Inside Architecture

Notes on Enterprise Architecture, Business Alignment, Interesting Trends, and anything else that interests me this week...

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  • Blog Post: Explaining Capability Modeling to Business Process Professionals

    As I’ve noted in prior posts , many hard working business process management professionals find the concept of “Business Capabilities” to be confusing at best, and counterproductive at worst.  In a recent article in BPTrends, Paul Harmon made the following statement: the idea of "capabilities"...
  • Blog Post: Our own worst enemy: BPM pros tell horror stories about working with EA

    I recently asked two questions on LinkedIn.  I asked BPM professionals what they thought about working with Enterprise Architects, and I asked EA folks what they thought of working with Business Process Managers.  The results: BPM professionals want to work with you, but you have to meet them...
  • Blog Post: Job Description for Business Architecture

    As the result of reading some discussions on the responsibilities of Business Architecture, I got to thinking: How to describe the list of prerequisites for Business Architect, and what is the career ladder that I believe a good BA goes through? I did a quick bing search to see if other folks had attempted...
  • Blog Post: How do you measure Enterprise Architecture?

    One thing that I've come to truly appreciate: the balanced scorecard.  Don't get me wrong: I've been using scorecards and dashboards for over a decade.  I helped to build one at American Express.  But I have come to see, from an executive level, why they are so freakin' useful... you can...
  • Blog Post: An examination of the OMG Business Motivation Model

    Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft loves standards.  We don’t always play well with standards bodies, but it doesn’t mean that, operationally, we don’t benefit as much as the next guy from standards.  From an IT perspective, we cannot be efficient or effective without leveraging the work...
  • Blog Post: Feedback requested: Information driven process design

    An esteemed associate of mine asked me recently if I believe that a conceptual information model, created and delivered independently from a process model, can be considered useful when attempting to improve a business.  In other words, if you have an conceptual information model, can you use it...
  • Blog Post: Input sought: Actor - Role - Process Activity... an interesting domain model question

    I have an open question. I'd love to get community feedback. A process can be decomposed into activities. Who performs the activities? Are activities performed by roles with actors assigned to those roles, or are activities performed by actors in roles? In other words, is it a binary or ternary relationship...
  • Blog Post: Clarifying the Concept of Metadata

    Metadata is a difficult word to define, or so it would appear. After all, why is it that the best that Wikipedia can do is: Metadata ( meta data , or sometimes metainformation ) is "data about data", of any sort in any media. An item of metadata may describe an individual datum, or content item...
  • Blog Post: How BPM does, and does not, support people

    Kudos to Andrea Westernien on her blog about the disjoint between the work that people do and business process automation . Andrea, who blogs under the title of 'Policy Based Business blog,' used eloquent words to capture what I was originally trying to say in my (considerably less eloquent) posts...
  • Blog Post: Working in the dark

    If we listen to smart people who create development processes, we hear things like "collect requirements" and "understand business process."  We then go and write use cases, design software components, and write code.  Test cases describe the things we are going to test...
  • Blog Post: Using Business Process Models as the source for software requirements

    Requirements elicitation is a critical, yet under-appreciated, activity.  A core capability of business analysts, the ability to get the customers to describe what they want, and need, is both a science and an art.  Requirements elicitation requires equal measures of careful planning, situational...
  • Blog Post: Growing Rice in the Desert - the Garden of BPM

    Apparently, I ticked off Bruce Silver . In case you haven't heard of the fellow, as I had not, Bruce is a consultant who makes his living providing training on BPM tools and his advice on BPM products. At least, that's the impression I got from reading an interview with him on the webzine ebizq.net....
  • Blog Post: Preventing Ownerless Activities -- the "Blame the Computer" process modeling antipattern - part 2

    In a prior post, I described a process modeling antipattern which I called " Blame the Computer ." The feedback helped me to realize that there's a deeper problem that we need to consider: alignment of ownership between process and IT. Ownership of a process We all do this. We say things that are...
  • Blog Post: Why Automated BPM will never live up to its hype

    I like point out really nutty ideas, even when a lot of people have spent a lot of time investing in them.  This one is about expectations. About 15-20 years ago, a great many companies starting investing in "Business Process Management" because of the opportunities to remove some really...
  • Blog Post: Blame the Computer: A Business Process Modeling Anti-pattern

    Whenever you model a business process, it is inevitable that, sooner or later, you will come to an activity that is entirely automated. As time goes on, more and more of the activities slip quietly into the technology. However, I'm noticing a troubling practice in how these automated activities appear...
  • Blog Post: Example of modeling requirements in a process diagram

    We use process models for lots of things. One is simply to understand the processes we have and to analyze them looking for opportunities to improve. But in IT, we have another good reason: to better understand software requirements. One goal that we are chasing these days, on my project, is tracability...
  • Blog Post: IT to Business: "I won't read your mind"

    In any relationship, it is dangerous for one side to "decide" what the other one wants.  Marriage advisors say things like "Don't control others or make choices for them."  Yet, I'd like to share a story of technologists doing exactly that.  Think of this as a case...
  • Blog Post: Leaving technology out of requirements gathering

    I'm going to suggest a minimal way to gather requirements, one that produces a (minimum) requirements document in an iterative and agile manner. A little background In the systems space, it is common to write up a "requirements document" that attempts to capture all of the business requirements...
  • Blog Post: As-Is versus To-Be... what to model first

    I have always taken the advice at face value: the "to be" model matters much more than the "as is" model does.  Implicit in that: spend as little time on the "as is" model as you can.  Perhaps, even, do the "to be" model first. Of course, I wouldn't be...
  • Blog Post: Merging Capability Modeling with Process Modeling

    Gentle reader: can you help me to solve a debate? Introduction Many companies have adopted the practice of capability modeling in the past few years. Often, this is done to align the portfolio of business initiatives (and often, IT projects) with corporate strategy. Many folks, including our own...
  • Blog Post: Measuring Maturity in BPM - Automation is the wrong answer

    I'm working on a BPM effort right now. I've spent a bit of time talking to business users inside my company about Business Process, and how they'd like to see us become more of a process oriented company. Then I compare what they are saying with what the IT industry values, and measures, and I'm seeing...
  • Blog Post: The Problem with Process

    I love business process. I hate "business process." I love the goals and concepts and important value that comes from drilling in and understanding the planning, management, and operational measurement of business processes. As I've said before, business process forms one of the three legs of the Enterprise...
  • Blog Post: Fitting SOA+BPM into the software lifecycle

    I have a SOA view of the software development lifecycle. And, in that SOA view, BPM fits nicely. First, a comparison: Waterfall looks like this: Waterfall: Plan --> Envision --> Design --> Develop & Test --> Deploy Agile: Plan --> Sprint --> Sprint --> (occasionally) Deploy...
  • Blog Post: Get BPM into IT project funding

    One challenge that we run into: having a software developer design the business process. Now, that's no slam on software developers. There are some very smart cookies out there writing software... but if you want to develop a business process, you need to make sure that the business likes the process...
  • Blog Post: SOA in the Diversification Model

    This is fifth in a series on the impact of the business operating model on Service Oriented Architecture. (see overview ) Artificial Constraints and the SOA Message In response to another bit of feedback: In these posts, I describe the requirements for a business to adopt SOA. The question was...
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