Set and Adjust Goals
This activity is only adding value if you are doing business modeling in
order to engineer your business.
If you are only building a chart of an existing organization in order to derive
system requirements, envisioning a new business is not necessary. See also Concepts:
Scope of Business Modeling.
Discuss the boundaries of what you should choose to include in your modeling
effort - decide what constitutes the target organization. This can effectively
(but not necessarily) be done using business
actor and business use
case notation, should the involved audience feel comfortable with such
notation. The important thing is to find ways to agree on the following:
- What are key entities in the environment that you consider external to the
target organization (meaning you cannot effect how they work, but you are
dependent on having a well defined interface to them).
- In the case that you are performing business modeling in order to define
requirements for a particular system, there may be parts of the organization
that wouldn't be affected by this system. Those parts can be considered
external entities, since there is no point in using resources to produce
descriptions of business processes that this project is not influenced by or
The boundaries you set for the target organization may very well be rather
different from what you would consider as being the boundaries of "the
- If your goal is to build a new sales support system, you may choose not to
include anything that goes on in your product development department, but it
is considered a business actor since there are interfaces that need to be
clarified. In this example, entities inside of "the company" will
be considered external to the target organization and be modeled as business
- If the system you are building is one that is aiming at enhancing
communication with partners or vendors (a business-to-business application),
you may choose to include those partners or vendors in your target
organization. In such case, entities external to "the company" are
inside your target organization. This is only useful if the partnership
includes some insight and influence in your partners method of operation. If
you only can influence the interfaces to them they should be considered
external and be modeled as business actors.
- If the purpose of your project is to build a generic, customizable
application (such as a commercial accounting application), the target
organization will need to represent your assumptions about how the customers
buying the end product will use it - it is an abstract entity.
In the Target-Organization Assessment,
you should have defined the stakeholders to the business. In the Business
Vision, you need to specify which of these are to be considered stakeholders
within the boundaries of the project at hand. This will depend on the scope of
the business-modeling effort (see Concepts:
Scope of Business Modeling), as well as what boundaries you define for the
The goals of the target organization is a way of expressing what you want to
achieve with you business modeling effort. You will probably find that the
answer is a combination of the following goals:
- Reduced cost (operational cost, distributions cost). This is often a
secondary goal, achieved by reducing lead-time and improving quality.
- Reduced lead-time. Improve responsiveness, shorten development cycles,
improve productivity, and so on.
- Increased revenue.
- Increased number of customers.
- Reach new markets.
- Improved quality, of both products and services.
- Improved inventory and procurement management.
- Improved channel relationship (partners and vendors).
- Increased customer satisfaction expressed in both objective and subjective
- Make your employees more effective in teaming and collaboration.
- Merged businesses. When two businesses merge into one, you may need to
merge some of their business processes.
There are a variety of sources of constraints to be considered. Following is
a list of potential sources and questions to ask:
- Political: Are there internal or external political issues that affect
potential solutions? Interdepartmental?
- Economic: Which financial or budgetary constraints are applicable? Are
there costs of goods sold, or product pricing considerations? Are there any
- Environmental: Are there environmental or regulatory constraints? Legal?
Other standards we are restricted by?
- Technical: Are we restricted in our choice of technologies? Are we
constrained to work within existing platforms or technologies? Are we
prohibited from any new technologies?
- Feasibility: Is the schedule defined? Are we restricted to existing
resources? Can we use outside labor? Can we expand resources? Temporary?
- System: Is the solution to be built on our existing systems? Must we
maintain compatibility with existing solutions? Which operating systems and
environments must be supported?
In your Target-Organization Assessment,
you may have defined a list of problems that you and your stakeholders have
determined exist in the target organization. In a Business Vision document you
need to limit the list of problems to the ones you intend to focus on solving
within the boundaries of your business modeling effort.
With the whole group, work on easel charts and fill in the following template
for each problem you have identified:
The problem of <describe the problem>
affects <the stakeholders affected by the problem>.
The impact of which is <what is the impact of the problem>.
A successful solution would <list some key benefits of a successful
The purpose of this template is to help you distinguish solutions/answers
The problem of: untimely and improper resolution of
customer service issues
affects: our customers, customer support reps and service technicians.
The impact of which is: customer dissatisfaction, perceived lack of
quality, unhappy employees and loss of revenue.
A successful solution would: provide real-time access to a trouble-shooting
database by support reps and facilitate dispatch of service technicians, in a
timely manner, only to those locations which genuinely need their assistance.
You need to discuss and agree what areas of the target organization your
business-modeling effort should prioritize. This discussion may take slightly
different paths, depending on the scope of your business-modeling effort.
The main result of this activity is a Business
Vision, which describes a vision of the future target organization. It
- The names and outlines of the target organization's new or radically
changed business use cases.
- An overview and high-level descriptions of the future business use cases,
emphasizing how they differ from current business use cases. For each
business use case, the specification should name the customer, supplier, or
other type of partner, and it should describe the input, activities, and
product. These descriptions do not need to be comprehensive or detailed—they
are intended to stimulate discussion among senior executives, employees, and
customers. Furthermore, these descriptions should present in straightforward
terms the business’ philosophy and its objectives.
- Measurable properties and goals for each business use case, such as cost,
quality, life cycle, lead-time, and customer satisfaction. Each goal should
be traceable to the business strategy, and its description must say how it
supports that strategy.
- Specifications of the technologies that will support the business use
cases, with special emphasis on technology support.
- A description of imaginable future scenarios. As far as possible, the
specification should predict how the business use cases will have to change
in the next few years due to new technologies, new interfaces to the
environment, and other types of resources.
- A list of critical success factors; that is, factors critical for the
successful implementation of the business vision.
- A description of the risks that must be handled if the business modeling
effort is to be a success.
For more information, see Guidelines:
Business Vision and Artifact: Business
You should check the Business Vision at this stage to verify that your work
is on track, but not review it in detail. Consider the checkpoints for the
Business Vision document in Checkpoints:
When reviewing, take into account at which stage in the project the review
takes place. For example, in the first iteration of inception, the business
vision will, and can, only be sketched, fragmentary and preliminary.
At the review, be sure to have representatives from the following groups:
- Executive management.
- The business-modeling team.
- Representatives for people who are to work in the target organization.
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