This note is a part of my Zettelkasten. What is below might not be complete or accurate. It is also likely to change often.
22nd November, 2020

Business Modeling with UML - Eriksson & Penker

NOTE: Although the book deals with Business modelling, I believe the same concepts can be extended to all organizations. I will be accordingly generalizing the concepts in the below notes.

Organizational Architecture

Organization Architecure is an abstracted view of an organization which represents the processes and structures of an organization in a way which provides some utility to the viewer. The architecture usually takes the form of a set of elements, their relationships with each other and the external environment.

Characteristics of good architecture

  • It provides a truthful and complete view of the organization - as much as is feasible
  • It provides an appropriate abstraction of the organization - such that the focus lies on the elements of importance for the purpose of the architecture.
  • Easily understood by all who it is meant for - the points of communication should be clear
  • Provides for extensions and change
  • Situates the organization in its larger environment and represents the complex systems interacting with it.

In practice, this might mean: *Multiple representations using different diagrams for different systems *Differentiation between static and dynamic parts of a system *Having different models for different abstraction levels.

Elements of Architecture

  • Resources: The authors talks of resources as all objects within the organization - people, material, information and products - which are consumed, refined or produced through processes. They further breakdown resources into physical, abstract, informational and human.
  • Processes: Activities performed within the organization which leads to changes in resources towards the fulfillment of the goals of the organization. Processes are governed by rules, utilize resources and can trigger or be triggered by events.
  • Events : Events are messages or notifications of change of state within an organization. It is generated by processes or by external systems and are received by processes inside the organization.
  • Goals: The purpose of the organization or smaller processes within the org. Goals express the desired state of resources and are achieved by processes. Goals can be expressed as one or more rules and can be milestones like "Capacity of manufacturing unit reached"
  • Rules: Statements that define or constrain some aspect of the organization and represent organizational knowledge. Rules govern how an organization should be run. Internal rules are defined by the organization to achieve the goals of the organization. External rules are governed by the regulation or laws.

The goal of a successful architecture is to define these elements and their interaction.