As my readers may know, I published a metamodel for business architecture about 18 months ago in the Microsoft Architecture Journal.  Calling it the Enterprise Business Motivation Model, I based my model on a combination of a number of standard and emerging models, including the OMG Business Motivation Model (developed by the Business Rules Group), the relatively new concept of Business Capability Modeling, and the emerging work of Dr. Alexander Osterwalder.

Since then, Dr. Osterwalder has published a successful book called Business Model Generation (which I recommend).  We have also seen a number of interesting efforts emerge, including the new focus by the Business Architecture Working Group (BAWG) to create metamodel descriptions of various business methods, starting with Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecards.  At the same time, IBM has been making headway with their Component Business Models, which I find interesting and influential. Microsoft, of course, has something comparable in our ITAP offering (formerly branded MS-Motion).  Internally, years ago, we also developed the notion of Solution Domains which map to some of these ideas.  In addition, I’ve worked with a number of companies that have expressed interest in learning about the EBMM and in using it.  Through working with these companies, I’ve been evolving my own understanding of the best way to capture some of the elements of business modeling.

It is time for the EBMM to evolve. 

OK, to be fair… it’s been evolving all along, albeit quietly.  I created version 2.0 of the EBMM over a year ago (June 2009).  However, as I re-address this space, and start to bring in more formal business methods, I’m looking to evolve each of the core models within the EBMM.

Over the course of the next couple of months, I will update and publish each of the core models of the EBMM v3 along with changes and some ideas for how a business architecture team can use these updated models in their work.  Each of the published updates will be “draft” form, and I’ll be seeking feedback from the community on changes that you feel would be valuable. 

I look forward to your feedback.

[nmalik – edited 9-15]

By Nick Malik

Former CIO and present Strategic Architect, Nick Malik is a Seattle based business and technology advisor with over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".

One thought on “Evolving the Enterprise Business Motivation Model”
  1. Look forward to revised version of EBMM. Agree with additional sources you've cited above. Some additional items to consider-

    ·       TOGAF 9 – yes, it is somewhat limited in its conceptualization of Business Architecture but their meta model is interesting.

    ·       Recent research from Gartner and Forrester, especially research of Jeff Scott

    ·       Visual thinking – as architects we tend to stick to very formal diagrams and modeling artifacts. Work of Dan Roam and others is interesting in so far as their approach could help facilitate creation of business architecture as well as communicating & influencing change, especially for executives and folks not familiar with architecture concepts & approaches

    ·       In addition to IBM’s component business model, their actionable business architecture paper does a good job of synthesizing different perspectives.

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