Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

20.2.4 Dimension: Various Views in Modeling Enterprise Information Systems

Intended learning outcomes: Explain the four views of information systems for business processes. Differentiate between process-oriented modeling, function-oriented modeling, object-oriented modeling, and task-oriented modeling.

[Spec05] presents a newer treatment of the various views of an information system. Figure is taken from [Spec05].

Fig.       Four views of information systems for business processes (example taken from [Spec05]).

  • The process view is naturally suitable for an understanding of operations. A process groups several jobs, such as tasks, subtasks, functions, and subfunctions, and carries them out in a certain order. As an example, Figure shows a possible repre­sen­tation of the process of paying wages to a person. This view cor­responds to the control view in the ARIS Tool Set (Figure
  • The function view: Functions are grouped according to, basically, any characteris­tic under a corresponding superior function. The resulting hierarchy is possibly a
    multi­level hierarchy, a tree structure. In the example in Figure, the lower level shows all functions that “pay liabilities to others.” On the higher level, all functions are grouped that in some way “administer finances.” Often the grouping characteris­tic for functions is that the functions belong to a certain process. If we order the functions in the tree structure in the order in which they appear in the process, then in the function view we can essentially also read the process. Turned around, we can also say that the function view can be perceived like the process view.
  • The object view: This view summarizes data and functions or processes that concern the same object. In the example in the figure, the objects are person and supplier. An important part of the object view is the data view, which is the description of each object by a set of attribute values. Objects form the basis for data processing, as they contain the data. Here it is not important whether the object descriptions are in a card index or stored in electromagnetic format. Appropriate tasks, functions, or processes can be assigned to an object. This makes sense as soon as they essentially concern only this object. As the processes, tasks, or functions have to be described in some way, this description can be seen as data and assigned to the object like the description of the object itself.
  • The task view: This view groups subtasks, tasks, functions, or processes into tasks. A number of meaningfully connected tasks can consequently be assigned to an organizational unit in the company. In the example, the tasks “payroll accounting” and “training” that are grouped in the organization unit “personnel department” are defined. However, personnel administration and training themselves can also be seen as organizational units. In reverse order, personnel department can be seen as a more comprehensive task. This view is what links the process organization with the structural organization of the company. This link is actually the reason why one so often finds, instead of the task view, the term organization view, such as in the ARIS Tool Set in Figure 

In the following, these different views will be modeled. 

Process-oriented modeling deals with the process view as the primary view. It produces process model.

Function-oriented modeling deals with the function view as the primary view. It produces function model.

Object-oriented modeling deals with the object view as the primary view. It produces an object model. The more restricted view of data modeling produces a data model.

Task-oriented modeling deals with the task or organization view as the primary view. It produces a task modelor organization model.

Course section 20.2: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes