The project includes (1) the collection of examples of how different organizations perform similar processes, and (2) representation of these examples in an on-line "process handbook" which will include the relative advantages of the alternatives. The handbook is intended to help (a) redesign existing organizational processes, (b) invent new organizational processes that take advantage of information technology, and perhaps (c) automatically generate software to support organizational processes.
A key element of the work is a novel approach to representing processes at various levels of abstraction. This approach uses ideas from computer science about inheritance and from coordination theory about managing dependencies. Its primary advantage is that it allows users to explicitly represent the similarities (and differences) among related processes and to easily find or generate sensible alternatives for how a given process could be performed.
A working paper describing the theory, motivation and obectives of this project entitled Tools for inventing organizations: Toward a handbook of organizational processes (CCS Working Paper 141) is available in HTML format.
Last updated January 9, 1995