Chapter 6. Business Modeling


Key Points

  • Business modeling is a problem analysis technique especially suitable for the IS/IT environment.

  • The business model is used to help define systems and their applications.

  • A business use-case model, consisting of actors and use cases, is a model of the intended functions of the business.

  • A business object model describes the entities that deliver the functionality to realize the business use cases and how these entities interact.

In the context of the IS/IT environment, and in the context of ISV applications that work with disparate systems and other applications, the first problem to be solved has an even broader context than we described in Chapter 5. In this environment business, system, and organizational complexity abounds, and one typically needs to understand some of this complexity before even attempting to define a specific problem worth solving. This environment consists not simply of a user or two and their interface to a computer but rather of organizations, business units, departments, functions, wide area networks, the corporate intranet and extranet, customers, users, human resources, material requirement planning (MRP) systems, inventory, existing applications, and more.

In addition, even when we are focused on a specific application to be implemented, we must continually remind ourselves of the broader context in which the application operates. Perhaps this can be accomplished successfully by asking the right questions, but as with any technique, there's more that can be done in a specific context than in the more generic case.

In these contexts, it would be helpful to have a technique to determine answers to an even broader set of questions such as the following.

  • Why build a system at all?

  • Where should it be located?

  • How can we determine what functionality is optimum to locate on a particular node in the system?

  • When should we use manual-processing steps or workarounds?

  • When should we consider restructuring the organization itself in order to solve the problem?

Fortunately, there is a technique that's well suited to addressing this particular problem, and that technique is business modeling .


Managing Software Requirements[c] A Use Case Approach
Managing Software Requirements[c] A Use Case Approach
ISBN: 032112247X
Year: 2003
Pages: 257 © 2008-2017.
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