Old Dogs and New Tricks

DEMO is a tool for enterprise engineering. The tool also provides an opportunity to analyse processes as a collection of activities and actors, which in turn lends itself to a better understanding of the business process.  This can be seen  by considering a service organisation and how it manages its contingent employee requirements.

Figure 1: CEMS

Figure 1, on the left is a transactional representation of a service organisations contingent employee recruitment process. The actors R01, R02, and R03 are mapped to Recruitment Manager, HR Manager, and the Interviewer, respectively, which are typical roles in  the service organisation. The two transactions T01, and T02 together satisfy the two aspects of the recruitment process, viz., request, acquisition-confirmation. Each of the transaction also goes through the request, perform, execute, and acceptance phases prescribed by DEMO.

Action Rule

After having created the underlying data structures and model to support the DEMO model we turn our attention to the all important action rules, for example, identifying the formal action rules that provide the transition criteria from request to promise. In the figure on the left is an example of the action rule that specifies the transition from the requested state to the decline state. The “{….}” are further predicates that are appended based on the request.

Figure 2: CEMS

The figure on the left incorporates an external organisation (yellow coloured box), in this case the resource partner. It is included in the figure to differentiate between organisations that maintain a benched resource quota and one that does not.  Service organisations that maintain a benched quota are not part of this analysis since they bypass the contingency nature by carrying resources who are moved into and out of projects as necessary. These  organisations attempt to estimate the pent-up demand in the market place for outsourcing and then decide on the proportion of benched resources to carry while minimising the costs involved. Service organisations that don’t maintain a benched quota are our concern here, for them building and maintaining long lasting  partnerships with external resource organisation is of paramount importance.  Their ability to react in a consistently fast manner to client resource requirements, be they existing clients or prospective clients is dependent on such partnerships.

Introducing an external actor in the guise of the partner clarifies the business model, but it also dirties the DEMO model. This is apparent in the red box within the grey central box. When the first actor (recruitment manager, perhaps) gets the resource request and the second actor accepts to perform the request, multiple dependent activities have to be considered:

  1. the actor for T01/pm has to validate and request resource from the partner, transaction T02
  2. when the resource are received from the partner(s), he has to confirm the suitability of the resources, transaction T03

only when these two transaction are complete can transaction T01 be in the statement and accepted part of its process. This is taking liberties with the stated DEMO way of doing things, but we have yet to figure out a way of handling this better. One reason for the inclusion of the partners internal transaction is to suggest possibilities for optimising the process. The core business of the partner is to provide resources, to this end if it can also incorporate T03 transaction as part of its validation activity, it increases its value addition to the service organisation.
Further information about DEMO can be found in Enterprise Ontology: Theory and Methodology by Jan L. G. Dietz 

About KM Mukku

Kick-start, build and manage teams in product development (particularly in the financial domain), and enjoy all in adaptive case management, business process design and business process improvement. Currently holding the position of CTO at coMakeIT.
This entry was posted in BPM, DEMO, linkedin, process. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Old Dogs and New Tricks

  1. Koert Hagoort says:

    Interesting post. Especially the integration of external partners and vendors in the process is very relevant to our domain of facilities and real estate service providers. Waiting to read more about that when you have updates there!

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