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FRINATEK-Fri prosj.st. mat.,naturv.,tek

Enabling Highly Automated Cross-Organisational Workflow Planning

Alternative title: Muliggjøring av høyt automatisert tverrorganisatorisk arbeidsflytplanlegging

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

Automating workflow planning is one of the most crucial digital transformation activities. Planning cross-organisational workflows requires knowledge from multiple domains. In addition, it requires an overview of how these workflows interact with each other. Existing computer-assisted tools usually lack domain-specific knowledge and flexible support for cross-organisational processes, and very often do not take the actual experience of the workflow participants into account to detect potential bottlenecks in the workflows. Therefore, workflow planning is still largely a manual process relying on human experts, e.g., in hospitals and large enterprises. The ultimate goal of the project, CROFLOW, is to devise a new methodology to automate cross-organisational workflow planning and revisioning, which will eventually contribute to a successful digitalisation in both public and private sectors in the future. To achieve this goal, CROFLOW aims at developing an innovative model-driven methodology to capture and analyse the interactions between workflows, and to extract workflow participant experience. The accompanying analyses and tool support will contribute to automated planning for cross-organisational processes. CROFLOW will collaborate with Uppsala University (Sweden) and University of Lübeck (Germany) to bring together theoretical and experimental methods to tackle the identified research challenges. The final outcomes of the project will be evaluated through a case study taken from the healthcare domain (provided by the Department of Pathology, Haukeland University Hospital), where almost all processes are cross-functional or cross-organisational. The project’s approach represents a potential breakthrough of the existing techniques for cross-organisational processes. The success of CROFLOW will result in substantial positive impacts on planning practice.

Workflow planning is one of the most crucial digital transformation activities. Planning cross-organisational process workflows requires knowledge from multiple domains. In addition, it also requires an overview of how these workflows interact with each other wrt. the dependency on both shared resources and on execution order. Process-Aware Information Systems are commonly used in both private and public sectors to manage planning. However, they usually lack domain-specific knowledge and flexible support for cross-organisational processes, and very often do not consider actual experience of the workflow participants, which may help detecting potential bottlenecks in the workflows. Therefore, workflow planning is still largely a manual process relying on human experts. The project aims at providing decision support for optimising workflow planning for cross-organisational processes and participant experience, based on abstract executable models. With the critical task dependencies specified by the planners, it automates the coordination of tasks and resources within individual concurrent workflows in a cross-organisational process, such that the synchronisation and revisioning of these concurrent workflow models across organisations can be done automatically. In addition, it uses the participant experience to uncover potential bottlenecks in existing workflows to assist future replanning. The main contributions of CROFLOW are to provide automation for coordination of tasks and resources, bottleneck discovery, and dynamic revisioning for concurrent workflow models, which consequently are used to provide decision support for optimal workflow planning and participant experience. The project’s approach represents a potential breakthrough of the existing techniques for cross-organisational processes. The success of CROFLOW will result in substantial positive impacts on planning practice in both public and private sectors.

Activity:

FRINATEK-Fri prosj.st. mat.,naturv.,tek