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The Open Enterprise Manifesto

BetterMeans, a company with obviously motivated individuals came up with a very nice idea of changing the corporate model. In their “Open Enterprise Manifesto” they summarize the problems of current corporate model and point out to a need of a new model. The main problems of the existing corporate model are pointed out as suppressed innovation, mistrust within organization, reward model etc. Open enterprise model introduces following concepts to the corporate model

  • Values-Centered instead of goal oriented
  • Democracy instead of top-down management
  • Currency based compensation

The problems starts at this point. Instead of analysing the current system holistically and finding out the sources of the problems, these problems are assumed to be the core problems and solution is based on them. Mistake is making this assumption. Corporate model is not there because some people had good ideas. It’s based on capitalist economic system and its values. We can historically state that current corporate model is not the most effective one, it has it’s on evolution. The question to the open enterprise is this: are you trying to evolve the current corporate model or trying to change current economic system and how it works with a paradigm shift?

If manifesto is trying to make a revolutionary change (my feeling is this is the goal), then the scope must be a lot bigger than corporate model. There’s nothing to discuss about why open enterprise model is good or bad. This is not the correct scope. It’s very naïve to think one can apply positive concepts like open source development, web-based services, democracy, being environment friendly etc. and it’ll fix all the problems. This is called “ready-fire-aim syndrome“. Zeitgeist movement is also trying to define the future similarly maybe with a better scope but also failing to identify the root causes of the problems such as “right of possession”.

If the idea is more local, the goal is only trying to improve the corporate model without assuming changes of the economical model, values of the current economical model is completely forgotten. Strength of capitalism is highly under estimated.

Business Entity Definition Language from IBM

April 27, 2010 2 comments

Last week IBM published the first part of a Data4BPM series:

Part 1 of this series introduces the concept of business entities as a means of representing the business view of data. It proposes two new standards, the Business Entity Definition Language (BEDL) and BPEL4Data for the holistic design and execution of process with Business Entities.

This is definitely a good move towards embracing the importance of data model in business processes. I see this in the direction of connecting different models with the efforts from Ksenia Wahler in her paper “LinkA framework for integrated process and object life cycle modeling” and Bruce Silver in his articles “Integrating Process and Rules Part 1Part 2“.

As mentioned in the paper, instead of “process-first” or “data-first” approach, a “holistic approach will prove to be most effective. However, I don’t agree that holistic means process plus data. For me holistic would as well include business rules, motivation, etc. That would be modeling all columns of Zachman framework (what, where, how, …) For example “Discovering Business Entities” section is very weak, doesn’t tell one work about business rules. You can also see that state transition rules are fit into a single attribute inside access policies. This clearly tells me, there’s a lot of space for improvement in business rules area.

What I like very much in the paper is the concept of four components of Business Entity types:

  • Lifecycle
  • Information
  • Access Policies
  • Notifications

CRUDE style in access policies (create, read, update, delete, execute state transition) somehow matches REST style which could be applied in this context. Although REST is not an approach I would take for implementing services, data services as such could be a candidate.

The link with BPEL is another point of criticism. JJ made some comments about that in his blog:

Thinking that a “Business Process Whatever Language” needs extensions to deal with Human tasks or Process Data is not just comical, it is ludicrous […]