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Can normal people use process models for self-directed cooperation, that is, without expert guidance? According to modeling experts and corresponding contemporary research, they cannot, because they lack competencies for such usage. While the importance of artifacts such as texts, pictures and diagrams to cooperative work has been shown in many studies in CSCW and related fields, there are no answers to this question from our discipline. This paper aims at exploring this contradictory situation by exploring how users without or with little modeling practice work with models. Based on an exploratory study, we show opportunities and barriers to self-directed cooperative work with models and derive requirements for tool support. These results are compared with existing work and show that despite the special characteristics of process models, patterns known from the usage of other artifacts can also be observed in co-operative work with models. Users also showed behavior typically attributed to modeling experts, thus transcending such generic cooperation tasks.
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