Enterprise Modeling (EM) is used for a wide range of purposes such as developing business strategies, business process restructuring, business process orientation and standardization, eliciting information system requirements, capturing best practices, etc. A common challenge impeding the value and impact of EM is insufficient model quality. Despite substantial attention from both researchers and commercial vendors of methods the current situation in practice with respect to the quality of models produced is not satisfactory. Many modeling projects produce bad models that are essentially useless. The objective of this paper is to introduce a format, anti-patterns, for documenting critical don’ts in EM and to demonstrate the potential of the format by using it to report a set of common and reoccurring pitfalls of real life EM projects. We use the format of anti-pattern for capturing the bad solutions to reoccurring problems and then explain what led to choosing the bad solution. The anti-patterns in this paper address three main aspects of EM – the modeling product, the modeling process, and the modeling tool support.


Enterprise modeling model quality anti-patterns 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Persson, A., Stirna, J.: An explorative study into the influence of business goals on the practical use of Enterprise Modelling methods and tools. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD 2001). Kluwer, London (2001)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lindland, O.I., Sindre, G., Sølvberg, A.: Understanding Quality in Conceptual Modeling. IEEE Software 11(2), 42–49 (1994)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Davies, I., Green, P., Rosemann, M., Gallo, S.: Conceptual Modelling - What and Why in Current Practice. In: Atzeni, P., Chu, W., Lu, H., Zhou, S., Ling, T.-W. (eds.) ER 2004. LNCS, vol. 3288, pp. 30–42. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Moody, D.L., Shanks, G.: Improving the quality of data models: empirical validation of a quality management framework. Information Systems (IS) 28(6), 619–650 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Maes, A., Poels, G.: Evaluating Quality of Conceptual Models Based on User Perceptions. In: Embley, D.W., Olivé, A., Ram, S. (eds.) ER 2006. LNCS, vol. 4215, pp. 54–67. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mendling, J., Reijers, H.A., Cardoso, J.: What Makes Process Models Understandable? In: Alonso, G., Dadam, P., Rosemann, M. (eds.) BPM 2007. LNCS, vol. 4714, pp. 48–63. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Krogstie, J., Sindre, G., Jørgensen, H.: Process models representing knowledge for action: a revised quality framework. European Journal of Information Systems 15, 91–102 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rosemann, M.: Potential Pitfalls of Process Modeling: Part A. Business Process Management Journal 12(2), 249–254 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Persson, A.: Enterprise Modelling in Practice: Situational Factors and their Influence on Adopting a Participative Approach, PhD thesis, Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, No 01-020 (2001) ISSN 1101-8526Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stirna, J.: The Influence of Intentional and Situational Factors on EM Tool Acquisition in Organisations, Ph.D. Thesis, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (2001)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Carstensen, A., Högberg, P., Holmberg, L., Johnsen, S., Karlsen, D., Lillehagen, F., Lundqvist, M., Ohren, O., Sandkuhl, K., Wallin, A.: Kongsberg Automotive Requirements Model, deliverable D6, MAPPER, IST proj. no 016527 (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Carstensen, A., Holmberg, L., Högberg, P., Johnsen, S.G., Karlsen, D., Lillehagen, F., Sandkuhl1, K., Stirna, J.: Integrating Requirement and Solution Modelling: Approach and Experiences. In: The 12th Workshop on Exploring Modelling Methods for Information Systems Analysis and Design (EMMSAD), Trondheim, Norway (2007) ISBN 978-82-519-2245-6Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Carstensen, A., Holmberg, L., Högberg, P., Johnsen, S.G., Karlsen, D., Lillehagen, F., Sandkuhl, K., Stirna, J.: Generalised Active Knowledge Models for Automotive Distributed Product Design, deliverable D16, MAPPER - Model-based Adaptive Product and Process Engineering, IST project no 016527, Kongsberg Automotive, Sweden (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mikelsons, J., Stirna, J., Kalnins, J.R., Kapenieks, A., Kazakovs, M., Vanaga, I., Sinka, A., Persson, A., Kaindl, H.: Trial Application in the Riga City Council, deliverable D6, IST Programme project Hypermedia and Pattern Based Knowledge Management for Smart Organisations, project no. IST-2000-28401. Riga, Latvia (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Stirna, J., Persson, A., Aggestam, L.: Building Knowledge Repositories with Enterprise Modelling and Patterns - from Theory to Practice. In: Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Gothenburg, Sweden (June 2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Larsson, L., Segerberg, R.: An Approach for Quality Assurance in Enterprise Modelling, MSc thesis, Deptment of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, no 04-22 (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stirna, J., Persson, A.: An Enterprise Modeling Approach to Support Creativity and Quality in Information Systems and Business Development. In: Halpin, T., Krogstie, J., Proper, E. (eds.) Innovations in Information Systems Modeling: Methods and Best Practices. IGI Global (2008) ISBN 978-1-60566-278-7Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bajec, M., Krisper, M.: A methodology and tool support for managing business rules in organisations. Information Systems 30(6), 423–443 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bubenko, J.A.j., Persson, A., Stirna, J.: User Guide of the Knowledge Management Approach Using Enterprise Knowledge Patterns, IST Programme project Hypermedia and Pattern Based Knowledge Management for Smart Organisations, no. IST-2000-28401, KTH, Sweden (2001),
  20. 20.
    Castro, J., Kolp, M., Mylopoulos, J.: A Requirements-Driven Software Development Methodology. In: Dittrich, K.R., Geppert, A., Norrie, M.C. (eds.) CAiSE 2001. LNCS, vol. 2068, pp. 108–123. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dobson, J., Blyth, J., Strens, R.: Organisational Requirements Definition for Information Technology. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Requirements Engineering 1994, Denver/CO (1994)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fox, M.S., Chionglo, J.F., Fadel, F.G.: A common-sense model of the enterprise. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Institute for Industrial Engineers, Norcross/GA (1993)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    van Lamsweerde, A., Letier, E.: Handling Obstacles in Goal-Oriented Requirements Engineering. IEEE Trans. Software Eng. 26(10), 978–1005 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Loucopoulos, P., Kavakli, V., Prekas, N., Rolland, C., Grosz, G., Nurcan, S.: Using the EKD Approach: The Modelling Component, UMIST, Manchester, UK (1997)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Krogstie, J., Jørgensen, H.D.: Interactive Models for Supporting Networked Organizations. In: Persson, A., Stirna, J. (eds.) CAiSE 2004. LNCS, vol. 3084, pp. 550–563. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Willars, H.: Handbok i ABC-metoden. Plandata Strategi (1988)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yu, E.S.K., Mylopoulos, J.: From E-R to A-R- Modelling Strategic Actor Relationships for Business Process Reengineering. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on the Entity-Relationship Approach, Manchester, England (1994)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    F3-Consortium, F3 Reference Manual, ESPRIT III Project 6612, SISU, Sweden (1994)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nilsson, A.G., Tolis, C., Nellborn, C. (eds.): Perspectives on Business Modelling: Understanding and Changing Organisations. Springer, Heidelberg (1999)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Cardoso, J.: Process control-flow complexity metric: An empirical validation. In: IEEE International Conference on Services Computing (SCC 2006), pp. 167–173 (2006)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mendling, J., Neumann, G., van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Understanding the Occurrence of Errors in Process Models based on Metrics. In: Meersman, R., Tari, Z. (eds.) OTM 2007, Part I. LNCS, vol. 4803, pp. 113–130. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M., Fiksdahl-King, I., Angel, S.: A Pattern Language. Oxford University Press, New York (1977)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Coplien, J., Schmidt, D. (eds.): Pattern Languages of Program Design. Addison Wesley, Reading (1995)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fowler, M.: Analysis Patterns: Reusable Object Models. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1997)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Gamma, E., Helm, R., Johnson, R., Vlissides, J.: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. Addison Wesley, Reading (1995)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rolland, C., Stirna, J., Prekas, N., Loucopoulos, P., Persson, A., Grosz, G.: Evaluating a Pattern Approach as an Aid for the Development of Organisational Knowledge: An Empirical Study. In: Wangler, B., Bergman, L.D. (eds.) CAiSE 2000. LNCS, vol. 1789, pp. 176–191. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Brown, W.J., Malveau, R.C., McCormick III, R.C., Mowbray, T.J.: AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (1998)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Long, J.: Software Reuse Antipatterns. Software Engineering Notes, ACM SIGSOFT 26(4) (2001)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Stirna, J., Persson, A., Sandkuhl, K.: Participative Enterprise Modelling: Experiences and Recommendations. In: Krogstie, J., Opdahl, A.L., Sindre, G. (eds.) CAiSE 2007 and WES 2007. LNCS, vol. 4495, pp. 546–560. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Persson, A., Stirna, J.: How to transfer a KM approach to an organization – a set of patterns and anti-patterns. In: Reimer, U., Karagiannis, D. (eds.) PAKM 2006. LNCS, vol. 4333, pp. 243–252. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Meszaros, G.: A Pattern Language for Pattern Writing, Object Systems Group (1997),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janis Stirna
    • 1
  • Anne Persson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Systems SciencesRoyal Institute of Technology, Forum 100KistaSweden
  2. 2.University of SkövdeSkövdeSweden

Personalised recommendations