Tag Archives: Grouping

Modeling a Company and Its Locations, Markets, Employees, Investors & Roles: Proposals, Wishes & Dreams

COPYRIGHT © 2016-2017 by Michael Herman, Toronto Canada. All rights reserved.

This article presents some new approaches for modeling answers to the following frequently asked question:

How do I model X in ArchiMate?

NOTE: You are encouraged to try to model these examples for yourself: to start learning how to “think in ArchiMate” as your second or third written language. Archi is a great free tool for learning the ArchiMate language. You can download the Archi .archimate file containing the model used for this article from here. You can download the latest version of the Archi 4.0 modeling tool from here (which includes full support for the ArchiMate 3.0 language).

ArchiMate 3.0 is used as the baseline enterprise architecture modeling language for this discussion; especially the new Grouping element.

The Proposals

There are 2 new proposals described in this article: one more generic and one more specific.

  1. Proposal 1: A new (general) approach for visually presenting answers to the question “How do I model X in ArchiMate?” using a metamodel-level reference model modeling strategy
  2. Proposal 2: A specific approach (reference model) for modeling a Company and its Locations, Markets, Employees, Investors, etc. and their Roles.

The second proposal is an example or use case for the former.

Proposal 1: Modeling of Best Practice Modeling Patterns

Proposal 1 is illustrated in Figure 1 and Figure 2. These figures illustrate a general approach for modeling and visually presenting answers to the question “How do I model X in ArchiMate?”.

Rather than provide simple, less-informative, textual answers such as “use Business Collaborations to model Companies” or in ArchiMate 3.0, “use Groupings to model Companies”, why not:

  • Leverage Specialization relationships to model, name, and visually illustrate, in these examples, alternative representations of a Company element
  • From a presentation perspective, place the new best practices modeling pattern on the left – side-by-side – with the portion of the applicable elements of the base-level ArchiMate metamodel on the right

as illustrated in Figure 1 and Figure 2.

NOTE: Proposal 1 is illustrated with 2 examples. The merits of the individual examples are discussed below in Proposal 2. The comparison of these 2 examples is not part of Proposal 1.


Figure 1. Metamodel-level Reference Model for a Company using Business Collaboration


Figure 2. Metamodel-level Reference Model for a Company using Grouping

Proposal 2: Specific approach (reference model) for modeling a Company

Proposal 2 asks the question: Of the 2 options presented above (or any additional alternative options), which option represents a best practice reference model for modeling a Company and its Locations, Markets, Employees, Investors, etc. and their Roles.

The only tangible difference between the modeling strategy in Figure 1 vs. Figure 2 is:

  • Figure 1 derives Business Organization from Business Collaboration
  • Figure 2 derives Business Organization from Grouping (a new element introduced in ArchiMate 3.0)

These choices, in turn, have a secondary effect in terms of the valid set of relationships that can be used to compose or aggregate the elements that comprise a Business Organization.

To aid your consideration, Figure 3 provides a more concrete example using the second option: using Groupings to represent Companies (my current preferred solution).

NOTE: The goal of these models is to model the active structure of a Business Organization which excludes concepts like Business Processes and Business Services.


Figure 3. Proposal 2 Example: Bridgewater Associates

What do you think?

Please add your comments, thoughts, and questions below.

Best regards,

Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation

*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.


Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, Automated Enterprise Architecture Modeling, Crossing the EA Charm, Definitions, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Architecture Chasm, Graphitization, ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate