Enterprise Modelling for the Masses – From Elitist Discipline to Common Practice

  • Kurt Sandkuhl
  • Hans-Georg Fill
  • Stijn Hoppenbrouwers
  • John Krogstie
  • Andreas Leue
  • Florian Matthes
  • Andreas L. Opdahl
  • Gerhard Schwabe
  • Ömer Uludag
  • Robert Winter
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 267)


Enterprise modelling (EM) as a discipline has been around for several decades with a huge body of knowledge on EM in academic literature. The benefits of modelling and its contributions to organizational tasks are largely undisputed. Thus, from an inside-out perspective, EM appears to be a mature and established discipline. However, for initiating serious innovations this view is not sufficient. This position paper takes an outside-in perspective on enterprise modelling and argues that EM is far away from reaching its maximum potential. EM is typically done by a limited number of people in organizations inclined to methods and modelling. What is captured in models is only a fragment of what ought to be captured. Many people actually develop some kind of model in their local practice without thinking about it consciously. Exploiting the potential of this “grass roots modelling” could lead to groundbreaking innovations in EM. The aim is to investigate integration of the established, often systematic and formalized practices of modelling in enterprises with local practices of creating, using and communicating model-like artifacts or objects of relevance for the overall organization.


Enterprise modelling Grass roots modelling Research roadmap 



This paper is a result of the Dagstuhl seminar no. 16192 on “Supporting Organizational Efficiency and Agility: Models, Languages and Software Systems” (see


  1. 1.
    Zdravkovic, J., Stirna, J., Kirikova, M., Karagiannis, D., Winter, R.: Advanced enterprise modeling. BISE 57(6), 1–2 (2015). SpringerGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Frank, U., Strecker, S., Fettke, P., Vom Brocke, J., Becker, J., Sinz, E.: The research field “modeling business information systems” – current challenges and elements of a future research agenda. BISE 6(1), 39–43 (2014). SpringerGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S.J.B.A., Schotten, B., Lucas, P.J.F.: Towards games for knowledge acquisition and modeling. Int. J. Gaming Comput.-Mediat. Simul. Special Issue on AI and Games 2(4), 48–66 (2010). IGI GlobalGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S., Wilmont, I.: Focused conceptualisation: framing questioning and answering in model-oriented dialogue games. In: van Bommel, P., Hoppenbrouwers, S., Overbeek, S., Proper, E., Barjis, J. (eds.) PoEM 2010. LNBIP, vol. 68, pp. 190–204. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hermans, F.F.J.: Analyzing and visualizing spreadsheets. Ph.D. thesis, Software Engineering Research Group, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands (2012)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Winter, R.: Architektur braucht Management. Wirtschaftsinformatik 46(4), 317–319 (2004)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Winter, R.: Architectural thinking. Bus. Inf. Syst. Eng. 6(6), 361–364 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fossland, S., Krogstie, J.: Modeling as-is, ought-to-be and to-be – experiences from a case study in the health sector. In: PoEM 2015, Valencia, SpainGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Theunissen, T., van Heesch, U.: The disappearance of technical specifications in web and mobile applications. In: Proceedings of 10th European Conference on Software Architecture (ECSA), September 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016, to appear)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Star, S., Griesemer, J.: Institutional ecology, ‘translations’ and boundary objects: amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s museum of vertebrate zoology, 1907-39. Soc. Stud. Sci. 19(3), 387–420 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Aier, S., Riege, C., Winter, R.: Unternehmensarchitektur – Literaturüberblick und Stand der Praxis. Wirtschaftsinformatik 50(4), 292–304 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ross, J.W., Quaadgras, A.: Enterprise Architecture is Not Just for Architects. Center for Information Systems Research Sloan School of Management Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gardner, D., Fehskens, L., Naidu, M., Rouse, W.B., Ross, J.W.: Point-counterpoint: enterprise architecture and enterprise transformation as related but distinct concepts. J. Enterp. Transform. 2(4), 283–294 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Krogstie, J.: Quality in Business Process Modeling. Springer, Berlin (2016)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Weick, K.: Sensemaking in Organisations. Sage, London (1995)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Heggset, M., Krogstie, J., Wesenberg, H.: Understanding model quality concerns when using process models in an industrial company. In: Gaaloul, K., Schmidt, R., Nurcan, S., Guerreiro, S., Ma, Q. (eds.) BPMDS 2015 and EMMSAD 2015. LNBIP, vol. 214, pp. 395–409. Springer, Heidelberg (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Krogstie, B.R,, Schmidt, A.P., Kunzmann, C., Krogstie, J., Mora, S.: Linking reflective learning and knowledge maturing in organizations. In: Proceedings of ARTEL 2013 (2013)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Krogstie, J., Dalberg, V., Jensen, S.M.: Process modeling value framework. In: Manolopoulos, Y., Filipe, J., Constantopoulos, P., Cordeiro, J. (eds.) ICEIS 2006. LNBIP, vol. 3, pp. 309–321. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Krogstie, J., Jørgensen, H.: Quality of interactive models. In: 1st International Workshop on Conceptual Modelling Quality (IWCMQ 2002), Tampere, Finland (2002)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Vernadat, F.B.: Enterprise Modelling and Integration. Chapman & Hall, London (1996)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sandkuhl, K., Stirna, J., Persson, A., Wißotzki, M.: Enterprise Modeling: Tackling Business Challenges with the 4EM Method (The Enterprise Engineering Series). Springer, Berlin (2014). ISBN 978-3662437247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Stirna, J., Persson, A., Sandkuhl, K.: Participative enterprise modeling: experiences and recommendations. In: Krogstie, J., Opdahl, A.L., Sindre, G. (eds.) CAiSE 2007 and WES 2007. LNCS, vol. 4495, pp. 546–560. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Van Deursen, A., Klint, P., Visser, J.: Domain-specific languages: an annotated bibliography. Sigplan Not. 35(6), 26–36 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Henderson-Sellers, B., Ralyté, J., Ågerfalk, P.J., Rossi, M.: Situational Method Engineering, pp. 1–274. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Frank, U.: Multilevel modeling - toward a new paradigm of conceptual modeling and information systems design. Bus. Inf. Syst. Eng. 6(6), 319–337 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dietz, J.L.G.: Enterprise Ontology—Theory and Methodology. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Frank, U.: Multi-perspective enterprise modeling: foundational concepts, prospects and future research challenges. Softw. Syst. Model. 13(3), 941–962 (2014). doi: 10.1007/s10270-012-0273-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    ISO/IEC 24744: Software Engineering – Metamodel for Development Methodologies (2014).
  29. 29.
    Wirtz, B.W., Pistoia, A., Ullrich, S., Göttel, V.: Business models: origin, development and future research. Long Range Plan. 49, 36–54 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Studer, R., Benjamins, V.R., Fensel, D.: Knowledge engineering: principles and methods. Data Knowl. Eng. 25(1), 161–197 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lillehagen, F., Krogstie, J.: Active Knowledge Modelling of Enterprises. Springer, Heidelberg (2009). ISBN 978-3-540-79415-8Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Dalkir, K.: Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice. Routledge, Oxford (2013)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Probst, G., Raub, S., Romhardt, K.: Managing Knowledge – Building Blocks for Success. Wiley, Chichester (2000)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Nonaka, I.: A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organ. Sci. 5(1), 14–37 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Maier, R., Hädrich, T., Peinl, R.: Enterprise Knowledge Infrastructures, 2nd edn. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sandkuhl, K.: Knowledge reuse: survey of existing techniques and classification approach. In: Zimányi, E., Kutsche, R.-D. (eds.) eBISS 2014. LNBIP, vol. 205, pp. 126–148. Springer, Heidelberg (2015). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-17551-5 Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Markus, M.L.: Toward a theory of knowledge reuse: types of knowledge reuse situations and factors in reuse success. J. Manag. Inf. Syst. 18(1), 57–93 (2001). (Summer)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Berners-Lee, T., Hendler, J., et al.: The Semantic Web - A New Form of Web Content That is Meaningful to Computers Will Unleash a Revolution of New Possibilities. Scientific American, New York (2001)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Fraser, M.D., Kumar, K., et al.: Strategies for incorporating formal specifications in software development. Commun. ACM 37(10), 74–86 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Obrst, L.: Ontologies for semantically interoperable systems. In: Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management. ACM Press, New Orleans (2003)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Tarassov, V., Sandkuhl, K., et al.: Using ontologies for representation of individual and enterprise competence models. In: International Conference on Research, Innovation and Vision for the Future IEEE (2006)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Thomas, O., Fellmann, M.: Semantic business process management: ontology-based process modeling using event-driven process chains. IBIS 2(1), 29–44 (2007)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Fill, H.-G.: On the conceptualization of a modeling language for semantic model annotations. In: Salinesi, C., Pastor, O. (eds.) CAiSE Workshops 2011. LNBIP, vol. 83, pp. 134–148. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Allemang, D., Hendler, J.: Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2011)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Brunschwig, C.: Multisensory law and therapeutic jurisprudence: how family mediators can better communicate with their clients. Phoenix Law Rev. 5(4), 705–746 (2012)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Fill, H.-G., Haiden, K.: Visuelle Modellierung für rechtsberatende Berufe am Beispiel der gesetzlichen Erbfolge, Jusletter IT, 25. February 2016, Weblaw (2016)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Engesser, M.: UML und Sprache – Wirklichkeit und Technik, Jusletter IT, September 2014, Weblaw (2014)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Corradi, G., Gherardi, S., Verzelloni, L.: Through the practice lens: where is the bandwagon of practice-based studies heading? Manag. Learn. 41(3), 265–283 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Schatzki, T.R.: Practice minded orders. In: The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory, vol. 11 (2001)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Luff, P., Hindmarsh, J., Heath, C.: Workplace Studies: Recovering Work Practice and Informing System Design. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Nicolini, D.: Practice Theory, Work, and Organization: An Introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2012)Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Heath, C., Luff, P.: Collaboration and controlCrisis management and multimedia technology in London Underground Line Control Rooms. Comput. Support. Coop. Work (CSCW) 1(1–2), 69–94 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Luff, P., Heath, C.: Mobility in collaboration. In: Proceedings of 1998 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. ACM (1998)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Ciriello, R.F., Richter, A., Schwabe, G.: PowerPoint use and misuse in digital innovation. In: ECIS 2015 Proceedings (2015)Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Weiss, S., Aier, S., Winter, R.: Institutionalization and the effectiveness of enterprise architecture management. In: 2013 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2013). Association for Information Systems, Milano (2013)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Roth, S., Hauder, M., Matthes, F.: Collaborative evolution of enterprise architecture models. In: 8th International Workshop on Models at Runtime (Models@run.time 2013), Miami, USA (2013)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Oppl, S.: Towards scaffolding collaborative articulation and alignment of mental models. In: Proceedings of ICKM 2016. Elsevier Procedia Computer Science (2016)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S.J.B.A., van Bommel, P., Järvinen, A.: Method engineering as game design: an emerging HCI perspective on methods and CASE tools. In: Proceedings of EMMSAD 2008 at CAiSE 2008. Montpellier, France, June 2008Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Ssebuggwawo, D., Hoppenbrouwers, S., Proper, E.: Interactions, goals and rules in a collaborative modelling session. In: Persson, A., Stirna, J. (eds.) PoEM 2009. LNBIP, vol. 39, pp. 54–68. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S.J.B.A., Rouwette, E.A.J.A.: A dialogue game for analysing group model building: framing collaborative modelling and its facilitation. Int. J. Organ. Des. Eng. (IJODE) 2(1), 19–40 (2012). Ed. by R. Magalhaes, special issue on collaborative modeling. Inderscience, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Narayanan, N.H., Hübscher, R.: Visual language theory: towards a human-computer interaction perspective. In: Marriott, K. (ed.) Visual language theory. Springer, New York (1998)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Yoon, Y., Myers, B.: Semantic zooming of code change history. In: IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing. IEEE (2015)Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Maier, S., Minas, M.: Recording, processing, and visualizing changes in diagrams. In: IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing. IEEE (2015)Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Ross, J., Weill, P., Robertson, D.: Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution. Harvard Business Press, Brighton (2006)Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Matthes, F., Neubert, C., Schneider, A.W.: Fostering collaborative and integrated enterprise architecture modeling. J. Enterp. Model. Inf. Syst. Architect. 8(1), 26–39 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Reschenhofer, T., Monahov, I., Matthes, F.: Application of a domain-specific language to support the user-oriented definition of visualizations in the context of collaborative product development. In: Enterprise Interoperability: I-ESA 2014, France (2014)Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Matthes F., Neubert C.: Wiki4EAM: using hybrid wikis for enterprise architecture management. In: 2011 7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym), Mountain View California (2014)Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Monahov, I.: Integrated software support for quantitative models in the domain of enterprise architecture management. Ph.D. thesis, Technische Universität München (2014)Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Reschenhofer, T., Bhat, M., Hernandez-Mendez, A., Matthes, F.: Lessons learned in aligning data and model evolution in collaborative information systems. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), Austin, Texas USA (2016)Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Dietz, J.L.G.: Architecture. Building Strategy into Design. Academic Service, The Hague (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Sandkuhl
    • 1
  • Hans-Georg Fill
    • 2
  • Stijn Hoppenbrouwers
    • 3
  • John Krogstie
    • 4
  • Andreas Leue
    • 5
  • Florian Matthes
    • 6
  • Andreas L. Opdahl
    • 7
  • Gerhard Schwabe
    • 8
  • Ömer Uludag
    • 6
  • Robert Winter
    • 9
  1. 1.University of RostockRostockGermany
  2. 2.University of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.HAN University of Applied SciencesArnhemThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  5. 5.Sphenon GmbHHamburgGermany
  6. 6.Technical University of MunichMunichGermany
  7. 7.University of BergenBergenNorway
  8. 8.University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  9. 9.University of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations