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Propelling Business Process Management by Research and Innovation Staff Exchange

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RISE_BPM (Propelling Business Process Management by Research and Innovation Staff Exchange)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2019-04-30

RISE_BPM networks leading research institutions and corporate innovators to develop new horizons for Business Process Management (BPM). BPM is a boundary-spanning discipline focused on division and re-integration of day-to-day work in organisations and on analysis of process data for organisational decision-making. Recent breakthrough innovations in Social Computing, Smart Devices, Real-Time Computing, and Big Data Technology create a strong motivation for propelling BPM into a pervasive corporate topic that enables design of entirely new products and services.
All RISE_BPM consortium members possess outstanding expertise in distinct aspects of the BPM lifecycle, ranging from Strategy and Modelling to Implementation and Analysis of business processes. RISE_BPM combines this complementary knowledge to create a unique environment for BPM research and innovation. By combining this expertise new approaches are sought that combine the strengths of these four different aspects and help to facilitate and improve the daily work in organisations by offering those hands-on approaches to be integrated for the improvement of their daily work.
Staff secondments and joint events promote a cumulative exchange of knowledge in a think-pair-square-share approach that integrates large-scale research capabilities and innovation projects carried out by the involved organisations. Key objectives of RISE_BPM are (a) to propel BPM research into the era of Social Computing, Smart Devices, Real-Time Computing, and Big Data Technology; (b) to enable companies to develop new products and services for designing and analysing business processes; and (c) to supply the involved staff with a unique intellectual environment for accumulating boundary-spanning knowledge and skills that refer to the entire BPM lifecycle.
RISE_BPM extends the established administrative structures of the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) by involving additional BPM thought leaders and corporate innovators.
"The first year of the project was characterized as start-up phase, during which the specific scientific streams and directions have been set up and steered towards joint publications and for creating a joint understanding on an education level. Especially the work on the Deliverables, i.e. publications has started and partially already been successfully implemented one year in advance. The work to be implemented concerns four different dimensions Social Media, Smart Devices, Real-time Computing and Big Data that are evolving as powerful and disruptive technologies that will change the way businesses are organized and have to operate. The work in those two years primarily consisted in investigating how those technologies are integrated into organizational contexts and how BPM can help to better handle and even profit from those new and phenomena, by using them as business enablers.
The project’s website (http://www.rise-bpm.eu) serves as the central dissemination means, and also holds information about the involved researchers (http://www.rise-bpm.eu/researchers) and the performed secondments (http://www.rise-bpm.eu/secondments).
The project’s second year was aimed at intensifying and continuing the contacts and research ideas that were generated throughout the start-up phase, or already were started during the first project year. The specific scientific streams and directions have been set and a joint understanding on an education level has been reached. The work on the Deliverables is ongoing and 15 articles have already been successfully published, at least three more are currently under review. Considering an acceptance rate in the field of ~25-30%, the amount of publications until now exceeds the expectations. As mentioned in the first progress report, BPM-related research does not always follow strict lines in terms of idea and output generation. However, in terms of impact and success, the publications and additional outcomes of the first half, are in line with the group’s expectations. Some sub-topics might have changed or turned out to be different than intended, compared to how they were initially planned in terms of work package identification. This lies in the nature of this kind of research that cannot be forced into a certain direction (depending on the outcomes), especially with the fast pace the BPM field develops. By the end of last year, to foster communication and dissemination, a twitter account (@rise_bpm) as well as the hashtag #risebpm was set up, where all latest news about the project, researchers and secondments are posted.
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The project deals with topics that are per se beyond the state of the art, as most organisations are not yet incorporating the cutting-edge technology and approaches analysed and discussed in the context of the RISE_BPM project. Furthermore, the costs for risky research on core business processes are, in general, high, even for front-runners. If essential business processes fail, the implications for organisations are fatal.
In addition, up to now, the four technological enablers have never been jointly analysed and connected to the BPM lifecycle in the way addressed in this project. This is possible because the international perspective inherent to the project enables the consortium to link different schools of thought, which are both technical and managerial, and thusly enrich the research.
Moreover, new ties have unexpectedly being established between third country partners that are not funded by the Commission (e.g. Liechtenstein seconds researchers to Australia and researchers from Korea are being seconded to Liechtenstein).
Regarding the societal implications, studies have been conducted addressing specifically the workforce in the BPM field. This area has – until now – not sufficiently been in the research focus. The studies describe challenges employees face, and how those can be tackled by both, employers and employees. Furthermore, the studies shed a light on gender issues in this context. As a specific success, the 2015 publication “A Gender Perspective on Business Process Management Competences Offered on Professional Online Social Networks” has been invited to the Journal “Business Information Systems Engineering (BISE)” as one of the outstanding papers of the “23rd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2015)”. BISE is recognized as a B-rated journal. The extended version was finally published in 2016 (Gorbacheva, E.; Stein, A.; Schmiedel, T.; Müller, O. (2016). The Role of Gen-der in Business Process Management Competence Supply. In: Business and Information Systems Engineering (BISE), 58, 1–19.). The BISE senior editors recently recommended this paper as the journal’s “AIS (Association for Information Systems) Senior Scholars Best Paper Award” nominee.
As another emerging societal topic, the potentials of the sharing economy are analysed. Research provides insights into how people can leverage these findings.
Finally, research on “Green IS” discusses social, environmental, and economic dimensions of Information Systems (IS), investigating a diverse range of questions. This research is currently still in progress and will be published during the second phase (provided acceptance by the outlets).
Consortium meeting in Vienna
Thomas Grisold (WU), Nadine Ogonek (WWU), Claudio Di Ciccio (WU) during their stay at QUT
Project Kick-off in Muenster
Discussions on Business Process Management
Breakout Session during the Kick-Off