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OBASHI® Methodology study guide mind map

OBASHI® is a Registered Trade Mark in the United Kingdom and other countries. Trademarks are properties of the holders, who are not affiliated with mind map author.

OBASHI® consists of: 5 Core Principles, 5 Laws of Digital Dynamics, 9 Laws, 5 Project phases (iterative, incremental or sequential - based on requirements), 2 Diagram types, 6 Layers types, 6 Element types, 3 types of contextual information, 10 Relationships Rules, 6 Relationships Types, 1 Color Standard.

Download: OBASHI® Project Lifecycle based® ion PRINCE2 approach

OBASHI® - a methodology from UK (containing both framework and method) for mapping and visualizing business to IT relationships.

The OBASHI methodology was originally developed in 2001 by Fergus Cloughley and Paul Wallis

Laws of Digital Dynamics™ (5)

Laws of Digital Dynamics are way of thinking behind OBASHI® Methodology

1. For flow to exist, the flow of data must have taken place.

2. Digital flow has two or more nodes.

3. Digital flow can consist of one or more digital flows.

4. An interruption in the transmission or flow of data causes an effect.

5. A measured value pertaining to a digital flow must be aggregated from the values of each node comprising that digital flow.

OBASHI® Core Principles (5)

OBASHI® is based around a core principle: that IT exists for one reason, namely, to manage the flow of data between business assets.

1. The understanding of the flow of data is fundamental to an organization’s financial well-being.

How does the infrastructure support the flow of data around an organisation?

Who uses / depends on that data throughout the execution of a business process?

How valuable is the data?

2. Business resources (including people) and IT assets are either providers or consumers of data, or are the conduit through which data flows.

Data is passed between individuals, departments, processes.

The IT infrastructure enables the flow of data.

3. Information Technology exists for one reason, namely, to enable the flow of data between business assets.

Data in, data out.

Simplify a process.

Streamline a process.

Enable a process to happen.

Not the beginning or end of a process.

4. Business risk cannot be fully assessed qualitatively or quantitatively unless the cause and effects of interruptions to a flow of data, or changes to any data contained in that flow, have been evaluated.

Where are we at risk of failure in terms of business at risk?

How great would the impact be on business objectives?

5. A data security model cannot be fully assessed unless the cause and effects of interruptions to a flow of data, or changes to any data, have been evaluated.

How does the infrastructure support the Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA) of our information?

The OBASHI® 5 Core Principles have their origins in work undertaken in the UK oil and gas industry during the late 1990s.

1770s:, mechanization, factories, and canals, flow of water

1830s:, steam engines, coal, and iron railways, flow of steam

1870s:, steel and heavy engineering, telegraphy, refrigeration, flow of electricity

1910s:, oil, mass production, and the automobile, flow of oil, petrol

now:, IT, flow of information / data

OBASHI® Laws (9)

1. An element can represent any business resource or asset, physical or non-physical.

2. An element can only reside in its own OBASHI® layer and cannot be resized beyond the dimensions of that layer.

3. An element can be related to any other element.

4. Any data type, or classification of data, can be attributed to an element.

5. Elements can be related using one or more of the 6 Relationship Types.

6. The 6 Relationship Types are Connection, Dependency, Spatial, Set, Layer and Sequential.

see Relationship Types for more information ...

7. The relationship types adhere to the OBASHI® Relationship Rules.

see Relationship Rules for more information ...

8. The OBASHI® methodology complies with the Laws of Digital Dynamics.

see Laws of Digital Dynamics® for more information ...

9. Any data type, or classification of data, can be attributed to a Digital Flow of data.

OBASHI® Elements (6)

Ownership elements

What is it?, Business Process owner(s), e.g. Project Manager, Business Analyst, Sales, Marketing department, London, Warsaw ...

3 Categories of Owner, Personnel, Location, Organizational Unit

Can be mapped directly to:, in UML language ..., UML Actor (with custom stereotype), in Archimate language ..., Archimate Business Actor, Archimate Business Role

Business Process elements

What is it?, Processes or functions used by the owner(s), e.g. Order processing, Payment approval ...

Can be mapped directly to:, in UML language ..., entire UML Activity diagram, entire UML Sequence diagram, entire UML Interaction Occurrence diagram, entire UML Communication diagram, in BPMN language ..., entire BPMN diagram, in Archimate language ..., Archimate Business process, Archimate Business collaboration

Application elements

What is it?, Application, or a collection / suite of applications, e.g. Oracla DB, IBM DB2, Liferay Portal, JBoss Portal, MS Sharepoint, MS Office 2013, MS Outlook, Adobe Reader, WinRAR ...

Can be mapped directly to:, in UML language ..., UML Component (with custom stereotype), UML Node with Execution Environment stereotype, in Archimate language ..., Archimate Application Component, Application Collaboration Component

System elements

What is it?, Operating systems (classic / bare metal or virtualized), e.g. IBM AIX, IBM z/OS, IBM PowerVM, Oracle Solaris, RedHat Linux, VMware ESXi, Windows Server, Windows 8 ...

Can be mapped directly to:, in UML language ..., UML Component (with custom stereotype), UML Node with Execution Environment stereotype, in Archimate language ..., Archimate System Software

Hardware elements

What is it?, Computer hardware, e.g. Sun Blade 6000, SunFire X2200, IBM x3560, Dell Workstation ...

Can be mapped directly to:, in UML language ..., UML Node with Execution Environment stereotype, UML Node (with custom stereotype), in Archimate language ..., Archimate Node, Archimate Device

Infrastructure elements

What is it?, Computer network hardware and logical network configurations, e.g. Switches, Routers, Multiplexers, Bridges, Hubs, VPN, DMZ ...

Can be mapped directly to:, in UML language ..., UML Node (with custom stereotype), UML Component (with custom stereotype), in Archimate language ..., Archimate Node, Archimate Device

Elements characteristics

Each element represents an asset (logical or physical) or a resource.

Illustrated as a rectangle or square.

Size depends on relationships.

Positioning depends on relationships.

Same elements are used on B&IT and DAV diagrams.

Each element has it’s standard color., see OBASHI® Colour Standards for more information ...

No one element type can be connected to every other type.

No element can connect outside of its adjacent layer.

Elements of the same type can be connected together – create hierarchical structures.

OBASHI® Layers (3) (a.k.a. OBASHI® framework)

The OBASHI® models the enterprise / an organisation in 6 horizontal layers on both diagram types: B&IT and DAV.

The layers provide a framework (aka. the OBASHI® framework) for organising individual elements that represent individual Business or IT assets and resources.

The OBASHI framework is used to create Business & IT Diagram (B&IT).

Ownership Layer

The Ownership Layer contains elements representing the person(s) or group(s) that ‘owns’, or is responsible for, business processes portrayed in the Business Layer., Ownership elements can be positioned beneath other ownership elements to create a hierarchy of owners.

Business Layer

The Business Layer contains elements representing the business processes or functions that are being used by the ‘Owner(s)’., These elements are positioned under their appropriate ‘Owner’.

Application Layer

The Application Layer contains elements representing software applications., These are positioned beneath the business processes that utilise them.

System Layer

The System Layer contains elements representing the operating systems on which the applications run., These elements are positioned beneath the appropriate applications.

Hardware Layer

The Hardware Layer contains elements representing the computer hardware on which the operating systems run., These elements are positioned beneath the appropriate operating systems.

Infrastructure Layer

The Infrastructure Layer contains elements representing the network infrastructure into which the hardware is connected., Infrastructure elements can be positioned beneath other infrastructure elements to create a hierarchy that supports the business.

OBASHI® Diagrams (2)

OBASHI® has 2 types of diagrams

Business & IT Diagram (B&IT), What is it?, A B&IT diagram is a diagrammatic representation of the logical and physical relationships (connectivity) between an organisation’s IT assets and resources and the business operations which they support., 6 layered model, showing how the people, processes and technology of a business interact, Layers logically divided on 2 groups:, How business works (top 2 layers), IT assets supporting business (bottom 4 layers), Layers are used to create B&IT diagrams., Easy for understanding for non technical people.

Dataflow Analysis View (DAV), What is it?, OBASHI® Dataflow Analysis View (DAV) is a graphical and statistical document that illustrates a subset of elements, in a pre-defined sequence, from one or more B&IT diagrams.”, 6 layered model, illustrates how IT systems support the flow of data / information within and between business processes., Model, analyse, value and report on all the data flows that underpin your business, across multiple B&IT diagrams., Facilitates same layers from B&IT diagrams., Provides clear visualization of data / information Suppliers and Providers., In comparison to B&IT diagrams, DAVs adds so called: Additional contextual information:, 3 types, Financial, Statistical, Reference data, Contextual information can be placed:, Within each element., On each connection., Contextual information is optional., Same OBASHI® Layers are used to create DAV diagrams as in B&IT., Same as B&IT diagram, easy for understanding for non technical people., DAVs allows you to extract full value from the data appended to your elements in your B&IT diagrams. (requires software - Control Centre)., DAVs enables cost / value statistics to be generated to understand the contribution IT assets make to the business. (requires software for automation)., Analysis of the DAV can highlight vulnerabilities, mis-alignment and areas for consolidation.

Diagrams characteristics

Each diagram uses the same 6 types of elements.

Often DAV diagrams have exactly the same layers and elements only to show contextual information not displayed on B&IT diagrams.

OBASHI® Relationship Rules (10)

1. An element placed beneath or above another element has an implicit relationship with that element.

2. All elements within the same layer have an implicit relationship to each other.

3. Connected elements have an explicit relationship to each other, with rules governing connectivity.

4. A dependency is a uni-directional relationship i.e. element X may be dependent on element Y, but element Y might not be dependent on element X.

5. An element may have one or more instances within a layer.

6. An element can exist on more than one OBASHI® B&IT diagram.

7. A dataflow comprises two or more connected or dependent elements.

8. A dataflow can contain one or more dataflows, enabling a hierarchy of dataflows.

9. A dataflow may span multiple B&IT diagrams.

10. Element relationships prersists across an OBASHI® model.

OBASHI® Relationship Types (6)

OBASHI® has 6 Relationship Types.



BLACK LINE - standard color.

Explicitly connected to show a bi-directional coupling.

Signify ONLY data paths., Does NOT necessarily signify that data is exchanged bi-directionally between the elements.

Straight lines, horizontal and / or vertical. or right angled connections.

No limit on number of connections., Multiple connections between two elements.

An element can be connected to any number of other elements - in accordance with the OBASHI® relationship rules., Can be used for showing eg. resilent networks., Can be used for identifying SPOFs - Single Point of Failure.



Not restricted by layer., Line may follow any path.

RED ARROW - standard color.

Explicitly connected uni-directionally to show how one element is dependent on another.

An element can have one or more dependencies / dependent(s).

No limit on number of dependencies.


An implicit relationship which exists between all elements within a particular layer.

Two or more elements within the same layer have an implicit relationship (see Relationship Rule 2), know as a Layer relationship


Two or more elements within the same set have an explicit relationship, known as a set relationship.

Explicit logical groups of elements, that exist without regard to their position on a B&IT diagram.

Logical grouping.

Any element can be assigned to a Set., No restriction on the number of Sets to which an element can be assigned.

There are no formal rules governing Sets, Any element can be placed within sets., Any element can exists in multiple sets.


An explicit relationship denoted by a list of elements in which adjoining elements in the list have a connection relationship or dependency relationship - i.e. a string of connected elements.

Sequential relationships are used within OBASHI® to model data flows.

A list of elements, the order of which forms a sequence.

Sequences therefore consist of chains of connected or dependent elements or sequences.


An implicit relationship which is formed between elements which are placed above or below each other.

Geographical positioning relative one to another.

if an element is placed directly above or below another element there is an implied relationship between them.

There are many classifications of Spatial relationships which are derived from how an element is positioned in relation to another on a B&IT diagram.

Spatial Rules, There are many classifications of Spatial relationships which are derived from how an element is positioned in relation to another on a B&IT diagram.

Relationships characteristics

Relationship Persistence, Relationships on one B&IT hold true across all B&IT diagrams whether shown or not.

Impact Rules, Impact rules determine how impact would cascade through the OBASHI®model.

Dependencies v Connections

OBASHI® Project Lifecycle (based on PRINCE2® process model)

OBASHI® Project phases can be interative or sequential based on requirements

OBASHI® project lifecycle was derived from PRINCE2® project lifecycle.

Yet originally OBASHI® project lifecycle is based on PRINCE2® model, it is very generic and can be replaced with any other project management practice (e.g. PRINCE2®, PMBOK® Guide, DSDM®, AgilePM® etc.).

see DSDM® AgilePF (v6, 2014) mind map

see AgilePM® mind map

see PMBOK®5 mind map

OBASHI® project lifecycle as most of the project lifecycles can be incorporated within programme mamagement practice (e.g. MSP®, AgilePgM™ etc.).

see AgilePgM™ mind map

see MSP® mind map

OBASHI® project lifecycle has 5 phases

1. Scope, Objectives, Create a set of management products to enable the project to be set up and approved. The Project Brief defines key outcome and the Project Approach defines the methods of working., Steps, not defined

2. Capture, Objectives, Source and validate the information that represents the people, process and technology in each of the OBASHI® layers., Steps, Step 1 - Identify Information Sources., Step 2 - Evaluate Scope Against the Information Sources., Step 3 - Plan Workshops., Step 4 - Prepare Questionnaires., Step 5 - Manage Communications., Step 6 - Ensure Security Clearance., Step 7 - Perform Interviews., Step 8 - Hold Workshops., Step 9 - Extract Information., Step 10 - Link to Data Sources.

3. Design, Objectives, Analyze and model the information gathered during the Capture phase., Steps, Step 1 - Create a B&IT diagram., Step 2 - Add Elements (by manual drawing or using a software tool / application)., Step 3 - Review Element Positioning., Step 4 - Connect Elements., Step 5 - Relate Dependent Elements., Step 6 - Add Holds and Notes for Information that is Outstanding., Step 7 - Create Dataflow Analysis Views (DAVs).

4. Refine, Objectives, Prepare the OBASHI® model, and all the B&IT diagrams and DAVs associated with the project, for approval and sign-off., Steps, Step 1 - Review B&ITs., Step 2 - Review DAVs., Step 3 - Update B&ITs., Step 4 - Review Registers (with authorized personnel only)., Step 5 - Approve Sign-off on Revision No. 1 and Issue for Comment.

5. Handover, Objectives, Close out the OBASHI® project and transfer the OBASHI® knowledge and documentation over to operational environment. Master documents should slot into the existing critical document processes to be controlled and managed in a similar way to other business critical documents., Steps, Step 1 - Prepare Planned Closure.

OBASHI® Color Standard (1)

OBASHI® Color Standard for elements on diagrams.

OBASHI® visual standards ensure consistency across all of the B&IT diagrams covering.



R: 213 G: 183 B: 225

Business Process


R: 232 G: 214 B: 227



R: 255 G:176 B: 183



R: 196 G: 216 B: 229


Hardware, #eeea9d, R: 238 G: 200 B: 46

Hardware - Server, #ffc82e, R: 255 G: 216 B: 229



R: 171 G: 222 B: 190

OBASHI® Official publications

The OBASHI® Methodology

ISBN: 978-0117068575

Pages: 216


The most important, key position on OBASHI® preparing for Foundation exam.

OBASHI® Official resources

OBASHI® sample exams, available online

Foundation, http://online.apmg-exams.com/index.aspx?masterid=19&subid=76

Practitioner, ... under development, currently not available

OBASHI® White Papers

OBASHI® Explained, http://www.apmg-international.com/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.aspx?lID=3369&sID=7765

OBASHI® website


OBASHI® shop


OBASHI® forum "Think"


OBASHI® LinkedIn group


OBASHI® Twitter


What is OBASHI®?

A methodology for creating a visual map of a business which shows:

How a business works.

How a business is supported by IT assets.

The assets that make it work.

The interdependencies between the assets.

How data flows around the business.

How critical IT is for business.

How failure of IT asset can bring down service delivery.

Simple, easy to adopt methodology.

A ‘Common Language’ for technical and non-technical people.

Applies to all types, sizes and sectors of organisation.

OBASHI® it's not "one size fits all".

Formal and structured way of communicating the logical and physical relationships and dependencies between IT assets and resources.

OBASHI® is both methodology and technology.

Whole OBASHI® 'family' has 4 components:

"OBASHI® - Methodology, standard, notation and technology in one."


Framework, see OBASHI® Layers (aka. OBASHI® framework) for more information ...

Diagrams, see OBASHI® Diagrams for more information ...

Control Centre (software)

Watch: OBASHI® introduction video (by APMG-International)

Interactive OBASHI® Glossary

Interactive OBASHI® Glossary

This freeware, non-commercial mind map (aligned with the newest version of OBASHI®) was carefully hand crafted with passion and love for learning and constant improvement as well for promotion the OBASHI® methodology and as a learning tool for candidates wanting to gain OBASHI® qualification. (please share, like and give feedback - your feedback and comments are my main motivation for further elaboration. THX!)

Questions / doubts / errors? What do you think? Any comments are appreciated. Please don't hesitate to contact me.



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