Enterprise methodology

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Everybody agrees: an enterprise is a complex object, a woven web of factors, continuously forced to adapt to an ever-changing world. How can we consider this complexity? How can we paint the whole picture of the enterprise without the risk of omitting a key element? How can we find the right ideas to provide for the future?

It would be illusionary to believe that one unique formula, like a magic charm, would be enough to address this complex reality. We must involve many disciplines and articulate various centres of expertise. To create synergy, they must be integrated into an interdisciplinary frame, consistent and able to use all contributions. This requirement defines the enterprise methodology.

Praxeme is the enterprise methodology, born from an initiative for an open method. It is based on an analysis of the Enterprise System and its internal logic. It offers procedures that cover all aspects of the Enterprise, from ethics to infrastructure, from knowledge to logistics, through processes and organisation.

It is one thing to have methods for each aspect of the enterprise (methods for strategists, for organizers, for IT professionals, accountants…); it is another thing to link them together accurately, so as to obtain a harmonious transformation chain. Praxeme’s original concern is precisely this, to answer the need for coordination among the various specialities, all equally legitimate and necessary, but which have difficulty in communicating.

Executives are the first ones who perceive this need and even more strongly when their organisation is facing change. In front of the disparity of the proposals, decision makers look for a general frame to optimize the investment which even if focussed on one part of the transformation chain must be incorporated into a bigger plan rolled out to all dimensions of the enterprise. They will also look for means to stimulate innovation, not only by looking at their competitors or using the latest technologies but also by revitalising the business, by stepping back from the usual course of action, by rethinking it. Human psychology, conservative forces, actor strategies… everything conspires against this transformation.

It is absolutely necessary to have a method available that shows the events and that offers workarounds to go beyond them. Praxeme’s first approach consists in becoming aware of the complexity and recognising the cognitive universes that need to be linked together. Ethics, terminology, metrology, modelling, sociology, system architecture are some of the disciplines that allow us to come nearer to the enterprise reality. They produce representations that the method helps formalize and connect. For instance, the creation of processes results from ethical requirements, it has to comply with the values stated by the enterprise. The IT system results from business models according to rules of derivation, which ensure its alignment and agility.

Praxeme has been applied to all types of businesses, at variable scales. These experiences include IT system overhauling, innovation in weaponing systems, modelling of transport systems, practices, convergence between systems or businesses of an enterprises alliance, interoperability… The French Administration recommends the use of this method to manage its large modernisation programmes.

To meet its ambition, Praxeme is continuously under construction. The initiative is open in both ways: it welcomes donations and makes its results publically available, royalty-free. The first version is available through methodological guides that form the foundations. Work on Version 2 is underway and will complete the corpus by adding detailed procedures and methods (basic recipes) dedicated to the several roles involved in transformations.

The Praxeme Institute, a non-profit and state-approved association carries out the development of the method and watches over the spirit of openness.

Dominique Vauquier

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