Modeling and Simulating Complex Work Processes and Systems

  Close-up of a gear wheel Copyright: © Mario Irrmischer  

Methods of process modeling and simulation are gaining renewed importance in a working world characterized by uncertainty and complexity. Numerous modeling techniques are available that can be used to map or design the processes and structures of an organization. The degree of abstraction and detail can vary considerably. Process models create transparency about processes, activities, roles, responsibilities, and interfaces and can help to develop a deeper, common understanding to uncover weaknesses and optimization potentials as well as to initiate process innovations. Simulation methods also offer the possibility of exploring, comparing and evaluating the effects of changes to various process parameters from a productivity and personnel-oriented point of view – without having to intervene directly in the operational work processes. In research and teaching, we use and further develop corresponding methods and techniques (e.g., for modeling hybrid, agile processes or planning flexible assembly systems). In participatory planning approaches, we use 3D simulation models in combination with VR techniques to directly visualize the jointly developed planning results and make them tangible.