Increasing the transparancy of the evidence-based nature of the NICTIZ reference domain model (with NICTIZ)

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

NICTIZ has developed an instrument to model the AS-IS or TO-BE situation of a hospital’s IT architectural landscape. This instrument is called the “referentie domeinen model ziekenhuizen” and it is used in many arhitectural and strategic hospital IT projects in The Netherlands.The NICTIZ reference model is based on a careful observation of successful landscape architectures in Dutch hospitals. Unfortunately, only the resulting reference model is available for now and the following artifacts are missing:
  • the input data set (i.e., the concrete architectures, as observed at Dutch hospitals),
  • the abstraction mechanism (i.e., how were all concrete architectures mapped to one over-arching reference model?

In this thesis, you will reverse engineer these artifacts for some hospitals while you will also work with new hospital partners on an update of the reference model.

Towards a conceptual data model for compatible registration, transmission and analysis of care information (with NICTIZ)

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

Hospitals often maintain many databases that are based on conceptually overlapping yet syntactically different data models. Many of the differences may be accidental and due to mergers, isolated software acquisition projects (by different functional units in a hospital), changes in the organization, changes to regulations etc. In this project, you will aim at removing redundancies between such databases by proposing a conceptual data model that covers the structure of all hospital data. Additionally, you will demonstrate that using this data model it becomes unnessessary to replicate data across databases. This may involve some more fine-grained registration by medical professionals though. Therefore, you will have to outline clearly who should register which data attribute and at which point in time. If data entry becomes too cumbersome, professionals tend to find work-arounds that help them in their task at hand but that compromize the overall data integrity goal after all.As a source of inspiration, you will analyze the data integrity issues that practitioners from the billing and audit department currently face when confronted with data that has been poorly registered (at least from a financial and quality control perspective) by medical staff.NICTIZ has developed an instrument to model the AS-IS or TO-BE situation of a hospital’s IT architectural landscape. This instrument is called the “referentie domeinen model ziekenhuizen” and it is used in many arhitectural and strategic hospital IT projects in The Netherlands.

This focus of that reference model has been perceived as one of its key success factors. Therefore, you will not extend the NICTIZ domain model but you will carefully design a new one with another (also very focussed) purpose. You should also explain the relation between the two reference models and provide guidance for their combined use in practice.

Modeling cross-organizational care processes for delivering efficient patient-centric care (with NICTIZ)

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

This project is very related to the Health-care business network course but will provide much more depth and will involve a close collaboration with NICTIZ and its partners.

Migrating to an envisioned IT architecture by performing a model-based system evaluation and configuration (with NICTIZ)

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

This project is similar in title to the one entitled Mapping Strategic Goals to a supportive IT landscape architecture. However, the scope is quite different. In this thesis, you will develop a way to map a hospital-specific domain model to a model representing the functionality of a HIS package such as ChipSoft. In a first track of this thesis, you will have to find a good way to model that functionality (i.e., features of a HIS system). You will also have to find an empirical relation between successful/failed HIS deployments, the HIS package has been used for that deployment and the over-arching IT architecture. Finally, you will build a proof-of-concept decision support system (e.g., based on feature diagrams) to formalize the HIS selection procedure. In later stages of the project, the student should reflect on irrational decision making factors as well as strategic influences (cfr., the related thesis topic) too.

Mapping Strategic Goals to a supportive IT landscape architecture. (with NICTIZ)

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

Hospital Information System acquisition trajectories are poorly documented in research literature. Since these systems act as the information and process execution backbones of hospitals, they are complex and expensive not only in license cost but perhaps more importantly also in configuration and maintenance costs.NICTIZ has developed an instrument to model the AS-IS or TO-BE situation of a hospital’s IT architectural landscape. This instrument is called the “referentie domeinen model ziekenhuizen” and it is used in many arhitectural and strategic hospital IT projects in The Netherlands.

In this thesis, you will investigate how strategy frameworks and key performance indicators can be mapped to hospital specific instance of the NICTIZ reference architecture model. In this way, a hospital board has a way to monitor whether its business and IT strategy is consistent with its IT architecture.

Throughought the execution of this project, the student should carefully manage the concerns of at least (1) the hospital board and operational managers, (2) the medical professionals, and (3) the IT architecture specialist of the hospital.

Integrating and Modularizing Simulation and Enactment Models: a Reality Check (with SAP)

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

Context

Students at Eindhoven of University are well familiar with the different purposes of process models. Not only are such process models useful as a high level management instrument (agree on standard procedures), they are also useful for quantitative performance analyses via simulation and they can be used for computing costs. Additionally, process models can be used to configure workflow engines that (i) guide people in the completion of their daily activities, (ii) enable automatic detection of bottlenecks and (iii) provide facilities for electronic document storage, messaging, etc.Via courses such as business process management, executable models of logistic processes and process mining, you may already have learned that for each application, the process models are different in nature. For example, a simulation model needs detailed probabilistic and time-related annotations whereas an enactment model (for workflow execution purposes) contains various operational details with regards to data sources, user interface interactions, etc. To ensure proper alignment between all these models, the schema shown on Figure 1 has often been proposed.

Figure 1: aligning process models

Figure 1 visualizes that (at least conceptually) it makes a lot of sense to have an additional process model between all of a company’s process models. When making changes to one process model, one can then analyze the impact on other process models. This idea corresponds with the architectural vision of the so-called Model Driven Architecture where low-level operational models of different kinds are derived from a high level conceptual model (either fully automatically or by means of some human computer interaction). The derivation process is supported by so-called model transformations. When deriving a low-level simulation or enactment model from a more abstract model (e.g., when generating BPEL code from BMPN models), one needs so-called vertical transformations. Other types of transformation are often needed for other model management issues (e.g. automatic restructuring, migration, …) [1].

One can also question whether this conceptual model can (or even should) be invented in a top-down manner by domain experts, or whether it can (or should) be extracted in a bottom-up approach using data and process mining techniques. Probably, a combination of both approaches is desirable in many cases, which leads to the schema shown on Figure 2.
Figure 2: process mining

In [2], the authors present an architecture and working toolsuite for keeping enactment and simulation models maximally aligned. The result is quite impressive: the toolsuite enables one to load into the simulation engine the state of the operational workflow engine at one point in time and fast-forward the process in various directions to predict potential problems in the near future. From an IT perspective, the proposed architecture may be quite expensive: the approach relies on highly advanced model tranformations for deriving a high level simulation model from operational workflow logs. Filtering information that is relevant for simulation while omiting irrelevant details is a challenging task in this context. Therefore, the underlying model transformations are quite expensive to develop and maintain. To make matters worse, in practice one may use a different workflow and/or simulation engine than the ones used in [2]. In that case, even more transformations need to be developed and maintained…

Thesis Challenge / Research Questions

In this thesis, the student should investigate whether the proposed architecture is realistic in practice:

  • Do industrial workflow engines already support simulation based on operational data, as in [2]?
  • If so, are the simulation models human readable (modularized, pretty printed, …)? Otherwise, can they be made human readable by some restructuring or is it necessary to map the models to a high level language (such as BPMN)? Additionally, do the models contain the right information for redesign studies (can you monitor KPIs, can you scale up the simulation to a statistically relevant amount of cases, …?) If not, what are the key obstacles?
  • If not, how should the infrastructure of that company be extended or changed? Do you propose to replace existing infrastructure? Or can you extend it? Can you translate process models to the format required by [2]?

This research should be performed in close collaboration with a vendor of BPM software (SAP, IBM, …)

References

Create a model of (and implement) a planning tool to dispatch resources for specific tasks (with OCE)

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

IS projects at a multinational from the Chemical industry (with SABIC)

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

At SABIC we have many unstructured complex information systems ad hoc grown. We want to turn this into a more structured (Monolithic 1 BW, Layered BW’s, Columned BW’s, Component oriented or a combination) corporate information BW system.Assignment 1.
How to come to 1 BW fast track? What requirements must be met in order to have 1 BW? How does the migration path look like? How – in general – can we bring more structure in our unstructured world of many complex information systems? We need to decompose into subsystems / information areas as a way to deal with the complexity of our architectures. It is analogue to the house metaphor, where our subsystems are rooms in a bigger house of Information Management (IM). We need to reconstruct the house room by room and in the room item by item …..The house with the rooms is in fact the IM Catalogue we want to establish. How to apply the four architecture design dimensions (from the BISA Reader of prof. Dr. Ir. P. Grefen) in the reconstruction of our IM house (room by room and item by item in the rooms)?

Assignment 2:
We want to implement Value Based Business Steering (VBBS) with Value driver trees (VDT) in SABIC. How to build such a VDT? What architecture is needed? Is 1 BW helping or not? Start building the VDT top down or bottom up. i.e. first get the corporate metric like EBIDTA right or start from the bottom up? What is the ideal modeling and realization path to realize a VDT as a first step towards VBBS? The VDT will be part of an IM Catalogue, what other reports should be part of the catalogue? How to build a roadmap to fill the catalogue?

Assignment 3:
Information quality (IQ) is an important topic. Today we find that not all data is reliable in SABIC. Since we have a complex landscape, how can we measure IQ and what are the root causes? How can we improve IQ, what should be the priorities? How can we make it sustainable? What are the architectural consequences – if any – if we want to reduce IQ?

Customer Satisfcation Metric System Performance Materials (with Dow Benelux)

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

The Performance Material Division in EMEA is launching an effort to increase Customer Satisfaction thru the Improvement of several metrics in the area of SC Operations and our Order to Cash Process. Several Order to Cash Improvement projects are under way and more will be defined thru the structured look at metrics that indicate a less than perfect Customer Satisfcation or Business Critical Metric. Today thru a variety of reasons the numberof Order Touches in PMD EMEA is larger than 2X the number of orders, meaning on average every order is at least touched twice. We have identified a small number of reasons that contribute significantly but there are manz more. Thru developing a structured metric system we want to ensure we capture a larger number of defects, leading to more Corrective and Preventive actions.Identify Metrics to be used and provide a management Dashboard that includes Customer Satisfaction Metrics, Business Critical Metrics , Key Operating Metrics and Order to Cash Process Metrics for a Business Division of DOW CHEMICAL (metrics themselves most likely will NOT have to be developed as DOW has 100’s of metrics available, IF however we don’t have a metric available that is critical it can be developed either as part of this project or in a next Generation as part of a Multi Generational Plan

Mendix implementation of a business decision support environment

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