The Project

The processes within different municipalities are very similar in many aspects. However, at the moment it is not possible to support different municipalities from one IT-system. Each municipality also has its own characteristics that need to be maintained.

In order to apply a form of standardization and central support configurable process models provide a solution. By allowing variations between municipalities within a process model, each municipality can follow its own process definition. At the same time this can be supported from one, centrally managed, process management system.

The goal of this project is to investigate the feasibility of a centrally managed process management system for municipalities. This includes the definition of a configurable process model for some frequent processes within municipalities. The implementation of these configurable process models will also be researched. Furthermore, new analysis techniques to help improve the process execution will be researched, using the data available at other municipalities.

The Advantages

The different participants in this project have different interests, which are all met:

  • Obviously, the Technical University of Eindhoven is interested in the research into this new technique, and the possibilities it offers in the domain.
  • Municipalities can (within the first year) get insight into their own processes, the way they are planned to be executed and the way they actually are (also some more specific information, like which employee is crucial in a process, and might be a risk to lose, or which part of the process is most time consuming and should therefore be handled differently).
  • In addition municipalities will be able to compare to and learn from the other municipalities, as all processes are investigated in a similar way.
  • The involved companies Dimpact and Perceptive Software can use the results of the research for their products: Dimpact for the development of the DiZiT case management system (or an alternative) and Perceptive Software for the expansion of Perceptive Process. This enables them to use this principle to more easily support different process alternatives while still maintaining one central system.

Configurable Process Models

Configurable process models are process models in which certain actions within the process can be removed or skipped in a specific configuration of that model. A good example is a reference process model implemented as a configurable process model. By making this reference model as elaborate as possible, users of this model (in this case municipalities) can deactivate parts. This allows them to modify the reference model so it is suitable for their situation. At the same time the reference model can include limitations to which the configured models should adhere. This ensures the correctness of a process model.

In the context of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environment configurable process models are very useful. SaaS works according to the “one size fits all”-principle. If several different municipalities start using a central SaaS-system however, this would mean the loss of individual differences in the process definitions. By using configurable process models within such a SaaS environment each municipality can keep their variant of the process. At the same time the benefits of a centrally managed IT-system still apply.

A good starting point for more information on configurable process models is http://www.processconfiguration.com/

Tasks of Researchers

2 Researches are assigned full time on this project.

Dennis Schunselaar

Dennis will mainly focus on the implementation of configurable process models in an information system. He will also target the problems that occur in a SaaS environment. This includes the problems that occur when one model is used by multiple municipalities. Another aspect is data security. Dennis will furthermore define a representation of configurable process models based on a tree structure.

Employee page of Dennis Schunselaar MSc.

Joos Buijs

Joos will mainly focus on the use of process mining techniques within the project. At first process mining will be used to discover the initial models from the existing event logs. New process mining techniques will also be developed aimed at analysis and comparison of different configurations of configurable process models.

Employee page of Joos Buijs MSc.

Global Planning

The (very global) planning of the project is as follows:

Year Process Modelling Process Mining
2010 Selection of top-5 process models
Modeling of top-5 process models Analysis of process mining results of the top-5 process models
2011 Development of an executable notation for configurable process models within a service environment Development of new process mining techniques to compare processes between municipalities
2012 Implementation of protypes of configurable process models Execution of process mining techniques
2013 Evaluation

More Information

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