OpenText ProVision - Enterprise Architecture Modelling Techniques


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OpenText ProVision - Technique

Proforma UK employs state-of-the-art enterprise and business architecture modelling software (repository-based, object-oriented OpenText ProVision) and the latest techniques for information gathering, modelling and deployment.

Modelling tools such as OpenText ProVision differ from ordinary drawing tools in that they provide more than just pictures of boxes and lines - they provide interconnected knowledge. In trained hands, such tools enable Agile and Scrum principles to be employed, resulting in greatly reduced model creation and maintenance time, and greatly enhanced clarity. The objective is to express the answers to the "who, what, where, when, why and how" questions in a simple, consistent, structured, unambiguous and easily maintainable form. With this information to hand, the software development teams, be they Agile or Waterfall, have the information they need.

An excellent introduction to managing an Enterprise Architecture Modelling programme/project is available from Bite-Sized Books Ltd as an Amazon Kindle publication - "UNDERSTAND YOUR ORGANISATION - IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS - An Introduction to Enterprise Architecture Modelling".

A variety of modelling (diagram) environments, both hierarchy (primitive) and methodology (freeform), enable understanding the organisation from a number of different perspectives. The models contain different types of objects dependent upon each model-type's purpose. The most commonly used OpenText ProVision objects, within their categories, are shown below ...

Example Objects used in OpenText ProVision Models

OpenText ProVision - Modelling Object Legend

OpenText ProVision - Model Overview

There are many modelling (diagram) environments available within OpenText ProVision, each designed for a specific purpose. Some models have a narrow scope, e.g. those for organisation hierarchy and business interactions, whilst others are more general, e.g. those for communication and strategy. It is therefore essential to identify the purpose, strengths and weaknesses of each type of modelling environment and to then select the correct ones to express the situation.

Because OpenText ProVision's models are constructed from objects stored on a database, a change made to an object used on one model will be reflected on all other models using that same object, greatly simplifying development and the onerous task of maintenance. Additionally, a 'Where Used' feature lists all models which use a particular object, enabling quick determination of what impact such an object-change would have on other models.

OpenText ProVision - Strategy vs. Implementation

OpenText ProVision - Hierarchy Enterprise Architecture Models

OpenText ProVision - Hierarchy models

Good practice is initially to develop the core (primitive) hierarchy models, establishing categories and levels for the major object-types such as Organisation, Domain, Process, Location, Goal, Problem (Risk) and Control (Rule).

As mentioned on the Number Seven page, it is important not to clutter models with too much detail. Using OpenText ProVision's drill-down feature, it is possible to isolate hierarchy 'branches' into their own dedicated sub-models, thus reducing the number of objects per model.

Establishing consistent levels across the hierarchy models will simplify the selection of which objects to link together. For example, the organisation model might have three levels (department, team, role), each of which should be associated with the goals, risks, controls etc. at the appropriate level.

Examples of hierarchy modelling environments include Organisation (line-reporting and collective structures), Location, System, Technology and Domain.

OpenText ProVision - Hierarchy Enterprise Architecture models - Organisation, System OpenText ProVision - Hierarchy Enterprise Architecture models - Rule/Control, Deliverable, Problem/Risk, Goal/Objective, Location, Event/Trigger

OpenText ProVision - Methodology Enterprise Architecture Models

OpenText ProVision - Methodology (Freeform) models

Creation of the hierarchy models simplifies the development of the methodology 'story-telling' models such as Workflow, Business Interaction, System Interaction, Use Case (Work Instruction), Platform, Communication and Strategy etc.

It is very important to observe, as far as possible, the principle of the Number Seven rule to avoid cluttered and confusing models.

OpenText ProVision - Methodology Enterprise Architecture models - Business Class/ER

OpenText ProVision - Methodology Enterprise Architecture models - Business Interaction, System Interaction, Deployment, User Interface

OpenText ProVision - Methodology Enterprise Architecture models - Platform, Strategy OpenText ProVision - Methodology Enterprise Architecture models - Communication

OpenText ProVision - Workflow Levelling and Drill-Down

Another major advantage of modelling tools such as OpenText ProVision is their ability to drill-down to lower-level models to investigate more granular detail. In this way, complex concepts can be expressed in a simple, easily maintainable form, avoiding models so cluttered with objects and lines that it's impossible to see the wood for the trees. Workflow levelling is greatly simplified if the hierarchy models, especially the organisation hierarchy model, have been correctly designed beforehand.

OpenText ProVision - Workflow levelling and drill-down model

OpenText ProVision - Associations, Interpretations and Matrices

Objects may be associated with each other - for example, an Equipment object could be associated with Location, Goal and Technology objects, amongst many others. All these objects and their associations are stored in the repository, ensuring that models and reports (textual and matrix) are always consistent.

OpenText ProVision - Associations

The OpenText ProVision repository design caters for an extensible meta-model, enabling the creation of custom objects, links and associations.

In addition, it is possible to make associations with external resources, e.g. MS-Word documents, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, video & audio clips, WWW & FTP URL links etc.

Matrices showing the aforementioned associations may be generated, providing the means by which gap-analyses can be easily conducted. Textual interpretations of the models complement the matrices, showing full, relevant information such as properties, descriptions and object associations - and negate the need to manually write and maintain supporting documents for the model.

OpenText ProVision - Charts and Matrices

OpenText ProVision - Simulation Grids and Charts

Process Simulation employs the Time and Cost properties of Activity objects used within a Workflow model to calculate the benefit (or not!) of a process-change to be assessed without having to actually implement the change.

Simulations may be executed either in Monte Carlo or Discrete Event modes of operation, providing information on, for example, cost incurred, resource utilisation and time taken. Therefore, by modelling As-is and To-be versions of a process, it is possible to compare the effect and efficacy of any planned change.

OpenText ProVision - Simulation input

OpenText ProVision - Simulation output

OpenText ProVision - Publishing

All the models, textual interpretations, matrices and simulation results may be published to HTML (web) and MS-Word.

In addition, OpenText ProVision can generate a relational database from which SQL-based tools such as Crystal Reports can create bespoke reports.

OpenText ProVision - HTML web output

The above screenshot shows an example of OpenText ProVision's HTML web output. This can be deployed over an Intranet (including SharePoint) for corporate-wide, read-only, reference and dissemination.

Consultancy, training and product services for OpenText ProVision - Business Architecture, Enterprise Architecture, Process Analysis, Process Modelling, Process Improvement, Process Management, Process Simulation and Corporate Transition - BPM - BPMN - Zachman - UML - TOGAF - Lean - Six Sigma - Lean Six Sigma - SOA - ITIL - Sarbanes Oxley - NGOSS / eTOM - RACI / RASCI - CMMI