Enterprise engineering

discipline focusing on the identification, design and implementation of all or parts of an enterprise lifecycle

Enterprise engineering is a subdiscipline of systems engineering, which applies the knowledge and methods of systems engineering to the design of businesses. The discipline examines each aspect of the enterprise, including business processes, information flows, and organizational structure.


Quotes are arranged in chronological order

Before 1990s

  • My point is that the enterprise engineer uses, or is guided by, all of the concepts in the above list as may be appropriate to the specific task at hand; in many design tasks good citizenship, psychology, or ethics is more important than good calculus in achieving the optimum-solution or design. The preceding recommendations are intended primarily for Engineering Schools where already the student is trained and the faculty is experienced in methods of science and in the analysis and design functions.
    • The Journal of Industrial Engineering. (1957) Vol 8. p. 106.
  • The enterprise engineer must be a leader, a designer, and a synthesizer. He is a doer. He understands theory as a guide to practice. He must concern himself with human organization because the pace and success of technology are becoming more dependent on interaction with the social system and less on scientific discovery. In private as well as public research and development, such men must find ways to reverse the deterioration of ethics and efficiency. They will strengthen the information links between physical design and the public so that technology can better serve society. In the public sector they must show the level of wisdom and leadership that can co-ordinate great engineering projects with politics. They will recognise that informing the public and becoming a nucleus for crystallising public opinion is even more important in many programmes than is the underlying science.
    • Jay W. Forrester. "Engineering Education and Engineering Practice in the Year 2000." in: Engineering for the benefit of mankind: a symposium held at the third autumn meeting of the National Academy of Engineering. National Academy of Engineering, 1967/1970. p. 137.
  • Professor Forrester told the National Academy of Engineering this fall, the "enterprise engineer," cast in the mold of the "professional engineer of folklore," is needed now more than ever before "to resynthesize the fragments caused by the specialization of other man".
    • Technology Review (1967) Vol. 70, p. 135.




  • A major change is occurring in the nature of work and the way that organizations relate to a rapidly changing environment. Many enterprises (and management teams) face obsolescence because of their inability to respond and adapt to this new situation. Enterprises can adapt if top management designs an appropriate information infrastructure, one which leverages human learning. A set of change processes, known as enterprise engineering, equips organizations to move towards such an infrastructure.
    • James H. (Jim) Brown and Julian Watts (1992). "Enterprise engineering: building 21st century organizations." The Journal of Strategic Information Systems Vol 1 (5): p. 243-249. (Abstract).
  • Enterprise operation efficiency is seriously constrained by the inability to provide the right information, in the right place, at the right time. In spite of significant advances in technology it is still difficult to access information used or produced by different applications due to the hardware and software incompatibilities of manufacturing and information processing equipment. But it is this information and operation knowledge which makes up most of the business value of the enterprise and which enables it to complete in the market place. Therefore, sufficient and timely information access is a prerequisite for its efficient use in the operation of enterprises... The Open System Architecture for CIM... CIMOSA concepts provide operation structuring bases on cooperating processes. Enterprise operations are represented in terms of functionality and dynamic behavior (control flow). Information needed and produced, as well as resources and organisational aspects relevant in the course of the operation are modelled in the process model. However, the different aspects may be viewed separately for additional structuring and detailing during the enterprise engineering process.
  • In the early ‘80’s, there was little interest in the idea of Enterprise Reengineering or Enterprise Modeling and the use of formalisms and models was generally limited to some aspects of application development within the Information Systems community. The subject of "architecture" was acknowledged at that time, however, there was little definition to support the concept. This lack of definition precipitated the initial investigation that ultimately resulted in the "Framework for Information Systems Architecture." Although from the outset, it was clear that it should have been referred to as a "Framework for Enterprise Architecture," that enlarged perspective could only now begin to be generally understood as a result of the relatively recent and increased, worldwide focus on Enterprise "engineering."
  • Enterprise Engineering is based on the belief that an enterprise, as any other complex system can be designed or improved in an orderly fashion thus giving a better overall result than ad hoc organisation and design.
    • Peter Bernus, Laszlo Nemes, and R. Morris (1994) "Possibilities and limitations of reusing enterprise models." IFAC Workshop, Proceedings from Intelligent Manufacturing Systems.


  • Martin's changemaker is the "Enterprise Engineer," who is an expert on what changes work in organizations. Enterprise Engineers need training to understand the mechanisms underlying corporate processes and an in-depth expertise in the family of change methods. Steeped in study of all methods, the Enterprise Engineer's skill is formidable.
    • Executive Forum. The American Management Association, 1995: About James Martin's book Making Change.
  • In enterprise modelling, we want to define the actions performed within an enterprise, and define constraints for plans and schedules which are constructed to satisfy the goals of the enterprise. This leads to the following set of informal competency questions:
    • Temporal projection - Given a set of actions that occur at different points in the future, what are the properties of resources and activities at arbitrary points in time?
    • Planning and scheduling - what sequence of activities must be completed to achieve some goal? At what times must these activities be initiated and terminated?
    • Execution monitoring and external events - What are the effects of the occurrence of external and unexpected events (such as machine breakdown or the unavailability of resources) on a plan or schedule?
    • Time-based competition - we want to design an enterprise that minimizes the cycle time for a product. This is essentially the task of finding a minimum duration plan that minimizes action occurrences and maximizes concurrency of activities.
    • Michael Grüninger and Mark S. Fox (1995) "Methodology for the Design and Evaluation of Ontologies." p. 3-4.
  • Enterprise Engineering is defined as that body of knowledge, principles, and practices having to do with the analysis, design, implementation and operation of an enterprise. In a continually changing and unpredictable competitive environment, the Enterprise Engineer addresses a fundamental question: “how to design and improve all elements associated with the total enterprise through the use of engineering and analysis methods and tools to more effectively achieve its goals and objectives”...
    • Donald H. Liles et al. (1995) "Enterprise engineering: a discipline?." Society for Enterprise Engineering Conference Proceedings. Vol. 6. 1995.
  • Enterprise engineering is an integrated set of disciplines for building an enterprise, its processes, and systems.
    • James Martin (1995) The great transition: using the seven disciplines of enterprise engineering to align people, technology. p. 58; As cited in: Jan Hoogervorst (2009) Enterprise Governance and Enterprise Engineering. p. 8-9.
  • The presence of an enterprise reference architecture aids an enterprise in its ability to understand its structure and processes. Similar to a computer architecture, the enterprise architecture is comprised of several views. The enterprise architecture should provide activity, organizational, business rule (information), resource, and process views of an organization.
    • Joseph Sarkis, Adrien Presley and Donald H. Liles (1995) "The management of technology within an enterprise engineering framework." in: Computers & industrial engineering.
  • An enterprise architecture is a "blueprint" or "picture" which assists in the design of an enterprise. An enterprise architecture must define three things. First, what are the activities that an enterprise performs? Second, how should these activities be performed? And finally, how should the enterprise be constructed?
    An enterprise is a collection of enterprise activities organized into a set of business processes which cooperate to produce desired enterprise results... The architecture takes a systems view of an enterprise in which an enterprise is seen as a system which takes in inputs and produces outputs under some set of environmental constraints...
  • Enterprise engineering is... the art of understanding , defining, specifying, analysing and implementing business processes for the enterprise entire life cycle, so that the enterprise can achieve its objectives, be cost-effective, and be more competitive in its market environment.
  • Enterprises are rather complex systems which have to be managed for their internal affairs, but more importantly for the many relations to the different environments in which they are operating. Today, these environments are changing much more rapidly and the need for relevant information becomes of paramount importance in the decision making processes at all levels of enterprise management. Fluctuations in market demands, technology evolution and changing regulations require very flexible enterprise operations, capable of reacting to those changes. These reactions must be based on relevant and up-to-date information which must be supported by new decision support technology. The challenges in decision support concern the identification of relevant information, easy access and intelligent use of this information. Building and maintaining the enterprise knowledge base and enabling its efficient use for decision support are major tasks of enterprise engineering.




  • Enterprise architecture (EA) promotes the belief that an enterprise, as a complex system, can be designed or improved in an orderly fashion achieving better overall results than ad-hoc organisation and design. EA is a co-operative effort of designers, analysts and managers and uses enterprise models in the process... enterprise models carry meaning. This resulted in requirements for the enterprise engineering process, which—if not met—can limit the viability of the process. The analysis of the same factors resulted in requirements for improved Enterprise Modelling Tools.
    • Peter Bernus (2003) "Enterprise models for enterprise architecture and ISO9000: 2000." Annual Reviews in Control 27.2 : 211-220.
  • Enterprise Engineering is the collection of those tools and methods which one can use to design and continually maintain an enterprise.
    • Peter Bernus, ‎Laszlo Nemes, ‎Günter Schmidt (eds.) Handbook on Enterprise Architecture. 2003. p. 22; Cited in: Dennis F.X. Mathaisel (2007) Sustaining the Military Enterprise. p. 69.


  • James Martin [in his The great transition (1995)] claims that enterprise engineering requires a focus on seven disciplines which can be linked directly to the value framework processes:
    • Five disciplines of business change methods
    • Strategic visioning - Ongoing cycle of value positioning
    • Enterprise redesign - Discontinuous change in the value definition
    • Value stream reinvention - Discontinuous change in the value offering• Procedure redesign - Discontinuous reinvention of value creation
    • Total quality management - Continuing change in value creation
    • Two disciplines of infrastructure change
    • Organizational and cultural development - Continuous value innovation
    • Information technology development - Continuous value enablement
The enterprise architect is seriously limited if the latter discipline is the only discipline in his toolbox of capabilities. Information technology development must be the core competency of an enterprise architect but needs to have a fundamental grasp of the other six disciplines of enterprise engineering.
  • Enterprise engineering is an emerging discipline for developing enterprise capabilities. It is a multidisciplinary approach that takes a broad perspective in synthesizing technical and nontechnical (political, economic, organizational, operational, social and cultural) aspects of an enterprise capability.
    Enterprise engineering is directed towards enabling and achieving enterprise-level and cross-enterprise operations outcomes. Enterprise engineering is based on the premise that an enterprise is a collection of entities that want to succeed and will adapt to do so. The implication of this statement is that enterprise engineering processes are more about shaping the space in which organizations develop systems so that an organization innovating and operating to succeed in its local mission will—automatically and at the same time - innovate and operate in the interest of the enterprise.
    Enterprise engineering processes are focused more on shaping the environment, incentives and rules of success in which classical engineering takes place. Enterprise engineering coordinates, harmonizes and integrates the efforts of organizations and individuals through processes informed or inspired by natural evolution and economic markets. Enterprise engineering manages largely through interventions (innovations) instead of (rigorous/strict) controls.
    • George Rebovich, Jr. (2007) as cited in: Cesar Ariel Pinto, ‎Paul R. Garvey (2011) Advanced Risk Analysis in Engineering Enterprise Systems. p. 23.
  • Enterprise Engineering is the application of engineering principles to the management of enterprises. It encompasses the application of knowledge, principles, and disciplines related to the analysis, design, implementation and operation of all elements associated with an enterprise.
    In essence it is an interdisciplinary field which combines systems engineering and strategic management as it seeks to engineer the entire enterprise in terms of the products, processes and business operations. The view is one of continuous improvement and continued adaptation as firms, processes and markets develop along their life cycles. This total systems approach encompasses the traditional areas of research and development, product design, operations and manufacturing as well as information systems and strategic management
  • Enterprise engineering is an emerging mode of systems engineering that manages and shapes forces of uncertainty to achieve enterprise capabilities through interventions instead of controls. It is directed toward enabling and achieving enterprise-level and cross-enterprise capability outcomes by building effective, efficient networks of individual systems to meet the objectives of the enterprise.
    • George Rebovich, Jr. "Enterprise system of systems" in: Mo Jamshidi (ed.) Systems of Systems Engineering: Principles and Applications. 2008. p. 188.
  • Enterprise engineering is an emerging discipline that studies enterprises from an engineering perspective. The first paradigm of this discipline is that enterprises are purposefully designed and implemented systems. Consequently, they can be re-designed and re-implemented if there is a need for change. The second paradigm of enterprise engineering is that enterprises are social systems. This means that the system elements are social individuals, and that the essence of an enterprise's operation lies in the entering into and complying with commitments between these social individuals.
    • Erik Proper, Frank Harmsen, Jan L. G. Dietz (2009) Advances in Enterprise Engineering II: First NAF Academy Working Conference on Practice-Driven Research on Enterprise Transformation, PRET 2009, Held at CAiSE 2009, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 11, 2009 : Proceedings. preface.
  • Enterprise engineering is rooted in both the organizational sciences and the information system sciences. In our current understanding, three concepts are paramount to the theoretical and practical pursuit of enterprise engineering: enterprise ontology, enterprise architecture, and enterprise governance.


  • A longer term objective for enterprise engineering is to make the practice a distributed activity, whereupon enterprise models become the everyday tool for all actors in the enterprise, from workers to the CEO.
    • Gary Doucet (2011) Coherency Management: Architecting the Enterprise for Alignment, Agility and Assurance'. p. 451.
  • Cross-enterprise engineering is needed to support the global cooperation of internal and external organization units in the transformation of classic product development into a virtual process.
    • Alan Eardley, ‎Lorna Uden (2011) Innovative Knowledge Management: Concepts for Organizational Creativity and Collaborative Design. p. 151.
  • Enterprise Engineering is an emerging discipline, originating from both the Information System Sciences and the Organizational Sciences.
    • Jaroslav Pokorny, ‎Vaclav Repa, ‎Karel Richta (2011) Information Systems Development: Business Systems and Services: : Modeling and Development. p. 1.
  • It is the mission of the discipline of Enterprise Engineering to develop new, appropriate theories, models, methods and other artifacts for the analysis, design, implementation, and governance of enterprises by combining (relevant parts of) management and organization science, information systems science, and computer science. The ambition is to address (all) traditional topics in said disciplines from the Enterprise Engineering Paradigm. The result of our efforts should be theoretically rigorous and practically relevant.
    • Jan L. G. Dietz, editor of CIAO! Network (2011) ‘’Enterprise Engineering Manifesto’’, Mission



A major article was published on "The discipline of enterprise engineering" about the emerging discipline of Enterprise Engineering. The article consolidates years of research in top research universities that have doctoral research programs on Enterprise Engineering and companies that apply enterprise engineering knowledge and methodologies, namely Delft University of Technology (Jan L. G. Dietz and Joseph Barjis), Tokyo Institute of Technology (Junichi Iijima), University of Antwerp / Antwerp Management School (Jan A.P. Hoogervorst, Jan Verelst, Hans Mulder, Martin Op ‘t Land, Philip Huysmans), Instituto Superior Técnico - Portugal (José Tribolet, Artur Caetano), University of Madeira (David Aveiro), University of St. Gallen (Antonia Albani, Robert Winter), The National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’ - Russia (Eduard Babkin), Radboud University Nijmegen — the Netherlands (Erik Proper), IBM (Jorge Sanz), Capgemini (Martin Op ‘t Land), Formetis (Steven van Kervel) and ICRIS (Linda Terlouw). The article lays down profound foundations for the discipline as well as it introduces the underlying principles, required theories, and delivers critique of scientific management that fails to address the challenges of modern enterprises.

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