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Enterprise Modeling Series

This is the third blog post in the series of Enterprise Design Modeling. It explains one of the business and organizational models, which is the model concerning the business component.

More than a decade ago IBM® introduced the Component Business Model. Back then it was explained as the replacement for the Value Chain Diagram. With the introduction of the Business Design Model it is transparent (in abstract) that both models are complementary.

Component Business Model

This is an example of IBM®’s component business model. It illustrates the building blocks required to deliver the business capabilities, which will perform the business activities.

Looking at the Business Design Model we understand that the business components need (re-) sources. An example is a Human Resource, a person with a certain skillset to support the business component. The business component is part of a business system, in this case the organizational structure. The business capability is delivered by a business component, has access to data and is part of a solution.

In the business architecture community there is some confusion about the definitions of business capability and competency. Based on the Business Design Model we apply the following description as a starting point:

  • Organizational Competency – (aka business competency) the business structure in which the business services interact (via business channels) with one another to create the desired customer experience.
  • Business Capability –the business behavior illustrating the capabilities needed by the business to perform its business activities and the processing of knowledge.
  • Business Component –the organizational behavior of a (human re-) source within the context of an organizational structure, which is needed to deliver the business capability.
  • Operating Model –the holistic model of the organizational competency, which is realized by business capabilities, which are delivered by business components.

© 2015 ARTe Group BV – All rights reserved

This is the second blog post on Enterprise Design Model. In this blog post we will take a next step in explaining the Enterprise Design Model, the application of IT. In the blog post Enterprise Design Model – Introduction we described the structure of the Enterprise Design Model. It is divided in three architectural type columns (i.e. Structure, Behavior, and Knowledge), which have been inspired by natural language, where a sentence has a subject (structure), a verb (behavior), and an object (knowledge).

When an organization decides to increase efficiency of the business by applying IT we see the following detailing of the Enterprise Design Model.

  • The business capability is partly realized with application capabilities, which consist of application services exposing application functions.
  • The business solution is partly completed with application solutions, which consist of application modules and application interfaces providing collaboration, access to application services and running organizations
  • The business component is partly fulfilled by technology components, which conduct of platform services delivering technology functions.
  • The business system is partly built with technology systems, which consist of platform devices and infrastructure nodes connecting networks, hosting technology components and deploying application solutions

Enterprise Design Model 2.0

This diagram illustrates the Enterprise Design Model applicable for business and IT. Equally as for the Enterprise Design Model for business and organization there are in total 14 or more models. In this blog posts only the IT specific architecture model are explained, complementary to the business and organization architecture model for the first blog post about Enterprise Design Model. Jon H Ayre wrote an excellent blog post explaining the architecture models for business and IT, which we have adapted to the following descriptions to start with:

Application Layer: Describes the capabilities, which deliver solutions to support the business layer. In an IT environment it contains the automation of business processes with application services, which are realized by applications functions processing data.

  • Capabilities (Application Behavior)
 – Illustrates the internal application services needed by the business (including IT) to allow it to undertake the processes described in the business layer.
  • Solutions (Application Structure)
 – Elaborates how the application services interact with one another to fulfil the needs of the organisation model and thus provide the desired customer experience.
  • Data (Application Information)
 – Captures the detailed data elements and relationships required to support the Information model. This data model is derived from the Information model, but at the same time, needs to be supportive of the application services described in the capability model (and vice versa).

Technology Layer. This layer could easily be rephrased as Infrastructure Layer, especially in a non-IT environment. In describes the systems required to support the solutions describe in the application layer. IT-specific it describes required components and sources exposed by platform and infrastructure service (e.g. messaging, processing, storage,) to run applications functions and store data.

  • Components (Technology Behavior)
 – Illustrates the individual technology components available to the business to perform its daily activities.
  • Systems (Technology Structure)
 – Elaborates how the technology components interact with one another to fulfil the needs of the solution model.
  • Sources (Technology Knowledge)
 – Captures the sources of the raw data described in the data model. In an ideal world, these sources will be derived directly from the data model, but in reality sources may duplicate data, or separate related data as a result of the choices made in the Component model. This model should therefore identify how the duplication and re-combination of data will be handled.

As Jon H Ayre already mentioned in his blog post there are a lot of models to consider, and we have to start somewhere. The majority of “traditional” organisations start by developing the Organisation model from a business perspective or the Solution model from an IT perspective. The pitfall of the last model is it often falls to IT alone, acting on a variety of unaligned instructions from many interested parties. It is also best to start with the Service Model in keeping with the value (proposition) oriented approaches that many business architects adopt, and then work left to right and top to bottom.

And Remember… One of the challenges with Enterprise Design is that when you explain it in words, it always sounds more complex than it actually is in practice.

note: TOGAF® is a registrated trademarks of The Open Group

© 2014 ARTe Group BV – All rights reserved

With the Enterprise Design Canvas we have captured a conceptual design including both business and IT. Using creative and critical thinking we have formulated solutions. The next step is to holistically approve this design. Within enterprise architecture the common approach is the application of The Open Group Architecture Framework, in short TOGAF®. It is a sound approach to design a holistic perspective. Its core strength is the meta-model which describes in abstract an entire enterprise. The standard out-of-the-book meta-model consists of most entities needed and is focused on the interaction between these entities. It is essential to keep focused on the interaction between entities or self-contained groups of entities.

This blog post introduces an enhanced meta-model called Enterprise Design Model, which correlates with the Enterprise Design Canvas. This correlation will be explained in future blog post(s).

Enterprise Design Model

This diagram illustrates our design meta-model applicable for business and organization. We named it Enterprise Design Model – Business, or Business Design Model. It is divided into three architectural type columns (i.e. Structure, Behavior, and Knowledge), which have been inspired by natural language, where a sentence has a subject (structure), a verb (behavior), and an object (knowledge).

We use the following description as a starting point:

  • Knowledge: describes the elements with which a behavior is executed. Usually these elements are business-, information- or data objects, but these could also represent physical objects like products or sources.
  • Behavior: describes the dynamics of each element. How does it behave or how will its behavior be exposed?
  • Structure: describes how all elements of the architecture will fit together to form a coherent whole. The structure concepts are assigned to behavioral concepts, to show who or what performs the behavior. The structure elements are the business actors, solutions and systems that generate the actual behavior, i.e., the ‘subjects’ of activity.

The Business Design Model provides an overview of the business and organization architecture models. In total there are 14 or more models. This might sound like a lot, but considering this represents the holistic perspective of an entire enterprise it is a relatively small number of models. Also, each model illustrates a specific job, and many stakeholders will be interested in only one or two of these models. The intent of a model is to communicate the overall concepts captured in the Enterprise Design Canvas. For this reason, the techniques used to draw these pictures may be different dependent on the environment, but as a starting point the following descriptions should work in most circumstances:

The context models focuses on the strategic intent, insights and decision making.

  • Objectives (Business Structure) – Illustrates the business vision and objectives set by the decision makers to be fulfilled by the organization, application solutions and technology systems.
  • Measures (Business Behavior) – Captures the measurements derived from the objectives to be related to the business services, business processes, application capabilities and technology components.
  • Outcomes (Business Knowledge) – Elaborates the desired business outcomes, which are expected into return of the customer experience with the organization. The business outcomes are the business insights required by decision makers to validate the business objectives.

The business and organization architecture models focuses on the value propositions offered to internal and external customers, which are realized in the organization by business activities processing information.

  • Services (Business Behavior)
 – Illustrates the business services to be provided to the internal and external customers to fulfill the business vision and objectives.
  • Activities (Business Behavior)
 – Elaborates the business activities to be performed to realize the value proposition (delivery of business services and products). It models these business activities as well defined and self-contained processes.
  • Organization (Business Structure)
 – Captures how the proposed business services fit within the target organisation model, and how these services interact (business channels) with one another to create the desired customer experience.
  • Information (Business Knowledge)
 – Shows the information as understood by the business as a set of objects and includes the relationships between these objects. This information model needs to be supportive of the business services described in the Services model (and vice versa).
  • Product (Business Knowledge)
 – Captures a product as understood by the business, a carrier of business knowledge or the result of applied business knowledge. This product model includes the relationships with the performed business processes to realize them and/or business services which are involved in the delivery.
  • Capabilities (Business Behavior)
 – Illustrates the internal capabilities needed by the business to allow it to commence the processes described.
  • Solutions (Organizational Structure)
 – Elaborates how the capabilities interact with one another to fulfill the needs of the organization model and thus provide the desired customer experience.
  • Data (Business Knowledge)
 – Captures the data objects and relationships required to support the Information model. This data model is derived from the Information model, but at the same time, needs to be supportive of the capabilities described in the capability model (and vice versa).
  • Components (Business Behavior)
 – Illustrates the individual components available to the business to perform its daily activities.
  • Systems (Organizational Structure)
 – Elaborates how the business components interact with one another to fulfill the needs of the solution model.
  • Sources (Business Assets)
 – Captures the sources of the raw data described in the data model, but at the same time, needs to be supportive of the components described in the component model (and vice versa). An example is a Human Resource, a person with a certain skillset to support the business component.

When  an organization decides to increase efficiency of the business by applying IT we see detailing of the Enterprise Design Model.  In future blog posts we will elaborate on detailing of the Enterprise Design Model with IT.

note: TOGAF® is a registrated trademarks of The Open Group

© 2014 ARTe Group BV – All rights reserved