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Enterprise Elements

EDGY includes a simple but rich and expressive visual language of only four elements that can be universally used across design challenges/disciplines. The simplicity of this language is important for helping all connected disciplines use these elements and connect their designs. The elements allow us to describe what an enterprise consists of, and how they form a whole by exploring their interrelations and interplay. We use them to describe relevant parts of the enterprise and to design changes to the enterprise and new configurations, so we can communicate potential futures and enable transformation.

Base Elements

Four generic elements to describe what is happening in an enterprise and its ecosystem.

  • people: The individuals co-creating the enterprise or using products.
  • outcome: A result or change that occurs within our enterprise or its ecosystem.
  • activity: What is being done or going on in our enterprise or its ecosystem.
  • object: A structure that is relevant to the enterprise.

Facet and Intersection Elements

Elements to describe an enterprise using a (combination of) enterprise design facets

  • purpose: A reason why an enterprise exists and what people pursue and believe in.
  • story: The way we make sense of our enterprise and communicate to people what it does.
  • content: What is being communicated to people.
  • organisation: A group of people working together.
  • capability: What we are able to do by orchestrating people and assets.
  • process: A set of related activities our enterprise carries out.
  • asset: An object we need and use to perform our capabilities.
  • product: What we make, offer and deliver for people's benefit.
  • task: What people want to achieve and get done.
  • journey: The events and activities people experience in their lives.
  • channel: The means people use to engage and interact with us.
  • brand: Our name and what it stands for.


  • Link: An association between two elements.
  • Flow: A behaviour or dynamic sequence between two elements.
  • Tree: A containment or aggregation between a parent and a child element.


  • Tagging: Used to differentiate elements based on a set of values.
  • Metrics: Used to add a quantity or quality to an element.

How to read the Enterprise Elements documentation

For consistency, we describe every element using this basic template:


A single sentence defining the element being described.


One or more paragraphs explaining in more detail what the element represents and what it contributes to the EDGY language.

Example Map

A map giving a visual example of the element being used to describe and illustrate some aspect of an enterprise. Each map illustrates how an element might be used. This is meant to inspire our readers to try such maps, or use their own preferred alternatives, in their own work. Though we use real-world examples as much as possible throughout the book we make no claim about the correctness or completeness of the examples used.

The examples in PNG format can be opened and edited in, an online diagram editor.


One or more sentences describing instances of the element as found in an enterprise context. These examples are not exhaustive; they are just meant to illustrate - in text - how one might use the element when practicing enterprise design.


A list of ways the element can be used to identify, explain or highlight important aspects of an enterprise when practicing enterprise design. As is the case with the Example Maps and the Examples, these statements are suggestions, not prescriptions, for how an element can be used. We encourage our readers to be creative and explore other ways they might use an element in their own practice.


This section lists other Enterprise Elements the element being discussed is related to, and the nature of that relation, as currently defined within EDGY.

Suggested Labels

There are cases where it makes sense to further differentiate an element used according to the specific challenge or to highlight certain metrics related to the element. To support such a need, EDGY comes with pre-defined suggestions for labels that have been proven to be valuable in certain design challenges.