Situational method engineering: reference method library as a way to method/workflow integration

December 17, 2009

I think that in sutuational method engineering problem of merging different processes in extended enterprise workflow is almost the same as in data integration: many (workflows) data repositories that incompatible one with another. Merging any of two workflows that enacted from methods from different repositories is difficult due to generating these methods from different metamodels and coded with different level of abstraction. Therefore we meet the same task of data integration that was met by ISO 15926 community.

Now we have not too many method repositories coded. Nevertheless we already have vast (1100 method elements) and general and with rich metamodel OPFRO and many semi-coded (without rigor metamodel) “paper repositories” like PMBoK, BABoK, ITIL and other “process frameworks” and “reference processes”. Method engineers have no means to integrate methods and enacted processes/workflows. Every repository is standalone and incompatible with other, every workflow engine is speak different language.

ISO 15926 suggest common Reference Data Library, and I suppose that in case of situational method engineering it is possible to have Reference Method Library that can serve method mapping purposes. If we will create somehow “external RML”, the objective of method and process merging will be fit.

ISO 15926 RDL can be a starting point to such a mapping, along with it institutional model (hierarchy of sandboxes, iRING-like infrastructure for enactment, user group etc.). ISO 15926 is simultaneously a tool and a pattern for method/process  integration task.

Final goal is capability of integrated method enactment for very complex multimethod  systems engineering external enterprises, and capability to execute generated from this methods from multiple of repositories process in a network of communicated workflow engines in different information systems.

First task that we’ll try to solve is integration of OPFRO and PraxOS methods. OPFRO is the best in requirements engineering and systems architecture engineering, PraxOS now have almost no coded practices but have plans to code Goldratt project management method and several others interesting methods. There should be method for situational method integration and we will try to develop it with ISO 15926 in mind (and in tools).

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