The Integrated Modeling Method approach to business analysis and modeling is simple, elegant and yet very powerful.
The IMM™ Approach in a nutshell:
- Find out what the business ought to be doing
- Analyse this and extract Business Functions and data
- Build relevant models
- Validate your models
- Use your models to bring power, simplicity and elegance to the business
- Automate your business using the models you have built
Step 1: Find out What the business Ought to be doing.
This may seem like stating the obvious but it is seldom done in reality and is the main reason why most business modeling projects get off to a bad start. The key words in Step 1 are WHAT and OUGHT.
The main reason why projects falter in early stages is that they get get bogged down with the WHO and the HOW of current activities, when what they really need to know is the WHAT. They then get further into difficulty by analysing the WHO and HOW of what is CURRENTLY done. FATAL ERROR!
This is because what is CURRENTLY done in a business is often about as far from what OUGHT to be done as the business could possible get.
You can avoid all of this by modeling WHAT the business OUGHT to be doing. This is the soundest foundation you can give your business modeling project.
Step 2: Analyse and Extract Business Functions and Data
Having gathered information on what the business ought to be doing, you then take the next step to put you on the road to success. You extract Business Functions from the information you gathered.
This is another vital step missed out by most business analysts. They fail to identify and extract Business Functions and yet these are the building blocks for all other business models.
Without business functions you CANNOT build correct Process Models or Data Models. Why? Because every step in a Process is a Business Function and the only data needed by the business is that created or used by Business Functions!
At the same time and from the same information you extract candidate Data Entities.
Step 3: Build Relevant Models
There is only ONE model that you will always need to build and that is the Function Catalogue (sometimes called function hierarchy).
This is the most powerful business model there is.
Having built this you then decide if you need any other models, for example, Process Models, Data Models or Information Flow Models.
Step 4: Validate Your Models
An essential stage in Business Modeling is to validate your models with the business.
Step 5: Use Your Models
Having built your models, they should now be used to power and simplicity to the business. If they are not going to be used for this, why build them?
How each model can be used for this is described in more detail in the relevant section
Step 6: Automate Your Business
The Function Catalogue is the Data Structure Model are two essential models to build prior to computerisation. No quality computer systems can be built without having first built these two models.
All of the above points are expanded on in the relevant page on this website.
A series of eBooks describing each of the modeling techniques of IMM™ is available in the Online Store.
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