Romain Emens received the second price in the ESTIEM 1st European Master Thesis Award

small_emens_0Romain Emens received the second price in the ESTIEM 1st European Master Thesis Award contest from the scientific jury. The topic of his thesis is the dynamic visualisation of business process models. Romain graduated in October 2014 in the Information Systems group and was supervised by dr.ir. Irene Vanderfeesten en prof.dr.ir. Hajo Reijers. A digital copy of his thesis may be found here: http://alexandria.tue.nl/extra2/afstversl/tm/Emens_2015.pdf

All award winners are:
1st price (€1000): Koos de Glas – Medical Inventory Management in Developing Countries
2nd price (€500): Romain Emens – A dynamic visualisation of business process models for process participants
3rd price (€250): Otto Mertanen – Innovation Opportunity Mapping: MFC film as a packaging barrier

More information on the ESTIEM 1st European Master Thesis Award can be found on: https://www.estiem.org/default.aspx?PageId=2616 .

PhD defense Jan Claes

Cover_JanMore information can be found on: http://janclaes.info/phd.php

In order to download the thesis, follow: http://janclaes.info/pdf/Claes2015PhD.pdf

 

 

 

 

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Summary

Lately, the focus of organizations is changing fundamentally. Where they used to spend almost exclusively attention to results, in terms of goods, services, revenue and costs, they are now concerned about the efficiency of their business processes. Each step of the business processes needs to be known, controlled and optimized. This explains the huge effort that many organizations currently put into the mapping of their processes in so-called (business) process models.

Unfortunately, sometimes these models do not (completely) reflect the business reality or the reader of the model does not interpret the represented information as intended. Hence, whereas on the one hand we observe how organizations are attaching increasing importance to these models, on the other hand we notice how the quality of process models in companies often proves to be insufficient.

The doctoral research makes a significant contribution in this context. This work investigates in detail how people create process models and why and when this goes wrong. A better understanding of current process modeling practice will form the basis for the development of concrete guidelines that result in the construction of better process models in the future.  The first study investigated how we can represent the approach of different modelers in a cognitive effective way, in order to facilitate knowledge building. For this purpose the PPMChart was developed. It represents the different operations of a modeler in a modeling tool in such a way that patterns in their way of working can be detected easily. Through the collection of 704 unique modeling executions (a joint contribution of several authors in the research domain), and through the development of a concrete implementation of the visualization, it became possible to gather a great amount of insights about how different people work in different situations while modeling a concrete process.

The second study explored, based on the discovered modeling patterns of the first study, the potential relations between how process models were being constructed and which quality was delivered. To be precise, three modeling patterns from the previous study were investigated further in their relation with the understandability of the produced process model. By comparing the PPMCharts that show these patterns with corresponding process models, a connection was found in each case. It was noticed that when a process model was constructed in consecutive blocks (i.e., in a structured way), a better understandable process model was produced. A second relation stated that modelers who (frequently) moved (many) model elements during modeling usually created a less understandable model. The third connection was found between the amount of time spent at constructing the model and a declining understandability of the resulting model. These relations were established graphically on paper, but were also confirmed by a simple statistical analysis.

The third study selected one of the relations from the previous study, i.e., the relation between structured modeling and model quality, and investigated this relation in more detail. Again, the PPMChart was used, which has lead to the identification of different ways of structured process modeling. When a task is difficult, people will spontaneously split up this task in sub-tasks that are executed consecutively (instead of simultaneously). Structuring is the way in which the splitting of tasks is handled. It was found that when this happens consistently and according to certain logic, modeling became more effective and more efficient. Effective because a process model was created with less syntactic and semantic errors and efficient because it took less time and modeling operations. Still, we noticed that splitting up the modeling in sub-tasks in a structured way, did not always lead to a positive result. This can be explained by some people structuring the modeling in the wrong way. Our brain has cognitive preferences that cause certain ways of working not to fit. The study identified three important cognitive preferences: does one have a sequential or a global learning style, how context-dependent one is and how big one”s desire and need for structure is. The Structured Process Modeling Theory was developed, which captures these relations and which can form the basis for the development of an optimal individual approach to process modeling. In our opinion the theory has the potential to also be applicable in a broader context and to help solving various types of problems effectively and efficiently.

Presentation by Arthur ter Hofstede: Event Log Imperfection Patterns for Process Mining

Title: Event Log Imperfection Patterns for Process Mining

Presented by Arthur HM ter Hofstede

Based on joint work with Suriadi Suriadi, Rob Andrews and Moe Wynn

Abstract

An essential component of a process mining exercise is the ability
to properly prepare the log(s) for analysis. This entails detecting various
types of errors and deficiencies as the quality of the analysis heavily
depends on the quality of the event log. Unfortunately this is not a trivial task
and much depends on the skills and experiences of the analyst(s) involved.
In order to more systematically approach log preparation and to
reduce the dependency on specialist skills, a set of patterns is proposed.
These patterns aim to capture the various types of issues that may be encountered,
the way they may manifest themselves, how they may influence analysis results,
and potential remedies to counter these issues.

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New Employee Maryam Razavian

Maryam-Photo-NewI got my Ph.D. degree in computer science, in the area of migration to services from VU University Amsterdam. I also was a postdoc for 2 year @VU in Sofware and Service group. My research interests are in design reasoning knowledge management, software architecture, service orientation, and sustainable e-services.

During my PhD, I developed an approach for rehabilitating pre-existing legacy assets by encapsulating them as services that are, simultaneously, value-adding and technically sustainable. Such services, embedding various business functions, are specifically designed to smoothly operate in modern business processes, within networked organizations. This approach, called the Lean & Mean migration approach, was emerged out of existing practice of service migration in various industries.

During my Postdoc, I have investigated the discrepancies between business and technical sustainability of services. In the area of design thinking, I have performed an empirical study on the inuence of reflections on the the way designers of services and processes think. The main finding, simply put, was that such a design is a tricky business influenced by many cognitive factors such as the ability of a designer to reflect or communicate with various stakeholders.

At TU/E I will continue my research  on guiding service designers thinking and reasoning in order to address many of the complexities inherent in service design.

Master thesis presentation entitled “Designing a Blueprint Architecture for Service Innovation” by Kritika Maurya

kritikaOn Thursday, February 5th 2015, Kritika Maurya will defend her master thesis entitled “Designing a Blueprint Architecture for Service Innovation”.

The defense is in the frames of her graduation project of my Master’s degree in Business Information Systems, at TU/e.

Supervisors: Paul Grefen, Boudewijn van Dongen and Paul Verleg

Title:
Blueprint design of service dominant enterprise architecture for Canon Business Services

Abstract:
Nowadays services are dominating the economies of the world and are becoming an important part of strategic thinking of business organizations. Services are no longer treated as a separate category for strategic mission and planning but rather an all pervasive part of it. Most of the business organizations today are more or less involved in a combination of providing goods with services.
The transition marked evolution of servitization concept, which is described as how companies initially considered themselves to be in “goods” or “services” (e.g. automobile or insurance), and then moved to offering goods combined with closely related services (e.g. products offered with maintenance, support, finance). This creates service-dominant business markets requiring high levels of agility. Thus, there is a need for a structured way to design business in a service-dominant context.

The project is carried out at the Strategic Business Unit (SBU) based at Océ Technologies in Venlo, Netherlands. The Strategic Business Unit (SBU) which is a part of Canon Business Services (CBS) is focused on developing and growing the business service of value added outsourcing of document processing on a global level together with the Canon Sales Organizations.

Blueprint of the architecture for service innovation in CBS is designed in this project using BASE/X as a reference framework. BASE/X is the acronym for Business Agility through Service Engineering in a Cross-Organizational Setting, which will support the efforts of dealing with the agility of service-dominant business, the complexity of solution-oriented business (value-in-use) and multi-sided business models. BASE/X is based on a structure of stable and flexible layers composing a pyramid (from top to bottom the layers are: Strategy, Business Model, Service Compositions and Business Services).

The design of the conceptual blueprint structures the business aspects of value added outsourcing of document processing services in one framework. With BASE/X as a reference framework and through a number of design steps, it proposes an enterprise standard architecture for CBS which will be a blueprint for the organization of value added outsourcing of document processing services, helping in the composition of new services and consequently supporting the agility in service-dominant business.

KeywordsBASE/X framework, Service Dominant Architecture, Servitization, agility Back to event

Colloquium IE&IS/IS Feb 6, 2015

Speaker:
Ayça Tarhan

Event Details

Title:
The Immaturity of Business Process Maturity Research

Abstract:
Business processes are basic enablers in sustaining an organization’s existence in delivering high-quality products and services. Business process maturity models (BPMMs) can act as an instrument to assess and continually improve business processes. A maturity model incorporates a conceptualization of discrete maturity levels and corresponding best practices for a set of processes in a specific domain. In the last decade, researchers and practitioners have proposed several BPMMs with varied focus and depth. Yet, a recent systematic review of the literature indicated that the use of maturity models has not gained widespread acceptance in the Business Process Management field. Underlying challenges include the scarcity of empirical works confirming the validity and usefulness of the models, limited extent of prescriptive properties of the models impeding their application, and the lack of a clear distinction between the maturity model and the assessment model. This talk, therefore, aims to overview the state of research regarding BPMMs and their effect on business performance, to summarize our ongoing work in the healthcare domain, and to propose an agenda for the future research on this topic.

Project: Performance measurements in the semi-process industry

The Information Systems group is often contacted by industrial organizations with assignments that could lead to student projects at various levels (master thesis project, bachelor completion project, etc.) Through this website we make these topics available to our students. In this post, we announce one such project, involving company Marel.

Performance measurements in the semi-process industry

The organization

Marel is an international supplier of advanced systems for the food processing industry. With around 3700 employees worldwide, Marel focuses on the segments of Poultry Processing, Further Processing, Meat and Fish. At its modern plant in Boxmeer, the operating company Marel Stork Poultry Processing B.V. focuses on the design, production and installation of production systems for the poultry processing industry. As the world market leader, the organization is constantly looking for opportunities to increase the productivity of its customers, within the bounds of quality and innovation. In addition to offices in Boxmeer (NL), Dongen (NL) and Gainesville (Georgia, USA), the organization has regional offices in a large number of countries.

Master Thesis assignment

The highly automated production lines of modern poultry processors process 13.500 broilers per hour. Each broiler has its own quality specifications and unique weight, which determines its destination and potential value. The destination of a broiler can end up in several different articles; a modern retail plant offers a variety of more than 500 product articles.  In order to make optimal use of the potential value of each individual broiler an information system is required. A lot of attention is paid to animal welfare, food safety, quality, full traceability, water and energy consumption. The aim is to add value to poultry as effectively as possible. The overall performance of a poultry processor is depending on a lot of factors, one of the indirect factors is production planning. Production planning on a daily level is a real challenge in the poultry processing industry. The uncertainty of the demand on one side and the dynamics of the raw material supply on the other side ask for planning skills of the processor. A lot of data and an information system are used to control the production. The exact impact of planning and scheduling is difficult to determine, but enhancements of the planning performance gains big advantages. Innova is the provided information system by Marel to support planners. For now we have an interesting Master Thesis assignment for an entrepreneurial student. In order to improve the planning performance on the long term, initially the performance should be measured in order to quantify possible improvements. The assignment is to set up a method to measure the production planning performance of a retail poultry processor. The business process of production planning is known and can be used as a starting point. Determining (key) performance indicators and an overview of required vs. redundant (available) data are the most obvious deliverables.

Contact information: Marel, via Rik Eshuis, or Irene Vanderfeesten.

New Employee Kostas Traganos

Traganos_photoI obtained my Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2007 (5-years degree) from National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, with a specialization in Communications.
After my studies I fulfilled my military service and then I worked for 3.5 years as a software developer in a private company based in Athens, Greece.

In September 2014 I completed my MSc degree in Business Information Systems, at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), The Netherlands, with a specialization in Business Process Management. My master project was about the Design of a Standard Architecture for Service Management based on the BASE/X framework, which is a business engineering framework for service-dominant business. The project was carried out at De Lage Landen International B.V. (DLL), a global provider of leasing and finance solutions where we also implemented a prototype in a BPM tool (from Pega, a leader in BPM market) to act as a proof of concepts of the BASE/X framework regarding the agility of organizations to offer new service compositions to the market.
During my post-graduate studies, I also worked for a short period as a student assistant, tutoring Bachelor level students for a Design-based learning project.

Since September 2014, I work as a Research and Education employee in the Information Systems (IS) research group of the Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) Department of TU/e. I am involved in the “ITS (Intelligent Transport System) Reference Architecture NL” project with the aim to establish a ground for mobility standard in The Netherlands, taking existing heterogenous architectures into account. A business framework that will show the benefits (and costs) for deployment of mobility systems and the connection to the architecture framework are also objectives of the project.

Ph.D. Thesis: The Role of Contextual Factors in Process Harmonization by Heidi Romero

On Monday, April 28th, Heidi Romero will defend her Ph.D. thesis entitled  “The Role of Contextual Factors in Process Harmonization”.

Prom./coprom.: prof.dr.ir. P.W.P.J. Grefen, prof.dr. A.J. van Weele & dr.ir. R.M. Dijkman.

At this moment of posting, the thesis text is not yet available from the TU/e library.
Click here for the abstract.

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Project Harvesting SPR repair materials

The Information Systems group is often contacted by industrial organizations with assignments that could lead to student projects at various levels (master thesis project, bachelor completion project, etc.) Through this website we make these topics available to our students. In this post, we announce one such project, involving company Philips.

Background, Present situation:
De Service Parts & Repair afdeling repareert onderdelen (“artikelen”) van medische systemen die in het ziekenhuis defect zijn gegaan voor de Service Parts Supply chain organisatie (SPS) van Philips Healthcare. Met regelmaat kunnen artikelen als geheel niet gerepareerd worden wat betekent dat het in zijn geheel wordt afgevoerd. Er kunnen echter nog bruikbare onderdelen zitten in het af te voeren artikel die bij overige reparaties hergebruikt kunnen worden. Nu maakt men hier géén gebruik van daar het huidige repair proces en SAP systeem hier niet op is ingericht.

Reason why this project is nessecary:
Beoogde efficientie verbetering en kosten besparing binnen de service parts & repair afdeling door hergebruik van onderdelen en tegelijkertijd de afvalstroom reduceren met minder milieubelasting tot gevolg.

Projectgoal:
De afstudeeropdracht bevat:
1. een haalbaarheidsstudy met daarin de volgende aspecten:
-het opzetten van een business case om mogelijke besparing in kaart te brengen (voornamelijk vanuit financieel oogpunt)
-het toetsen van de uitvoerbaarheid in de huidige SAP omgeving en de mogelijke vereiste aanpassingen daarin
-een 1e opzet van het proces en vereiste wijze van werken (vanuit SAP en logistiek oogpunt)
-het toetsen van de eisen & richtlijnen vanuit Quality & Regulatory, finance oogpunt etc.
op basis waarvan een go/no go beslissing tot implementatie kan worden genomen,
2. de implementatie: het SAP technisch en logistiek (supply chain) inrichten van een compliant process (bij positieve haalbaarheids study), en
3. het opleveren van een procesbeschrijving en benodigde werkinstructies
om onderdelen van niet te repareren artikelen te kunnen hergebruiken via binnen de SAP MBP omgeving op een wijze die voldoet aan gestelde eisen & richtlijnen.
Bij een negatieve business case zal het vervolg van de afstudeeropdracht in onderling overleg opnieuw gedefinieerd moeten worden.

Expect result:
Een kostenbestaring en reductie in af te voeren materialen (minder milieubelastend) als gevolg van hergebruik van onderdelen van niet te repareren artikelen middels een proces wat voldoet aan geldende eisen & richtlijnen binnen de huidige SAP MBP omgeving.

Candidate profile:
De afstudeerder dient een informatie technology/IT study te volgen (liefst met basis SAP kennis) en een haalbaarheidsstudy uit te kunnen voeren waarin een (met name financiele) business case opgezet dient te worden en processen getoetst worden t.o.v. geldende eisen & richtlijnen (o.a. vanuit financieel en quality & regulatory oogpunt)

Contact for more information: Rik Eshuis