A structured methodology for enterprise modeling: a case study for modeling the operation of a British organization

Mohamad Kassem, Nashwan N Dawood, Donald Mitchell

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    Abstract

    Enterprise Modeling has emerged in an attempt to take a more holistic view of organizations and today it is widely used to describe all activities of modeling any pertinent aspect of an organization’s structure and operation in order to improve or reposition selected parts of the organization. Over the last decade, typical applications of Enterprise Modeling were seen in the fields of Business Process Reengineering, the selection and development of Information Systems and in Knowledge Management. Many methods for Enterprise Modeling have emerged, each for a different purpose. Unfortunately organizations, undertaking Enterprise Modeling projects, often fail in achieving the desired objectives or succeed with varying degrees of success. This happens especially when Enterprise Modeling is used for the conceptual design of information systems and can be the result of both the selection of an appropriate modeling method and the communication gap between end users and information systems specialists. In fact, the selection of the right modeling method is not straightforward and could mislead the analysis of business processes, if an inappropriate method is selected. The main objectives of this research are to present guidelines for the selection of the right modeling method, to propose a structured methodology for Enterprise Modeling based on the combined use of the IDEF0 technique and the Dependency Structure Matrix (DSM) and to test the methodology in a real case study. The proposed methodology is an innovative, intuitive and powerful approach to understanding complex interactions, whilst facilitating the management of change and creating a shared vision of business processes. The methodology was tested in a real case study where the entire operation of an organization were modeled and models were used for the definition of functional requirements of a web based collaborative working software tool. The case study was conducted in a British organization, involved in the construction supply chain as a manufacturer and installer of cladding and façade elements. By adopting this methodology, the internal interactions between all the organization’s departments (commercial, sales and estimation, design, procurement, manufacturing and project management) and external interactions with external stakeholders (client, architect and site) were modeled. These models were then used to capturing and defining a clear set of functional requirements for the collaborative software, which were communicated to the system developer. Future applications of the methodology are in Business Process Reengineering of companies migrating from a departmentalized arrangement to process based arrangement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-410
    JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction
    Volume16
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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    ITcon is an Open Access journal and its articles can freely and with no charge be read by anybody who has an Internet connection. The copyright of the articles remains with the authors, from the start of 2009 using the Creative Commons standard licence. For full details see http://itcon.org/cgi-bin/news/Show?_id=11 [Accessed 02/03/2011]

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