With BPMN 2.0, no additional software required for business architecture modeling

The most recent release of the Business Process Modeling and Notation specification can play an unexpectedly strong role in the emerging discipline of business architecture modeling.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

In a new paper published by the Business Process Management Institute gives its stamp of approval to Business Process and Notation 2.0, released in January 2011, saying it fulfills the requirements of enterprise-grade Business Architecture Modeling. 

Business architecture modeling (BA, not another BAM) is an emerging approach that is still new to many enterprises. BA differs from business process modeling is more static, more of a blueprint than the more dyamic BPM. BA serves as an extension of BPM, as it provides additional insights into linked business processes from an enterprise perspective.

Here is a nice summary of BA, described by Hariharan V. Ganesarethinam in Service Technology:

"Business architecture modeling involves developing various models for business goals, business functions, business processes, entities, communication, and organization. There is no single modeling tool or diagram that can be applied to all business architecture modeling. There are various modeling tools and approaches to be followed for each based on the scope and purpose of the diagram. Recently, Business Architecture Working Group (BAWG) of Object Management Group (OMG) is bringing standardization in business architecture in the name of business architecture body of knowledge (BABOK)."

BPMN 2.0 meets the most basic requirements for BA, says the BPM Institute paper's author, Ralph Whittle, a strategic IT and business consultant and author. As he notes, "the primary goal of BPMN is to provide a notation that readily understandable by all business users, from the business that create the initial drafts of processes, to the technical developers responsible for implementing the technology that will perform those processes, and finally, to the businesspeople who will monitor and manage those processes."

The BPMN 2.0 spec is hosted and organized under the aegis of the Object Management Group, 

Whittle explored and analyzed BPMN 2.0 for use in BA, concluding that BPMN 2.0 "meets the most basic requirements for a shared modeling language between the two approaches." In addition, he adds, "there is no reason to purchase additional software to support business architecture modeling beyond what the enterprise already uses for business process modeling."

While this was not a stated intention of BPMN 2.0 development, he adds, "it is characteristic of the evolving nature of BA and its 'transitive link' to the business processes." 

(Thumbnail photo: Joe McKendrick.)


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