Rational Software is attempting to broaden its potential audience by promoting the Universal Modelling Language (UML) and use-case analysis as business modelling tools, without the customer necessarily having any IT system in mind.
It will clarify their minds as to the purpose and structure of the business processes suggests Rational consultant Ed Percy, and may well lead to improvement.
The techniques – and, of course, the Rational tools that accommodate them – are already being used in such environments, Rational's Percy says. He views the increased audience for yesterday's morning seminar in Wellington as demonstration of that broadening interest.
The change in Rational’s perspective is due to customer demand, he says, rather than any advance decision by Rational to play to the non-IT business market.
UML was devised by Rational, but has now been taken over by the Object Management Group as a non-vendor-specific standard.
The seminar attracted 280 acceptances – as compared with around 120 average for Rational’s more IT-focused events. This necessitated a move from the intended smaller room to the unusual forum of the marae at Te Papa.
Slightly more that half the audience, on a show of hands requested by Computerworld, were IT people, so Rational is clearly going some way towards getting the desired profile. One attendee, however, told Computerworld he felt the event lacked the tight focus on an intended audience that was typical of previous Rational events. He is a small businessman – “so I have to do both [business planning and IT development].”
Unfortunately, the change of venue also meant skimping the usual scrupulous listing of attendees and issuing of name tags. So the organisers were not sure who and how many were actually there, and had to rely on the evaluation forms filled out during the seminar to identify their prospects – scarcely a textbook study of good business process.