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Journal ArticleDOI

8.1.3 Towards an Integrated Model of Enterprise Systems

01 Jun 2007-Vol. 17, Iss: 1, pp 1256-1274

AbstractAn enterprise system consists of a number of components or building blocks. It is common to use views or models of the enterprise that contain a selection of these components (dependent on the intended usage of the model). The premise is that if these views are considered systems in their own right then the total enterprise system is actually a system-of-systems. Difficulty arises however when the boundaries between the systems overlap - it is therefore necessary to have an integrated model of the total enterprise that can cope with these overlaps and hence interactions between the systems. Within this paper there will be two main areas of work described; firstly the development of models/tools of “soft” enterprise characteristics; and secondly how these characteristics may be included in an integrated model of an enterprise system. Case studies of UK organisations (primarily within the defence industry) were undertaken to provide context to the results.

Summary (3 min read)

Introduction

  • Vernadat defines the term enterprise as a socio-economic organisation created to produce products or procure services and to make a profit.
  • The theory being used only worked on previous configurations of the organisation .
  • Many analysts of organisations do not consider the total enterprise as a system (e.g. they try to improve one part but do not consider the impact on other parts of the system) The Virtual Organisational Rig for Testing and Investigating Company Structures project lasted 30 months and was completed in late 2006.
  • Perform a gap analysis between the two former points iv.
  • The relationships between components of these models and more traditional forms of enterprise modelling were identified to create the integrated enterprise system model.

The Enterprise as a System-of-Systems

  • The Generic Enterprise Reference Architecture (GERA) within the methodology of the same name describes a framework for different aspects of modelling an enterprise.
  • A subset of cubes should be selected that best gives the information required to solve the enterprise problem/issue being addressed.
  • Lifecycle -The model of a view of an enterprise will differ depending on the stage in the development lifecycle the enterprise system has reached.
  • Using the four GERA views a number of components of the enterprise can be grouped.
  • Figure 2 shows a visualisation of the enterprise system-of-systems, it is not totally exhaustive in terms of the components or links identified but seeks to illustrate that the systems are not totally independent rather that there are links between some of the components, resulting in a closely coupled system.

Soft Enterprise Characteristics

  • In addition to the more traditional forms of enterprise modelling (functional/process, information, organisational structure and resources) a set of soft enterprise characteristics were identified based on the results from a gap analysis between current enterprise modelling capability and requirements for enterprise modelling.
  • The purpose of modelling Scenario B was to highlight the value of enterprise modelling through providing insight into problems/issues with the relationships between the different suborganisations.
  • Firstly the process model is expanded to identify which roles are involved in each activity, and nature of that involvement.
  • This is done using the Cross Hair diagram .
  • The top right quadrant holds roles that provide constraining advice (i.e. the advice that the controller or executer must listen to).

Figure 3. Role Cross Hair Notation

  • The RMT compliments the IDEF0 notation and is decomposable (NIST 1993) .
  • In these cases the roles can be amalgamated from the bottom up to show the overall roles and their most likely position in the quadrant.
  • The process by which the RMT is used also highlights differences in viewpoints of the roles involved and the nature of that relationship.
  • An electronic tool was created that enables various groupings within an organisation to identify the "as is" and "ideal" sets of cultural values.
  • Formalisation and mandated processes in all areas.

Analysis

  • Analytic approaches offer the best hope for efficient management.
  • Projects and problems are decomposed in to individual elements for simpler solutions.
  • Managers demand facts, metrics, and the 'bottom line'.
  • The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
  • Emergent behaviour is best handled by recognising patterns and overall configurations.

Individualism

  • The needs of the individual come before the needs of the organisation.
  • Individual performance and ability are encouraged, though a blame culture can arise.
  • The needs of the organisation come before those of the individual.

Inner Directed

  • Outer Directed Internal/local values and perspectives are considered to have more relevance than external opinion.
  • Extremely responsive to external influences (e.g. customer demands, market trends, etc.).

Temporal Efficiency

  • Do things as fast as possible in the shortest possible sequence of elapsed time e.g. time-based milestones have over-riding priority.
  • Efficiency is everything Synchronisation of effort within and across projects to ensure co-ordinated maturity of engineering performance and organisational learning.

Power by Achievement

  • Power by status Influential positions/roles are held by individuals with a record of past success; favouritism is rare.
  • Influence is wielded by individuals with high personal status in terms of seniority, qualifications, and experience.

Low Power Distance

  • In addition, a series of sub-questions are provided to place some context around the response.
  • At each of the stages of data gathering, contextual information was provided in order to justify why certain values had been selected.

Enterprise Strategy.

  • Each mission is broken down into a number of goals, for which tactics are defined for controlling how these goals are achieved.
  • The last stage of creating the enterprise strategy is to identify what the enterprise configuration will be (i.e. how will the organisation be best placed to undertake the actions).
  • Decision making systems (DMS) are a sub system of the overall enterprise system and comprise decision making agents (human and technological), processes, decision support technology, organisational structures, IT&T infrastructures, etc. A DMS is a system for supporting the decision making made by a role -it does not include the inner cognitive decision making or psychological aspects of the decision maker.
  • The GRAI grid can be used for identifying Strategic, Operational or Administrative decision making centres (strategic will tend to be the higher decision levels of the GRAI grid, operational and administrative will tend to be lower levels).

Figure 10. GRAI Net

  • Each decision centre highlighted on the GRAI grid can be modelled using a GRAI net .
  • Competency is described as the level of skill and experience that a role holder requires in using certain knowledge types.
  • Figure 11 shows a brief diagram of the top levels of the knowledge tree developed during previous projects and demonstrates how the knowledge nodes decompose.
  • C the domain knowledge branch of the tree was expanded and tailored to the organisation (i.e. included research skills and specific knowledge in the research field).
  • The grouping rules are based on whether the same knowledge classes are being used and the availability of the role in terms of the sequence of activities.

Towards an Integrated Model of the Enterprise System

  • One of the outputs of the VORTICS project was to assess whether it would be feasible to integrate the more traditional modelling views (function, information and resource) with the softer organisational aspects.
  • In order to integrate the systems together, the components of each model were considered in turn and different interactions identified.
  • Each relationship was given a weighting depending on the strength of the link; "5" meaning that the components are the same item or part of each other; "4" is a strong, direct link; "3" is a weak, direct link; "2" is an indirect link; "1" is a link but only in limited circumstances.
  • The Integrated Enterprise Model shows how the different components within the different system models are brought together.
  • The role model interacts with the organisational structure model as the roles do not perform in isolation but are positioned in hierarchies of responsibility during different activities.

Conclusions

  • This paper has introduced first how the enterprise may be viewed as a system-of-systems.
  • Through the modelling of the scenarios the value of enterprise modelling became more apparent.
  • There are a number of limitations with the integrated model to be aware of.
  • Although it has been validated through application on Scenario C it needs further instantiations of different types of scenarios and subsequent refinements.
  • Within the bounds of the VORTICS project, the integrated model will be used to drive the initial specification for the VORTICS engine itself.

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University of Wollongong
Research Online
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Towards an Integrated Model of Enterprise
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C E. Siemieniuch
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M A. Sinclair
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Towards an Integrated Model of Enterprise Systems
G.A.L. Kennedy, C.E. Siemieniuch and M.A. Sinclair
Loughborough University
Systems Engineering Innovation Centre (SEIC), Holywell Park, Loughborough University,
Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire. LE11 3TU. UK
Corresponding author: G.A.L.Kennedy@lboro.ac.uk
Copyright © 2007 by G.A.L. Kennedy. Published and used by INCOSE with permission.
Abstract. An enterprise system consists of a number of components or building blocks. It
is common to use views or models of the enterprise that contain a selection of these
components (dependent on the intended usage of the model). The premise is that if these
views are considered systems in their own right then the total enterprise system is actually a
system-of-systems. Difficulty arises however when the boundaries between the systems
overlap - it is therefore necessary to have an integrated model of the total enterprise that can
cope with these overlaps and hence interactions between the systems. Within this paper there
will be two main areas of work described; firstly the development of models/tools of “soft”
enterprise characteristics; and secondly how these characteristics may be included in an
integrated model of an enterprise system. Case studies of UK organisations (primarily within
the defence industry) were undertaken to provide context to the results.
Introduction
The Problem/Background. Vernadat defines the term enterprise as a socio-economic
organisation created to produce products or procure services and to make a profit. He goes
on to explain that enterprise modelling is the process of building models of the whole or parts
of an enterprise from knowledge about the enterprise, previous models, and/or reference
models as well as domain ontologies and model representation languages (Vernadat 1996).
Organisational design theory emerged in the early 1950s (Katz 1970). The theory behind
organisational behaviour has had to adapt and extend as organisations and their products
have become more complex and presented more emergent problems – for example take the
boom in information technology and distributed organisations. Enterprise modelling has
been used to understand and analyse organisations. Much work has occurred in the last ten
years into providing a standard framework for enterprise modelling in order to provide
interoperability between organisations (Chen & Vernadat 2004).
It is heard in the news that companies are dynamically restructuring in order to improve their
organisational performance in terms of time, cost and quality. There are often problems with
this restructuring which result in money and time being wasted as well as loss of
motivation/morale of employees due to these changes. Possible explanations could be:
The theory being used only worked on previous configurations of the organisation
The theory used is not contextual or applicable to their current enterprise situation
The process by which change is implemented may not have been considered fully
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Many analysts of organisations do not consider the total enterprise as a system (e.g.
they try to improve one part but do not consider the impact on other parts of the
system)
It is this last point that has driven a project at Loughborough University. The Virtual
Organisational Rig for Testing and Investigating Company Structures (VORTICS) project
lasted 30 months and was completed in late 2006. VORTICS was set up as a feasibility
study to assess whether an integrated software rig for testing organisations could be
developed and specified.. The objectives of the project were to:
i. capture the requirements for enterprise modelling (EM)
ii. undertake a literature review into the current capabilities of EM
iii. perform a gap analysis between the two former points
iv. develop and refine models and tools to cover these gaps
v. integrate new and traditional models
vi. develop a specification for the VORTICS
It is objectives iv and v that will be covered in more detail in this paper. New models and
tools were developed for a set of “soft” or human aspects of the enterprise. The relationships
between components of these models and more traditional forms of enterprise modelling
were identified to create the integrated enterprise system model.
Section Breakdown/Structure. The first section of this paper introduces the views/models
within enterprises and the enterprise as a systems-of-systems. The second section provides
an overview of the gaps within enterprise modelling in terms of “soft” or human aspects and
the tools/models Loughborough University have developed in answer to these needs. The
third section introduces an integrated model of the enterprise system including both the
traditional forms of enterprise modelling and the models described in the previous section.
The final section concludes the paper and discusses the usefulness of the integrated model.
The Enterprise as a System-of-Systems
The Generic Enterprise Reference Architecture (GERA) within the methodology of the same
name (GERAM) describes a framework for different aspects of modelling an enterprise. It
does not specify the actual models that are required but provides an empty shell to show what
can be modelled. GERAM was standardized as Annex A of ISO15704 (IFIP/IFAC 2000).
Figure 1 shows the GERA cube.
As with most enterprise architectures, it is not essential for every cube within the GERA
framework to be populated for enterprise modelling. A subset of cubes should be selected
that best gives the information required to solve the enterprise problem/issue being
addressed.
There are 3 axes on the GERA cube;
1. Views - GERA specifies that there are four views within an enterprise. The
functional view (covers processes), the information view (mainly information flows
and supporting infrastructure), the organisational view (traditionally this is the
domain of organisational charts), and the resource view (human and technological
resource management).
1257

2. Lifecycle – The model of a view of an enterprise will differ depending on the stage in
the development lifecycle the enterprise system has reached.
3. Instantiation – There are different levels of genericity that a model can be presented
in. Particular models only apply to a specific organisation, partial models apply to
similar scenarios (e.g. models of organisations in the same domain or with similar
goals), and generic models can be applied and tailored to any organisation.
Figure 1. Generic Enterprise Reference Architecture (GERA)
An enterprise system consists of a number of components or building blocks. It is common
to use views or models of the enterprise that contain a selection of these components
(dependent on the intended usage of the model). The premise is that if these views are
considered systems in their own right then the total enterprise system is actually a system-of-
systems. Using the four GERA views a number of components of the enterprise can be
grouped. Figure 2 shows a visualisation of the enterprise system-of-systems, it is not totally
exhaustive in terms of the components or links identified but seeks to illustrate that the
systems are not totally independent rather that there are links between some of the
components, resulting in a closely coupled system. The block arrow lines show where a
component may actually be the same component, dotted arrow lines show a relationship
between components.
1258

Citations
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TL;DR: This paper identifies three critical enterprise attributes - structure, function and value delivery - and investigates how these attributes can be used to influence boundary analysis, a discussion which provides researchers and practitioners the ability to use enterprise thinking as an invaluable tool to transform enterprises.
Abstract: The focus of this paper is to describe the domain of enterprise analysis. This is accomplished through an exploration of relevant definitions, a discussion on boundaries, and a summary of practical implications for researchers and practitioners. Specifically, we consider the perspectives of stakeholders involved in small- and large-scale enterprise transformation, be they executives in corner offices or line workers on the factory floor. Anecdotes derived from research experiences with enterprise transformation provide insight into current enterprise research opportunities. To illustrate the domain of enterprise analysis, we identify three critical enterprise attributes - structure, function and value delivery - and investigate how these attributes can be used to influence boundary analysis, a discussion which provides researchers and practitioners the ability to use enterprise thinking as an invaluable tool to transform enterprises.

19 citations


Book ChapterDOI
17 Nov 2009
TL;DR: The finding of a requirements analysis case study which captured, analysed and synthesised the key stakeholder requirements for this Knowledge Management research within the aerospace and defence industry is summarised.
Abstract: Loughborough University and BAE Systems are sponsoring a research programme to develop an enterprise Knowledge Management system for Through Life Management (TLM) in support of Through Life Capability Management (TLCM). This paper summarises the finding of a requirements analysis case study which captured, analysed and synthesised the key stakeholder requirements for this Knowledge Management research within the aerospace and defence industry. This study consists of two approaches; (1) an Interactive Management (IM) workshop and (2) semi-structured interviews with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Three of the group methodologies used in the Interactive Management workshop were Idea-Writing, Nominal Group Technique and Interpretive Structural Modelling. Soft systems rich pictures were also constructed by the SMEs to provide a diagrammatic representation of the systematic but non-judgmental understanding of the problem situation. The difficulties and benefits of adopting this 'soft' approach and future research plans are also discussed here.

5 citations


Cites background from "8.1.3 Towards an Integrated Model o..."

  • ...Employees need to have sufficient knowledge or competency (both tacit and formal) to carry out the tasks allocated to them [ 2 ]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A Model-Based Systems Engineering approach to the development of organisational culture models is described and it is demonstrated how changes made to the integrated enterprise model may yield insight into how organisationalculture will need to evolve as enterprise systems transform.
Abstract: Enterprise systems modelling requires integrated views of both technical systems as well as organisational systems that together will deliver the anticipated capabilities. A major challenge in such...

References
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Frequently Asked Questions (1)
Q1. What are the contributions mentioned in the paper "Towards an integrated model of enterprise systems" ?

Within this paper there will be two main areas of work described ; firstly the development of models/tools of `` soft '' enterprise characteristics ; and secondly how these characteristics may be included in an integrated model of an enterprise system. Case studies of UK organisations ( primarily within the defence industry ) were undertaken to provide context to