business model element

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Elements - the parts of the business model --
Business model elements, or simply elements, represent the parts of the business organization. The parts are essentially sub-systems of the business organization. The elements represented in the business model and business design construct are at a low enough level of detail to provide a level of granularity that brings ready understanding to the business model based on the collective elements without an overwhelming amount of detail. On the other hand, each of the elements can be broken down into further granularity for purposes of understanding and design.

For example, an offering can be further broken down - goods (vs. service), windows (vs. doors), and further by size, glazing, color, hardware, etc. - to a level of granularity suitable to the purpose. Value chain processes can be decomposed - a fulfillment process into a multitude of sub-processes all the way down to specific tasks. Organization structure can be decomposed - into business units, functions, departments, groups, teams, jobs, and even members.

The inquiry on the elements will take each element to the level of detail appropriate for the purpose of the inquiry and no further. Strategy development addresses at least the highest level elements to insure it holistically addresses the business organization. This insures completeness, a consideration of all key interrelationships of the part of the business organization, and compliments the inquiry by aspect (see iterative inquiry).

Elements organization --
The business model provides the elements in a structure that serves as a guiding light for the inquiry processes used in strategy formation. A comprehensive model, including aspects and elements, is required to understand and define the business organization for the purpose of strategy development and to convey the business organization design for strategy deployment.

In developing the model, the aspects and elements play off of one another. When inquiring on an aspect, attention is drawn to elements, or the need to define the elements, relevant to the inquiry. When observing the business, each part begs the question as too what element it is, or is part of, and what the view of that element is from various aspects. Through this inquiry process, aspects then become a natural framework for organizing the business elements, thus providing the primary structure for the business model.

Elements vs. aspects --
Business elements, the parts of the business, are associated with the aspects of the business organization in the business model construct. The elements, though organized by aspect, do not constitute an aspect. An aspect is a perspective by which to view the business organization as defined above.

Said another way, aspects are perspectives of a system and elements are parts of a system, and though for business model representation purposes elements are associated with aspects, the aspects do not ""own"" the elements, that is, an aspect is not a super set made up of parts most visible to that aspect. Thus a particular set of business model elements may be more visible from a particular aspect, but are not ""parts"" making up the aspect.

Collectively, the elements making up a business organization are connected in a practically indecipherable network of interrelationships. What the aspects provide is a perspective for inquiry on this mess of interrelationships and to draw attention to a particular subset of elements in the process. This does not mean that the elements of purpose can only be ""seen"" from the purpose aspect. For example, they can also be viewed, discerned, and contemplated from the aspect of function, which is the output of the business organization.