TBPM: Tangible Business Process Modeling – Using Design Thinking principles for IT Method Engineering

PI: Professor Matthias Weske


Business process models are the central artifacts to share and communicate knowledge about working procedures in organizations. Humans use these models to discuss and agree on how things should be done and to decide on the process optimization potentials that can be realized. At present, processes are primarily modeled by business analysts, i.e., not by domain experts that actually run the processes in their daily professional work. Since domain experts are not process modeling experts, current process methodologies tend to leave the key persons behind.
We use design thinking methods to strengthen the role of domain experts in communication with business analysts during business process modeling. We bring together the human need for tangibility, the business knowledge of the domain experts, and technological aspects of system analysis in the context of business process modeling. This approach was developed together with colleagues from Stanford University during the first year of the program. Initial results have been reported in publications [3,4] for the Design Thinking Research and Business Process Management communities.
In the upcoming year, we wish to validate the results in larger experiments and to investigate collaborative group modeling session that integrate all humans involved in a given business process.