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On the Applicability of Concepts from Variability Modelling in Capability Modelling:
Experiences from a Case in Business P...
Agenda
• Motivation
• Background
– Capability Definitions and Meta-Models
– Variability Modeling
• Industrial Case
• Varia...
Motivation
• There is much experience in industries developing complex systems
how to deal with variability
– Can we learn...
Agenda
• Motivation
• Background
– Capability Definitions and Meta-Models
– Variability Modeling
• Industrial Case
• Varia...
Capability Definitions
• Many definitions exist in the literature; no generally accepted definition available
– “combinati...
Capability Meta-Model
6
Source:
Zdravkovic J, Stirna J, Henkel M et al. (2013) Modeling Business Capabilities and Context ...
Capability Meta-Model: Excerpt
7
Meta-Model needs further specification to avoid
ambiguities
Example:
• Capability is supp...
Variability Modeling in Product Line Engineering
• Variability modeling is common practice in technical systems and as ele...
9
Feature Modeling
Source: Jang-Hwan Kwon (2003) A Feature Model of the Orcale 9i Database Server.
Master thesis, Concordi...
Agenda
• Motivation
• Background
– Capability Definitions and Meta-Models
– Variability Modeling
• Industrial Case
• Varia...
Industrial Case:
Business Process Ooutsourcing of Energy Distribution Companies
• SIV.AG from Rostock Germany
• Independen...
Business Service MSCONS
Global Perspective
13
• Transmission of energy consumption data from one market role to another ro...
Business Service MSCONS
Local Perspective
14
Message Validation Message Processing
Agenda
• Motivation
• Background
– Capability Definitions and Meta-Models
– Variability Modeling
• Industrial Case
• Varia...
Variation Point and Variation Aspects in Capability Models
• Basic idea: identify those aspects in business services of an...
Variation Aspects and Variation Points: Formalization (1)
17
Variation Aspects and Variation Points: Formalization (2)
18
Variation Aspects and Variation Points: Formalization (2)
19
Context of Business Service Delivery
• The execution of message validation processes depends on several
context elements
20
Variation Aspects and Variation Points in the Industrial Case
21
Variation Point
Process Variants
Patterns
Variation
Aspec...
Agenda
• Motivation
• Background
– Capability Definitions and Meta-Models
– Variability Modeling
• Industrial Case
• Varia...
Discussion
Use of Feature Modeling constructs in Capability Modeling
• Concepts from feature modelling in principle can be...
Discussion (2)
Further formalization of the meta-model
• formalization of the relations between context, process, pattern,...
Summary and Future Work
Main contributions of this paper:
• introduction of variability points into capability modelling,
...
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2014 Asdenca - On the applicability of concepts from variability modelling in capability modelling, experiences from a case in business process outsourcing

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The paper focus on the aspect of variability in the context of capabilities. Starting from the SIV industrial case from business process outsourcing, concepts from variability modelling are introduced, i.e. variation points and variation aspects, into modelling and representation of capabilities

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2014 Asdenca - On the applicability of concepts from variability modelling in capability modelling, experiences from a case in business process outsourcing

  1. 1. On the Applicability of Concepts from Variability Modelling in Capability Modelling: Experiences from a Case in Business Process Outsourcing Chair of Business Information Systems Kurt Sandkuhl, Hasan Koç {kurt.sandkuhl, hasan.koc}@uni-rostock.de
  2. 2. Agenda • Motivation • Background – Capability Definitions and Meta-Models – Variability Modeling • Industrial Case • Variation Points and Variation Aspects – Concepts and Formalization – Application in the Industrial Case • Summary & Future Work 2
  3. 3. Motivation • There is much experience in industries developing complex systems how to deal with variability – Can we learn from it for capability management? 3 • Changing market environments, customer demands and regulatory requirements – The capabilities of an enterprise have to be continuously adapted – requires continuous development of business services and underlying technical components / services – flexibility, dynamics and variation are attributes associated with capability • Our aim: to introduce concepts from variability modeling (variation points and variation aspects) into modelling and representation of capabilities.
  4. 4. Agenda • Motivation • Background – Capability Definitions and Meta-Models – Variability Modeling • Industrial Case • Variation Points and Variation Aspects – Concepts and Formalization – Application in the Industrial Case • Summary & Future Work 4
  5. 5. Capability Definitions • Many definitions exist in the literature; no generally accepted definition available – “combination of resources” [Antunes, Barateiro, Becker 2011] – “capacity to execute an activity”[Jiang, Zhao 2010] – “perform better than competitors” [Boonpattarakan 2010] – “possessed ability” [TOGAF 2014] 5 • Several papers suggest that capabilities are provided as Business Services, i.e. they are designed and delivered in a process-oriented fashion • EU-FP7 project Capabilities-as-a-Service in Digital Enterprises (CaaS): – “Capability is the ability and capacity that enable an enterprise to achieve a business goal in a certain context.”
  6. 6. Capability Meta-Model 6 Source: Zdravkovic J, Stirna J, Henkel M et al. (2013) Modeling Business Capabilities and Context Dependent Delivery by Cloud Services. In: Hutchison D, Kanade T, Kittler J et al. (eds) Advanced Information Systems Engineering, LNCS vol 7908. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 369–383
  7. 7. Capability Meta-Model: Excerpt 7 Meta-Model needs further specification to avoid ambiguities Example: • Capability is supported by exactly one Pattern. Each Pattern is an aggregation of ProcessVariants. which in turn are specializations of Process. • What is the relation of the ProcessVariants of the Processes required for a Capability and the ProcessVariants aggregated in the one Pattern supporting a Capability? • 1st interpretation: all ProcessVariants of all Processes required by a Capability have to be aggregated in the one Pattern required by the Capability • 2nd interpretation: only selected ProcessVariants or only one ProcessVariant per Process would be part of the one Pattern for a Capability.
  8. 8. Variability Modeling in Product Line Engineering • Variability modeling is common practice in technical systems and as element of software product line implementations • Objective: – limit the variety of the variants of systems by capturing and visualizing commonalities and dependencies between features and between the components providing feature implementations 8 • Feature models – extract, structure and visualize the commonality and variability of a domain or set of products – Commonalities are the properties of products that are shared among all the products in a set, placing the products in the same category or family. – Variability are the elements of the products that differentiate and show the configuration options, choices and variation points that are possible between variants of the product, aimed to satisfy customer needs and requirements.
  9. 9. 9 Feature Modeling Source: Jang-Hwan Kwon (2003) A Feature Model of the Orcale 9i Database Server. Master thesis, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. April 2003. Relation types • Mandatory • Optional • Alternative • Required • Mutually-exclusive Example: Analog wristwatch
  10. 10. Agenda • Motivation • Background – Capability Definitions and Meta-Models – Variability Modeling • Industrial Case • Variation Points and Variation Aspects – Concepts and Formalization – Application in the Industrial Case • Summary & Future Work 10
  11. 11. Industrial Case: Business Process Ooutsourcing of Energy Distribution Companies • SIV.AG from Rostock Germany • Independent Software Vendor (ISV) for utilities industry • Owns business process outsourcing (BPO) service supplier to support customers running kVASy® • BPO has to offer and implement solutions for different cases • Variations in business processes due to different factors: – Configurations and adjustments for the organization – Country of use; regulations and bylaws – Contractual specifications 11
  12. 12. Business Service MSCONS Global Perspective 13 • Transmission of energy consumption data from one market role to another role • Data is sent by mail, it complies with UN/EDIFACT Standard • National variants of EDIFACT Standard also exist • EDIFACT is subject to periodical change by regulatory authorities
  13. 13. Business Service MSCONS Local Perspective 14 Message Validation Message Processing
  14. 14. Agenda • Motivation • Background – Capability Definitions and Meta-Models – Variability Modeling • Industrial Case • Variation Points and Variation Aspects – Concepts and Formalization – Application in the Industrial Case • Summary & Future Work 15
  15. 15. Variation Point and Variation Aspects in Capability Models • Basic idea: identify those aspects in business services of an enterprises where alternative flows, functions or procedures are possible and to identify cause and type of variations – variation aspects: the cause of variations – variation points: the locations of the variations in the business service model. 16 • variation aspects – correspond to context elements – can be relevant for different business services and at different positions in the business service model • variation point – identifies the business service model element where a variation with respect to a specific variation aspect occurs.
  16. 16. Variation Aspects and Variation Points: Formalization (1) 17
  17. 17. Variation Aspects and Variation Points: Formalization (2) 18
  18. 18. Variation Aspects and Variation Points: Formalization (2) 19
  19. 19. Context of Business Service Delivery • The execution of message validation processes depends on several context elements 20
  20. 20. Variation Aspects and Variation Points in the Industrial Case 21 Variation Point Process Variants Patterns Variation Aspects
  21. 21. Agenda • Motivation • Background – Capability Definitions and Meta-Models – Variability Modeling • Industrial Case • Variation Points and Variation Aspects – Concepts and Formalization – Application in the Industrial Case • Summary & Future Work 22
  22. 22. Discussion Use of Feature Modeling constructs in Capability Modeling • Concepts from feature modelling in principle can be transferred to capability modelling • Variation aspects, which in feature modelling are the characteristics deciding about mandatory, optional, mutually-exclusive or required features correspond to context elements in capability modelling • variation points in feature models are the different feature nodes which corresponds to business service model elements in capability models, • the utility of variant hierarchies from feature modelling intuitively makes sense, but still has to be investigated in capability modelling 23
  23. 23. Discussion (2) Further formalization of the meta-model • formalization of the relations between context, process, pattern, variant and capability resolves some of the ambiguities in the meta-model, but not all of them • definition of operational semantics still is required if capability models are meant to transformed to executable or enactable representations • Although the formalization does not assume a process-oriented perspective on business services, the practical use with other business service representations will have to be investigated in future work 24
  24. 24. Summary and Future Work Main contributions of this paper: • introduction of variability points into capability modelling, • proposal for further formalizing the term capability, • an industrial case showing the use of variability points. 25 Future Work • variation aspects currently are modelled in a process-centred way. In the future, other paradigms such as service-oriented-architectures should be investigated • specify or extend the formal capability definition to emphasize the semantics of associations between the capability components

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