Investigating the Trade-off Between the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Process Modeling

  • Jeroen Bolle
  • Jan ClaesEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 342)


Despite recent efforts to improve the quality of process models, we still observe a significant dissimilarity in quality between models. This paper focuses on the syntactic condition of process models, and how it is achieved. To this end, a dataset of 121 modeling sessions was investigated. By going through each of these sessions step by step, a separate ‘revision’ phase was identified for 81 of them. Next, by cutting the modeling process off at the start of the revision phase, a partial process model was exported for these modeling sessions. Finally, each partial model was compared with its corresponding final model, in terms of time, effort, and the number of syntactic errors made or solved, in search for a possible trade-off between the effectiveness and efficiency of process modeling. Based on the findings, we give a provisional explanation for the difference in syntactic quality of process models.


Conceptual modeling Process modeling Syntactic quality Revision phase Business process management 


  1. 1.
    Claes, J., Vanderfeesten, I., Gailly, F., et al.: The Structured Process Modeling Method (SPMM) - what is the best way for me to construct a process model? Decis. Support Syst. 100, 57–76 (2017). Scholar
  2. 2.
    Claes, J., Vanderfeeste, I., Pinggera, J., et al.: A visual analysis of the process of process modeling. Inf. Syst. E-bus. Manag. 13, 147–190 (2015). Scholar
  3. 3.
    De Oca, I.M.-M., Snoeck, I., Reijers, H.A., et al.: A systematic literature review of studies on business process modeling quality. Inf. Softw. Technol. 58, 187–205 (2015). Scholar
  4. 4.
    Davies, I., Green, P., Rosemann, M., et al.: How do practitioners use conceptual modeling in practice? Data Knowl. Eng. 58, 358–380 (2006). Scholar
  5. 5.
    Soffer, P., Kaner, M., Wand, Y.: Towards understanding the process of process modeling: theoretical and empirical considerations. In: Daniel, F., Barkaoui, K., Dustdar, S. (eds.) BPM 2011, Part I. LNBIP, vol. 99, pp. 357–369. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). Scholar
  6. 6.
    Recker, J.: A socio-pragmatic constructionist framework for understanding quality in process modelling. Australas. J. Inf. Syst. 14, 43–63 (2007). Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sánchez-González, L., García, F., Ruiz, F., et al.: Toward a quality framework for business process models. Int. J. Coop. Inf. Syst. 22, 1–15 (2013). Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vanderfeesten, I., Cardoso, J., Mendling, J., et al.: Quality metrics for business process models. In: Fisher, L. (ed.) BPM and Workflow Handbook, pp. 179–190. Future Strategies (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S.J.B.A., Proper, H.A., van der Weide, T.P.: A fundamental view on the process of conceptual modeling. In: Delcambre, L., Kop, C., Mayr, H.C., Mylopoulos, J., Pastor, O. (eds.) ER 2005. LNCS, vol. 3716, pp. 128–143. Springer, Heidelberg (2005). Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mendling, J.: Metrics for process models: Empirical foundations of verification, error prediction and guidelines for correctness. LNBIP, vol. 6. Springer, Heidelberg (2008). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pinggera, J., Zugal, S., Weber, B., et al.: How the structuring of domain knowledge helps casual process modelers. In: Parsons, J., Saeki, M., Shoval, P., Woo, C., Wand, Y. (eds.) ER 2010. LNCS, vol. 6412, pp. 445–451. Springer, Heidelberg (2010). Scholar
  12. 12.
    Haisjackl, C., Burattin, A., Soffer, P., et al.: Visualization of the evolution of layout metrics for business process models. In: Dumas, M., Fantinato, M. (eds.) BPM 2016. LNBIP, vol. 281, pp. 449–460. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  13. 13.
    Silver, B.: BPMS Watch: Ten tips for effective process modeling.
  14. 14.
    Laue, R., Mendling, J.: Structuredness and its significance for correctness of process models. Inf. Syst. E-bus. Manag. 8, 287–307 (2010). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Xiao, L., Zheng, L.: Business process design: process comparison and integration. Inf. Syst. Front. 14, 363–374 (2012). Scholar
  16. 16.
    Li, Y., Cao, B., Xu, L., et al.: An efficient recommendation method for improving business process modeling. IEEE Trans. Ind. Inform. 10, 502–513 (2014). Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pinggera, J., Soffer, P., Fahland, D., et al.: Styles in business process modeling: an exploration and a model. Softw. Syst. Model. 14, 1055–1080 (2013). Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pinggera, J., Zugal, S., Weidlich, M., et al.: Tracing the process of process modeling with modeling phase diagrams. In: Daniel, F., Barkaoui, K., Dustdar, S. (eds.) BPM 2011, Part I. LNBIP, vol. 99, pp. 370–382. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bolle, J., De Bock, J., Claes, J.: Data for Investigating the trade-off between the effectiveness and efficiency of process modeling, Mendeley Data v1 (2018).
  20. 20.
    The Project Management Hut: Devil’s Triangle of Project Management.
  21. 21.
    De Bock, J., Claes, J.: The origin and evolution of syntax errors in simple sequence flow models in BPMN. In: Matulevičius, R., Dijkman, R. (eds.) CAiSE 2018. LNBIP, vol. 316, pp. 155–166. Springer, Cham (2018). Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pinggera, J., Zugal, S., Weber, B.: Investigating the process of process modeling with Cheetah Experimental Platform. In: Mutschler, B. et al. (eds.) Proceedings of ER-POIS 2010. CEUR-WS 6, pp. 13–18. CEUR-WS (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business Informatics and Operations ManagementGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

Personalised recommendations