Multi-Perspective Enterprise Modelling (MEMO)
MotivationPlanning, designing, introducing, and maintaining corporate information systems is a complex endeavour. Beyond demanding a deep understanding of a company's current situation, it has to be remembered that introducing advanced information technology has to allow for new ways of organizing the business. It is an aspect emphatically stressed by the numerous authors who recommend "business redesign" or "business process redesign". Like system design, analyzing and redesigning a corporate strategy and a company's organisation respectively are complex tasks on their own. Management Science and organizational theory offer a wide range of dedicated approaches for analyzing and shaping a firm's strategy as well as for organizational (re)design. Often they are based on graphical models which are introduced to illustrate essential concepts and interrelations - and to communicate them to others who should be involved. Organizational models cover a wide range from rather prosaic to more formal representations. This is similar to models for strategic planning. They usually stress a more abstract view with highly aggregated data. Strategic and organizational models are usually based on different concepts. Furthermore, they generally have nothing in common with conceptual models used in software engineering. While there is certainly need for specialization, such a separation of concerns can be seen as a major inhibitor of efficient information systems. Enterprise models are aimed at providing a medium to foster discourses between people with different professional backgrounds. At the same time they serve as a conceptual basis of highly integrated information systems.
ConceptsTo support the development of powerful enterprise models, MEMO offers a framework that allows structuring an enterprise to a high degree of abstraction. It corresponds to abstractions common in management science and software engineering. The framework suggests three main perspectives on the enterprise: strategic, organizational, and via the information system. The perspectives themselves are further detailed by different aspects (resource, structure, process, and goal). For instance, business process models would be assigned to the perspective "organisation" and the aspect "process". To support conceptual models that are semantically rich and intuitive, MEMO includes an extensible set of specialized modelling languages. The modelling languages are defined within a multi-layer language architecture.
Macro ProcessOur work in Philosophy of Science is mainly inspired by the question whether research goals and methods of the information systems discipline are essentially different from those of the neighbour discpilines. We found that informations systems research is essentially different in one respect which is clearly expressed by an approach that we call "constructivist" (sometimes referred to as "design science"). It recommends to construct reality by introducing new ways of coordinating cooperative work. Where the inductivist approach assumes that the variance in using information and expressing it through languages is a necessary reflection of the variety of tasks to be taken into account, the constructivist approach relies on the presumption that variance in actual information use and related coordination mechanisms is the result of an - at least partially - arbitrary process. For this reason, reducing variance by introducing new common concepts to handle information would not necessarily cause dysfunctional effects. Moreover, if the processes they are to be used in were thoroughly designed, they would contribute to more efficiency. In any case, those common artefacts would allow for a high level of integration and reusability.
Despite the prospects of the constructivist approach, it bears a severe epistemological problem: In order to allow for a rational growth of knowledge we need criteria to comparatively evaluate competing constructions. Usually, these artefacts, like models and modelling languages, cannot be validated against reality in a straightforward fashion. We have worked on methods to evaluate artefacts (especially modelling languages and conceptual models). Other work includes reflections upon the appropriate language for information systems research, methods of empirical research and the relationship between theory and praxis.
Ulrich Frank: "Multi-Perspective Enterprise Modeling: Foundational Concepts, Prospects and Future Research Challenges", Software and Systems Modeling. (in print), 2013.
Ulrich Frank: "MEMO Organisation Modelling Language (2): Focus on Business Processes", ICB-Research Report, Institut für Informatik und Wirtschaftsinformatik, Universität Duisburg-Essen, No. 49, 2011.
Ulrich Frank: "MEMO Organisation Modelling Language (1): Focus on Organisational Structure", ICB-Research Report, Institut für Informatik und Wirtschaftsinformatik, Universität Duisburg-Essen, No. 48, 2011.
Stefan Strecker; David Heise; Ulrich Frank: "RiskM: A multi-perspective modeling method for IT risk assessment", Information Systems Frontiers, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2011, pp. 595–611.
Stefan Strecker; David Heise; Ulrich Frank: "Toward modeling constructs for audit risk assessment: Reflections on internal controls modeling" in Werner Esswein; Klaus Turowski; Martin Juhrisch (ed.): Modellierung betrieblicher Informationssysteme (MobIS 2010) : Modellgestütztes Management, 15.-17. September 2010, Dresden, GI, Vol. 171, 2010, pp. 131–148.
David Heise; Michael Heß; Stefan Strecker; Ulrich Frank: "Rekonstruktion eines klinischen Behandlungspfads mithilfe domänenspezifischer Erweiterungen einer Geschäftsprozessmodellierungssprache: Anwendungsfall und Sprachkonzepte" in Dienstleistungsmodellierung 2010. Interdisziplinäre Konzepte und Anwendungen, Physica, Heidelberg, 2010, pp. 210–227.
Ulrich Frank; David Heise; Heiko Kattenstroth; Donald Ferguson; Ethan Hadar; Marvin Waschke: "ITML: A Domain-Specific Modeling Language for Supporting Business Driven IT Management" in Juha-Pekka Tolvanen; Matti Rossi; J. Gray; J. Sprinkle (ed.): Proceedings of the 9th OOPSLA workshop on domain-specific modeling (DSM), Helsinki Business School, Helsinki, 2009.
Ulrich Frank; David Heise; Heiko Kattenstroth: "Use of a Domain Specific Modeling Language for Realizing Versatile Dashboards" in Matti Rossi; J. Gray; J. Sprinkle; Juha-Pekka Tolvanen (ed.): Proceedings of the 9th OOPSLA workshop on domain-specific modeling (DSM), Helsinki Business School, Helsinki, 2009.
Ulrich Frank; Stefan Strecker: "Beyond ERP Systems: An Outline of Self-Referential Enterprise Systems", ICB-Research Report, Institut für Informatik und Wirtschaftsinformatik (ICB), Universität Duisburg-Essen, No. 31, April 2009.
Ulrich Frank; David Heise; Heiko Kattenstroth; Hanno Schauer: "Designing and Utilising Business Indicator Systems within Enterprise Models – Outline of a Method" in Peter Loos; Markus Nüttgens; Klaus Turowski; Dirk Werth (ed.): Modellierung betrieblicher Informationssysteme (MobIS 2008), GI, Bonn, Vol. 141, Lecture Notes in Informatics, 2008, pp. 89–105.
Ulrich Frank: "Multiperspektivische Unternehmensmodellierung" in Karl Kurbel; Jörg Becker; Norbert Gronau; Elmar Sinz; Leena Suhl (ed.): Enzyklopädie der Wirtschaftsinformatik : Online-Lexikon, Oldenbourg, München, 2008.
Ulrich Frank: "The MEMO Meta Modelling Language (MML) and Language Architecture", ICB-Research Report, Institut für Informatik und Wirtschaftsinformatik (ICB), Universität Duisburg-Essen, No. 24, 2008.
Ulrich Frank; Carola Lange: "E-MEMO: A Method to support the Development of customized Electronic Commerce Systems", Information Systems and E-Business Management (ISeB), Vol. 5, No. 2, 2007, pp. 93-116 (online first 2006: DOI - 10.1007/s10257-006-0034-9 ).
Ulrich Frank: "E-MEMO: Referenzmodelle zur ökonomischen Realisierung leistungsfähiger Infrastrukturen für Electronic Commerce", Wirtschaftsinformatik, Vol. 46, No. 5, 2004, pp. 373-381.
Jürgen Jung: "Mapping of Business Process Models to Workflow Schemata -- An Example Using MEMO-OrgML an XPDL", Arbeitsberichte des Instituts für Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsinformatik, Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institut für Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsinformatik, No. 47, 2004.
Lutz Kirchner: "Eine Sprache für die Modellierung von IT-Landschaften: Anforderungen, Potenziale, zentrale Konzepte" in Elmar Sinz; Markus Plaha; Peter Neckel (ed.): Proceedings zur Tagung Modellierung betrieblicher Informationssysteme - MobIS 2003, Gesellschaft für Informatik, 2003, pp. 69-86.
Ulrich Frank: "Multi-Perspective Enterprise Modeling (MEMO): Conceptual Framework and Modeling Languages" in Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-35): Honolulu, 2002.
Ulrich Frank: "A Multi-Layer Architecture for Knowledge Management Systems" in Stuart Barnes (ed.): Knowledge Management Systems:, Thomson Verlag, 2002, pp. 97-111.
Ulrich Frank; Bodo Van Laak: "A Method for the Multi-Perspective Design of Versatile E-Business Systems" in Proceedings of the Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2002.
Ulrich Frank: "Multi-Perspective Enterprise Models as a Conceptual Foundation for Knowledge Management" in Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-33), 2000.
Ulrich Frank: "Eine Architektur zur Spezifikation von Sprachen und Werkzeugen für die Unternehmensmodellierung" in Elmar Sinz (ed.): Modellierung betrieblicher Informationssysteme: Proceedings der MobIS-Fachtagung 1999, 1999, pp. 154-169.
Ulrich Frank: "MEMO: Objektorientierte Unternehmensmodellierung zum gemeinsamen Entwurf optimierter Geschäftsprozesse und hochintegrierter Anwendungssysteme", Objektspektrum, Vol. 1995, No. 6, 1995, pp. 43-47.
Ulrich Frank: "MEMO: A Tool Supported Methodology for Analyzing and (Re-) Designing Business Information Systems" in Raimund Ege; Madhu Singh; Bertrand Meyer (ed.): Technology of Object-Oriented Languages ans Systems, 1994, pp. 367-380.
Ulrich Frank: "Multiperspektivische Unternehmensmodellierung als Basis und Gegenstand integrierter CSCW-Systeme" in Ulrich Hasenkamp; S. Kirn; Michael Syring (ed.): CSCW-Systeme, 1993, pp. 179-198.