Enterprise Modelling

Like system design, analyzing and redesigning a corporate strategy and a company's organizational structure are complex tasks. Management Science and organizational theory offer a wide range of dedicated approaches for analyzing and shaping a firm's strategy as well as for organizational design. Often they are based on models which are introduced to illustrate essential concepts and interrelations - and to communicate them to others who should be involved. Organizational models cover a wide range from rather prosaic to more formal representations. This is similar to models for strategic planning. They usually stress a more abstract view with highly aggregated data. Regarding the highly specialized background of those models it is not surprising that strategic and organizational models are usually based on different concepts. Furthermore, in general they have nothing in common with conceptual models used in software engineering. Enterprise models integrate these different views on a company.

The basic idea of enterprise modelling is to offer different views on an enterprise, and so to encourage dialogues between various stakeholders - both in academia and in practice. For this purpose, enterprise models include abstractions suitable for strategic planning, organizational (re-) design and software engineering. The views should complement each other and foster a better understanding of complex systems through studying their core elements. The views should be generic in the sense that they can be applied to any enterprise. At the same time they should offer abstractions that help with designing information systems which are well integrated with a company's long-term strategy and its organisation. Hence, enterprise models can be regarded as the conceptual infrastructure that supports a high level of integration (of various software components, of an information system with an organisation) and reuse (of models, concepts, or code).

Enterprise Modelling has been the central topic of the research group for several years. Our focus is on developing and testing methods that provide adequate abstractions/structures to address certain problem areas. Our methods integrate concepts from management and computer science, and are therefore suited to overcome the communication gap between various stakeholders that participate in the design and use of information systems. At the core of our activities is MEMO, a method of enterprise modelling. MEMO provides an extensible set of modelling languages together with a process model and techniques/heuristics. MEMO is the common foundation of various projects within the research group.



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