What is a Human and Organization Architecture ?

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The Human and Organizational Architecture is one of three basic components of any enterprise (the other two are the Production Facilites, and the Control and Information Systems Architectures.) In the PERA Model, it is usually depicted in the middle, since -even more that the other two- it has interfaces with both the "Control and Information Systems" and the "Facilities"of the Enterprise.

The term "architecture", as used in this website, refers not only to bricks and mortar structures, but the structure via which material and data move through maufacturing facililites and organizations.

The Organization develops during each phase of the enterprise. Note that the development of the organization to execute the project should be confused with the development of the organization for the actual enterprise. The organization chart for the enterprise is progressively developed during each successive phase up to operations. The organization for the engineering, construction, etc., are complete and may be disbanded at the end of each phase.

s-curve coloured

An example of a Project Organization chart for a large engineering project is as follows:

There are modelling systems such as ARIS, which are designed to simulate both the Human and Organizational and Control and Information Systems components of the enterprise during a given enterprise phase (typically operations). Although these models can be very valuable in that they model both the Human actions and Informaton flows, however, these products do not model the production facility itself, so considerable manual interface work must still be done if the model is to correctly predict enterprise behavior.


The Human and Organizational Architecture may be represented by a series of organization charts. An Organization Chart defines the "positions" to be filled by people, and the flow of authority through the hierarchy. This parallels the "equipment" and material flows depicted by PFDs and MFDs in process and discrete industries.

Development of Organizational design parallels physical facility design. Historically, rigid, experience-based organizational structures were the norm. For example, a Roman Legion (about 6000 men), was organized into 10 cohorts, each cohort was commanded by 6 centurions, and each centurion commanded 100 men. This organization saw little change during a thousand years.

The arrival of the industrial revolution brought accelerated rates of change in all aspects of the enterprise. More flexible, adaptable organizations were required to cope with these changes. New organizations also required increased numbers of specialists with high value skills who could no longer be treated as interchangeable footsoldiers.

Most recently, flexible work teams, Quality Circles, Outsourcing, and other innovations have fundamentally changed the rules of enterprise organization. At the same time, group profit sharing, personal development, and other new reward mechanisms are changing the dynamic of the workplace.

In order to predict and optimize behavior of the Human and Organizational component of the enterprise, modern modeling tools simulate the effect of organization on enterprise performance, and even model the flow of information across the interface between the "people" component of the enterprise, and the information systems component.

As the enterprise evolves through each phase, different organizational structure is required. Beginning with a very "high level" Organization Chart during the Conceptual Engineering Phase, as the enterprise design is developed during each successive phase, the Organization Chart is elaborated to define increasing levels of detail until eventually every position is defined (and budgeted). This process is usually completed by the end of "Detail Engineering" of the Production Facility.

Development of the Human and Organizational component of the enterprise continues during the construction phase, until at startup, each person in the organization has a position description, work processes and procedures, reporting requirements, etc., and has been trained in their roles and responsibilities. Work Flow Diagrams for each Human task, as well as interfaces with the Control and Information Systems and the Physical Production Facility are developed during this phase. Modelling of these activities can be a powerful tool to optimize the Human and Organizational Components of the enterprise, as well as the Control and Information Systems and Physical Production Facilities.

 by Gary Rathwell reserved
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