Enterprise Modelling

Books and Journals:

ARIS - Business Process Modelling, A.-W. Scheer

This is  the third edition of ARIS - Business Process Modelling. Compared to the second edition it has undergone several editorial changes. The book is concerned with modelling methods for business processes, development of the respective meta models and their compilation into the integrated ARIS information model. In the first part, the book provides a well structured description of the ARIS Views, following the life cycle concept from requirements, design and configuration to the implementation level for each view - function, organisation, data, output and control view. All constructs are presented in UML as the modelling language. The second part describes the ARIS procedural models and applications, emphasising the relationships between modelling workflow and system and application development.

One issue in modelling enterprise reality is whether to model objects or to model processes. Both modelling paradigms have their advantages and play different roles during the model life cycle. In ARIS the modelling with Event driven Process Chains (EPCs) leads to a paradigm break at the switchover from a process oriented representation at the requirements and design level to an object oriented representation at the implementation level. At the implementation level the model will be represented by information objects only. If on the other hand, modelling follows the object oriented paradigm throughout the entire life cycle the consequences are a rather abstract presentation of the process behaviour. The more user oriented control flow type process representation is desirable. In the final remark of the book, the author admits that the question whether to prefer object or process oriented modelling is not yet resolved.

ARIS according to its focus on information systems implementation seems to have some limitations with regard to the capability of modelling the user view of business processes. For instance, information is held in the data view (static information) and in the output view (dynamic information), hence these views seem to overlap which may lead to redundancies. Resources are not presented in a separate model view but are captured as roles in the Organisation View. Enterprise resources and organisations are only modelled at the requirements level. Starting from the design specification level they exist only implicitly in the topology of the information and communication system. Further, only a limited number of process behaviour types can be modelled, namely forced, AND and XOR. Process behaviour of the type loop, conditional, trigger or unordered set cannot be modelled.

The large number of meta model diagrams presented in the book proves that the methodology is widely applicable, one the other hand these diagram are rather abstract and therefore may have a lim-ited value for the none specialist reader.

ARIS is certainly one of the most accepted and widely used business process modelling concepts, recommended audience: Industrial engineers, business users, application developers, graduate students in economics and informatics, information system engineers and consultants in BPR.

The book employs the terms requirements description, design specification and implementation description for the model life cycle phases which have been introduced in the respective ISO / CEN standards and were developed in CIMOSA. Unfortunately, no reference is made to these sources.

Springer-Verlag, 1999/2000, 3rd ed., ISBN 3-540-65835-1


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