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Towards Designing Modular Structures for Reducing Non-linear Effects of Organizational Change. Marien Krouwel May 15 th 2013 EEWC 2013 DC. Proposition.

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towards designing modular structures for reducing non linear effects of organizational change

Towards Designing Modular Structures forReducing Non-linear Effects of OrganizationalChange

Marien Krouwel

May 15th 2013

EEWC 2013 DC


Full-functional modules for organizations in which the impact of a given change is small, are a necessary addition to the field of Enterprise Engineering

I willnot do thisalone!

small change large impact
Small change, large impact

system type





(environment + demand)




Construction / ontology


Construction /




Context (supply)

even small changes in construction may have a high impact
Even small changes in construction may have a high impact









example 2 exam marks
Example 2: Exam marks


Procedure v2





example 3 it starts with it
Example 3: it starts with IT …
  • Change of IT in e.g. financial department  change of
    • Processes in department
    • Interfaces with department
    • Processes in other departments
    • IT in other departments
these effects need to be reduced in order to ease change
These effects need to be reduced in order to ease change
  • Main question
    • Can non-linear effects of changes in the construction of an enterprise be reduced?
  • Non-linear effect: any effect of a change, besides the change itself
    • non-linear implies the effect could also be smaller than the change itself; any other terminology?
normalized systems for it without combinatorial effects
Normalized Systems: for ITwithout combinatorial effects
  • Combinatorial effects: special case of non-linear in which the impact of a change depends (also) on the size of the system
  • Normalized Systems theory:
    • by adhering to four principles
    • embodied in 5 modular structures
    • a stable IS without CE’s can be created
    • with respect to 8 anticipated changes
benefits of modularity
Benefits of modularity *
  • Complexity reduction
  • Comprehensibility
  • Easy-replacement
  • Reducing impact of a change

* (McIlroy, Parnas, Baldwin & Clark, Sanchez & Mahoney, Simon)

  • The key for enterprises to be able to deal with change is modularity!
modularity in ee
Modularity in EE
  • B/I/D
  • Production/coordination
  • Essence/implementation
    • Essence: transaction and roles
    • Implementation: assignment of technologies (human, ICT)
  • Sub question 1:What are the concerns in the implementation of enterprises?
  • 1b. And to what extent are they generic?
  • The ontological model of an enterprise is a better starting point for modularization than traditional process models (Terlouw)
ex implementation concerns
Ex. implementation concerns *
  • Employees
  • Roles/departments/functionary types
  • Competences
  • Equipment, devices, applications, databases, infrastructure, etc.
  • Channels
  • Workplace/office locations

* (Op ’t Land and Krouwel, 2013)

organizational modular structures
Organizational modular structures





Info. object




n Instances

of Elements

  • Sub question 2:What modular structures can deal with some of the generic concerns without introducing NLE’s?
example european patent office
Example: European Patent Office
  • Differences in:
  • Order of working
  • Language(s)
  • Deparments
  • Law
  • Channels
  •  IT
example european patent office1
Example: European Patent Office
  • Change
    • Internal structure of core and GC’s changes indepedently
    • Existence of and interactions between core and GC’s remain
limitation nle s within transactions
Limitation: NLE’s within transactions
  • Dealing with NLE’s between transactions is a totally different (and larger?)problem!
  • In NS: how to avoid two action elements that do similar things
gathering implementation concerns
Gathering implementation concerns
  • Literature
    • Enterprise Architecture
    • Modularity
    • Organization design
  • By looking for instabalities in current implementations
    • What happens if…
    • Comparing different implementations (e.g. EPO)
inter dependencies and change frequency
Inter-dependencies and change frequency
  • Dimensions may have interdependencies, e.g.,
    • adding e-mail as sales channel, requires an e-mail server, application, desktop, etc.
    • new application requires new competences
  • Some dimensions change quickly, others much slower
    • Quick(er): employees
    • Slow(er): roles/departments, new channel to offer services
designing modular structures
Designing modular structures
  • Principles
  • Guidelines
  • Patterns
  • Elements
experiment 1
Experiment (1)
  • Five groups, randomly assigned, consisting of
    • enterprise (transformation) architects
    • IT architects
    • business analysts
    • IT managers
  • Four groups will be given assignment to model the implementation of described enterprise
    • Group 1: implementation concerns
    • Group 2: modular structures
    • Group 3: modular structures + implementation concerns
    • Group 4: no additional aids
experiment 2
Experiment (2)
  • Group 5 will rank implementations on presence of non-linear effects of some changes
    • First individually
    • Then together to reach consensus
expected i mpact on theory
Expected impact on theory
  • Extension to/detailing of Framework of Enterprise Engineering (Hoogervorst, 2011)
  • Applying Normalized Systems theory to the level of enterprises
  • Clues for identifying non-linear effects
    • Concerns to look for
    • People to talk to
expected impact on practice
Expected impact on practice
  • Implementation concerns enable
    • better understanding of current organization implementation
    • to design future organization implementation(s)
    • to make informed change decisions
    • designing agile IT
  • Modular structures enable
    • designing enterprises that are able to change quickly
      • in which transformations are easy and successful
    • TOGAF enterprise continuum