2018-03 The effectiveness of structured process modeling under time constraint

Who: 1 or 2 student(s) Master Business Engineering (HIR)/Master Business Economics (MBE)/Master Business Administration - Management and Informatics (HW-M&I)
Promotor: Jan Claes

Problem description

In earlier research, we discovered that constructing process models is a complex task, which should be divided in subtasks to be solved. Moreover, we discovered that the way how people do this affect their modeling effectiveness (quality of the resulting model) and efficiency (time and effort to create the model). Further, the effect on quality was minimal and the effect on time and effort was overwhelming. Therefore, we assumed a trade-off between effectiveness and efficiency (modelers may invest time and effort to correct errors). In this context we want to see how the results of a new experiment with limited time constraint compares to our earlier results where there was no time constraint.

Research objectives

The goal of this thesis is to replicate the experiment with the only difference that modelers would now get a limited amount of time to complete the assignments. This is a fun experiment which we may try to fit into a lecture in the BPM course of 2nd master Business Engineering. Then we would like you to compare the outcomes of both experiments. Preferably, you try to prepare an academic paper to be submitted to a top conference and which will form the body of your thesis (no need to write a separate text for the thesis).

This proposal is for a student who aspires to get a taste of real research practice. We are looking for a student who wants to take control and responsibility for the research. We will not interfere with your planning, ideas, approach, etc. In turn we offer our time, knowledge and support. You will receive a lot of inspiration and advice both on the research content and about how to manage the project, and we will try to offer help and answers when you ask for it.

Concerning the academic article, we expect you to write a 15-page article summarizing the research, which we want to submit to the annual BPM conference if the quality of the research and the text is good. We will do our best to help you reach this goal. We can help you to take crucial decisions, to improve research quality, to structure and write the text of the article.

Approach

In the first half, the aim should be to have fully designed the research methodology. Every aspect of the problem and proposed solution method needs to be understood and motivated. By the time of the intermediate evaluation session, you will be asked to answer and defend parts of the problem (Why is this problem (still) relevant? Who will benefit from your research?) and the proposed solution (Why did you decide to test this? Why do you think it is the best way to test this? How can you be certain about the results? What are the limitations of your approach?) This way, we hope to help you to develop a strong methodological approach to the research, which you will need to get it published.

Afterwards, the research has to be executed and the dissertation and the academic article need to be written and submitted.

References
  • Jan Claes, Irene Vanderfeesten, Frederik Gailly, Paul Grefen, Geert Poels, The Structured Process Modeling Theory (SPMT) - A cognitive view on why and how modelers benefit from structuring the process of process modeling, Information Systems Frontiers, Vol 17 (6), p. 1401-1425, 2015
  • Jan Claes, Irene Vanderfeesten, Frederik Gailly, Paul Grefen, Geert Poels, The Structured Process Modeling Method (SPMM) - What is the best way for me to construct a process model?, Decision Support Systems, Vol 100, p. 57-76, 2017
  • Jeroen Bolle, Jan Claes, Investigating the trade-off between the effectiveness and efficiency of process modeling, BPM 2018 International Workshops (in press)
  • Joshua De Bock, Jan Claes, The origin and evolution of syntax errors in simple sequence flow models in BPMN, CAiSE 2018 International Workshops, LNBIP 316, p. 155-166, 2018

Here are some examples of the type of article we expect you to write. The articles can be downloaded from publications. More info can be found at mastertheses and resources.

  • Jan Claes, Irene Vanderfeesten, Hajo A. Reijers, Jakob Pinggera, Matthias Weidlich, Stefan Zugal, Dirk Fahland, Barbara Weber, Jan Mendling, Geert Poels, Tying Process Model Quality to the Modeling Process: The Impact of Structuring, Movement, and Speed, Business Process Management Conference, LNCS 7481, p. 33-48, 2012
  • Jeroen Bolle, Jan Claes, Investigating the trade-off between the effectiveness and efficiency of process modeling, BPM 2018 International Workshops (in press)
  • Joshua De Bock, Jan Claes, The origin and evolution of syntax errors in simple sequence flow models in BPMN, CAiSE 2018 International Workshops, LNBIP 316, p. 155-166, 2018

Interested? Book your own appointment via janclaes.youcanbook.me. No availability? Send me an e-mail at jan.claes@ugent.be.