e3 Value Model

e3 value models were developed to brige the gap between business and IT groups, particularly for development of e-business systems. [1]

[e3 Value Models are] designed to help define how economic value is created and exchanged within a network of actors. [1]

It was recognised that typical methodologies developed by IT are too focussed on the technology and don't reflect the complexity and uncertainty of business operations, while business science models typically lack the rigour necessary to allow adequate analysis and to form the basis for further sub-system development (including IT systems).


Figure 1. Role of e3 Value Models — From [1]

Business Value Viewpoint

Actors exchange value for value — through value ports and exchange of value objects. Actors have internal events and connections — initiating value stimulus, connecting value exchanges and terminating stimulus (Figure 2, also see box).


Figure 2. — Example e3 Value Model — From [2]

Ontology [1] [4]

An actor is an independent economic (and often legal) entity. By carrying out value activities, an actor makes a profit or increases its utility. In a sound, viable, e-business model, each actor should be capable of making a profit.
Value object
Actors exchange value objects, which are services, products, money, or even consumer experiences. A value object is valuable to one or more actors.
Value port
An actor uses a value port to show that it wants to provide or request value objects. The concept of port enables us to abstract away from the internal business processes and focus only on how external actors and other components of the e-business model can be plugged in.
Value interface
Actors have one or more value interfaces, grouping individual value ports. A value interface shows the value object an actor is willing to exchange in return for another value object through its ports. The exchange of value objects is atomic at the level of the value interface.
Value exchange
A value exchange connects two value ports with each other. It represents one or more potential trades of value objects between value ports.
Value offering
A value offering is a set of value exchanges that shows which value objects are exchanged via value exchanges in return for other value objects. A value offering should obey the semantics of the connected value interfaces: Values are exchanged through a value interface on all its ports or on no ports at all.
Market segment
A market segment is a concept that breaks a market (consisting of actors) into segments that share common properties.3 Accordingly, our concept of market segment shows a set of actors that for one or more of their value interfaces, value objects equally.
Composite actor
For providing a particular service, several actors might decide to work together and to offer objects of value jointly by using one value interface to their environment. We call such a partnership a composite actor.
Value activity
An actor performs a value activity for profit or to increase its utility. The value activity is included in the ontology to discuss and design the assignment of value activities to actors. As such, we are interested in collecting activities that can be assigned as a whole to actors. Consequently, such an activity should be profitable or increase utility.

Actors have different motives and values. Goal-oriented Requirements Language (GRL) has been used to examine the logic behind to requirements of each actor. Figure 3 shows an example of how GRL could explain the goals (motives?) of the value chain expressed in Figure 2.


Figure 3. Example Goal Model — From [2]

Business Process Viewpoint

The Value viewpoint can be used for developing the Business Process viewpoint. Business process viewpoints need to be consistent (driven by?) the Business Value viewpoint.


Figure 4. Example Use Case Map shown with e3 Value Model — From [1]

System Architecture Viewpoint

These Use Case Maps can be transformed into Activity digrams.


Figure 5. Possible activity model to match e3 Value Model — From [3]

Service Science Analysis

A Service Science analysis would agree with the e3 authors that the Business Value viewpoint is essential for understanding the business requirements. However, the definition of the purpose of value models under-stresses the value which is create by the exchange — and use of the service.

However, the naming of Business Process and System viewpoints should be replaced by Service System and IT System viewpoints.

The proposal to use High level Petri-nets and State transition diagrams for the Service System and IT System viewpoints should be investigated, although it may be that the State Transition digrams may also be useful for the Service System viewpoint.

Related Material

  • Akkermans, H., Baida, Z., Gordijn, J., Peña, N., Altuna, A. & Laresgoiti, I. 2004, 'Value webs: Using ontologies to bundle real-world services', IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 57-66.
  • Akkermans, H. & Gordijn, J. 2006, 'Ontology engineering, scientific method and the research agenda', paper presented to the Managing Knowledge in a World of Networks, 15th International Conference, Podebrady, Czech Republic.
  • Akkermans, H. & Gordijn, J. 2006, 'What is this science called requirements engineering?', paper presented to the International Conference Requirements Engineering.
  • Andersson, B., Bergholtz, M., Edirisuriya, A., Ilayperuma, T., Jayaweera, P., Johannesson, P. & Zdravkovic, J. 2008, 'Enterprise sustainability through the alignment of goal models and business models', paper presented to the Workshop on Business / IT Alignment and Interoperability (BUSITAL'08), Accessed 4 Jun 2009.
  • Andersson, B., Bergholtz, M., Edirisuriya, A., Ilayperuma, T., Johannesson, P., Grégoire, B., Schmitt, M., Dubois, E., Abels, S., Hahn, A., Gordijn, J., Weigand, H. & Wangler, B. 2006, 'Towards a Reference Ontology for Business Models', in D.W. Embley, A. Olivé & S. Ram (eds), Conceptual Modeling - ER 2006, Springer, Berlin.
  • Feng, W., Gulla, J.A. & Strasunskas, D. 2007, 'Comparative analysis of process and value perspectives for insight in business cooperation', paper presented to the Workshop on Business / IT Alignment and Interoperability (BUSITAL'07).
  • Gordijn, J., Akkermans, J.M. & Vliet, J.C.v. 2000, 'What’s in an electronic business model', paper presented to the 12th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management, Berlin.
  • Gordijn, J., Weigand, H., Reichert, M.U. & Wieringa, R.J. 2008, 'Towards self-configuration and management of e-service provisioning in dynamic value constellations', paper presented to the 2008 ACM symposium on Applied computing.
  • Kartseva, V., Gordijn, J. & Tan, Y.-H. 2006, 'Towards a modelling tool for designing control mechanisms for network organisations', International Journal of Electronic Commerce, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 57–84.
  • Kartseva, V., Hulstijn, J., Tan, Y.-H. & Gordijn, J. 2006, 'Towards value-based design patterns for inter-organizational control', paper presented to the 19th Bled Electronic Commerce, Bled, Slovenia, June 2006.
  • Pijpers, V. & Gordijn, J. 2007, 'Bridging business value models and process models in aviation value webs via possession rights', paper presented to the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
  • Pijpers, V. & Gordijn, J. 2007, 'Does your role in a networked value constellation match your business strategy? - A conceptual model-based approach', paper presented to the 20th Bled eConference, Bled, Slovenia.
  • Pijpers, V. & Gordijn, J. 2007, 'Considering software quality requirements as networked business quality requirements', viewed 3 Jun 2009 <http://e3value.few.vu.nl/docs/bibtex/pdf/Vincent.-e3styles2008.pdf>.
  • Pijpers, V. & Gordijn, J. 2008, 'Consistency checking between value models and process models: A best-of-breed approach', paper presented to the Workshop on Business / IT Alignment and Interoperability (BUSITAL'08).
  • van Eck, P., Gordijn, J. & Wieringa, R. 2004, 'Value-based design of collaboration processes for e-commerce', viewed 9 Jun 2009 <http://www.ub.utwente.nl/webdocs/ctit/1/000000ee.pdf>.
  • Weigand, H., Johannesson, P., Andersson, B., Bergholtz, M., Edirisuriya, A. & Ilayperuma, T. 2007, Strategic analysis using value modeling – the c3-value approach.
  • Wieringa, R., Pijpers, V., Bodenstaff, L. & Gordijn, J. 2008, 'Value-driven coordination process design using physical delivery models', in, Conceptual Modeling - ER 2008, Springer Berlin.

1. Gordijn, J. & Akkermans, H. 2001, 'Designing and evaluating e-business models', IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 11-17.
2. Gordijn, J., Petit, M. & Wieringa, R. 2006, 'Understanding business strategies of networked value constellations using goal- and value modeling', paper presented to the 14th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'06).
3. Wieringa, R.J. & Gordijn, J. 2005, 'Value-oriented design of service coordination processes: Correctness and trust', paper presented to the 2005 ACM symposium on Applied computing.
4. Gordijn, J. & Akkermans, J.M. 2003, 'Value-based requirements engineering: exploring innovative e-commerce ideas', Requirements Engineering, vol. 8, pp. 114-134.
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