The first open source Enterprise Architecture Metamodel

Why create a Metamodel

Enterprise architects are in the center of some very interesting conversations. From understanding strategy and helping to guide business stakeholders, on one hand, to charting a technical course for software development teams on the other, EAs have to be ready to “speak more than one language.”

A metamodel is a series of concepts, linked by their relationships to one another, that allow us to speak coherently about a topic. In this case, the topic is the enterprise itself.

You already use a metamodel

Whether you know it or not, you and your team already use a set of terms and ideas that relate to one another. Most of your contacts understand those terms in the same way that you do. But if you step outside of your local sphere, you find that related concepts can be difficult to place. Should I create a hierarchy of business processes, or business capabilities? Which should I map applications to? These are very real problems for Enterprise Architects. The EBMM answers the question.

Why this Metamodel

The Enterprise Business Motivation Model was composed of concepts introduced by dozens of contributors in different contexts. In each case, the inventor of an idea described the concepts around it. For example, Ron Ross of the Business Rules Group described business rules and the relationships between business rules and systems, processes, and business models.

Similarly, Alex Osterwalder described business models and how they can be used to understand and improve a business. Yet, neither of these inventors described the relationship between them. How does a business model relate to business rules? The EBMM answers that question.

What’s the value?

There is a price to be paid when different people disagree about the words we use to organize and understand our world. If you understand a strategy to include the initiatives that must be enacted, and I do not believe that a strategy includes initiatives, we will make mistakes when discussing strategies and initiatives. The EBMM provides a basis for understanding that reduces the opportunity for errors.