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OMG Issues Value Delivery Metamodel RFP

At the March meeting, the Object Management Group (OMG) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Value Delivery Metamodel specification. The RFP is based on the concept of value chain models for business analysis and planning. This specification should link strategic planning to operational activities, including SOA, and provide an important tool for enterprise transformation. I've talked about the importance of value chain modeling in past blogs, see Value Chain Modeling Is Essential for SOA Management.

In the OMG RFP, the term "value delivery" was chosen to avoid conflicts with current techniques and to recognize that an enterprise will need to manage multiple value chains and their relationships when more detailed models are developed. Paul Harmon provided some useful background on value chains and related techniques in his recent BPTrends article Value Chains and Other Processes. In another BPTrends article, George Brown describes the evolution of these concepts in Value Chains, Value Streams, Value Nets, and Value Delivery Chains.

These articles highlight the diversity of techniques that have emerged from the basic concepts presented by Michael Porter in his1985 book, Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. The amount of activity over the last 24 years highlights the importance of the fundamental concepts. The Value Delivery Metamodel is important for conventional enterprise management as well as SOA.

I believe the diversity of approaches to some extent reflects the need for different abstractions of the underlying concepts in order to provide manageable models with limited tools. A metamodel is essentially a specification of a computer-based modeling language. The OMG process should bring together a group of submitters with different perspectives to define the basic concepts and resolve variations in terminology. The resulting specification will enable the development of interoperable modeling tools, supporting different business viewpoints, to more effectively capture and manage value delivery models.

The OMG has also organized another forum for discussion of such issues. The Business Architecture Work Group meets in conjunction with the quarterly OMG meetings, and involves business architects as well as information technology people interested in developing better modeling tools for business planning, analysis, design and governance. I hope that the RFP along with the BAWG will bring together a cross-section of perspectives for a new generation of business modeling capabilities.

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  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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