Composite Actors

Services are often delivered in a collaboration. For example, the electricity service may be physically delivered by the electricity distribution network, but billing and customer service is supplied by the retailer.

The e3 modelling method introduces the idea of a Composite Actor. In the case above, this works well to describe the exchange of services - electricity service for money. The composite actor then has its own internal activities to divide the payments.

But consider another situation.

A human resource service is a collaboration between the individual person, the HR department, and line management. Even though the individual has the primary responsibility for carrying out activities, and is paid on that basis, the activities of all these parties is required to make the person effective in delivery of their service. Notably, the activities of the HR department and the line management could be considered to work at a different level to the individual.

However, since all these parties receive different services in return for their service, it would be difficult to model this collaboration as a composite actor and exchange of services, as would be done in e3.

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