Towards Flexible and Efficient Process and Workflow Support in Enterprise Modeling
In enterprise modeling, organizational structures as well as an enterprise’s processes and important artifacts (e.g., business knowledge stored in documents) are captured formally using different kinds of models. These models are not only used for documentation purposes, but they are also used to provide guidance for employees. For example, the models may impose rules on artifact access (i.e., who is allowed to view or manipulate certain artifacts) or they may define workflows for individual processes (e.g., which employees should perform which adaptation steps, and in which order). However, existing enterprise modeling approaches typically support only coarse-grained artifacts. For instance, only individual files can be associated with workflow tasks. Unfortunately, enterprise artifacts are typically of high complexity (e.g., spreadsheets contain millions of data cells). Therefore, it is not sufficient to provide employees only with information about the artifacts involved in a task, but it is necessary to provide more detailed information (e.g., which cells in a spreadsheet are relevant).
In this paper, we introduce a novel approach to enterprise modeling that addresses the issue of too coarse-grained support for enterprise artifacts. Our approach relies on a generic knowledge-sharing platform, called DesignSpace, in which all aspects of an enterprise are integrated and stored at a fine level of granularity. The DesignSpace supports fine-grained representation of enterprise artifacts and their linking to tasks in defined workflows. Moreover, it enables automatic, efficient, and generic workflow support. First case studies suggest that the approach is feasible and provides significant improvements in terms of efficiency compared to state-of-the-practice enterprise modeling solutions.
KeywordsEnterprise modeling Workflow support Consistency
The research was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P25289-N15 and P25513-N15, FWF Lise-Meitner Fellowship M1421-N15, and the Austrian Center of Competence in Mechatronics (ACCM).
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