Task: Identify and Associate Services to Goals
Goal-Service Assignment links services to business goals and identifies services by analyzing the goals of an enterprise or a business unit.
Disciplines: Analysis & Design
Main Description

This technique starts with generalized statements of business goals, with subsequent decomposition into sub-goals that must be met in order to fulfill the higher level goal. This eventually leads to a level of decomposition that supports the identification of services associated with the sub-goals. During this process, KPIs are identified and collected; along with the metrics that will be used to measure, monitor and verify the degree of success in actually achieving the goals.

Associate Services with Business Goals

Using the Artifact: Business Goals identified during the Task: Identify Business Goals and KPIs we now assign any candidate services in the project service portfolio to the goals they support. It is also possible to identify new candidate services where goals or sub-goals exist that have no supporting services. The method used to assign services to goals will depend on your choice of representation for the Artifact: Service Model, and therefore the representation of the Artifact: Goal-Service Model.

During decomposition of goals into sub-goals and KPIs, the question will arise as to when we should stop this decomposition process. As already mentioned, goal analysis can stop once sub-goals have been identified to the point at which services that can fulfill those sub-goals can be identified. If new services are identified, update the categorized service portfolio in the service model. For each sub-goal, identify the services needed to fulfill the sub-goal.


The table below demonstrates a completed goal-service model for an example based on a fictional car rental company "Rent-a-Car" that is initiating a project to improve aspects of its business performance. Note that the format Bold Italic is used to denote services where no existing or identified candidate has been found and therefore should be added as a candidate service.

Goal or Sub-Goal KPIs Metric Services
1. Increase revenue Revenue increase of 20% by end of FY2005 Record revenue generating transactions  
1.1. Introduce new products Contribute Revenue increase of 5% Record transactions for new products  
1.2 Introduce new channels Contribute revenue increase of 5% Record transactions for new channels  
1.3 Increase revenue per transaction Contribute revenue increase of 7% Record transactions that contain an up-sell  
1.3.1. Up-sell higher class vehicle Contribute revenue increase of 4%  
  • Recommend up-sells based on customer profile 
  • Determine types of Up-sell vehicles
  • Check vehicle availability
1.3.2 Cross-sell additional options Contribute revenue increase of 2%  
  • Purchase options individually 
  • Purchase options packages
1.3.3 Cross-sell partner services Contribute revenue increase of 1%  
  • Reserve Hotel rooms 
  • Reserve Airline tickets 
  • Book destination attractions 
  • Sell navigation equipment post-rental

This can be modeled in UML using the Business Modeling profile to capture the Goal Model as follows. Note the direction of the dependency arrows, higher-level goals depend upon their sub-goals.

And then we can assign services to the goals they support using UML dependencies once more (decorated with the stereotype <<supports>> for clarity).


Key Considerations

Failure to clearly define business goals will make it difficult to determine if proposed candidate services are business-aligned and appropriate for use in an SOA based initiative. Since Goal-Service Modeling can also identify (not simply validate) candidate services, failure to create this work product could lead to gaps in the service portfolio. These factors could result in additional effort and cost due to the creation of unnecessary services, or reduced success of the SOA based solution due to gaps in the service portfolio.

Since the Goal-Service Model is important to defining the scope of other service identification activities, failure to create it could result in unnecessary effort being spent in other activities, or gaps in the output from those activities.

Although the Goal-Service Model is considered important, if not essential, for a majority of SOA based initiatives, there could be occasional circumstances where the focus is narrowed to the creation of services for common technology functions which may not appear to be easily aligned with specific business goals. It is worth considering that even in these scenarios the Goal-Service Model can be used to document goals related to the "Business of IT".

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