Providing effective IT support for business processes has become crucial for enterprises to stay competitive in their market. Business processes must be defined, implemented, enacted, monitored, and continuously adapted to changing situations. Process life cycle support and continuous process improvement become critical success factors in contemporary and future enterprise computing. In this context, process-aware information systems (PAIS) adopt a key role. Thereby, organization-specific and generic process support systems are distinguished. In the former case, the PAIS is build "from scratch" and incorporates organization-specific information about the structure and processes to be supported. In the latter case, the PAIS does not contain any information about the structure and processes of a particular organization. Instead, an organization needs to configure the PAIS by specifying processes, organizational entities, and business objects. To enable the realization of PAIS, numerous process support paradigms, process modeling standards, and business process management tools have been introduced. The application of these approaches in PAIS engineering projects is not only influenced by technological, but also by organizational and project-specific factors. Between these factors there exist numerous causal dependencies, which, in turn, often lead to complex and unexpected effects in PAIS engineering projects. In particular, the costs of PAIS engineering projects are significantly influenced by these causal dependencies. What is therefore needed is a comprehensive approach enabling PAIS engineers to systematically investigate these causal dependencies as well as their impact on the costs of PAIS engineering projects. Existing economic-driven IT evaluation and software cost estimation approaches, however, are unable to take into account causal dependencies and resulting effects. In response, this thesis introduces the EcoPOST framework. This framework utilizes evaluation models to describe the interplay of technological, organizational, and project-specific evaluation factors, and simulation concepts to unfold the dynamic behavior of PAIS engineering projects. In this context, the EcoPOST framework also supports the reuse of evaluation models based on a library of generic, predefined evaluation patterns and also provides governing guidelines (e.g., model design guidelines) which enhance the transfer of the EcoPOST framework into practice. Tool support is available as well. Finally, we present the results of two online surveys, three case studies, and one controlled software experiment. Based on these empirical and experimental research activities, we are able to validate evaluation concepts underlying the EcoPOST framework and additionally demonstrate its practical applicability.
|Award date||17 Jan 2008|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Jan 2008|