This chapter is reprinted with permission from Management Science 45, no. 3 (March 1999), 425–443. 1999, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, 901 Elkridge Landing Road, Suite 400, Linthicum, MD 21090.
Parts of this paper appeared previously in Malone, Crowston, Lee, and Pentland (1993).
This work was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation (Grant Nos. IRI-8903034, IRI-9224093, and DMI-9628949) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It was also supported by the following corporate sponsors: British Telecom, Daimler Benz, Digital Equipment Corporation, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Fuji Xerox, Matsushita, National Westminster Bank, Statoil, Telia, Union Bank of Switzerland, Unilever, and other sponsors of the MIT Center for Coordination Science and the MIT Initiative on Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century. The software described in this paper is the subject of pending patent applications by MIT.
We would like to thank Marc Gerstein, Fred Luconi, and Gilad Zlotkin for their long-term contributions to many aspects of this project. We would like to thank John Gerhart for his significant early contributions to the content of the database and Martha Broad, Bob Halperin, Ed Heresniak, and Roanne Neuwirth for their contributions to the management of the project. We would also like to specifically thank the following students for their contributions to the development of the software tools described here: Erfan Ahmed, Frank Chan, Yassir Elley, Umar Farooq, Phil Grabner, Naved Khan, Vuong Nguyen, Greg Pal, Narasimha Rao, and Calvin Yuen. In addition, we would like to thank the dozens of students and others who contributed content to the database or who used the concepts developed in this project to analyze business processes. In particular, we would like to thank the following students whose work is specifically included in the current database: Gary Cheng, Martha Geisler, Paul Gutwald, Clarissa Hidalgo, Jeff Huang, Wilder Leavitt, William Lyon, Alejandro Ruelas Gossi, and Jin Xia. Finally, we would like to thank the members of the Process Handbook advisory board: Michael Cohen, John McDermott, and the late Gerald Salancik.