Making Sense of Declarative Process Models: Common Strategies and Typical Pitfalls

C. Haisjackl, S. Zugal, P. Soffer, I. Hadar, M. Reichert, J. Pinggera and B. Weber

In: Proc. BPMDS '13, pp. 2–17, 2013.

Abstract. Declarative approaches to process modeling are regarded as well suited for highly volatile environments as they provide a high degree of flexibility. However, problems in understanding and maintaining declarative business process models impede often their usage. In particular, how declarative models are understood has not been investigated yet. This paper takes a first step toward addressing this question and reports on an exploratory study investigating how analysts make sense of declarative process models. We have handed out real-world declarative process models to subjects and asked them to describe the illustrated process. Our qualitative analysis shows that subjects tried to describe the processes in a sequential way although the models represent circumstantial information, namely, conditions that produce an outcome, rather than a sequence of activities. Finally, we observed difficulties with single building blocks and combinations of relations between activities.

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Cornelia Haisjackl
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