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Method  Engineering

Method Engineering and Method Execution can be viewed as a system just as a business function, business project, organisation or information system can be viewed as a system

Method Engineering Noddy Guide

Method  Engineering Overview

Method Engineering Overview

Definition of a system

Method Engineering and Method Execution can be viewed as a system just as a business function, business project, organisation or application can be viewed as a system. Per system theory, a system can be described as follows:

System Theory.png

The system has the following characteristics:

  • A system operations in scenarios that have its own influencing factors.

  • A system has a particular purpose that can be described in terms of a mission or goals that needs to be realised, which is driven by opportunities and threatened by constraints.

  • The system is either strong or weak to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate threats.

  • Every system has to use inputs to produce the required outputs, Inputs are sourced from and supplied to the system target environment. For a project the outputs are referred to as deliverable's.

  • Every system always has to produce outputs or deliverable's to satisfy particular needs of certain parties that are part of the target environment.

  • Inputs and outputs related to resources such as data, technology, people, operational capital, raw material, energy, products, services and other with specific implied characteristics.

  •  Inputs and outputs are conveniently grouped as primary and secondary.

  • Stakeholders of a system have specific interests in the system operation

  • The efficiency of the system is represented as the ratio between the input and output, only as long as the output is in demand. The system is represented as the ratio between the input and output, only as long as the output is in demand. The system can be effective in that it produces the required output but not efficient due to the inputs that are consumed.

  • The system is influenced by factors from the target and external environment and attempts to have a direct impact on the target environment.

The following types of transformations can take place in a system using transformation mechanisms:

  • Physical (Converting raw material into a product of higher value)

  • Location (Moving objects from one place to another, for example storage of goods)

  • Transactional (A value implied exchange, such as banking or stock brokerage)

  • Informational (Modification of data into something more useful that could be reflected on a

Method Engineering Objectives

The method that is established should strive towards achieving the following objectives:

  1. Improve the overall quality (Effectiveness and Efficiency) of achieving a business
    engineering / transformation goal:

    • Minimise human effort.​

    • Save time and cost.

    • Deliver the required result accurately, with precision.

    • Deliver the required results with a guarantee of success.

  2. Enable the mitigation of risk.

    • This can for example be achieved through early, continuous, measurable deliverables
      (incremental approach) that can reduce the risks associated with a long initiative. Here
      we attempt to achieve an incremental growth in cost and risk but at the same time a
      quantum leap in terms of benefits of change and mode of operation.

    • This is also achieved by the way that the change is effected, and the fact that there is a
      constant change management and project management thrusts that are coupled with
      change effort.​

  3. Maximise the benefit to all stakeholders.​

    • Stakeholders should be identified and their expectations described. The method should

      deliver the required benefit to the stakeholders.​

  4. Standardise on a commonly used method in terms of:​

    • Language (Terminology).​

    • Approach.

    • Deliverables.

    • Repeatability.

  5. Increase the maturity of the organisation for changes. For a mature organisation, the
    method will be:​

    • Well Defined and Known to All Stakeholders​

    • Entrenched (Executed accordingly by all Stakeholders)

    • Constantly Engineered (Research and Development)

    • Standardised across the Enterprise

    • Complete (Cover All Architectural Layers and Facets, Complete Life Cycle, All
      Architectural Data Viewpoints)

Organisation / Project Specific Methodology (vs. Generalised Methodology)

The reasons why organisation or project specific methodologies need to be created are:​

  • Legacy Method

    • Software, Techniques, etc. in the organisation that are embedded and effective.​

  • Industry Specific Requirements​

    • Each of the industry sectors such as Finance, Government and Manufacturing have
      specific requirements for a method given their areas of focus.​

  • Maturity of the Organization​

  • No Common Methodology for all Problem / Opportunity Resolutions​

  • Business Pressure to Deliver Results

  • Strategic drivers (Philosophies / Principles) adopted for the methodology within the

  • Organizations Specific Culture

    • Business Ethics​

  • Environmental Scenarios, Situations and Related Influences​

    • Over Regulated Environment​

    • Demand for Information to Enable Decision Making

A project specific architecture would be relevant to the requirements of only that project and thus would exclude certain objects Method Engineering and elements from the architecture framework.


Generic  principles for the method & method establishment.

Generic Principles

These principles can act as control mechanisms to established a quality method:

  • Allow for Centralised Control with Decentralised Execution.

  • Enable Top-down vs. Bottom-up Knowledge Generation Approach.

  • Holistic (Cover all life cycle steps, architecture layers and facets, and data views).

  • Enable Control over Architecture and Change.

  • Strategy dictates Architecture which dictates PPM.

  • Object / Service Oriented Methodology.

  • Implement a Continuous Dedicated Function Set for Methodology Engineering
    (Processes, People, Technology, etc.).

  • Pre-developed Solutions / Objects (Patterns, Blueprints, Standard Solutions, etc.).

  • Methodology Enabled using Software.

Deliverable's  Required

Deliverable's Required

These following artifacts / deliverable's are required as method enablers:

  1. Philosophies / Principles Adopted​

    • Strategic drivers for the method.​

  2. Meta Model – Function Perspective​

    • Representation of the objectives / goals that need to be achieved.​

  3. Categories of Projects​

    • Such as process re-engineering, organisation restructuring and package evaluation, selection and

    • Derived from the Meta Model <Function>

  4. Meta Model – Data Perspective​

    • Data attributes used and produced. Represented in a normalised structure with interdepencies.

    • Business rules related to method data. Not just meta data.​

  5. Data Artefacts and Related Templates

    • Structure / Catalogue of Data Artefacts produced and used in the life cycle steps.​

    • Data attributes per Data Artefact.

  6. Meta Model - Process to Execute the Methodology per Project Category​

    • Process Definition (Sequenced Functions, Deliverables (Inputs / Outputs) – mainly data artefacts,
      Role Players.)​

    • Life Cycles

    • Repetitive recipe of sequenced techniques to achieve a specific objective / goal

  7. Modelling Techniques and Related Guidelines​

    • Graphical, Textual and Algorithms.​

    • Summary of rules derived from Meta Model <Data>.

    • Notation used (symbols) and Sample Diagrams.

  8. Framework​

    • Summary of all the data / information that needs to be address.​

  9. Enabling Software and Related Architecture​

    • Functionality, Physical Data Structure, Semantic, Logic / Algorithms​

    • Software Integration Architecture

  10. Governance​

    • This includes Extracts / Viewpoints from the other deliverables.​

    • Agreement / sign off of these governance mechanisms.

    • Education and compliance measurement and reporting.

Implications of Method Engineering

Implications of Method Engineering

The implications of a new developed or enhanced methodology are:

  1. Training on Method​

    • The focus of training should be on the development of competencies (knowledge, skills, values and attitudes). The balance between these characteristics is likely to reflect the nature of the change being managed.​

    • Even the best solutions could result in failure, without the people who are executing
      them understanding their full potential or executing them incorrectly - they will simply
      not represent a solution.

  2. Organisation Restructuring

    • A misaligned organisation structure could result in an inefficient execution of method.
      Organisation structures could actually result in a system being constrained to certain

    • Organisation structure changes implies at least:

      • Role / Job Descriptions (Roles and Responsibilities).​

      • Resource <People> Recruitment and Structure Population.

  3. Implementation of a Governance:

    • Forum / Structure to enforce Method

    • Controls

  4. Implementation of Capability for Ongoing Maintenance and Support of Method:

    • Training and Education

    • Help Desk​

  5. Evaluation Selection, Configuration and Deployment of Enabling Software (PPM and
    Architecture related)

  6. ​​Sourcing and Conversion of Existing Data / Knowledge into the New / Fixed Software’s

  7. Budget Sourcing for Implementation, Management and Support of the Methodl

  8. Measurement

    • Method Engineering implies that assessments have to be compiled pre-, mid- and post
      change to determine the continuous financial viability of the venture. The initial
      components of the venture have to finance the following, in other words the engineering should fund itself.

      • Measuring Conformance​

    • Metrics must be established to reflect whether participants are conforming and thus
      contributing to achieve the targets. These metrics should be established and enforced
      through governance mechanisms. Care has to be taken to design and deploy the correct metrics. The metrics should be utilised to create behaviour within its customer base to execute their operations in an effective manner. Performance targets have to be set throughout the business and agreed with all stakeholders.​

      • Measuring Participation and Contribution​

    • If we do not infiltrate the Balanced Scorecards of our customers and method stewards they simply will not comply. Any measurement mechanism generates behaviour. We have to devise the Balanced Scorecard items in such a manner that it generates method engineering “friendly” behaviour. The Balanced Scorecard items have to be deployed across the stewardship community, as well as upwards into the organisation structures they report into. Initially the challenge will be to gain acceptance of the Method Engineering philosophy and principles through the deployment and acceptance of policies.​

      • Measuring Benefits Delivered​

    • Successes of Method Engineering have to be identified, translated to benefit that the
      customer understands and quantified by some or other yardstick, e.g. financial gain,
      risk, shorter delivery, less re-work, etc. Marketing of the successes is extremely
      important as the customer needs to feel the benefit. We are in an era of “what about
      me” syndrome. Your customer will only associate with you if there is benefit for him
      from the association. It is important to adjust the service catalogue with “offerings”
      derived from benefits.​

  9. Human Engineering​

    • The participation and behaviour of the stakeholders is exposed to out of the ordinary
      elements. Method engineering in particular enforce a particular way of working and
      structure. ‘Structure enforces behaviour.’ It is possible to predict the behaviour of
      stakeholders, due to the very specific threats, uncertainties, constraints, changes and
      rate of change to which they are exposed.

  10. Project and Programme Management (PPM)

Process Overview

Process Overview

The method can be established and enhanced on an ongoing basis using the following typical life cycle steps:

Process Overview for Method Engineering.
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