Specifying process-oriented hypertext for organizational computing

John Noll, Walt Scacchi
2001 Journal of Network and Computer Applications  
Organizations deploy intranets to provide access to documents for those who use them. But the web of computing comprises more than just documents: people, tools, and processes are critical to organizational function. In particular, people may need guidance on how to perform tasks, as well as access to information necessary to carry out those tasks. In this paper, we present a language for describing process-oriented hypertexts. A process-oriented hypertext links information, tools, and
more » ... s into a seamless organizational web. Using such a hypertext, the process performer can enact a process by browsing, and receive guidance on how to perform the process activities, where to find relevant information, and what tools to use. We have developed a process scripting language called PML that provides a way for process engineers to specify process models in terms of activities, and the sequence in which they should be performed. The specification can be elaborated with descriptions of resources and tools required and provided by activities, and the skills necessary to carry out an activity. The resulting models are then translated into one or more process-oriented hypertexts that represent instances of the process currently being performed. PML includes features that allow the modeler to specify how the process activities should be dynamically linked to information and resource nodes at the time the process is performed. This enables processes to be described as abstract models that can be instantiated as process-oriented hypertexts in different organizational settings. We used PML to model processes in a case study of the grants management process at the US Office of Naval Research. We describe some of our experiences applying PML to this study, and conclude with lessons learned and directions for future study.
doi:10.1006/jnca.2000.0122 fatcat:ugfhfl4bkrbvdmcqwa265u4u24