A sequence analytics approach for detecting handoff patterns in workflows: an exploratory case study on the Volvo IT incident management process

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Kumar, Akhill
Thummadi, B. Veeresh
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Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
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In this study, we analyze the activity logs of fully resolved incident management tickets in the Volvo IT department to understand the handoff patterns i.e., how actors pass work from one to another using a sequence analytic approach (a method for studying activity patterns from event log sequences). A generic actor pattern here describes the sequence in which actors participate in the resolution of an incident. We classify actor handoff patterns as straight, loop and ping-pong. Then we analyze the patterns by frequency and duration to draw insights about how actor patterns affect the incident resolution time. The results are quite surprising. In particular, we find that certain loop and ping-pong patterns outperform straight patterns even though more steps are involved in them. Our results have implications for resource allocation in organizations. They suggest that handoff patterns should be another factor to be considered while allocating work to actors along with position, role, experience, skill, preferences, etc.
Workflows , Routines , Handoffs , Sequence analytics , Actor patterns , Pattern variety
Kumar, A., Storey, V., Woo, C. 2017. 'Domain Design Principles for Managing Complexity in Conceptual Modeling'. In: Maedche, A., vom Brocke, J., Hevner, A. (eds.) Designing the Digital Transformation: DESRIST 2017 Research in Progress Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology. Karlsruhe, Germany. 30 May - 1 Jun. Karslruhe: Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), pp. 1-10