Coordination and Simplexity in Modelling Air Traffic Control as a Service: The Case of NAV Portugal
journal contributionposted on 02.09.2020, 23:02 by Pedro Antunes, Jocelyn Cranefield
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This study analyses a unique, revelatory case of service modelling in a complex organisation providing air traffic control. The study analyses broad modelling activities, including information elicitation, analysis, and organisation, undertaken by a small team internal to the organisation that so far has spent about 2,400 person-hours of effort in the project. The study follows a qualitative approach in the interpretivist tradition based on interviews and document analysis. The study analyses the project framework, modelling notations, data collection, collaboration, modelling activities, and project outputs. The findings are interpreted in light of two theoretical lenses: coordination and simplexity. The study suggests that simplexity is beneficial for structuring the modelling of complex, knowledge-based services. A pattern was identified combining an initial step promoting simplicity and establishing communication with the stakeholders, followed by a second step acquiring complexity of understanding. Considering the mechanisms defined by coordination theory (flow, share, and fit), the study suggests a predominance of the fit mechanism in modelling knowledge-based services. The paper contributes to a better understanding of the challenges of modelling work through cognitive and knowledge-based lenses and identifies possible strategies to overcome these challenges. The paper also contributes to the emergent literature on simplexity by applying that particular lens to work modelling.