veryard projects - innovation for demanding changeSCIPIO - adaptive business processes

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Component-Based Business

extracts from forthcoming book by Richard Veryard

Uncertainty and flux: this forms the explicit context for many IT writings. The enterprise of IT is encircled by accelerating rates of change: the business world generates an unending flow of urgent demands for new and enhanced IT systems; meanwhile the technological world generates an unending flow of fascinating new opportunities.

Faced with this situation, many IT writings retreat into solutions that aim to improve IT potency, by addressing the productivity and quality of the IT process. If we can satisfy business demands faster and more accurately, then perhaps we will catch up.

Worthy though these attempts are, they are doomed to fail, because they allow both IT and Business to position themselves as passive: IT is merely responding to demands from an insatiable Other, while Business is crying out for satisfaction from an unreliable Other.

In this book, we shall explore how business and IT can engage actively with demanding change.

componennt-based development (CBD) - component-based businessopen distributed processing (ODP) - open distributed enterprise

frequently asked questions
What is the book about?

Why is this subject important?

How is this book different?

For whom is the book written?

What is the book about?

The book addresses the alignment between business and IT. There is an important convergence between a new business agenda and a new IT agenda.

The focus of the business agenda is shifting from processes to relationships. Although business processes remain important, the strategic issues for many large organizations have to do with external and internal relationships.

For example, is widely regarded as a role model for successful e-commerce. Although they undoubtedly have well-designed and well-implemented business processes to support their strategy, this is not the focus of their business strategy. The business strategy is focused on building and improving the relationship with the customer. The business processes are aligned to the needs of the customer, and not the other way around (as in too many businesses). The IT agenda is focused on component-based development (CBD) and open distributed processing (ODP). Technology writers often present CBD as the latest silver bullet in a long line of silver bullets. The supposed benefits of CBD - application flexibility, development productivity - have been promised many times before.

Furthermore, the business problems addressed by CBD don't seem very different from the business problems addressed by previous methods, such as Information Engineering. Indeed, some tools and methods companies continue to use the same case study material (notably various forms of Video Store) in their training courses; this reinforces the impression that CBD offers nothing substantially new to the business world, and is merely an internal IT matter.

But CBD is more than a marginal improvement to previous software techniques. It has specific relevance to the demands placed on IT by business, and enables us to address a whole range of new business problems.

Why is this subject important? The practical relevance of this alignment is widely recognized. Indeed, vast numbers of books, seminars, products and services are predicated on its importance. Many large organizations participate actively in the CBD Forum.

The theoretical relevance is also well-understood. There are several substantial research programmes focused on this area, including the EPSRC-funded programme on Systems Engineering for Business Process Change (SEBPC).

How is this book different? There are hundreds of books about components and objects. Most of them ignore the business requirements altogether. Those that do consider them, seem to regard new technologies such as CBD as merely more effective ways of delivering solutions to yesterdayís problems. They fail to grasp how radical are the new opportunities - or perhaps they choose not to draw attention to them.

Meanwhile, there is a serious lack of broad understanding even among so-called experts. The object experts mostly donít understand components, the component experts often donít understand the full implications of distribution, and hardly any of them have any real appreciation of business issues. UML is weak in all three areas: components, distribution and business. (It has some other weaknesses as well, but this isnít going to be a book about UML.)

There are also lots of books about business strategy and process change. These generally display an equally feeble grasp of IT.

For whom is the book written? People solving business problems using software systems. People creating an environment for the solution of business problems. People implementing new business processes, or changing existing ones. (Practically all business processes these days demand computer support.) People planning business strategy.

Within "user" companies: business executives, IT executives and managers, strategic planners and strategy consultants, process managers and change management consultants, IT consultants, project managers, business analysts, systems analysts, systems architects, IT trainers, tools and methods suppliers.

My guess is that within universities, the book would be relevant to final year undergraduate or masters degree students in information/systems/software management/engineering or computer/computing science/studies.

Within business schools, the book would be relevant to courses on strategy, business process change and IT.

It would also be relevant to researchers in information systems, distributed systems, systems architecture, in computing departments, as well as information, systems and technology management researchers in business schools.

planned contents








Background Business and Components Modelling Business Systems Designing Business Systems and Organizations Evolving Business Systems and Organizations Case Studies
How to remain in business despite IT. The business background for Component-Based Development.

How to stay on top of technology. The opportunities and challenges of Component-Based Development.

Component Requirements

Understanding Business Requirements AS Components

Understanding Business Requirements FOR Components

Modelling Business Relationships

Modelling Collaborations, Transactions and Exchanges

Modelling Behaviour and Services

Understanding Physical Constraints

Architectures for Flexibility

Service-Based Design

Designing Component Interfaces

Designing Component Internals

Managing Business Process Change

Managing Organizational Change

Managing Infrastructure Change

Reusing Legacy Systems, Models and Data

please read case study first


component-based development - component-based business

white papers

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Rule Modellingnew April 1999 SCIPIO approach to describing, analysing and implementing business rules.
Process Modellingnew March 1999 SCIPIO standards for process modelling and management.
Commercial Exploitation of Componentsnew March 1999 How to be successful in a competitive component marketplace.
Making the Business Casenew Feb 1999 How to cost-justify distributed technology and distributed solutions in a distributed world.
Designing Software Componentsnew Feb 1999 How to design viable, flexible software components.
Reusing Legacy Systems, Models and Dataupdated Feb 1999 Describes the extraction and conversion of components from legacy systems.
Defining Requirements for Software Componentsnew Jan 1999 Describes and answers the challenges of specifying and designing software components in an open distributed world.
SCIPIO Case Study
Liam O'Croder Mail Orderupdated
Nov 1998 This is a good place to start to understand the SCIPIO approach. It illustrates the modelling and design techniques, as well as the reuse of legacy systems, in the context of a simple but powerful example of business process improvement.
Implementation Roadmap:
How to make CBD effective in your organization
June 1998 This provides a step-by-step approach for planning the introduction of CBD using the SCIPIO method.
SCIPIO Background:
Component-Based Development
Aug 1998 Describes the technological opportunities and challenges which SCIPIO has been designed to address.
SCIPIO Background:
Business Process Improvement
June 1998 Describes the business requirements and environment which SCIPIO has been designed to address.
Understanding Business Requirements in terms of Components Oct 1998 Illustrates the SCIPIO approach for determining business requirements.
Effective Management of CBD Projects Nov 1998 Describes a service-based approach for managing component-based development activities.
SCIPIO Aims and Principles April 1998 This outlines the principles of SCIPIO.


how you can help


Please read draft material.

Ask lots of questions.

Challenge any assumptions.

Offer additional case study material.

Make comments and suggestions on style, structure and content.

Thank you.


more about scipio

The SCIPIO method is focused on the development and evolution of open distributed business systems. It integrates current best practice:
  • business process change
  • workflow management
  • component-based development
  • open distributed processing
  • legacy systems evolution
veryard projects is one of the founder members of the SCIPIO Consortium. We are pleased to offer:
White Papers
and extracts from forthcoming book
available for download
The SCIPIO method is managed by the SCIPIO Consortium. Find out more about the power of SCIPIO.


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