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IDEF9 or Integrated Definition for Business Constraint Discovery is designed to assist in the discovery and analysis of constraints in a business system. A primary motivation driving the development of IDEF9 was an acknowledgment that the collection of constraints that forge an enterprise system is generally poorly defined. The knowledge of what constraints exist and how those constraints interact is incomplete, disjoint, distributed, and often completely unknown. This situation is not necessarily alarming. Just as living organisms do not need to be aware of the genetic or autonomous constraints that govern certain behaviors, organizations can (and most do) perform well without explicit knowledge of the glue that structures the system. However, if the desire exists to modify the business in a predictable manner, the knowledge of these constraints is as critical as knowledge of genetics is to the genetic engineer. concepts in terms of familiar, concrete objects and experiences.

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