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Bridging the Gap between Brazilian Startups and Business Processes – Process Thinking’s Initial Exploratory Case Study

Magdaleno, A. M., Engiel, P.; Tavares, R.; Pisa, P. S.; Araujo, R. M.
Journal Paper iSys | Revista Brasileira de Sistemas de Informação, Vol 10, No. 1, 2017, pp. 19-38

Abstract

Startup is a new business segment that has been growing up in the last years. These companies have an innovative spirit and are usually searching for new solutions to real problems that can be transformed into scalable businesses. The majority of these companies are not aware of their processes and how the company need to be organized. For this kind of companies, we propose Process Thinking, an innovative approach that makes the business process management viable in the daily lives of startups. This paper presents the Process Thinking framework, which prescribes 10 main processes that a startup needs and a utility belt to help the startup to organize their processes. We illustrate this proposal through an exploratory case study with a real IT startup company that used a 5-step methodology in an immediate implementation of proposed processes and artifacts. The results indicate a positive impact in the short and medium term strategies and management of the startup. However, these results cannot be generalized to other startups and should be received with caution, since this is an initial exploratory study limited to a single company.

A Survey on the use of Social BPM in Practice in Brazilian Organizations

Batista, M. F., Magdaleno, A. M.; Kalinowski, M.
Conference Paper Simpósio Brasileiro de Sistemas de Informação (SBSI), Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brasil, 2017, pp. 436-443

Abstract

Social BPM is the combination of Business Process Management (BPM) with social and collaborative techniques for the purpose of exploring collaboration among stakeholders throughout the BPM lifecycle. Its goals are to reduce common problems in BPM by ensuring collaboration and transparency. To the best of our knowledge, there is no information on how Social BPM is being used in organizational environments and on its impacts. This study aims at showing how Brazilian organizations are using Social BPM practices and technologies. Therefore, a survey was conducted with employees from different companies in order to collect data on their usage of BPM collaborative practices. The survey received 31 replies and 3 of the respondents were also interviewed in order to provide depth to their answers and to enhance the overall understanding. The results show that collaboration happens predominantly in design, modeling, and improvement phases. Collaboration still happens mainly without formal planning and without tool support.

Collaboration Optimization in Software Process Composition

Magdaleno, A. M., Barros, M. de O.; Werner, C. M. L.; et al.
Journal Paper Journal of Systems and Software (JSS) - Special Issue Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE), Vol 103, 2015, pp. 452-466

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe an optimization approach to maximize collaboration in software process composition. The research question is: how to compose a process for a specific software development project context aiming to maximize collaboration among team members? The optimization approach uses heuristic search algorithms to navigate the solution space and look for acceptable solutions.

Design/methodology/approach – The process composition approach was evaluated through an experimental study conducted in the context of a large oil company in Brazil. The objective was to evaluate the feasibility of composing processes for three software development projects. We have also compared Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Hill Climbing (HC) algorithms driving the optimization with a simple Random Search (RS) in order to determine which would be more effective in addressing the problem. In addition, human specialist point-of-view was explored to verify if the composed processes were in accordance with his/her expectations regarding size, complexity, diversity, and reasonable sequence of components.

Findings – The main findings indicate that GA is more effective (best results regarding the fitness function) than HC and RS in the search of solutions for collaboration optimization in software process composition for large instances. However, all algorithms are competitive for small instances and even brute force can be a feasible alternative in such a context. These SBSE results were complemented by the feedback given by specialist, indicating his satisfaction with the correctness, diversity, adherence to the project context, and support to the project manager during the decision making in process composition.

Research limitations – This work was evaluated in the context of a single company and used only three project instances. Due to confidentiality restrictions, the data describing these instances could not be disclosed to be used in other research works. The reduced size of the sample prevents generalization for other types of projects or different contexts.

Implications – This research is important for practitioners who are facing challenges to handle diversity in software process definition, since it proposes an approach based on context, reuse and process composition. It also contributes to research on collaboration by presenting a collaboration management solution (COMPOOTIM) that includes both an approach to introduce collaboration in organizations through software processes and a collaboration measurement strategy. From the standpoint of Software Engineering looking for collaborative solutions in distributed software development, free/open source software, agile, and ecosystems initiatives, the results also indicate how to increase collaboration in software development.

Originality/value – This work proposes a systematic strategy to manage collaboration in software development process composition. Moreover, it brings together a mix of computer-oriented and human-oriented studies on the Search-Based Software Engineering (SBSE) research area. Finally, this work expands the body of knowledge in SBSE to the field of software process which has not been properly explored by former research.

Reconciling Software Development Models: A Quasi-Systematic Review

Magdaleno, A. M., Werner, C. M. L.; Araujo, R. M.
Journal Paper Journal of Systems and Software (JSS), Vol 85, Issue 2, 2012, Pages 351-369

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to characterize reconciliation among the plan-driven, agile, and free/open source software models of software development.

Design/methodology/approach – An automated quasi-systematic review identified 42 papers, which were then analyzed.

Findings – The main findings are: there exist distinct – organization, group and process – levels of reconciliation; few studies deal with reconciliation among the three models of development; a significant amount of work addresses reconciliation between plan-driven and agile development; several large organizations (such as Microsoft, Motorola, and Philips) are interested in trying to combine these models; and reconciliation among software development models is still an open issue, since it is an emerging area and research on most proposals is at an early stage.

Research limitations – Automated searches may not capture relevant papers in publications that are not indexed. Other data sources not amenable to execution of the protocol were not used. Data extraction was performed by only one researcher, which may increase the risk of threats to internal validity.

Implications – This characterization is important for practitioners wanting to be current with the state of research. This review will also assist the scientific community working with software development processes to build a common understanding of the challenges that must be faced, and to identify areas where research is lacking. Finally, the results will be useful to software industry that is calling for solutions in this area.

Originality/value – There is no other systematic review on this subject, and reconciliation among software development models is an emerging area. This study helps to identify and consolidate the work done so far and to guide future research. The conclusions are an important step towards expanding the body of knowledge in the field.

A Maturity Model to Promote Collaboration in Business Processes

Magdaleno, A. M., Araujo, R. M., Borges, M. R. S.
Journal Paper International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management (IJBPIM), Vol 4, Issue 2, 2009, Pages 111–123

Abstract

This research aims at providing an approach for designing business processes for adequate collaborative support. This approach comprises the explicit representation of collaboration practices in business processes. It is argued that, by explicitly considering collaboration in process models, collaboration can be discussed within the organization; moreover, requirements for collaborative support can be identified. This paper proposes a process maturity model (CollabMM) which organizes collaboration practices and a method providing a progressive step for introducing those practices into business process models. Two case studies are described to illustrate the method and the model.

Towards Collaboration Maturity in Business Processes: An Exploratory Study in Oil Production Processes

Magdaleno, A. M., Cappelli, C.; Baião, F. A.; et al.
Journal Paper Information Systems Management (ISM), Vol 25, Issue 4, 2008, Pages 302–318

Abstract

Organizations have been relying on collaboration for knowledge sharing and productivity improvement in order to reduce costs or boost revenue. However, organizations still cannot assure that collaboration is properly conducted in daily work. This paper presents an approach to stimulating collaboration between professionals in an organization. The approach, combining a BPM methodology with the CollabMM collaboration maturity model and its corresponding method, is a result of an exploratory study in a real setting in an oil company in Brazil. The project is a move towards improving decision-making during one of the company’s business processes and establishing collaboration among professionals through information sharing..