TBPM: Tangible Business Process Modeling - Bringing IT Systems Thinking to Design Thinking

PI: Professor Larry Leifer


This research is a partnership between researchers at Stanford’s Center for Design Research (CDR) and the Hasso Plattner Institute for IT Systems Engineering at the University of Potsdam (HPI). Research conducted over the past year which brought design thinking practices and media to the IT space yielded a new fusion called Tangible Business Process Modeling (TBPM).
We hypothesize that TBPM will allow designers to integrate systems-level concerns and interventions in crossorganizational processes alongside product/service design.
Researchers at HPI will continue to develop TBPM to further incorporate design thinking in the BPM domain. Researchers at the CDR will explore and verify the use of TBPM to promote systems-level innovation in Product Design. Both groups will provide direct hands-on collaboration and insights in order to support this joint research endeavor.
Initial findings suggest that TBPM enables better communication and collaboration between BPM practitioners and clients. We propose a new phase in this research: to bring TBPM practices back to Product Design. TBPM will provide a methodology for designers to achieve exceptional innovation by designing products and services for the entire Customer Value Chain.
This research represents an important step in bridging the gap between Design Thinking and IT Systems Engineering.