The Book

Recommended as a reference material for the course - Accelerating Business Process Engineering and Systems Development with Re-usable Business Knowledge

Eller College of ManagementCourse offered by Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Spring 2006: Second Half: Roughly from March 5, 2006 thru May 5, 2006

Course Number
MAP/ENTR 459/559
Course Slides

Course objective and rationale
The objective of the course is to introduce a new paradigm that addresses business agility, process resilience, and leveraging of corporate knowledge. The course will demonstrate how business knowledge can be reused to attain major strategic benefits through decomposition of knowledge into components. It will show how these components of knowledge can be reconfigured in step with innovation and new learning, and how business processes and information systems can be designed to automatically flex in step with the evolving configurations of knowledge in support of business agility.

Agility is becoming the most important challenge for the long-term success of businesses. However, most business process engineering, outsourcing, and information systems approaches discount innovation and agility. They only address issues of operational efficiency and economics. Agility is becoming increasingly critical because of the unprecedented rate of change and innovation that characterizes the twenty first century. The slow, methodically structured manufacturing and mass production paradigms of the industrial age are crumbling under the onslaught of information bolstered by new knowledge. The physical products of the industrial age were fixed, structured and stable; they were developed to fulfill a stable need. Knowledge and information are not only chimerical and unstructured, but they have extended the reach of businesses to cover the entire globe. This has made businesses bigger, more diverse and more complex by quantum leaps, and more prone to chaos under the imperatives of rapid change. Competition has intensified.

Customer satisfaction and customer share have gained paramount importance. For these reasons, one needs to study new approaches that facilitate the automated synthesis and coordination of business knowledge is beginning to have a profound impact on the way business is being done The course will describe how information systems can be designed to better adapt to changing operational needs and market conditions. This is accomplished partially by reusing and re-configuring business knowledge. In addition, the principal instructor will highlight how innovation and flexibility of product-service offerings, business processes and information systems can be supported with component technology. These components will not be traditional I/T components. Rather they will be shared components of knowledge from which patterns of business knowledge can be assembled. These components will be the cornerstone of a new computing paradigm in which computers manipulate meanings, not program code or blind symbols. Systems built on these principles will operate on the plane of meanings - a little like we, humans, do.

Additional details about the new course will be added to the same website on a continuing basis during the spring term.

Target Audience: This course connects business knowledge with process and systems engineering. It will address both business process and information architecture. For this reason it will be relevant to students of Management, ECE, SIE and Computer Science.

The course will rely heavily on the two new books highlighted at the Eller college website's books section.