DEMO is an acronym for 'Design & Engineering Methodology for Organizations'. The name also stands for the demonstration that the underlying PSI-theory (Performance in Social Interaction) is a viable basis for practically dealing with organizational changes of all kinds.
An organization is viewed to consist of three aspect organizations: the B-organization (Business), the I-organization (information), and the D-organization (Data). The B-organization represents the essence of the organization, since it is completely independent from the way in which this essence is realized and implemented. A full understanding of the B-organization is the correct starting point in the (re-)engineering of an organization, which ultimately includes the software used to support the business processes.
The benefits of DEMO
The benefits mentioned hereafter are achieved particularly because DEMO brings forth the essence of an organization, fully independent from the way in which it is realized and implemented. That essence is highly stable and always up-to-date as it only shows which products (services) are delivered and what the structure of their corresponding business processes is, but not how these are implemented. For example, the operation of insurance services in 1950 differs strongly from the operation of these services in 2008. However, the essence of taking out an insurance has always stayed the same i.e. the same commitments are entered into and complied with. Only its implementation, especially in terms of the application of ICT, has changed significantly.
DEMO considers an organization to consist of a coherent layered integration of three aspect-organizations: the B-organization (business), the I-organization (information) and the D-organization (document). These constitute a coherent hierarchy, in which the I-organization supports the B-organization and the D-organization supports the I-organization. Every organizational change typically regards one of the aspect-organizations. For example, multi-channel client contact is a change in the D-organization. Offering clients insight into the progress of their orders is a change in the I-organization. Adding a new service is an example of a change in the B-organization.
The coherent integration of the three aspect-organizations makes (re-)designing and (re-)engineering manageable. With a given (re-)design of the B-organization, the consequences of this action for the existing information systems, and for the information infrastructure, are easy to monitor and safeguard.
The four aspect models of DEMO are perspectives under the same metamodel. Therefore the mutual consistency of the perspectives is naturally safeguarded (and for example easily implemented in a supporting tool). A radical organizational change, such as the offering of a new insurance product, has consequences in all aspect models. Through the mutual consistency of the models the correlation between the processes, the data and the organization is always clear.
The impact of changes in one of the perspectives on the other perspectives is always fully and directly visible; there are no surprises, in the form of unanticipated consequences, during the implementation process.
The DEMO-transaction is a universal pattern of coordination acts which lead to the creation of one new production fact. It is the generic building block for all business processes. One can use it as a template for the design of business processes with the assurance that no (relevant) action or information will be overseen. Many actions, especially the promise (to take out an insurance policy) and the acceptance (of an insurance policy) are carried out tacitly and are rarely supported by information systems or workflow systems. Thus they are easily overseen in change projects.
The combination of a transaction and the actor role that is its executor, constitutes the 'molecular' building block of organizations, whereas the transaction steps in the universal transaction structure are the 'atoms'. A business process is a tree structure of transactions. This modular structure offers a perfect alignment with component-based system development and. Next, it offers the ideal starting point for decisions about splitting and allying organizations.
DEMO models are objective. Unlike other methods, DEMO does not leave room for 'creativity' of modelers. Two modelers with the same instruction will come back with the same result. Thus DEMO guarantees reproducible models, which are independent from the 'modelers'. Equally, if not more, important is that these modelers are also independent from the momentary occupiers of the actor roles (the employees). Information needs no longer rely on what is said, but on what has been objectively established to be needed by an actor role.
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