Toward a methodology for case modeling

Abstract

Case management is increasingly used to capture and enact flexible, knowledge-intensive processes in organizations. None of the existing case management approaches provides a methodology for case model elicitation and modeling. In this contribution, three modeling methods for fragment-based case management are presented: one which focuses on the control-flow view, the process-first method, one which has a data-centric view, the object lifecycle-first method, and one which focuses on the goals of a case, the goals-first method. Following the design science process, each of the three methods was evaluated in two case modeling workshops with two different stakeholder groups (PhD students and secretaries), resulting in a total of six workshops. All participants were novices in case management and most of them as well in process modeling. The results indicate that the process-first method can be quickly learned by novices and it might be useful for scenarios where the focus is on the main process with some degree of flexibility. The object lifecycle-first method yields more flexible and consistent case models, but requires a higher initial modeling effort, as the lifecycle of the main case object has to be designed first. The goals-first method leads to a detailed and consistent case model and additionally provides, by means of the defined goals, a checklist what needs to be done for a case. This method requires in addition to the process modeling notation another model type, the goal hierarchy, and therefore is less suited for novice modelers, as found by the workshop results.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Methodology is defined as study of the methods that are applied in a field, here case management.

  2. 2.

    https://bpt.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/Public/CaseModelElicitation.

  3. 3.

    The workshops were scheduled with three participants each. Unfortunately, however, two participants dropped out on such short notice that we could not find a replacement.

  4. 4.

    see https://bpt.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/Public/CaseModelElicitation.

  5. 5.

    In the workshop with PhD students, the moderator remarks around the 45 min mark that the modeling of goals should have been explained more thoroughly in the teaching phase.

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Correspondence to Luise Pufahl.

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Hewelt, M., Pufahl, L., Mandal, S. et al. Toward a methodology for case modeling. Softw Syst Model 19, 1367–1393 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10270-019-00766-5

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Keywords

  • Case management
  • Goal modeling
  • Object lifecycle
  • Process elicitation
  • Process modeling
  • t.BPM