Designing Smart Systems with Value Delivery Modeling Language (OMG/VDML)

Why Smart Systems?

I visited the launch of the Future Center for Smart Systems powered by Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). One remark, during the presentations about Smart Systems, triggered me, it was the simple fact to combine capabilities in your network to create new innovations that are Smarter then staying at yourself. It is as simple as that, but how difficult to achieve when strapped between the walls of ‘that’s the way we have been doing this’. There is much more to say about Smart Systems but not for now. You do it together that message got through, loud and clear.
People that are able to do so we named in the past ‘boundary-spanners’. That brings me to the next topic, designing.

Why Designing Smart Systems?

To get Designs, you require Designers. For Smart System Designs, you require Business Enterprise Engineers (BEE’s) to make Smart Enterprise Designs. An Enterprise Design captures real world aspects of the business at a sufficient level of detail to help management align strategic objectives against tactical demands to best address business goals, and to plan for changes in business capabilities in a reliable, efficient and proactive manner. Enterprise Designs are created to understand, implement and measure the value contribution in underlying Business Models. But are the Business Objectives set right? Are they Smart? Is your network capable to create Smart Systems? Are the Capabilities well understood in the network. Do your Business Models cover all Business Objectives, etc. Beside of all of those questions, we have to be realistic as well: we have to deliver on time, within budget and with the right Value contribution. Is your organization ready? You need to ask yourself questions otherwise you don’t become smarter. This is another great lesson of yesterday’s lectures.
An Smart Enterprise Design contains knowledge of many sides of the Business. It also need to be projected in many dimensions. It would be great if the Enterprise Design can be transformed into other models as well, for example to be input for the ‘execution layer’ of your business, or to serve as reality check if the implemented Enterprise Design works as promised. To do this all, we need a language in which we can describe the Enterprise Design, and this language does exist and is recently delivered by the OMG and is called Value Delivery Modeling Language (VDML), you can click on the link for the specification.

Designing Smart Systems with Value Delivery Modeling Language?

Jenny Huang (ICT Standards Strategist at AT&T: advancing the Digital Economy and Social Innovation) summarized this very well in two quotes.

1) Turning your business into a value network:

  • Focuses on the flow of deliverable’s and contributions of value by activities, including cost, quality and duration (statistical performance)
  • Value-driven enterprise design provides higher level of abstraction of the business, what it does, how it performs, who is responsible

2) Addressing business challenges:

  • Finding the most profitable model and efficient partnership arrangement for your business at given point in time.
  • Complexity of many service capabilities provided, delivered and managed across organization/company boundaries.
  • Computerized models to help better analyze and manage these complexities for decision making.

Their are many great concepts in VDML, one of them I would like to highlight over here, it’s the concept of re-usable patterns or building blocks. If we are able to package our domain knowledge in re-usable patterns, we allow our networks to build Smarter Systems.

Your are invited to join our Value Delivery Modelling group on linkedin.

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