What is SEAM* all about?

The originality of SEAM is in the integration of generic system thinking principles into discipline-specific methods. This integration has four benefits:

  • the possibility to relate the different disciplines (by having common systemic principles);
  • the possibility to represent systematically business, organizational and IT concepts (by sharing the same modeling ontology between all disciplines);
  • the capability to leverage on discipline-specific knowledge (by using the vocabulary and the heuristics of each discipline);
  • the efficiency to solve problems (by benefiting from the problem solving techniques developed in system thinking).

The family of SEAM methods include: SEAM for Business, SEAM for Enterprise Architecture, and SEAM for Software. Each method is a specialization of our generic approach applied to a specific set of disciplines.
For example, SEAM for Business is the application of the SEAM principles to marketing and strategic thinking.

The choice of method depends on the problem to solve. For example:

  • SEAM for Business is typically applied to define a company’s business plan. It is also possible to apply SEAM for Business to define the structure of a web site (as part of an overall web strategy for a company).
  • SEAM for Enterprise Architecture is typically applied to define the scope of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) project. It is also possible to use SEAM for Enterprise Architecture to assess the outsourcing and organizational impacts of a marketing strategy.

In summary, SEAM is a method to analyze and design strategies at the business, the inter-company, the company and the IT system levels. It is quickly deployed and is mainly applied in the requirements and scoping phases. It is also a powerful tool for communicating about projects and strategies.

SEAM has been developed by LAMS at EPFL. Visit lams.epfl.ch for more information about our academic work.

*SEAM = Systemic Enterprise Architecture Methodology