The Business Objects are defined before the Processes


To organize ourselves well we need to model our processes: but there are a great many of them.

A process is a subject + a verb + a complement: begin by defining the "complement" before the verb.

Once the "customer" object has been defined, we can model the processes: "create customer", "modify customer", "evaluate customer risk"…

  1. Current approaches emphasize Processes and not Objects

    We automate Actions: if we want to computerize all or part of the way the Enterprise works, we look at how it Operates today:

    • How the worker Produces a Product
    • How the seller distributes the Offer
    • How the HR director recruits the employees

    The description of each of these Operations breaks down into 3 parts: Actor, Action and Object (we were taught that a sentence was made up of a "Subject", a "Verb" and a "Complement").

    Actor Action Object
    Worker Produces Product
    Seller Distributes Offer
    HR Director Recruits Employee
    

    The observation focuses first on what we see: the Actors.
    Then on the fact that these Actors get active: the Actions.
    The Object, which is the focus of the action, only appears at the end.

    This is why it appeared quite natural to analyze the Actions before the Objects. Most current Approaches are based on analyzing Processes.

  2. Begin by analyzing the objects, then the Actions and finally the Actors

    Our recommendation is to do the exact opposite: begin by analyzing the Objects before the Actions.
    First, because there are far fewer Objects than possible Actions on these Objects: it is therefore one way of sorting out the Actions.
    Then, because it is impossible to precisely define "create Customer" if we have not defined "Customer" beforehand. Processes are only accurate if they rely on well-defined Objects.

    Finally, we recommend dealing with the Actors only after the Actions have been dealt with: the fact that some Processes previously carried out by Enterprise staff are today executed by Customers or partners, requires flexibility in terms of Actors: the business Process is the same but the organization and the role of each person may evolve.

    This recommendation seems simplistic, but it has profound consequences on the robustness of the Enterprise Model: we can only recommend to first rely on a Business Glossary (see previous scenes).

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