Roles and Activities > Analyst Role Set > Business-Process Analyst > Set and Adjust Goals

  • Define the boundaries of the business modeling effort.
  • To develop a vision of the future target organization.
  • To gain agreement on potential improvements and new goals of the target organization.
  • Describe primary objectives of the target organization.
Input Artifacts: Resulting Artifacts:
Role: Business-Process Analyst
Work Guidelines:

Workflow Details:

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

Define the Boundaries of the Target Organization To top of page

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 cannot influence. 

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 company". 

  • 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 actors. 
  • 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. 

Identify Stakeholders To top of page

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 modeling effort. 

Gain Agreement on the Goals of the Target Organization To top of page

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 terms.
  • 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.

Identify Constraints to be Imposed on the Effort To top of page

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 licensing issues?
  • 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? Permanent?
  • 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?

Formulate Problem Statement To top of page

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 solution>.

The purpose of this template is to help you distinguish solutions/answers from problems/questions.


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.

Determine What Areas to Prioritize To top of page

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. 

Document the Business Vision To top of page

The main result of this activity is a Business Vision, which describes a vision of the future target organization. It should contain:

  • 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 Vision

Evaluate Your Results To top of page

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: Business Vision

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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