Apps To Caps Via Process

Applications to Business Capabilities – Why Essential models via Process

Why Essential Models via Process

We have written before about why the fidelity provided by the Essential Meta Model is so important (Why the Essential Meta Model Fidelity is so Important). The example used in the previous blog was the mapping of Applications directly to Business Capabilities, something that most tools do.  However, we always caveat that whilst this does give a very quick initial view of where you might have duplication or gaps, it doesn’t allow you to make any really meaningful decisions, beyond ‘it looks like we have a problem there’, without going away and doing further analysis, adding time and cost.  As any skilled architect understands, the true challenge lies in the details. While it’s easy to simplify and convey the obvious, the real task is in breaking down and effectively communicating complex concepts. This is where the true value emerges.  In Essential, we advocate for gathering a data set that is more significant and truly represents the real-world scenario. This ensures that detailed analysis is readily accessible, enabling swift and well-informed decision-making. 

Showcasing our views and talking about additional data does often, however, provoke a blanket response of “oh, that looks like a lot of data data”, without any real understanding of how much data it really is or, crucially, of the functionality that is available to help populate that data for you. 

Let’s try to illustrate how this manifests itself with a theoretical example: 

Apps to Caps 

This high-level view might show Oracle HR, Workday and several bespoke applications against a Payroll Management business capability.   

Management will say ‘that’s a lot of applications, can we get rid of some and reduce cost?’. 

At this stage all we can say is, ‘Possibly, we need to gather some more information’.  

App to Caps via Processes and App Services 

In Essential, we map applications to business capabilities via the processes that use them and, importantly, the application service, or business functionality, that the application provides when used in a process.  

This allows us to understand that, for example, Workday does provide payroll management functionality, but the Singapore payroll process has a specific legal requirement that Workday doesn’t currently support.  For this reason, they use a local payroll solution.  

Having the applications mapped to both processes and application services is critical to giving us the fidelity needed to understand this and so make an informed decision.  

So, when Management asks, ‘Can we reduce the number of applications and save cost?’ we can answer fully, ‘We can make Workday our standard application and remove a number of other applications such as Oracle HR, but we will need to retain the local Singapore solution until Workday can meet their legal requirement, this is a current gap in Workday’.  

Mapping applications directly to capability, or even process, without understanding the services, or functionality provided would not give this level of understanding. 

So, what if you don’t have processes and services? 

Essential has some core functionality to help here.  We can use AI to suggest a set of Business Processes that would typically support a Business Capability.  These can be edited, and pertinent ones selected to be specific to your organisation.  This will then provide the grounding for discussing with the business and ensuring that you have enough detail to make informed decisions, rather than best guesses. 

Essential also has functionality that will create a set of business processes and application services from the leaf capabilities.  Again, this provides the fidelity needed to support informed decision making, but without the time and effort some think may be needed. 

This is one example, but there are many more showing why the fidelity of our meta model is crucial to avoid an overly simplistic approach that does not address the necessary complexity of a large organisation. 

For more information on the “It needs a lot of data myth” see our previous blog on Enterprise Architecture Myths.

To discuss how Essential can support you, and for a demo, contact us.

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