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This paper explores how work system theory (WST) and related core ideas in various versions of the work system method (WSM) overlap with enterprise engineering and with the DEMO methodology. Based on the definition of work system, an enterprise can be viewed as a set of interacting work systems. A work system can be summarized at various levels of detail. The simplest level is basically a verb phrase. The next level is a “work system snapshot.” More detailed descriptions are based on a work system metamodel.

This paper’s contribution is in two areas, 1) establishing links between WST/WSM and enterprise engineering in general and 2) comparing aspects of WST/WSM and DEMO and demonstrating similarities, thereby implying the possibility of converting DEMO models into work system models that can be developed further using other methods and tools designed around WST. Those synergies might support combining theoretical underpinnings of DEMO with the intuitive simplicity of the work system perspective, which has been applied by many hundreds of employed MBA and Executive MBA students who produced management briefings recommending improvements in work systems in their own organizations.

The overlap between WST/WSM and DEMO is demonstrated using a DEMO representation of the OMG’s EU Rent example [1], which illustrated OMG’s Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR) [2] and Business Motivation Model (BMM) [3]. A tabular summary called a work system snapshot captures much of a DEMO essential model of the EU Rent example. A more extensive summary based on a work system metamodel adds information for going from construction to implementation. The example illustrates how a work system perspective on a sociotechnical system fits with 7 postulates of an enterprise engineering manifesto [4] and with 7 enterprise engineering fundamentals [5], thereby suggesting the potential value of deeper exploration of those relationships.

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