This article includes my thoughts about the business architecture, Cloud Computing, Business Process Management (BPML), and Business Rules. This article consists of a conversation between the CIO and Enterprise Architect. It is a product of my imagination. CIO: I don’t want you to use the word “consolidation. ” Instead, use the word “integration. ” I am worried that someone will think that we are working on the consolidation of programs or organizations, rather than improving our architecture to serve the business.
Again, I don’t want you to get involved in discussions about hanging the organization structure of the agency. How do you see your roll vs.. The rolls of the other directors? Enterprise Architect: I would like to support them with the knowledge I have at my disposal, but they are not interested. One day they may realize how they can use the Enterprise Architecture. I think of Enterprise Architecture as the substructure, which supports the business, the superstructure. The Director of Capital Planning and Investment Control should use the Enterprise Architecture migration plan to formulate future investments.
A portion of the Enterprise Architecture has security concerns, including all 4 layers: equines, applications, data, and technology. We develop standards for all layers of the Enterprise Architecture, except business standards; although, we may be asked to coordinate some business standards. Both communications and security should use the models contained in the Enterprise Architecture Framework or propose changes to the models in the framework. CIO: What do you want me to do? Enterprise Architect: Get the cooperation of your direct reports. CIO: You will get it.
Go over the business architecture, current architecture, and target architectures again. Enterprise Architect: The comparison between the business and current architecture is the foundation for the data, applications, and technology target architectures. This comparison answers the question, “Are we satisfying our business requirements in the current architecture? ” The business architecture or model includes the following: – Defines the mission and objectives, long-range strategies, tactical plans, performance measures, budgets, and business rules. Why) – Defines the information and data that is shared, monitored, and tracked. (What) – Defines the activities that are performed and a description of each. How) – Defines the organizations and actors performing the activities. (Who) – Defines where the activities are performed. (Where) – Defines the business cycles and when activities or processes are performed. (When) In the business architecture, we develop mappings between all 6 of the Coachman interrogatories, including who, what, when, where, why, and how.
The business architecture is mapped to the current architecture, and then opportunities for improvement are documented. Targets are developed for data, applications, and the technology layers of the architecture using the business architecture and other analyses. The business architecture constitutes our requirements at the agency level. CIO: This is the first time I have heard about opportunities for improvement. Are you going to produce a report with recommendations as a result of the comparison between the business architecture and the current architecture? Enterprise Architect: Yes. Here is the way it works: 1.
Create the Business Architecture We produce a business architecture, which reflects the current way of doing business and contains all sorts of information and data associated with the 6 interrogatives in the Coachman Framework. We also develop mappings between the interrogatives. The business architecture describes the current business practices, including, data, processes, etc. 2. Map the Business Architecture to the Current Architecture and Identify Opportunities for Improvement We propose a draft listing of the conceptual projects and associated common applications/components and data objects and progressively refine it.
We produce a current architecture, which tells us about the existing systems. We map the business architecture to the current architecture and we may find out, for example, that there are a large number of current systems associated with a single activity or no systems associated with other activities. All current projects are mapped to the conceptual projects. 3. Create the Data, Applications, and Technology Target Architectures based on the Business Architecture and Other Analyses We produce data, applications, and technology target architectures, which are partially based on the business architecture.
Also, we use BPML, technology forecasts, judgments about the future uses and characteristics of information, opportunities to automate aspects of work, future business trends, new 2 goals/objectives and plans, etc. As the basis for coming up with the target architectures. 4. Compare the Current Architecture with the Target Architectures and Produce a Gap Analysis and a Migration Plan The business architecture helps us to evaluate the present and to propose the future. We use the business architecture as a resource wherever we can; for example, it might contribute to BPML and business rules and visa versa.
We are concentrating on an application architecture now, and we will issue several versions. As more analyses are completed, we will refine the applications architecture. We will move to data and technology layers soon. CIO: How do I know what you are going to include in each version? Enterprise Architect: There is no overall version plan. We probably should include BPML in the second version of the applications architecture. We previously developed a longer plan to implement Enterprise Architecture. CIO: I think that there should be a version plan.
Also, “soon” is not an adequate answer. I am beginning to be irritated with the staggered development of the Enterprise Architecture. Enterprise Architect: We can come up with a version plan, and give you the long-term plan for the completion of the application, data, and technology target architectures. CIO: You are going to produce a report entitled: “Opportunities for Improvement” after you have completed the business architecture and have compared it with the current architecture. Maybe you should consider it a “rolling stone” and Just keep updating it.
Enterprise Architect: The “Opportunities for Improvement Report” might include the following: – Whoso – Who is missing or not being informed? Who do existing systems address or not address? Can organizations and actors be given increased responsibility? – What – Is the necessary information and data being shared, tracked, and monitored? Are all data models included in existing systems? – When – Are the scenarios, events, and business cycles reflected in existing systems? – Whereas – Do all identified locations have access to the existing systems? – Whys – Do existing systems reflect our goals and objectives, long-term strategic plans, tactical plans, performance measures, budgets, and business rules? – Wows – Have improved activities and processes been included in existing systems, and do they reflect end-to-end processing? CIO: I am interested in how you would increase responsibilities of organizations and actors. Can you talk to me about costs? I noticed you include budgets in the Why Column. Enterprise Architecture: Generally costs are in the Why column along with goals, objectives, long-term strategic plans, tactical plans, performance measures, and business rules.
If a project is not budgeted, then it can’t be taken seriously. Costs can be sorted in various ways. CIO: Maybe you should sort costs by each target architecture, that is, applications, data, and technology. Enterprise Architect: Good idea. However, we can’t do that until we have a migration plan, because focusing on costs now would be premature. CIO: What is Cloud Computing? Enterprise Architect: Cloud Computing is like running your PC off of Software as a Service (AAAS), and might include query engines, operating systems, program and business APS, etc.
CIO: How does Cloud Computing know our requirements for our program and administrative APS? Is Cloud Computing our new target? Enterprise Architect: Cloud Computing may offer certain advantageous, which we may tint attractive. It it doesn’t satisfy our requirements, including our standards, then we may not be interested in Cloud Computing. Every day, we are getting a better Andre on our agency requirements and I think we can take a critical look at this new way of providing IT support. CIO: You know the most about our APS and standards; so, I expect that you will keep your eye on this issue.
What are MOB and others saying about Cloud Computing? Enterprise Architect: There are several security concerns related to Cloud Computing that I have heard discussed at forums and seminars. First, our data will be stored in other places, and wherever our data is located, it needs to be protected; so, we need to clearly delineate our security requirements. Second, we also expect efficient arrive without diminishing our security requirements. Third, more parties will be involved and we need to understand how they interact and their promises and guarantees. I think that MOB would like to see the IT federal footprint decrease, and Cloud Computing may be one means to do this. However, there is a trend toward the increase in the flow of data, and an increased emphasis on data ownership. I don’t expect that Cloud Computing will eliminate the need for planning, but it is particularly important that it satisfy the agency in terms of efficiency and security. CIO: I don’t want to be forced to “buy a pig in the poke. There was a lot of pressure to move forward with an integrated Enterprise Architecture, which contains standards and approvals.
I am wondering if MOB is changing our target? I am sure that Cloud Computing will require that we give up a certain degree of control. I am also worried about the costs and the loss of expertise. Enterprise Architect: As our Enterprise Architecture work progresses, we increasingly have a better understanding of our requirements. CIO: You have indicated that you are developing the applications architecture first. Why didn’t you develop the applications and data architectures in parallel?
I am being approached by BPML contractors as you know and I asked you to do some research on the subject. When will you give it to me? Enterprise Architect: We should have developed the applications and data architectures together, since they are closely related to one another. Here is a table that summarizes my BPML research. I think that BPML would offer tremendous value for further refining our target architecture, and I believe that the Coachman Framework contributes to the design of improved processes. A few things are worth noting from my BPML research. See: Enclosure (1)). 1) Both recesses and outcomes are important. Many citizens come into contact with the agency through processes. Of course, the government tends to focus on output rather than outcomes, because outputs are often more achievable than outcomes. 2) Integration and standardization reduces fragmentation and enables the processes to be more efficient and effective. 3) The data, processes, and business rules are important. Processes should be ended- end. Data models can be augmented with business rules, which limit and control processes. ) Forward engineering, BPML, business rules, and technology forecasts, among others, re valuable to develop the data, applications, and target architectures. As they say, it would be wise to make changes to processes up-front rather than making these changes down stream. We know the processes associated with the information exchanges, particularly our interchanges with the public. We can use that to focus on priority processes. Additionally, we produced value streams associated with the value chain and various scenarios, particularly related to threats.
Finally, there are a number of 5 key data models that contain very important processes. All of this can be used to “kick start” BPML. BPML takes considerable time and effort to create improved processes, particularly if you are going to select a preferred alternative from a comparison of similar processes. A process may be undertaken in many ways by the bureaus, using different combinations of activities, data, people, time limitations, goals, objectives, and business rules. CIO: Following up on a comment you previously made, I want the citizen to have more responsibility.
I think you are the logical person to do BPML. Enterprise Architect: In addition to the 40 value streams and other scenarios, we developed data models which include processes. In the data model “Customers place orders,” “place orders” is the process. We have tons of data models of this sort. I am willing to identify business rules associated with these data models. However, I think we need to depend on our BPML community to do BPML. CIO: There is no BPML community. I am afraid that you are it. I count on you to explore ways to improve how we can further serve the business. Talk to me about business rules.
What do business rules have to do with BPML? Enterprise Architect: Business rules are important because you can change the behavior of the organization by changing the business rules. Both business rules and BPML focus on processes. According to Ron Ross, “A business rule sets limitations and controls on a process. ” I have prepared an enclosure that explains business rules. (See: Enclosure (2)). You will note that both BPML and Enterprise Architecture use similar language. Additionally, I did not identify the business rules as part of business architecture and I think this was a mistake.
John Coachman classifies business rules in his framework at a lower level. However, I no longer agree with this. I believe that the data model, processes, and business rules are closely interconnected and are critical to defining the business architecture. CIO: Maybe John Coachman wanted us to first develop the data models and later add the business rules to them. Just give me a plan for the versions that includes the ideas we have discussed. Also, when the time comes, I am not going to stop any of the existing projects. The new project managers can sort this out.
Finally, I have assembled some Youth videos on Enterprise Architecture, BPML, and business rules. (See: Enclosure (3)) What I would like you to do is take a look at them, and come up with your own videos. If you want to hire experts to do the video that is fine. Maybe we should start Witt Enterprise Architecture. Enterprise Architect: Okay. George Brigandage received a B. A. From Wright State University and M. A. From the University of Cincinnati. He retired in June 2004, from the federal government and 6 lives in Ocean View, Delaware, and Alexandria, Virginia.
He was an Enterprise Architect at the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security. Before that, he Emceed the Architectures Program for several years at the General Services Administration (AS) and the Department of the Treasury. He may e reached at cell 703. 772. 7410 and at George. brundage@yahoo. Com. His articles are on the web at http://enterprisearchitectureit. Info. 7 Enclosure (1) Business Process Management This table summarizes the key points from the following publications. The categories in this table are merely groupings of BPML actions that were mentioned in the publications: 1 .
President Beam’s book, The Audacity of Hope, published in 2006. 2. Customer Service Excellence, Using Information Technologies to Improve Service Delivery in Government, Harvard University, 1994. 3. Citizen-Enabling Open Government (EEOC) Executive Summary for ideas. This report was produced by ACT-IAC Enterprise Architecture Shared Interest Group (GIG), September 2010. ) 4. Federal Government Business Process Reengineering: Lessons Learned, February 1994, published by GSA. Categories Share information and effectively manage programs. Responsive to citizens’ needs.
Treat all with dignity and What BPML Has Done or Might Do – Share information and data. – Increase integration and standardization to prevent fragmentation. – Provide one face to the citizens. – Develop data standards and business rules. – Provide suites to commonly snared services. – Use technology effectively . Develop a citizen service strategy that includes technology, human resources, skill development, and incentives. – Provide timely response to the citizen. – Develop performance measures, associated with ended-end processes and outcomes. Take ownership of the entire process. – Describe the business or make it explicit. (See: – Identify the needs of the citizens. – Use multiple vehicles to communicate with the public, including: web sites, videos (The success of Youth, which provides some degree of video training, is astounding. ), and video teleconferencing. – Use focus groups, surveys. Provide the public with access to the government’s databases. – Provide education and training, including long distance 8 respect. Provide the same level of service to all. Gather needed information. Clearly explain things.
Develop effective and efficient processes and use technology creatively. Do things better, faster, and cheaper. Protect the public from harm. Give citizen’s their moneys worth. Education, so citizens can obtain the benefits they need and budget for innovative training. – Develop standards and consistently apply business rules (Business rules must be transparent, consistent, ND explicit to enable effective regulation. ) – Provide language services. – Use alternative locations and organizations like libraries and kiosks to obtain information and distribute benefits. Protect privacy. – Gather information once and use it many times. – Monitor the information obtained from the public and provided to the public via systems. (Forms requesting information from the public used to be closely controlled, but as forms were incorporated into computer systems, review of the government’s information requests of the public decreased. ) – Consider making databases available to the public. Improve communication skills. – Provide videos are good for supplying information and training. – Recruit, educate, and train citizens in new processes. Improve communications between IT and business people. – Investigate alternative ways to provide benefits. – Review each information exchange to see if manual transcription can be eliminated and if documents and transactions can be standardized. – Evaluate services and products. – Compare actual service and expected service to assess the interaction and/or product. – Develop quality standards for all services and products. (The government should provide rapid arrive, reduced processing times, immediate and quality access, and accurate corrections of mistakes. – Conduct continuous process and business rule improvement and review. – Ensure continuous feedback. – Increased planning with the participation of those involved with the process. – Evaluate processes related to evaluating threats, and related to response and recovery. – Put experienced people in charge. – Plan and cost out of alternatives. – Provide standards and business rules. – Technology should serve both the citizen and the service provider. Let the citizens input information and make updates nabbing the government to concentrate on noncommercial tasks to handle more volume. 0 Enclosure (2) Business Rules The following was extracted from Ron Ross’ book, entitled, Business Rule Concepts, The New Mechanics of Business Information Systems, by Ron Ross, 1998: Data models are basically composed of facts (nouns) and terms (verbs), the vocabulary of the business, for example: “Customer places order. ” “Customer” and “order” are facts or nouns and “places” is the term or verb. Here is an example of a business rule that utilizes these facts and term: “Customer may place no more than 15 orders. ” Another business rule example: If a customer rents a car, we would need to know what type of car.
Maybe a luxury car or an economy car. “Customer rents economy car. ” “Customer rents luxury car. ” Each type of car may have different rules associated with it. If the customer rents the car for a week or has rented a car several times in the last year, a business rule might be that a discount is given to the customer. “If the customer rents an economy car for a week, he gets a 10% discount. ” ” If the customer rents a car luxury car 3 times a year, he gets a 20% discount. ” The data model and the business rules are closely related. Here is the way Ron Ross describes business rules.