Benefits of Different Types of Enterprise Modeling Initiatives in ICT-Enabled Process Change

Benefits of Different Types of Enterprise Modeling Initiatives in ICT-Enabled Process Change

Anniken Karlsen (Aalesund University College and University of Bergen, Norway) and Andreas L. Opdahl (University of Bergen, Norway)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/jismd.2012070101
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The paper reports a study that investigates the use of enterprise modeling empirically in eight combined process change and information technology initiatives. The paper targets a need in academia and industry for knowing more about enterprise modeling in practice. The authors identify five different types of modeling initiatives by analyzing how each case combines the use of ICT, the main focus of process change, and the objectives of modeling. They identify and compare the reported benefits of enterprise modeling in each type of initiative. The authors conclude that to be able to give a qualified answer to executive management on the potential benefits of an enterprise modeling initiative, it is beneficial to identify the type of initiative in question.
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EM as a term to describe the activity of modeling any pertinent aspect of an organization (Fraser, 1994) is nothing new. Over the last decade different enterprise architectures have been developed, like the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture (Schekkerman, 2004; Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006), DoDAF (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006), PERA (Schekkerman, 2004) and CIMOSA (Kosanke, 1995), to mention just a few. In addition, several commercial computer tools have come into the marketplace to assist with architecture visualisation and modeling.

Persson (2001) states that extensive research efforts have been invested into the development of EM languages, but that considerably less effort has been devoted to gain knowledge about EM practice. Motivated by this knowledge gap she investigated situational factors and their influence on adopting a participative approach in EM practice. She came up with recommendations for use of EM particularly in the requirements engineering stages of the development process, and a grounded framework of situational factors that influence the applicability and application of participative EM, together with a theory with regard to how the factors affect each other.

Persson and Stirna (2002) report from two separate EM research projects where one targeted ways of working and the other tool support. They carried out case studies, company observations and a total of 22 interviews. Persson and Stirna (2002) believed that to be able to formulate practical guidelines for EM tool acquisition, the guidelines had to be grounded in substantial practical experience, calling for the need to mainly target expert EM method and tool users in the interviews. A conclusion from their studies is that participative EM should only be applied in consensus oriented organizational cultures, and if properly applied it is a very strong way of committing stakeholders to business decisions.

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