Georgia State University
Business process management students improve their application development knowledge using Fujitsu RunMyProcess.
“There is a lot of value when the students can actually model a process and turn the model directly into code into a working application in just a few minutes.”
– Dr. Timothy Olsen, Ph.D, former information systems professor, Georgia State University
Georgia State University is based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. It has more than 32,000 students and offers 250 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in more than 100 fields of study in its nine colleges and schools.
Timothy Olsen is an information systems professor with extensive experience teaching IT courses. In 2010, he was leading a Business Process Management (BPM) course for undergraduate students at Georgia State University. The course was focused on the non-technical aspects of business processes: modelling, improvement, and identifying ways to make the processes more efficient.
But in addition to theory, the professor felt that his students were missing the practical side: “One of the things I felt was lacking in the students’ understanding of business process was the hands-on experience of how to create a workflow application,” he explained.
Timothy Olsen was looking for a way to engage the students in building the applications. He wanted a cost-effective solution that could be easily installed and managed by students, and was also user-friendly, requiring no in-depth programming or technical knowledge.
Before turning to Fujitsu RunMyProcess, Olsen considered other BPM systems that had the ability to turn business process managament into applications, such as TIBCO and BizAgi, but they were too expensive and too complex to manage and install.
Colleagues from the nearby University of Georgia (with which Georgia State collaborates) suggested the Fujitsu RunMyProcess platform, which they were already using in several classes. Timothy Olsen found the cloud-based Fujitsu RunMyProcess platform to be the perfect solution: “It makes a lot of sense for students working on different operating systems. It is easy to instruct, and there are no installation difficulties.” he explained.
Olsen adopted the Fujitsu RunMyProcess platform in the fall of 2010 for 40 students in his classes. All students received Google IDs that allowed them to access the platform from any location or device. Using the Fujitsu RunMyProcess online tutorials, Timothy Olsen guided his students through application design, integration, and deployment before letting them build their own processes.
They created fully customizable applications, including a student emergency alert system (to notify students of police activity near campus or bad weather), an automated invoicing system for a small mechanic shop, and a homework and essay writing service integrated with a crowd sourcing platform.
Most students were already familiar with application development but once introduced to the Fujitsu RunMyProcess platform, were impressed with its ease and speed. “The students are used to making application changes that take several days or weeks. So when they see what they can do with Fujitsu RunMyProcess, they are very excited,” their professor said.
The platform allowed students to build fairly complex, fully functioning applications in a very short time. “There is a lot of value when the students can actually model a process and turn the model directly into code into a working application in just a few minutes,” said Timothy Olsen.
The students were able to improve their practical knowledge of application development and their overall understanding of the course material.