While many methodologies are focused on enterprise development and architecture these tend to fall short when addressing the business communication requirements for interoperability between disparate stakeholders. No wonder organization's experience (1) ineffective communication of requirements, (2) non-reliable information - integrity/quality, (3) find extending individual efforts to common is painful, (4) have convoluted processes to engage other stakeholders, (5) unable to upgrade systems per stakeholders needs, (6) simply don't have the information required to do the task at hand, (7) have to answer to customer dissatisfaction due to not meeting needs, (8) or unable to measure effectiveness of the Enterprise, (9) unable to go from vision to implementation, (10) constantly over extend projects due to scope-creep, (11) which leads to delay in system implementations, and (12) cost overruns for a project. Taken together these present organization today with the "interoperability challenge."
What type of interoperability challenge is the BCM focused?
The BCM efforts are on communication at three levels: (1) lexical, (2) semantic, and (3) pragmatic interoperability for sets of Community of Interest (CoI). The BCM templates collect objectives and rationale for pragmatic interoperability by recording and sharing design decisions along with artifact data. The layered BCM products relate one or more artifacts together by including rich metadata on each link for semantic interoperability. The BCM combines together these components and calls for their management within an information architecture founded on conceptual agreements (lexical).
Who should be involved in this development?
Those who see the need of a business focused development within their organization or consultants to firms or governments on making them more agile and competitive and want to do something about it. Vendors specifically can leverage the BCM's focus on interoperability development and guidance can be extended into other areas as well as complement their products.
Who will benefit from this work and how?
Business line managers, technologists and vendors will benefit from using the Business-Centric Methodology (BCM).
I am a business line manager, what does the BCM provide to me?
The purpose of this TC is to provide business managers with a clear and consistent methodology for implementing enterprise solutions that are consistent with OASIS TCs. The BCM provides managers with a clear understanding of what the business goals and appropriate steps are that need to be applied for a specific project to succeed.
My job is to leverage Enterprise assets, what do I gain by utilizing BCM?
This enables business adopters to deploy implementations that can grow and expand over time and derive maximum benefit and success from OASIS technologies within their enterprise. Organizations need a reliable roadmap for this purpose, one that is designed to identify
business success factors that business managers can understand and exploit in a technology neutral way.
I am a tool vendor, why should I be interested in incorporating BCM?
By applying the methodology - you will create a demand for technology architecture components - by allowing business people to think in business terms - not technobabble.
How does this work compare with related efforts at other standards organizations?
In many cases, the BCM complements other efforts, such as Enterprise Architecture (EA) efforts, service-oriented architectures, and eBusiness initiatives.
How does the BCM complement architecture frameworks such as Federal Architecture Reference Models and the DoD Architecture Framework?
The BCM complements these frameworks by providing guidance on interoperability with communities of interests, and allows for an understanding the artifacts required for successful implementations.
How does the BCM work with Web Services?
The BCM provides for the interpretation of messages/business documents from an Enterprise viewpoint utilizing NetCentric mechanisms such as registries for management and reuse. In essence BCM allows web services to better scale to larger Enterprises. Particular interest of those working with the linking and switching of templates through context and choice points required by business users as declarative
Can the BCM be used in conjunction with OAGIS, RosettaNet or EDI X12?
Yes, the BCM isn't tied to any framework, think of providing a foundational roadmap for your business managers who are attempting to implement these frameworks across the organization.
How does the BCM relate to the ebXML work?
ebXML is a facet of BCM - providing the B2B focus - while BCM is wider - addressing the business needs directly. But again - by applying the methods that the BCM teaches - then one can solve a variety of problems. And that is a key discriminator - it's about methods - not
technology components. It's defining those methods that counts - and the scope is fluid information interoperability - not just ANY business problem - focusing on semantic driven solutions.
When will this specification be completed?
The target date in early 2004.
How is this viewpoint different from prior efforts?
The BCM information architecture builds from a unique viewpoint, a viewpoint which considers the volatility of an organization's information rather than its interconnection protocols. This viewpoint coupled with a netCentric approach for managing and sharing BCM artifacts with communities of interests is key to being adaptive allowing an organization to properly respond to customers' and stakeholders' requirements.
So is the BCM an architecture?
Not per se, the BCM is a set of layered methods that does include an information architectural component for managing and sharing BCM artifacts with communities of interests.
I have defined my Enterprise data models, isn't this my information architecture?
No, data models are design artifacts, and tend to be specific to "nouns" of the organization. Information architecture is at the metalevel of design artifacts or the information about the characteristics and types of artifacts.
How does the BCM provide Enterprise agility?
We expect the methodology to enable enterprises to align their existing services and systems within common lines of business across the value chain and to achieve, thereby, a degree of agility than would otherwise be possible. This increased communication between business users and developers is crucial as well as between business users. Collecting the information in a common reusable formats reduces somewhat paralysis due to talent leaving the organization for various reasons - capturing the rationale at the right time allows others to pickup the ball and run without first having to decipher development hieroglyphics.
Is the BCM an attempt at the total solution set of methods?
Absolutely not; but every attempt will be made to be complete within the scope of agility and interoperability.
Do some BCM artifacts and products overlap what we develop today?
Certainly, your organization undoubtedly has discovered patterns that work very well for its needs. But chances are some areas can be improved, and the organization might find that certain aspects of the BCM and be adapted to its advantage. The BCM is to provide the collection which to draw and make those organizations who adopt the BCM more responsive to its customers and stakeholders needs.
Specifically how do the BCM artifacts and products overlap what we develop today?
The BCM work complements specific frameworks by providing a methodology applicable to enterprise level solutions both within and across industries. Example frameworks include RosettaNet, SimplEDI, ebXML, BizTalk, eSpeak, Webservices,
What about standards bodies, how do they fit within the BCM?
The BCM will further leverage supporting work in this area from other standards authorities such as ISO, OMG, W3C and CEFACT along with modeling methodologies and other developmental frameworks and architectures where they have developed technology components, (such as semantics, terminology and reference materials), consistent with the BCM methodology and can therefore be potentially mentioned in that context.
How does the BCM 'fit' with other OASIS TC initiatives?
A further purpose of the roadmap is to facilitate the work of industry groups within OASIS seeking to provide business-centric solutions to specific technical problems, to link such work into a broader methodology that can encompass OASIS technology in a consistent way. This will be fleshed out during the specification process, as other TCs are introduced to the efforts with BCM, and their members see a fit with the initiative. The Connections section of the BCM TC will introduce the specification to other TC leaders for determination of synergies between each group.
What is the vision of how the BCM Templates operate?
At one level, the specification will provide a roadmap to business users, experts and business line mangers. Depending on adoption, interest in the BCM further resolution and capability can take place, with the vision that tool vendors are encouraged to extend or generate products that work well together using the BCM.
What other advantage is there with BCM?
While the bulk of OASIS TC work concentrates on technology components, the goal of the BCM work is on providing consistent adoption tools that connect business problem domains to the technology domains. All participates will gain if the BCM is to be success. Today business managers face an array of XML-based technology choices, with the challenge of harnessing these in a consistent and coherent way that solves business problems and specifically interoperability. Rather than being just another technology-based solution, the BCM specification provides managers with a clear understanding of how their interoperability business goals can be achieved through appropriate steps that deliver agile information solutions within their Community of Interest (CoI). Users of the BCM approach can expect to deploy implementations that can grow and expand over time and derive maximum benefit and success from OASIS and related specifications within their enterprise rather than depending on narrowly focused vendor specific products. Organizations need a reliable roadmap for this purpose, one that is designed to identify business success factors that business managers can understand and exploit in a technology neutral way. The BCM strategy is therefore founded on open standards around the OASIS family.