The Business Function Model is the single most powerful business model that an enterprise can have, for this reason it is an essential tool for every Business Analyst and ought be at the core of every Enterprise Architecture.
If you’re sceptical about this claim, have a look at the key benefits of the Function Model listed below, then you decide:
- It is an unambiguous definition of WHAT the business OUGHT to be doing.
- Not everything that is done in an enterprise is a Process. On the other hand, everything that is done is a Business Function. For this reason, the Function Model is the only model that can effectively model all of an enterprise’s core activities.
- There is no duplication or redundancy in the Function Model; every Business Function in the hierarchy appears once and once only.
- Because the Function Model represents WHAT the enterprise OUGHT to be doing, it enables future state Business Processes to be built straight off without needing to first produce any ‘As Is’ models – which are a major cost to, and cause of failure of, so many Process Modelling projects.
- Every step in a Business Process is a Business Function and every Business Function comes from the Function Model, so it is this model that supplies the key steps for every Process in the enterprise. Without the Function Model all process steps have to be ‘plucked’ out of thin air.
- Business Functions define the key Data Entities of the enterprise and the relationships between these. So, without the Function Model, you cannot build an effective Data Model for any part of the enterprise.
- The Function Model can show the whole of the enterprise in a single model.
- It reduces the number of models that are required to be drawn by a factor of three.
- It does not require levelling: a painful, time-consuming and costly step required by decomposed process models.
- It covers all of the business, not just the processes.
- It remains valid through changes both in technology and organisational structure.
- It is an essential model for all system development and system procurement projects, as it is the Elementary Business Functions (EBFs) from the Function Model that are implemented as modules in computer applications.
- It is a powerful planning aid for system development projects.
With so many benefits, it is actually very hard to overstate the importance and power of the Function Model.
The Function Model is the only model that provides all of the above benefits. This means that any enterprise that does not have a Function Model will get none of these benefits.
This is not just an academic modelling issue; it will have real consequences in the business. These include losses in quality, productivity, customer service, customer retention, profits and market share. It will also result in increased costs in all areas of the business due to duplication, inefficiencies, poor staff retention, bad data quality, etc.