Enterprise Engineering – The missing link?

An enterprise is usually defined by three different components: Business, Organisation and IT. Business concerns all activities the enterprise undertakes regarding customers such as delivering products and services. Organisation concerns the internal organising of the enterprise, with all its structures, processes and procedures. IT concerns the systems that are in place to give support to the organisation.

The controlled implementation of transformation in an enterprise is a complex task, involving Business, Organisation and IT which affect each other. Each of the three components have their own experts to guide change, for example the business consultant, HR manager and IT-architect. Alignment is an often used term for seeking cohesion. But the term alignment also suggest that these fields are to be considered as separate entities. In IT alignment is found with Business, Organisation aligns with Business et cetera. But considering alignment from the viewpoint of one particular component is not completely objective, resulting in complexity and confusion. Who can give oversight and guarantees cohesion in these different enterprise viewpoints in big transformation? The Enterprise Engineer.

The enterprise engineer (or the EE-team) does not represent Business, Organisation or IT, but has a holistic view and gives insight and oversight. The enterprise engineer designs needed transformation and guards the cohesion of projects during implementation. The enterprise engineer is advised by specialists representing Business, Organisation and IT and involves the right stakeholders.

As a basis the enterprise engineer uses DEMO (Design & Engineering Methodology for Organisations). In DEMO, an enterprise is regarded as a (complex) system existing of people (employees, customers and other stakeholders) and their relations, authority and responsibility. The usage of a strongly simplified model that focuses on people forms the basis of DEMO. By using language that is common in the enterprise, the understanding of such a model is guaranteed, even though its abstract and conceptual nature.

The essential model of an enterprise makes a clear separation between the what and the how. Facing transformation it is essentially important to realise what we do and want to achieve, rather than how we do things. With his essential model, the enterprise engineer shows the enterprise without functions, structures or specific persons. Instead, actor roles are used to demonstrate the needed responsibilities and authorities in the enterprise. This essential modal is the hook to keep referring to in analysis and design, whether it being for Business, Organisation or IT.