Process Modeling - Quality of Methods

Quality of Methods

As the quality of process models is being discussed in this paper, there is a need to elaborate quality of modeling techniques as an important essence in quality of process models. In most existing framework created for understanding the quality, the line between quality of modeling techniques and the quality of models as a result of the application of those techniques are not clearly drawn. This report will concentrate both on quality of process modeling techniques and quality of process models to clearly differentiate the two. Various frameworks were developed to help in understanding quality of process modeling techniques, one example is Quality based modeling evaluation framework or known as Q-Me framework which argued to provide set of well defined quality properties and procedures to make an objective assessment of this properties possible. This framework also has advantages of providing uniform and formal description of the model element within one or different model types using one modeling techniques In short this can make assessment of both the product quality and the process quality of modeling techniques with regard to a set of properties that have been defined before.

Quality properties that relate to business process modeling techniques discussed in are:

  • Expressiveness: the degree to which a given modeling technique is able to denote the models of any number and kinds of application domains.
  • Arbitrariness: the degree of freedom one has when modeling one and the same domain
  • Suitability: the degree to which a given modeling technique is specifically tailored for a specific kind of application domain.
  • Comprehensibility: the ease with which the way of working and way of modeling are understood by participants.
  • Coherence: the degree to which the individual sub models of a way of modeling constitute a whole.
  • Completeness; the degree to which all necessary concepts of the application domain are represented in the way of modeling.
  • Efficiency: the degree to which the modeling process uses resources such as time and people.
  • Effectiveness: the degree to which the modeling process achieves its goal.

To asses the quality of Q-ME framework; it is used to illustrate the quality of the dynamic essentials modeling of the organisation (DEMO) business modeling techniques.

It is stated that the evaluation of the Q-ME framework to the DEMO modeling techniques has revealed the shortcomings of Q-ME. One particular is that it does not include quantifiable metric to express the quality of business modeling technique which makes it hard to compare quality of different techniques in an overall rating.

There is also a systematic approach for quality measurement of modeling techniques known as complexity metrics suggested by Rossi et al. (1996). Techniques of Meta model is used as a basis for computation of these complexity metrics. In comparison to quality framework proposed by Krogstie, quality measurement focus more on technical level instead of individual model level.

Authors (Cardoso, Mendling, Neuman and Reijers, 2006) used complexity metrics to measure the simplicity and understandability of a design. This is supported by later research done by Mendling et al. who argued that without using the quality metrics to help question quality properties of a model, simple process can be modeled in a complex and unsuitable way. This in turn can lead to a lower understandability, higher maintenance cost and perhaps inefficient execution of the process in question.

The quality of modeling technique is important in creating models that are of quality and contribute to the correctness and usefulness of models.

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