Normal users cooperating on process models
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Normal users cooperating on process models

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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 ...

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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    Normal users cooperating on process models Normal users cooperating on process models Presentation Transcript

    • RUHR-UNIVERSITÄT BOCHUMNormal users cooperating on processmodels:Is it possible at all? RAlexander Nolte and Michael Prilla Department Information- and Technologymanagement
    • Process modelsThey are not for “normal” people (non-model experts) RNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 2
    • Process modelsThey are complex, are they? RNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 3
    • Normal users cooperating on modelsIs it possible at all? What we (seem to) know …Cooperation on / with models: Potentials• represent actual work practices instead of idealized views• speed up change and innovation• disseminate knowledge embedded in modelsCooperation on / with models: Practice• models are used by very few people in organizations R• facilitators / experts are present when models are usedCommon belief: Usage of models needs• understanding of process modelling language• knowledge / experiences in process thinkingNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 4
    • Cooperation in modeling Communication, Exchange of perspectives, Negotiation, Consensus RNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 5
    • People can t do this on their own!? A typical workshop setup R facilitator modeler / chauffeurNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 6
    • Other concepts at a glance Scenario Direct Interaction via Indirect interaction intermediate interaction Cooperative Modeling workshops Dialogue games Moderated modeling tools Cooperation Experts model Work sharing, No approaches yet Self-organized Alternating phases R cooperationNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 7
    • Problems to be overcome• People have to understand models to use them• Problematic due to their inherent complexity and the need to use a modeling notation• Co-located workshops lead to facilitator bottleneck• Modeling becomes infrequent and hard to organize R• Modeling requires using a modeling tool• Difficult for people without trainingResearch questions:1. Under which conditions can lay users use process models in cooperation?2. How can cooperative usage of process models by lay users be supported?Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 8
    • Involving Lay-users into modeling • 5 pairs / workshops • Modelling experts as well as non-expert modellers • Facilitator as a guide • Video-Recording, Observer, Post-Workshop interviews Scenario R Roles included Participants (1) Bug reporting and solving User (of the software), 3 users of a tool, for software development Developer 3 developers (2) Book ordering in a library User (of the library), 2 library users (researchers), Librarian 2 librariansNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 9
    • Course of the study 1. Contribute view on the process individually through an easy to use web-interface R Textual contributions are automatically transferred into elements of the modeling notation.Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 10
    • Course of the study 2. Sort individual views with respect to the process sequence 3. Compare individual views and mark differences with respect to content and sequence R Direct interaction with the model through touch on an interactive large screen.Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 11
    • ObservationsProcess models as guides in cooperative work R Understanding: Discursive explanation of sequences and structures “Are these elements the same?” Structuring communication: Using models for storytelling “Once I know for which purpose I need the book [first element] and when I know whether to buy it or not [second element], …”Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 12
    • ObservationsProcess models as guides in cooperative work R Contextualizing communication: Using process models for orientation “First, you look for the reason [pointing to element] and when you find the reason, you think of an idea for solving the problem [pointing to element]. Then you check and implement the idea [pointing to two elements] (…) ”Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 13
    • ObservationsProcess modeling as part of articulation during cooperation References to models as support / part of communication “That happens here!” Developing a common understanding “Ah, now I understand what you mean [pointing to an element]” R Getting aware of / transferring knowledge from other perspectives “I have to admit that I have not thought about what [you do] to be prepared for my orders”Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 14
    • ObservationsProcess modeling as part of cooperative model usage R Asking for feedback on manipulations / negotiating process content “What do you think? Correct?” / “To me this only makes sense if (…)” Role switching and role division: Leading the conversation “Once I know for which purpose I need the book [first element] and when I know whether to buy it or not [second element], …”Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 15
    • ObservationsLimitations of interaction with models R Sustaining equality (status) “I always want to have this!” Securing common understanding “I don’t understand this at all” / “What do you mean by that?” Interaction leading to conflictsNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 16
    • Wrap-Up• Models guided cooperation, enabling participants to discuss process content• Models became central parts of cooperation, serving e.g. as means of knowledge transfer R• Participants engaged into modeling activities by e.g. negotiating process content• Some limitations remain, e.g. participants overpowering each otherNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 17
    • Conclusion People can use models cooperatively without special training R Requirements for non-expert model interaction – They know the process – The setting supports communication – Modeling semantics is reduced to simple constructs – Tools provide a suitable features – Tools provide suitable means of inputNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 18
    • Widening the scope of non-expert modeling Current prototypes: Model annotation R Users can easily comment on processes during their everyday work through a web editor.Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 19
    • Widening the scope of non-expert modeling Current prototypes: Automatic guidance R The system asks a set of predefined questions and guides the user through the process.Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 20
    • Widening the scope of non-expert modeling Current prototypes: Self-directed participatory modeling R Within a workshop the users may decide on which part of the process they want to focus and which activities they want to conduct.Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 21
    • Thanks! Special issue on Collaborative Usage and Development of Models in the International Journal of e-Collaboration R (out in winter 2012 / spring 2013) nolte@iaw.rub.de prilla@iaw.rub.de www.imtm-iaw.rub.deNormal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 22
    • Widening the scope of non-expert modeling Current prototypes: Meta-Modelling R People can find existing processes or process parts through tags and reuse them within their model.Normal users cooperating on process models: Is it possible at all? – Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla 23