Process design through virtualisation - a non-narrative approach of communication
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To manage and communicate the strategic and operational processes of an organisation, we predominantly utilise diagrams or workflow based process design. Connotations of these designs are deeply rooted to object or product design (architectural, engineering etc.) concepts, that overlook two fundamental components of a process –time and space. Although in some workflow or Gantt chart like visualisations, time (i.e. when and or how long the activities are happening) is included, but where (space) activities are happening and its relationship with other activities are not captured with sufficient resolution. In manufacturing like environments where the processes are highly standardised and mostly automated the variability of time and space element are limited and as such is not a big issue, but for services and other discovery or creative like operations, for example research processes,where processes are highly idiosyncratic and depend on human factors, depicting time and space related design is critical. These challenges are further complicated by factors surrounding curation subjectivity. At present process designs are primarily built by individuals using UML or Excel like tools. These conventional approaches depend on domain knowledge and the experience of that individual(s) combined with their proficiency on design and art at the curation end and the language, cultural and mental model alignment at the interpretation end. Therefore communication of process often remains a bottleneck in multinational, multidisciplinary and multi-institutional environments.In this context we introduce our in-house open-source software – ProtocolNavigator (Khan et al., Bioinformatics. 2014, 30 (23): 3440-3442) which is a virtual laboratory where multidisciplinary researchers can emulate their real-life laboratory activities and based on the emulation, the design of the experiment is automatically drawn on the canvas as an activity icon based interactive process map in alignment to a timescale. Emulation and depiction of activity via icons on an interactive process map, introduce a novel non-narrative curation and interpretation approach that not only enables language independent communication across disciplines but also a computational approach to assess the process variations and its relationship with product quality. In this working paper we investigate the concepts and impact of ProtocolNavigator on designing business management processes. We particularly focus on how virtualisation and visualisation can enhance curation and interpretation. How such non-narrative approach can facilitate effective communications and impact relevant human factors in multinational and institutional collaborations. We also investigate how recent technologies like Provenance and Blockchain can be coupled with this time and space associated interactive map to enhance trust on process and product quality.
Proceedings for the Advances in Management and Informatics Conference, Cardiff Metropolitan University, May 2017;
Khan, I., Begum, T. and Walters, A. (2017) 'Process design through virtualisation and visualisation – a non-narrative approach of communication', Proceedings for the Advances in Management and Informatics Conference, Cardiff Metropolitan University, May 2017.
Paper from the Proceedings for the Advances in Management and Informatics Conference, Cardiff Metropolitan University, May 2017.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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