IT Support Conversation Manager: A Conversation- Centered Approach and Tool for Managing Best Practice IT Processes
Motahari-Nezhad, Hamid R.; Bartolini, Claudio; Graupner, Sven; Singhal, Sharad; Spence, Susan
Keyword(s): Ad-hoc Business Processes, Best Practice Process Frameworks, IT Processes, Collaboration Applications
Abstract: There is a push in the enterprise towards facilitating processes from best practice frameworks (such as the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)) to make them more repeatable, efficient and cost-effective. Best practice processes provide descriptive, high level guidelines rather than prescriptive, precise process model definitions. They are meant to be followed by people and may be adapted and enacted differently in various realizations. Currently, ITIL processes are either supported by tools that hard code an interpretation of the process logic, or followed by people using productivity tools. This is inefficient because existing tools hardcode a rigid logic of the processes, and do not support collaborative and flexible realizations of processes. Moreover, there is a risk of information loss when people using rigid productivity tools, and are forced to collaborate outside of those tools. In this paper, we present a conversation-centered approach and a tool that enables dynamic and flexible definition and enactment of best practice processes in a collaborative and interactive manner. We address the issue of information loss by using the concept of a conversation as a container of information about the interactions among people in the context of a process. A conversation is backed with a semi-structured process model and process templates to support flexible and adaptive process realization. We showcase the approach using an illustrative use case in incident and problem management, based on best practice processes from ITIL.
Additional Publication Information: To be published at 14th IEEE International EDOC Conference (EDCC 2010), 25-29 October 2010.
External Posting Date: August 6, 2010 [Fulltext]. Approved for External Publication
Internal Posting Date: August 6, 2010 [Fulltext]