DFG-Project: Intentional Forgetting and Changes in Work Processes: A Process-Conditional Approach in the Administrative and IT Context

  • Ragni, Marco (PI)
  • Kern-Isberner, Gabriele (PI)
  • Beierle, Christoph (Project participant)

Project: Research Councils

Project Details


The overall objective of this project is the conception, development, and implementation of a formal and psychologically-based model FADE_p for representing and improving work processes in organizations. This is achieved by analyzing, adapting, and improving appropriate workflows in terms of effectiveness, stress and robustness, as well as their cognitive fit to work processes. The core idea is to work out essential operations of work processes and describe them by conditionals and the new concept of process conditionals, and empirically identifying stress factors and then reducing them. In particular, FADEp aims at an abstraction of special cases and exceptions, as long as these are not relevant. This improves the clarity of the process and facilitates its adaption, which often has to start at key points. For this purpose methods and techniques of intentional forgetting, which were developed in the first phase within the framework of the FADE system, are adapted to the specifics of the treatment of processes and further developed into FADEp. This requires both formal-logical and cognitive-psychological extensions: the use of logic will help to ensure the effectiveness and consistency of the workflow even after a change and to calculate the implications of changes. Background knowledge can reveal redundancies, but also gaps and errors in the process. By using default logics to handle uncertainties, special cases and exceptions to improve the robustness of the workflow can be developed. Stressful factors in work processes, which are identified by analytical methods from psychology, are explicitly included in the modeling. Stress factors are thus part of the knowledge that can be manipulated through change and forgetting operations, so that formally the targeted reduction of stress is possible. The inclusion of stress factors in work processes allows a first step in the direction of a formal improvement of work processes, including cognitive psychological aspects. In summary, a balance is to be achieved between cognitive change effort and change based on a possible reduction in stress. On the other hand, the findings from this optimization can again influence the design of the formal change and forgetting operations. We will validate and evaluate the methods to be developed on the basis of concrete work processes in cooperation with the IT and Media Center of the TU Dortmund.
Short titleIntentional Forgetting
Effective start/end date01/06/201901/08/2022