Towards Measuring and Quantifying the Comprehensibility of Process Models – The Process Model Comprehension Framework

by   Michael Winter, et al.

Process models constitute crucial artifacts in modern information systems and, hence, the proper comprehension of these models is of utmost importance in the utilization of such systems. Generally, process models are considered from two different perspectives: process modelers and readers. Both perspectives share similarities and differences in the comprehension of process models (e.g., diverse experiences when working with process models). The literature proposed many rules and guidelines to ensure a proper comprehension of process models for both perspectives. As a novel contribution in this context, this paper introduces the Process Model Comprehension Framework (PMCF) as a first step towards the measurement and quantification of the perspectives of process modelers and readers as well as the interaction of both regarding the comprehension of process models. Therefore, the PMCF describes an Evaluation Theory Tree based on the Communication Theory as well as the Conceptual Modeling Quality Framework and considers a total of 96 quality metrics in order to quantify process model comprehension. Furthermore, the PMCF was evaluated in a survey with 131 participants and has been implemented as well as applied successfully in a practical case study including 33 participants. To conclude, the PMCF allows for the identification of pitfalls and provides related information about how to assist process modelers as well as readers in order to foster and enable a proper comprehension of process models.


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