Picture GmbH

About the Partner

Dr. Lars Algermissen and Dr. Thorsten Falk founded PICTURE GmbH in 2007. The company was initiated as a spin-off from the research project of the same name conducted at the University of Muenster and funded by the European Commission. Therefore, PICTURE GmbH stays connected with the university and benefits from a transfer of knowledge. The core areas of expertise of PICTURE GmbH lay in process consulting, process analysis, and organisational design in the public sector. PICTURE GmbH is a consulting company, as well as a software company, with consultants and developers focusing on addressing the needs of the public sector, or, as we generally put it, “We all speak ‘officialese’ fluently”.

The main BPM-related product developed at PICTURE GmbH is the PICTURE Process Platform (PPP). PPP is a cloud software solution to model highly structured processes of public administrative bodies. PPP uses the PICTURE-method- in its classic version, as well as the PICTURE-BPMN notation. The PICTURE-method is a formalised language to model processes by using a fixed set of 24 building blocks. The PICTURE-method with PPP facilitates modelling of processes specific for public administrative bodies quite easily and at optimal cost. Consistent modelling of administrative processes is the first step towards their analysis and further improvement, which would save time, money, and efforts. The characteristic building blocks of the PICTURE-method depict the activities specific for public administrations, like signing or filing a document, printing a document or retaining information. In order to make the building blocks intuitive, each of them contains a pictogram (a ‘PICTURE’); e.g., the building block for printing a document contains a picture of a printer, and the one related to filing a document is depicted via a small blank sheet of paper and a green plus.

As these building blocks are rather abstract, a more detailed specification is possible via adding various attributes to accommodate the need for a detailed description of a specific process. Although the list of attributes is fixed, feedback gained from public administration experts confirms its comprehensiveness. The advantage of using these building blocks is twofold: (1) modelling processes with them is highly intuitive and (2) clerks are able to learn the PICTURE-method fast and easily in order to then model and foster their internal processes. Additionally, processes can be visualised in a transparent way and compared with similar processes at other public administrations (the core idea of our latest product ‘PICTURE Improve’). With ‘PICTURE Improve’ different administrations distributed across entire Germany can compare and improve their processes in a cost-efficient and quick way. Once a specific process is identified and the relevant information about it was collected, it can be modelled directly on PPP using an internet browser. All modelled processes are then displayed in the process register accessible to all users.

Key People

Dr. Lars Algermissen is CEO of PICTURE GmbH and is responsible for Public Relations, Marketing, Sales and Project Development. Together with Dr. Thorsten Falk he invented the PICTURE-Method - the leading process modelling approach for the German public sector. Lars also founded the E-Government Competence Center at the European Research Center of Information Systems (ERCIS).