The central success factor of a model is easy to name. It must provide as many answers as possible to questions in the area for which it was created. Sounds trivial, but is often not easy to implement. Models should provide answers. However, it becomes particularly complex if not only a domain such as classic Business Process Management (BPM) is to be considered, but also related topics such as Enterprise Architecture (EA) and the technical-technical IT modelling in be linked to an integrated model.
The connection of different modelling domains has a very high potential for use, but unfortunately, it is also difficult to design. How can the domains BPM, EAM and technical IT modelling be integrated? There are similarities in content as well as differences between the models. If, for example, only Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) content is recorded, then partial content that actually belongs to the BPM or the technical IT model must inevitably also be included. The same applies to a single BPM or technical IT model, albeit for other content. Since it is important to avoid redundancies when designing an integrated model, it is important to determine exactly which content belongs to which area (EA, BPM and technical-technical IT model) when creating the structure.
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The BPM model
The BPM model part focuses on the process behavior and the activities of adding value in the organization under consideration. It describes in detail how activities are processed and which resources are involved. It is important at this point to only document technical, IT-neutral content. It is an IT-neutral view, largely free of technical content. In addition to the analysis of processes, this model part is used for the technical optimization, documentation and communication of work processes. All activities for effective organizational design and further development, as well as for processing and measuring technical processes are derived from here.
The EAM model
The enterprise architecture model part contains the abstract description of an organization. The relationships and dependencies are presented from an overview perspective. Individual content is not detailed. It is an abstract view of the structures and working methods.
This part goes beyond just looking at the processes. The goal of enterprise architecture is to determine how the organization under consideration achieves current and future goals as effectively as possible. The following views are included in every EA model, although they are sometimes named differently:
- Business architecture,
- Data architecture,
- Application architecture and
- Infrastructure architecture.
The transparent technical description of an organization and its information technology support as a whole are derived from here.
The technical model
The technical-technical IT model part is used to document content that is required for the design, implementation and operation of an IT solution. It is always based on the documentation and description requirements of the underlying individual IT solution (for example, robotics process automation or process mining).
The discussions about digitization have given this area additional importance. However, it should be noted that mastering IT modelling is a key skill for introducing and operating IT solutions. This situation will continue to exist if digitization will no longer be spoken of in two to three years, similar to the case with SOA ten years ago.
Organizations have to align their models so that, in addition to the BPM and EAM content, they also map the technical and technical content of individual IT processes. New solutions such as process mining and robotics process automation can only be introduced if there is knowledge of the underlying processes and organization-wide relationships. Topics such as digitization strategy, IT governance and the organization of service management can also be listed here as examples.
(Image is taken from BPM Handbook, BPM Center of Excellence)
BPM, enterprise architecture and technical-technical IT modelling, therefore, deal with similar information content in many cases. For example, to implement an IT project, the IT analyst needs information about the technical context for which he is to create a suitable solution. The business analyst must determine and describe these technical and technical information. Management must be able to classify and evaluate them in the overall corporate strategy.
The information must, therefore, be documented in such a way that it is communicated and understood by those involved in management, specialist and IT departments. Only if the three perspectives BPM, EAM and technical-technical IT modelling are thought together and combined then we can speak of an efficient modelling approach that provides the right answers.