When Research Meets Practice: Tangible Business Process Modeling at Work

  • Alexander Luebbe
  • Mathias
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


We have created a modeling approach used by people in organizations to create and discuss business process models that represent their working procedures. This is an alternative to established approaches in which process modeling experts create business process models for the organization based on input from domain experts. We have changed this by empowering the domain experts to model their business processes themselves. This approach consists of a simple to use haptic toolset and the facilitation for its application.

In the first stage of research, we showed that our approach, called tangible business process modeling (t.BPM), can be used to co-create process models with novice modelers. In a subsequent laboratory experiment, we found that t.BPM is superior to interviews for process elicitation because people are more engaged with the modeling task and the result is better validated. Furthermore, people have more fun and develop a better understanding of the process.

In current research, we developed and assessed the idea of t.BPM for application in professional environments. We are seeking to change the state of business by showing the feasibility of t.BPM for real modeling projects. We investigated when and how to apply t.BPM correctly. In doing so, we were able to show that t.BPM is mature enough to compete with established workshop techniques.


Business Process Domain Expert Clinical Pathway Business Process Modeling Process Elicitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Markus Guentert, the student who conducted parts of the t.BPM field studies, for his support in this research. Moreover, we are grateful to the brave men and women who tried out t.BPM in their work environment. In particular, we’d like to thank Rüdiger Molle and Claas Fischer. They were the BPM consultants confident enough to apply t.BPM in real-world projects with their clients and allowed us to observe them.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Luebbe
    • 1
  • Mathias
    • 1
  1. 1.Business Process TechnologyHasso-Plattner-InstitutePotsdamGermany

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