Professor Sjir Nijssen is widely recognized as one of the founders of business modeling and information analysis, based on natural language and logic. He is currently CTO and a member of the Board of Directors of PNA Group. He is a member of the OMG SBVR 1.1 Revision Task Force (RTF), the OMG BPMN 2.0 RTF, the OMG Architecture Ecosystem Special Interest Group, the joint The Open Group-OMG Special Interest Group on BusinessArchitecture and actively involved in the Fact Based Modeling Community. He is the spiritual father of what is now (via ENALIM (Evolving Natural language Information Model), and NIAM (Natural language Information Analysis Method)) called CogNIAM, Cognition enhanced NIAM. CogNIAM is a full integration of data, (business) process, behaviour, semantics and human communication aspects of an integrated business model. The 2007 version of CogNIAM is described in Annex L of the OMG SBVR (Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules) standard. Among his publications, there are more than 50 articles and 10 books.
Since 45 years his main mission is to develop methods or protocols to describe and transfer knowledge in an understandable and logic based way. This knowledge, once stored in a proper knowledge base, can be used consistently and in multiple productive and useful ways.
The CogNIAM protocol aims to effectively involve users and customers (and their implicit knowledge) in the business modeling and designing process. This involvement can be achieved by using a small but exact subset of natural language as a means of communication and defining business rules and information system specifications. The use of the natural language subset, intuitive diagrams and associated CogNIAM methodology means understandability for all stakeholders and unambiguous communication between these stakeholders. This is the main basis for the success of PNA Group and CogNIAM.
Professor Nijssen started with fact-based modeling in the late 1960's at the Dutch National Institute for Informatica and made this his full time job in the early 1970’s at the European headquarters of Control Data (a pioneer in the field of computer science) in Brussels. It was there where first ENALIM (Evolving Natural language Information Model) and later NIAM (Natural language Information Analysis Method) , a fact based business practice and notation, was conceived.
During this time, he was also associated with several academic institutions and international standards organizations. He has served as first Chairman of IFIP WG 2.6 (Databases), member of WG 8.1 (Information Systems) and member of ISO TC97/SC5/WG3 (Concepts and Terminology for the Conceptual Schema and the Information Base[ISO TR9007, 1987). He is considered the founder of natural language and logic based development and validation of integrated business models, making extensive use of verbalization.
During the period of 1982 to 1989 professor Nijssen was a fulltime professor at the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia), where he worked together with Prof. Terry Halpin amongst others in further developing NIAM and ORM (Object Role Modeling).
When returning to the Netherlands in 1989, he founded PNA Group and accepted a position at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands. After several years, he focused entirely on PNA Group, a company exclusively dedicated to business requirements and integrated business modelling using logic and natural language.
The methods which have been developed by professor Nijssen and his colleagues have also been successfully applied and transformed to be able to learn far more efficiently. The subsidiaries of PNA Group have all effectively, in their own field of business, used these methods (such as CogNIAM) to gain advantages for their clients.