Development of a Management and Visualization Application of Integrated Process Improvement Reference Models

The goal of the master thesis is the development of an application that integrates process improvement reference models (IRMs) into a ?smart process improvement model? to support organizations in the adoption of multiple IRMs.

The application should offer the user the possibility to model different IRMs according to the already defined meta model (Integrated Structure Meta Model) that normalizes the structure of the IRMs. Modeling features such as adding/editing/deleting reference models, categories, process areas, practices and their elements should be supported. Another Furthermore, the relation between these practices such as composition and dependencies between practices should be visualized as trees and graphs.

Each ISM models a IRM in a fine grained way and contains the IRM concepts (words or combinations of words with a standalone meaning). We call them ISM concepts. To normalize the terminology of the different IRMs and support their integration, another meta model (Integrated Concept Meta Model) was defined whose instantiation (ICM) contains abstract IRMs? concepts that are connected to their correspondent ISM concepts. The ICM contains not only abstract concepts but also their similarity relations. We call them ICM concepts.

Based on this meta model and on further guidelines for a structured modeling of the IRMs? concepts, the application should support the creation of ICM concepts, of their semantic relations and of their relations to the ISM concepts. Therefore, for a new ISM concept, the application supports the search of related ICM concepts and the creation of the corresponding ICM concept (if this concept was not created before). An approach based on the semantic relatedness between concepts should be developed to support the search of related concepts for a certain concept.

Furthermore, the application should offer different visualizations of the ?smart process improvement model?. The application should visualizeĀ  similarity degree, the commonalities and differences and their dependencies to other activities. This is relevant for organizations that work with multiple IRMs. This information needs to be computed based on the modeling of the IRMs according to the above mentioned meta models and to be visualized to the user, so that he can easily navigate through this information.

In the first step, an application will be developed and reviewed by experts that are working with multiple IRMs. The goal of the evaluation is to validate the functionality and the usability of the application and to collect further needs that can be supported through our integration of multiple IRMs.