Architecting the Extended Enterprise
This course presents a systems architecting process to achieve enterprise integration both within and between corporate boundaries. The process leverages systems thinking - the antithesis of scientific reductionism, which fails to appreciate the interrelationships between components that make-up a system. Systems thinking has proven to be successful in the delivery of integrated technology products, and is now being applied to understanding the structure and dynamics of organizations for which communications and co-stuff in general is a key to business success; in other words inter-relationships are prime in managing an enterprise. The systems approach further emphasizes emergence, wider systems and the environment. These concepts are crucial to architecting an enterprise in consideration of issues of decentralization, alliance advantage, and market phenomena. The focus of the course is to enable corporations to plot strategy at the level of the value networks to which they belong. For example, in an intelligence community the burden on a given agency is to fulfill its specific purpose, utilizing specialist expertise and cultural norms, so as to serve the supra purposes of the community as a whole. The specific principles and techniques presented in the course comprise: developing architectural descriptions of human activity systems (HAS); using a soft systems methodology to elucidate the functional expertise and cultural norms of an HAS; capturing business process architectures and validating these against architectural descriptions; using a methodology to achieve end-to-end process integration for a systems of HAS or extended enterprise; and, using management simulation techniques to explore the dynamics of an extended enterprise and the consequences for corporate transformation. The course utilizes a "hands-on" approach to convey systems architecting and enterprise integration concepts. Students work in small groups to develop a conceptual design for an extended enterprise system that addresses an operational need of their own choosing. They then develop an architectural model for a case study using a process envisioning tool (PET) to assist in the design of the enterprise landscape and the operational processes within the elements of that landscape. This pragmatic approach allows students to discover and assimilate their own "lessons learned" as they explore alternatives for the extended enterprise and analyze operational behavior and the strategic implications of their evolving system design, using an enterprise activity management simulator (DREAMS). The course concludes with an Enterprise Integration Readiness Review in which students present the work of their class projects.