Advertisement

The Effect of Modularity Representation and Presentation Medium on the Understandability of Business Process Models in BPMN

  • Oktay TuretkenEmail author
  • Tessa Rompen
  • Irene Vanderfeesten
  • Ahmet Dikici
  • Jan van Moll
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9850)

Abstract

Many factors influence the creation of understandable business process models for an appropriate audience. Understandability of process models becomes critical particularly when a process is complex and its model is large in structure. Using modularization to represent such models hierarchically (e.g. using sub-processes) is considered to contribute to the understandability of these models. To investigate this assumption, we conducted an experiment that involved 2 large-scale real-life business process models that were modeled using BPMN v2.0 (Business Process Model and Notation). Each process was modeled in 3 modularity forms: fully-flattened, flattened where activities are clustered using BPMN groups, and modularized using separately viewed BPMN sub-processes. The objective is to investigate if and how different forms of modularity representation in BPMN collaboration diagrams influence the understandability of process models. In addition to the forms of modularity representation, we also looked into the presentation medium (paper vs. computer) as a factor that potentially influences model comprehension. Sixty business practitioners from a large organization participated in the experiment. The results of our experiment indicate that for business practitioners, to optimally understand a BPMN model in the form of a collaboration diagram, it is best to present the model in a ‘fully-flattened’ fashion (without using collapsed sub-processes in BPMN) in the ‘paper’ format.

Keywords

Business process model Understandability Comprehension Modularity BPMN Sub-process Group 

References

  1. 1.
    Dumas, M., La Rosa, M., Mendling, J., Reijers, H.A.: Fundamentals of Business Process Management. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Reijers, H.A., Mendling, J.: A study into the factors that influence the understandability of business process models. IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybern. - Part A Syst. Hum. 41, 449–462 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Houy, C., Fettke, P., Loos, P.: On the theoretical foundations of research into the understandability of business process models. In: ECIS 2014, pp. 1–38 (2014)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Recker, J.: Empirical investigation of the usefulness of Gateway constructs in process models. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 22, 673–689 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sanchez-Gonzalez, L., Garcia, F., Ruiz, F., Mendling, J.: Quality indicators for business process models from a gateway complexity perspective. Inf. Softw. Technol. 54, 1159–1174 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zugal, S., et al.: Investigating expressiveness and understandability of hierarchy in declarative business process models. Softw. Syst. Model. 14, 1081–1103 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Reijers, H.A., Mendling, J.: Modularity in process models: review and effects. In: Dumas, M., Reichert, M., Shan, M.-C. (eds.) BPM 2008. LNCS, vol. 5240, pp. 20–35. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Moody, D.L.: Cognitive load effects on end user understanding of conceptual models: an experimental analysis. In: Benczúr, A.A., Demetrovics, J., Gottlob, G. (eds.) ADBIS 2004. LNCS, vol. 3255, pp. 129–143. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Reijers, H.A., Mendling, J., Dijkman, R.M.: Human and automatic modularizations of process models to enhance their comprehension. Inf. Syst. 36, 881–897 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Figl, K., Koschmider, A., Kriglstein, S.: Visualising process model hierarchies. In: ECIS 2013, p. 180 (2013)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Leymann, F., Roller, D.: Workflow-based applications. IBM Syst. J. 36, 102–123 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    van der Aalst, W., van Hee, K.: Workflow Management: Models, Methods, and Systems. MIT Press, Cambridge (2002)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zugal, S., Pinggera, J., Weber, B., Mendling, J., Reijers, H.A.: Assessing the impact of hierarchy on model understandability – a cognitive perspective. In: Kienzle, J. (ed.) MODELS 2011 Workshops. LNCS, vol. 7167, pp. 123–133. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Houy, C., Fettke, P., Loos, P.: Understanding understandability of conceptual models – what are we actually talking about? In: Atzeni, P., Cheung, D., Ram, S. (eds.) ER 2012 Main Conference 2012. LNCS, vol. 7532, pp. 64–77. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Johannsen, F., Leist, S., Braunnagel, D.: Testing the impact of wand and weber’s decomposition model on process model understandability. In: ICIS 2014, pp. 1–13 (2014)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wand, Y., Weber, R.: A model of systems decomposition. In: ICIS 1989 (1989)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cruz-Lemus, J.A., Genero, M., Manso, M.E., Morasca, S., Piattini, M.: Assessing the understandability of UML statechart diagrams with composite states—A family of empirical studies. Empir. Softw. Eng. 14, 685–719 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zugal, S., Soffer, P., Pinggera, J., Weber, B.: Expressiveness and understandability considerations of hierarchy in declarative business process models. In: Bider, I., Halpin, T., Krogstie, J., Nurcan, S., Proper, E., Schmidt, R., Soffer, P., Wrycza, S. (eds.) EMMSAD 2012 and BPMDS 2012. LNBIP, vol. 113, pp. 167–181. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wolf, C., Harmon, P.: The State of Business Process Management. BP Trends, Newton (2014)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Field, A., Hole, G.: How to Design and Report Experiments. SAGE Publications Ltd., Los Angeles (2003)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mendling, J., Strembeck, M., Recker, J.: Factors of process model comprehension—findings from a series of experiments. Decis. Support Syst. 53, 195–206 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Melcher, J., Mendling, J., Reijers, H.A., Seese, D., Laue, R., Gadatsch, A.: Measuring the understandability of business process models - are we asking the right questions? In: Muehlen, M., Su, J. (eds.) BPM 2010 Workshops. LNBIP, vol. 66, pp. 37–48. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Davis, F.D.: Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Q. 13, 319–340 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Venkatesh, V., Morris, M.G., Davis, G.B., Davis, F.D.: User acceptance of information technology: toward a unified view. MIS Q. 27, 425–478 (2003)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Moody, D.L.: The method evaluation model: a theoretical model for validating information systems design methods. In: ECIS 2003 Proceedings, Paper 79 (2003)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Recker, J., Rosemann, M., Green, P., Indulska, M.: Do ontological deficiencies in modeling grammars matter? MIS Q. 35, 57–79 (2011)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Field, A.: Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics. SAGE Publications Ltd., Los Angeles (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oktay Turetken
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tessa Rompen
    • 2
  • Irene Vanderfeesten
    • 1
  • Ahmet Dikici
    • 3
  • Jan van Moll
    • 2
  1. 1.Eindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Philips Health TechBestThe Netherlands
  3. 3.TÜBİTAK BİLGEM Software Technologies Research InstituteAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations