WHAT, WHY & HOW OF DOING ENTERPRISE, BUSINESS AND IT ARCHITECTURE by CEO iCMG
It's interesting to see that "Business Architecture" is getting recognized as a critical element for enterprise survival, as well as growth. Unfortunately, hardly 10% of the Business Strategies are getting translated into operation (of that, what percentage is efficient...is anyone's guess?).
Before we discuss in detail, let me share a short definition of Business Architecture. The Business Architecture is the basis of defining and managing a business entity. It helps in defining the functional structure of an enterprise in terms of its business services, business information, business timing cycles, business locations and business stakeholders for achieving business goals. Business Architecture models in turn will provide the necessary insight to the structure of the business for managing and running it. In addition, it provides the capability to assemble and create new business models quickly to meet changing internal or external demands.
Does Business Architecture hold the answer to some of burgeoning business problem? - that's a million-dollar question.
The challenges are two folds. First is the understanding of the discipline of "Business Architecture." Second is "application" of this discipline in solving problems.
Don't forget that architecting "building" is not same as architecting "business"? Buildings are static while business is like a living organism, changing almost every day.
In last 6-7 years, we have been trying to evaluate the utility of Business Architecture in addressing issues related to strategy execution, business process improvement, business transformation and even solving CEOs problem on a day-to-day basis. Let me share some of our experiences in applying Business Architecture.
This is the primary concern for most business managers and business owners. In most cases, business strategy definitions are incomplete or inconsistent. We found use of Business Architecture helpful in the following key areas
1.Quickly assess limitation of existing strategies
2.Take corrective measures
The above is achieved by applying business strategy deconstruction technique. This technique helps in identifying "strategy primitives" from existing business strategies. This step is followed with identifying gaps in strategy definition and execution. These gaps are defined over 6 different business stakeholder perspectives. Later, these " strategy primitives" can be used for creating new strategies and take corrective measures.
B. Improving Business Process
In fact, almost all the cases, Business Process improvements are key to successful strategy execution. Unfortunately, most teams and departments still don't have a solid definition of "structure" of a Business Process. Almost all process improvement methodologies have serious limitations ( I will be discussing this in a separate blog).
We found use of Business Architecture helpful in the following key areas
1. Effectively combine various enterprise variables for process improvement
2. Handle business goal that demand process changes across multiple departments
Our methodology to improve Business Process based on assembling "process primitives".
Using "process primitives", you can quickly combine and create a new "Target" which is optimized around one or more enterprise variables ( such as time, location, people, data etc.).
C. Successful Business Transformation
Our consulting partners are engaged in various Business Transformation projects across multiple verticals. It is interesting to note that the majority of organizations are either trying to improve on margins from existing products (services) or expanding to a new product(service) category. In fact, a survey by PWC showed that not only the big ones, several small enterprises (annual revenue $100mn) are embarking on transformation journey by expanding to new, untested product or service areas.
The two areas where Business Architecture will add value are
1. Identify conflicting strategies, outdated processes
2. Gap analysis and prioritizing business cases
Our methodology for Business Transformation methodology focussed on four key areas such as strategies for service (product) improvement, plan for culture change, defining detailed action items for strategy execution and also leveraging key partnership opportunities.
D. Solving CEO Problems
There are generic techniques that are being applied by professionals for problem-solving. Unfortunately, most of the techniques are time taking and not reliable. We have found Business Architecture very helpful in solving CEO problems. There are several areas that add value, my top two would include
1. Improve ability to challenge a decision
2. Create multiple solution options
Using Business-Xray technique, a decision maker can gain valuable "Visual Intelligence". This "Visual Intelligence" is key to understanding the anatomy of business strategies and insight to "Collaborating Business Components". These "insight" is key to visualizing impact of change; visualize linkage between goal, strategies and processes, and validate a solution.
Every year, our consultants are part of the hundreds of engagements, learning & certification delivery programs ranging from SMEs to Fortune 100 companies. In the last five years alone, over 800 case studies are evaluated and assessed under the aegis of iCMG. It's the time to share the patterns of enterprise anatomy and solutions as
a body of knowledge.
We are happy to announce iCMG Business Architecture Certification (iCBA) Program especially for business executives. Unleash the power of silent models to address Business Problems that are inherent to every business and not just yours ;-)
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Starting at $398 for 2 hours
$999 inclusive of Level I Certification
Strategy, process, transformation