people's lives. Using our analysis, we derive implications and directions for future research to address existing constraints and realise the potentials of this period of forced digitalisation.
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The world is blazing with change and digital innovation is fueling the fire. Process management can help channel the heat into useful work. Unfortunately, research on digital innovation and process management has been conducted by separate communities operating under orthogonal assumptions. We argue that a synthesis of assumptions is required to bring these streams of research together. We offer suggestions for how these assumptions can be updated to facilitate a convergent conversation between the two research streams. We also suggest ways that methodologies from each stream could benefit the other. Together with the three exemplar empirical studies included in the special issue on business process management and digital innovation, we develop a broader foundation for reinventing research on business process management in a world ablaze with digital innovation.
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Sir Isaac Newton famously said, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Research is a collaborative, evolutionary endeavor-and it is no different with design science research (DSR) which builds upon existing design knowledge and creates new design knowledge to pass on to future projects. However, despite the vast, growing body of DSR contributions, scant evidence of the accumulation and evolution of design knowledge is found in an organized DSR body of knowledge. Most contributions rather stand on their own feet than on the shoulders of giants, and this is limiting how far we can see; or in other words, the extent of the broader impacts we can make through DSR. In this editorial, we aim at providing guidance on how to position design knowledge contributions in wider problem and solution spaces. We propose (1) a model conceptualizing design knowledge as a resilient relationship between problem and solution spaces, (2) a model that demonstrates how individual DSR projects consume and produce design knowledge, (3) a map to position a design knowledge contribution in problem and solution spaces, and (4) principles on how to use this map in a DSR project. We show how fellow researchers, readers, editors, and reviewers, as well as the IS community as a whole, can make use of these proposals, while also illustrating future research opportunities.
Chapter
This chapter introduces the BPM Billboard as a tool for planning and scoping Business Process Management (BPM) projects and programs. The BPM Billboard is grounded in the belief that BPM is a means to an end, not the end itself. It links BPM initiatives to strategic objectives and ensures that BPM creates tangible results toward achieving those objectives by systematically developing the required, context-specific organizational capabilities. The BPM Billboard structures everything that needs to be considered for BPM initiatives to be successful and provides a cockpit view allowing process managers to comprehensively plan, manage, assess, and communicate BPM initiatives. As such, the BPM Billboard also serves as a framework for the many BPM cases presented in this book. In this chapter, we introduce the BPM Billboard and provide a practical example to demonstrate its applicability. Furthermore, we outline how to use the BPM Billboard in process work. Finally, we explain how the cases in this book relate to the BPM Billboard and provide a brief overview of the cases discussed in the individual chapters that follow.
Book
Design Science Research is a powerful paradigm enabling researchers to make important contributions to society and industry. Simply stated, the goal of DSR is to generate knowledge on how to find innovative solutions to important problems in the form of models, methods, constructs and instantiations. Over the past 20 years, the design science research (DSR) paradigm has developed into an established paradigm in Information Systems Research and it is of strong uptake in many other disciplines, including Management Science and Computer Science. This book provides a collection of twelve DSR cases, presented by experienced researchers in the field. It offers readers access to real-world DSR studies, together with the authors’ reflections on their research processes. These cases will support researchers who want to engage in DSR, and represent a valuable addition to existing introductions to DSR methods and processes. Readers will learn from the hands-on experiences of respected experts who have conducted extensive DSR in a range of application contexts.