ERP modeling

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ERP modeling, abbreviated to ERP, is the process of reverse engineering an Enterprise Resource Planning software package in order to align it to an organizational structure.

Usage[edit]

Although ERP modeling could possibly be performed by several methodologies, this entry deals with ERP modeling using Object Process Methodology, or OPM.

OPM appears to be a usable methodology for modeling ERP systems, as the methodology focuses on optionality within objects and processes of an ERP system.

ERP modeling is done by analyzing the optionality within an ERP system to identify the different functions of the system that the end-using company needs, regarding its organizational structure. Reverse engineering both ERP system and organizational structure to the same level of granularity makes both layers compatible for aligning the package in the organization.

ERP breaks down traditional functional barriers by facilitating data sharing, information flows, and the introduction of common business practices among all organizational users.

Theory[edit]

A Global Business Process Model is created which represents the whole ERP software product. This model is layered in 3 deeper levels.

    • The first level is the System Configuration Level, which scopes on high-level optionality on the entire system. Option definition is therefore static: once a high-level option of the ERP system is chosen to be used within the organization, the choice cannot be made undone.
    • One level deeper is the Object Level, which scopes on single data objects. The optionality on this level is more dynamic.
    • The deepest level is the Occurrence level, which analyses single process occurrences. Because this level elaborates on object parameters, the optionality is very dynamic, meaning that options can easily be altered.

The meta model below depicts the optionality levels of ERP modeling.


The optionality leveling is used to reverse engineer the ERP system and the organizational structure to its full extent. Once properly mapped, both aspects are fully alignable or at least compatible to be matched.

The correct way to align both ERP and organizational models is as follows:

    1. Convert the ERP system database to an object model
    2. Construct a global business process model
    3. Identify the system configuration-level business process alternatives
    4. Identify the object-level variants of the business processes
    5. Expose the occurrence-level business process options

process occurrences. Because this level elaborates on object parameters, the optionality is very dynamic, meaning that options can easily be altered.

The meta model below depicts the optionality levels of ERP modeling.


The optionality leveling is used to reverse engineer the ERP system and the organizational structure to its full extent. Once properly mapped, both aspects are fully alignable or at least compatible to be matched.

The correct way to align both ERP and organizational models is as follows:

  1. Convert the ERP system database to an object model
  2. Construct a global business process model
  3. Identify the system configuration-level business process alternatives
  4. Identify the object-level variants of the business processes
  5. Expose the occurrence-level business process options