Business Modelling

It is often useful to define the high level value chain of your business.  This helps to drive the capabilities and logical business processes that your organisation requires. This is especially useful if you are modelling top-down but is also helpful in getting a better understanding of any business or organisation. This tutorial describes how value / demand chains are captured in Essential Architecture Manager.

Don't worry about the Business Domains at this stage. These just provide an organisational categorisation of the processes and do not dictate or effect the value chain.

What we mean by the value chain is identifying the key chain of capabilities that flow through your business. This will not include any of the support functions such as IT or HR. Although these are all crucial functions they are not a key differentiator of a business when considering the 'what'. We are modelling in the Business Conceptual layer when defining the value chain. e.g. a value chain for an online sales company could be:

Example Value Chain

High Level Business / Value Chain - Business Capability Chain

You will see that the focus is clearly on the critical business chain, i.e. sourcing, selling and delivering products to customers.  Any of these elements can make a key difference to that business, e.g. superior or cheaper products or quickest delivery time, can make the business the best or the worst in its sector.  Whilst the support functions are also critical to the business - underpaid, unhappy staff, for example, can effect the customer experience - well-paid, happy staff will not make the business a success if it's products are the same quality but the slowest to be delivered in the sector.


Modelling the Value Chain

The Value Chain is made up of the highest level capabilities of the business. Usually, you would identify and create the capabilities first. If required, you can also identify and add the [Conceptual Business] 'Event' that initiates the Chain, or the Event that is the outcome of the Chain.  Whether or not you include these will depend on the Chain you are creating.  If you do want to include them you should identify what the Events are, first, and ensure they are added to your repository.
You can create elements in the repository at any time, e.g. on-the-fly, but it is often simpler to ensure that you have all the required elements to hand before you need to use them in the Business Capability Chain.
Depending on how much modelling you have already completed, you may already have the capabilities and Events created in your project.  If so, you can skip the next section and move to 'Creating the Value Chain'.  If not, you need to first follow the steps below in 'Creating the Capabilities and Events'.


Creating the Capabilities and Events

Creating a New Business Capability screenshotOnce you have identified all the capabilities in your value chain, you navigate to Business Capability in the Business Conceptual Model in the Class Browser, and click on the Create Instance button, new_instance.

You then create a capability for each capability in your chain, completing as much information as you have at this time. 


Once you have created all the capabilities and events you have identified you then need to create a 'holding' capability. If, for example, we are creating the Business Value Chain, you would call this capability 'Business Value Chain'.


Now you need to create any Business Events that you have identified.  Navigate to Conceptual Business Event in the Business Conceptual Model in the Class Browser, and click on the Create Instance button, new_instance.

Creating a New Conceptual Business Event screenshotYou then create an Event for each Event in your chain, completing as much information as you have at this time. 

Once you have done this you are then ready to create the Business Capability Chain. 








Creating the Capability Chain

Creating a New Business Capability ChainExpand the Conceptual Business Model Class in the Class Browser and you will see the Business Capability Model Class. Select this and once again click on the Create Instance button, new_instance.

Your repository model should now look like this screenshot. 





The next thing you need to do is to scroll down until you see the Defines Business Capability box, as shown (right):

Relating the Capability Chain to a Business Capability screenshot
Here, click on the Add Instance link_instanceand select the 'holding' Instance, i.e. Business Value Chain.  You will see that the name in the Instance Browser will change to the new name.
DO NOT use the create instance button if you have already created the capability or you will add a duplicate.  What you are doing here is adding a 'usage' of the capability that you have already added.
Now you simply drag on the required artefacts from the palette on the left of the screen. Hover over the artefact unitl you see a hand and double click (or select it and use the view_instance button.  Then, complete the boxes highlighted in red which will name the capability.  Again, always use 'add instance' link_instance if you have alreday created the capability.
Once you have all your artefacts on the screen, you join them by clicking on the first and dragging to the second, which will draw a line for the relation and build the sequence.

The capability chain is now complete, and will look something like the following: Example: Completed Business Capability Chain screenshot



Alternative Method

If you have not created the required Capabilities and Events, there is an alternative method to creating the model. This is simply a matter of personal choice, there are no particular advantages to either method.

You can navigate directly to the Business Capability Model and follow the instructions above to create your model, but when you have dragged the artefacts you need onto the Business Capability Chain, you click on the Create Instance button, rather than the Add Instance button.  This allows you to create the Capabilities and Events whilst you are modelling rather than before hand - creating them on-the-fly.

If you are using this method you need to enaure that you do not create duplicate capabilities and events.  It is best-practice to click the Add Instance button first to check that the element you need it is not already present in the repository before clicking the Create Instance button.



You can break down the value chains and define a value chain for each of the artefacts within it, e.g., the Order Fulfillment value chain could be:
Decomposition of a Business Capability Chain