DEMO

Enterprise engineering means designing and constructing an organization. In the same way that an engineer would build a bridge, aeroplane or computer.

Today’s organizations are a complex knot of people, processes, rules, IT, responsibilities, tasks and much more. With this complexity come inefficiencies. To improve such organizations we need a new generation of organizational tools. 

DEMO is an acronym for ‘Design & Engineering Methodology for Organizations’. DEMO gives an overview of, and insight into organizations. With 4 integrated DEMO aspect models, each has its own specific uses. This way we can untangle the complex knot that organizations have become, fix the constructional mistakes, and put everything back together. Just like an engineer would repair a bridge, aeroplane or computer. 

Characteristics of DEMO

ESSENTIAL

The benefits mentioned hereafter are achieved particularly because DEMO brings forth the essence of an organization, fully independent from the way in which it is realized and implemented. That essence is highly stable and always up-to-date as it only shows which products (services) are delivered and what the structure of their corresponding business processes is, but not how these are implemented. For example, the operation of insurance services in 1950 differs strongly from the operation of these services in 2008. However, the essence of taking out an insurance has always stayed the same i.e. the same commitments are entered into and complied with. Only its implementation, especially in terms of the application of ICT, has changed significantly.

The essential model is an ‘X-ray’ of the organization in a very compact form (a few A-4 pages). It appears to be the ideal point of departure for managers, based on which they can make well informed decisions about desired changes. Finally, managers see a model in ‘their language’.

COHERENT

DEMO considers an organization to consist of a coherent layered integration of three aspect-organizations: the B-organization (business), the I-organization (information) and the D-organization (document). These constitute a coherent hierarchy, in which the I-organization supports the B-organization and the D-organization supports the I-organization. Every organizational change typically regards one of the aspect-organizations. For example, multi-channel client contact is a change in the D-organization. Offering clients insight into the progress of their orders is a change in the I-organization. Adding a new service is an example of a change in the B-organization.

The coherent integration of the three aspect-organizations makes (re-)designing and (re-)engineering manageable. With a given (re-)design of the B-organization, the consequences of this action for the existing information systems, and for the information infrastructure, are easy to monitor and safeguard.

CONSISTENT

The four aspect models of DEMO are perspectives under the same metamodel. Therefore the mutual consistency of the perspectives is naturally safeguarded (and for example easily implemented in a supporting tool). A radical organizational change, such as the offering of a new insurance product, has consequences in all aspect models. Through the mutual consistency of the models the correlation between the processes, the data and the organization is always clear.

The impact of changes in one of the perspectives on the other perspectives is always fully and directly visible; there are no surprises, in the form of unanticipated consequences, during the implementation process.

COMPLETE

The DEMO-transaction is a universal pattern of coordination acts which lead to the creation of one new production fact. It is the generic building block for all business processes. One can use it as a template for the design of business processes with the assurance that no (relevant) action or information will be overseen. Many actions, especially the promise (to take out an insurance policy) and the acceptance (of an insurance policy) are carried out tacitly and are rarely supported by information systems or workflow systems. Thus they are easily overseen in change projects.

For the organizational implementation DEMO supplies a complete and clear definition of competences, authorities and responsibilities. For the information structure DEMO supplies all the relevant information which the actors need, or which they create as the executors of transactions.

MODULAR

The combination of a transaction and the actor role that is its executor, constitutes the ‘molecular’ building block of organizations, whereas the transaction steps in the universal transaction structure are the ‘atoms’. A business process is a tree structure of transactions. This modular structure offers a perfect alignment with component-based system development and. Next, it offers the ideal starting point for decisions about splitting and allying organizations.

The redesign and restructuring of business processes mostly causes much trouble in an organization. By basing all changes on the ‘X-ray’, the implementation of these changes, however radical the changes, always remains comprehensible and manageable.

OBJECTIVE

DEMO models are objective. Unlike other methods, DEMO does not leave room for ‘creativity’ of modelers. Two modelers with the same instruction will come back with the same result. Thus DEMO guarantees reproducible models, which are independent from the ‘modelers’. Equally, if not more, important is that these modelers are also independent from the momentary occupiers of the actor roles (the employees). Information needs no longer rely on what is said, but on what has been objectively established to be needed by an actor role.

The mostly endless discussions between modelers regarding the accuracy of their ‘views’ are definitely in the past. DEMO delivers compact and truthful models. All irrelevant information needs can be objectively refused.

Practice

Enterprise Engineering is the discipline, and DEMO is the method, to design and construct organisations. Enterprise Engineering is about looking at organzations through the eyes of an engineer. The key elements are the communication and commitments between people about their work.

Main advantages

Overview: A DEMO model is an X-ray of the entire organisation. It contains all essential elements, and nothing more. A DEMO model contains information which would otherwise be described in dozens or hundreds of pages of text, tables and charts. This way complexity is reduced by 90% to 95%.

Insight: Misconceptions, inaccuracies and omissions in the construction of an organization are easy to spot. DEMO has very clear, formal semantics. This minimizes the room for chance of misunderstandings. 

Cost efficient: A typical DEMO project has a lead time of weeks, where otherwise months would be required.

Main areas for DEMO application

Business (re-)Design: DEMO maps the business, both at an abstract and detailed level. To design organizations which optimally fit a business model first an overview of all core activities is necessary. To discuss the broad outline and identify key people and the work they do.

Next, the abstract DEMO model can be refined with implementation details. This is preparation for IT changes. Too often all these steps are mixed up.

IT:  IT applications support the activities in an organzation. Insight in these activities will enable optimal implementation of IT. DEMO helps with building, selecting, testing and validating software.

Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC): GRC is about being “in control” of your organization. The board knows what happens in the organization, that it happens correctly, and can prove this to the stakeholders.

Several Frameworks formulate guidelines on what is allowed and what not. DEMO implements these guidelines. Because DEMO focuses on responsibilities, tasks, competences, authorities, commitments and communication.

DEMO is used in combination with COBIT, ISO, AO/IC, ITIL, etc. 

To get a better sense of what DEMO is like, take a closer look at the, tools, case studies and characteristics of DEMO.