During my PhD, I worked on a distributed collaborative process management/case management system to suppport disaster response organizations to manage their processes on the intra-and inter-organizational level.
This mainly includes the ability to flexible coordinate activities and to be aware of their interdependencies. Activities can be shared between selected people and integrated in the workspaces of selected organizations. Shared activities are replicated in these workspaces and dependencies can be established to internal activities. Deviations from what is defined in the model and how activities are executed are highlighted to the user to show shifting goals. The challenge here is to provide flexible support (i.e. processes can change at any time and this needs to be supported by the system in time) in a distributed scenario with many de-centralized highly autonmous working organizations. The organizations may have a different view of the activities and dependencies, which may diverge. Thus, I describe several mechansims so that they reach eventually a converging view on the situation. Hence, they have an improved shared situational overview. The results contribute to the inter-organizational dimension of artifact-centric or case-management approaches.
I implemented the concepts as an extension to the 4th Generation (near real-time) open collaboration service Wave – video available here. Finally, initial evaluations have taken place with end users. Additionally, we have designed an experiment with student using software to coordinate in teams in dynamic situations.
- Franke, Jörn: Coordination of Distributed Activities in Dynamic Situations. The Case of Inter-organizational Crisis Management, PhD Thesis (Computer Science), LORIA-INRIA-CNRS, Université de Lorraine/Université Henri Poincaré, France, 2011.