Process Models

Professional engineering and the mastering of planning and manufacturing processes is the basis of the modern manufacturing industry. The IT industry had to learn the same lessons.

When IT-systems process complexity increased (level 0 – “what happens”) and the control of those processes began to  decrease,  system engineers started to think about the processes (level 1 – way of working) in a more generalized way (level 2 - the concepts).

Process Models for IT

Models for IT-Operations (ITIL), IT-Development (CMMI), IT-Governance (COBIT) are important means to establish assessable quality measurement and control for the IT-industry. The systems are evolving to a common model and become increasingly complex. A flexible architecture and a powerful infrastructure are required to support the development, publishing, training and practical application of these models.

Models typically consist of a medium number (few to a few hundred) of instances of each entity-type. Models are normally published in form of structured text, XML or HTML for publication on the web.

An Example: The COBIT4.1 Framework

A well known example for a process model is the COBIT4.1 framework. The model has been published by ISACA. It consists of more than 10.000 individual elements (entities, attributes and relationships).

This representation of the COBIT4.1 model was created with the Metasafe metaModeller and the entire content of the framework has been stored in the Metasafe Repository. The tools of Metasafe can be used to browse and query the content. The model could of course also be cloned and extended to meet the requirements of an organization and to store the instance data (M0) beyond the model.

An Example Process: “PO2 Define Information Architecture”

describes as a control objective: “Enterprise Data Dictionary and Data Syntax Rules - Maintain an enterprise data dictionary that incorporates the organisation’s data syntax rules. This dictionary should enable the sharing of data elements amongst applications and systems, promote a common understanding of data amongst IT and business users, and prevent incompatible data elements from being created.”

It is fairly obvious that such a dictionary exceeds even the structure of the CWM (Common Warehouse Model of OMG). The implementation of such a dictionary requires a repository as a data platform.

ISACA has published in addition the “Assurance Guide”, the “Assessment Guide”, the “ValIT”-Framework and “RiskIT”. ISACA is integrating these models into COBIT5. ISACA has announced that the resulting model will be based on a “Knowledge base” and stored in a repository.

Conclusion:

Professional management and publishing of standards and even more the effective application of standards in practice requires a repository as data platform.