The very first stage in good Business Systems Modeling should be to be to identify and model WHAT the business OUGHT to be doing.
“What” the business “ought” to be doing is called a Business Function or, less formally, a Function.
The Function Catalogue lies at the heart of the Integrated Modelling Method (IMM™) and is the means by which all other models are integrated.
The stages in Business Function Modeling within IMM™ are:
- Identify sources of Functions or collect information from which Functions can be identified.
- Analyse all gathered information and sources and extract all “candidate” functions.
- Convert “Candidate” Functions to true Functions.
- Build the Function Catalogue.
- Feed back what has been modelled to the business to ensure that it is correct.
- Liaise with system developers to ensure that any systems built truly support the Function Catalogue.
The Function Catalogue is the single most powerful business model that there is because:
- It allows all of a business to be to be seen – on one sheet of paper if necessary.
- All decomposition can be done through it – painlessly.
- It enables duplication of activity to be identified and removed.
- All other models – including process models – are built from it.
- It suggests good structures for the business.
- It tells you what modules you need in any computer system.
- It is a powerful aid for planning computer development projects
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