11.3    Directions for Further Work

Two main directions for further work are outlined below: Attempts at validation of Tema, and extending the framework.

11.3.1    Validation of Tema

An obvious candidate for further work is to gain practical experience from using Tema. Practical use requires that a project team is convinced that Tema can be effective in their situation and hence allocate necessary resources to adapt and use it. Alternatively, selected parts of the framework may be applied in various settings and hence prepare for full implementation at a later stage. If industrial projects are not available, more controlled experiments can be an alternative (e.g., as part of a course in enterprise modeling).

Validation can also be sought by further investigation of the principles underlying Tema in order to see if these may hold in other projects as well. Doing repeated studies of enterprise modeling with the same perspective as taken in this research project may establish more confidence in both the principles and the framework. These repeated studies may benefit from the understanding developed in this thesis, enabling a tighter research design than applied in this research project.

11.3.2    Further development of Tema

Tema is not fully developed, and a reasonable future task would be to extend it in various ways. One extension would be to develop the components of the framework that have not been considered in sufficient detail. E.g., the idea of team training has only been argued for on the basis of required skills for applying Tema and the reported success in General Electrics (Singh and Lewis, 1995). Developing a team training program is hence required. The discussion of delimitation in section 8.2.2 provides an overview of some required or possible extensions.

Another extension of Tema would be to integrate principles that pertain to other aspects into the framework. As discussed in section 10.4.2, aspects like economy or actor power have not been considered in the studies. Hence, conducting studies (either empirically or literature based) that focus on these aspects may make the framework more effective, as it provides more support to the modelers.

A final extension of Tema would be to develop alternative components that meet the requirements posed by the principles. E.g., Tema calls for the inclusion of explanations with enterprise models when they are disseminated, as a complementary device for the enterprise audience. As for now, Tema proposes a simple textual account of model elements. However, introducing an active model guide to visualize explanations and introduce animation might be an alternative.