Introduction to the Business Activity Model (BAM)

A Business Activity Model (BAM) builds on the ‘Transformation’ element of the CATWOE technique and allows you to construct the high-level business activities that capture the world view of a particular stakeholder. The model shows these high-level activities and the logical dependencies between them. This conceptual, or idealised, view can then be compared with the actual situation to identify areas where improvements could be made. BAMs from different stakeholders can also be compared and a consensus model drawn up.

In more detail

What is a business activity model?
Business activity models (BAMs) are conceptual models that depict a stakeholder’s perspective on what the organisation does.

Why use business activity models?
BAMs require you to think about the activities that each stakeholder considers the business carries out. Initially, there will be one BAM for each distinct perspective, but ultimately you should look to combine these models, and achieve a consensus BAM (agreed view).

How do you use business activity models?
When creating a BAM, there are five main categories of activates that the user needs to consider and map out:

  • Doing: These activities are at the heart of the model, and are derived straight from the CATWOE transformation aspect, which reflects the organisation's principal business activities. There should only ever be one or two doing activities in each BAM, for example, ‘sell product’ or ‘provide service’.
  • Enabling: These activities ensure that the resources and facilities needed for the 'doing' activities are available, for example, recruiting staff, ordering training materials, developing training courses or ordering products.
  • Planning: In order to complete the doing and enabling activities, planning activities must be considered beforehand. These types of activities can include 'define number of staff' or 'define product range' for example.
  • Monitoring: These are the activities that will be setting performance expectations, for example, 'monitor data analytics', 'monitor employee performance' or 'monitor customer service feedback'.
  • Control: These activities come last and are based on the monitoring activity outcomes. If the monitoring activities reveal that performance is not what was expected, then the control activities may be required to institute the necessary actions.

What happens next?
Hopefully you should be able to combine all the models and achieve a consensus BAM. If so, you will be able to move onto modelling the business processes (How these activities are completed) and then proceed onto gap analysis.