MUVE IT: reduce the friction in business processes



The purpose of this paper is to present a lightweight approach to help diagnose and eliminate issues in existing business processes, which cause participants to resist following them as modelled. The analysis is made accessible by the use of drillable graphical dashboards.

Two action research cycles in two distinct industries were used to test and refine the approach, while also solving the specific organizational issues.

The approach was considered simple to use and proved capable of identifying pain points causing friction in the smooth operation of business processes. Various longer-term positive effects were reported by one of the organizations that is ISO 9001-certified.

Research limitations/implications
This type of research benefits from experiments in new cases with different contexts that can challenge it. In particular, it would be interesting to evaluate the approach in an organization with a more ad hoc view of processes, as opposed to the more standards-based cases of this paper.

Practical implications
Using the proposed approach to tune the processes, so that participants are more willing to follow them, removes some inconsistency of operations and potential non-conformities in audits.

Social implications
The proposed approach is aimed at the “social sustainability” of the business processes, as it seeks to eliminate people grievances with those processes and make them sustainable in the long term.

Although there is a lot written about process improvement, the literature is scarce in lightweight, pragmatic approaches to identify and resolve the social aspects that cause participants to deviate from the processes, or see them as a burden instead of valuable help for their everyday tasks.


Business process improvement, Business process friction, Business process sustainability, Business process tuning


Information Systems

Related Project

iCIS - Intelligent Computing in the Internet of Services


Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 20, #4, pp. 571-597, May 2014


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