Do some enterprise architects become masters at their discipline without hours of practice, or does it really take 10,000 hours?
Of course 10,000 hours is a long time. 5 hours per day for 10 years? Its not a fast process, and most people are always looking for short cuts.
Is 10,000 hours the average or the minimum?

Do enterprise architects need some innate talent, or can this discipline be learnt?
How long does that take? What do you need to learn?

“If you can’t explain enterprise architecture to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – as Einstein would have said.

What is Enterprise Architecture?

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is the process of understanding the business model, the enterprise vision and both the business and IT strategies and then enabling the effective execution of the resulting change initiatives.

Enterprise architecture does this by modelling the current state of the enterprise and defines a number of enterprise’s future target states, defines the dependencies, identifies the best investment initiatives, identifies the change initiatives and then plans the required business transformations in the future.

Business transformations includes defining holistic models and road maps of the change initiatives, covering all domains from a strategic, business, organisation, information, services, application, technology and infrastructure perspectives. Usually that also includes modelling the market environment (what the competitors are doing) and customers own architectures (customer’s own processes and customer journeys).

The goal of Enterprise Architecture is essentially to successfully manage the process from Strategy to Execution.
Strategy execution is generally an enterprise’s most challenging issue, especially with the current attention on digital or customer focused transformations.

What is an Enterprise Architect?

Too often the enterprise architect role is misinterpreted and misapplied. It is not another name for the IT architect or solution architect roles at a project development level. It is definitely not another name for a solution architect who has achieved a certain level of seniority.
A solution architect can’t call themselves an enterprise architect, without first attaining an expert level of understanding and knowledge of the business as well as of IT.

An Enterprise Architect is a senior management executive leadership role concerned with how an Enterprise works from a business perspective, planning the future of how an enterprise needs to be transformed and changed over time and how it need to operate in its future environment. Inevitably IT is a large part of that change but in itself doesn’t define what Enterprise Architecture is all about.

Becoming a master : Gaining Skills and experience

Ignorance brings chaos and not knowledge, and diligent study and learning is essential.

No matter where you start from, it is necessary to learn from others and apply what you have learnt. Finding the right mentor is important.

Enterprise Architecture is a broad discipline and skills and experience in programming and development will not make you an Enterprise architect.
You have to learn about how a business works in terms of its business strategy and business capabilities, how it delivers value to its customers with its Business Model and its value proposition. You have to understand what Business Capabilities an enterprise has and how those capabilities are realised in the future with a mapping to the staff, organisation structure, business processes, information/data needed (and flowing), enabling applications and the services they provide, as well as the underlying technology and infrastructure. Technology & infrastructure isn’t simply IT by the way, but can includes factories, physical facilities and machinery. Remember the Internet of things includes smart machines, Internet enabled cars, integrated factories etc, not just IT stuff.

What does an enterprise architect needs to know?

  • A clear understanding of what Enterprise Architecture is
  • Abstract thinking
  • Conceptualisation
  • Visualisation
  • Visioning
  • Discussing strategy and planning
  • Modelling the enterprise – to understand anything requires a mental model or an image of it.
  • Modelling the future change options and alternatives
  • Understanding Meta modelling and applying the important concepts
  • Understanding different stakeholders viewpoints
  • Identifying best practises
  • Understanding the enterprise architecture processes
  • Researching new topics
  • Following business and IT trends
  • Assessing opportunities
  • Critically evaluating information gathered from multiple sources
  • Evaluating investments
  • Evaluating future business and IT trends
  • Making recommendations
  • Analysing the architectures
  • Aligning business and IT
  • System thinking
  • Designing
  • Road-mapping and business transformation
  • Making decisions
  • Teaching and mentoring
  • Writing and communicating
  • Persuasion and influencing
  • Managing complexity
  • Managing performance
  • Providing value to the enterprise

Enterprise Architecture thinking and deliverables are often seen as purely to do with software delivery, solutions development, technology selection and specific implementation details. These are aspects of the work that is done, but only a fraction.

Its worth repeating that Enterprise Architecture covers changes to the whole business not only IT related changes.

What should an EA job specification look for?

  • 10 + years of experience of Enterprise Architecture including Business Architecture
  • An understanding between future strategy planning and running current operations and software development
  • Understanding how businesses work
  • An understanding the difference in scope and context between enterprise architecture and solution architecture
  • An understanding of stakeholder engagement, analysis and design.
  • A broad, enterprise-wide view of the enterprise and appreciation of strategy, business capabilities, business processes, services, information, data, enabling applications, technologies and infrastructure.
  • An understanding of governance, risks and compliance
  • A demonstrated ability to recognise structural issues within the enterprise, interdependencies, issues and challenges, influences, motivations
  • The ability to apply enterprise architectural principles to business problems
  • Experience using model-based representations that can be adjusted as required to collect, aggregate or disaggregate complex and multiple views about the enterprise
  • Extensive experience modelling using a variety of tools and techniques
  • Stakeholder analysis experience
  • Experience in establishing an enterprise architecture capability within the organisation.
  • Participating in strategy discussions and planning
  • Understanding evolutions and system dynamics
  • Balancing the requisite variety
  • Guiding the impact of strategy on business capabilities
  • Guiding business transformations
    Open minded and challenging group think

What are the habits of successful Enterprise Architects?

  • Use a business led Enterprise Architecture approach
  • Use business models to understand the business environment
  • Use business capability models to understand outcomes of value and planning of change with heat maps
  • Use strategy maps, Wardley maps and system dynamics models to understand  dependencies and evolution
  • Use information models to understand underlying data, information and knowledge
  • Use appropriate frameworks to apply consistent structure of key deliverables
  • Use appropriate EA tool to accelerate modelling and analysis of investments and options
  • Use appropriate approaches (Agile, Lean, Six Sigma, Iterative) at the right time (one size does not fit all)

Master Enterprise Architect

A master enterprise architect requires a unique blend of skills, which include keen awareness of the business, looking into the future, analysing trends, understanding the evolution of dependencies, dealing with various strategies, managing business transformations and change, dealing with stakeholders, understanding IT architectures.

Working closely with C level executives and senior management, master enterprise architects get into the detail of what makes a businesses successful by getting to the heart of their business strategies, goals and objectives, making better decisions and managing the complexity of strategy execution to enable the enterprise to gain maximum value from their investments in change.

How long does this all take? Roughly 10,000 hours, if not more…
Its worth reading the book ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ by Malcolm Gladwell

 

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Enterprise Architecture is much more than a list of components. Too often one sees diagrams in slide decks that are either simple lists, a layered view of domains, or a graphical hierarchy. And these are supposed to represent the ‘Architecture’?

These visualisations are good to use to inform on the scope and context, but they really only tell us half the story.

The various components (building blocks in TOGAF) will all have a large variety of connections between them to other components. It is these connections that in fact provide the value of an enterprise architecture model, and cement everything together.
An Enterprise Architecture model is a graph of connections. The information and knowledge created in the enterprise architecture model can be viewed from many perspectives and needs to satisfy many stakeholders. Everything is dependent on everything else, and everything is connected in multiple ways. Components never exist in isolation.

An enterprise architecture model is holistic and models the whole enterprise as a sum of the parts, from a variety of different perspectives and stakeholder viewpoints. All enterprises are essentially multi-dimensional, and the connections are the way we can understand all the dimensions.

The connection types can include connections such as:

  • Traceability
  • Impact
  • Association
  • Responsible
  • Affinity
  • Correlation
  • Dependency
  • Interaction
  • Cost
  • Accesses
  • Motivation
  • Evolution
  • Need
  • Enables
  • Assignment
  • Realisation
  • Uses
  • Requires

The name, definitions and set of all possible connection types will be specified in your favourite EA Framework/Meta Model (I.e. TOGAF, ArchiMate, FEAF, MODAF etc.). It’s more common to customise a meta model by adding new connections between existing components that it is to add new component types themselves

Using a well developed EA model, CxOs will be able to look at all the connections help to understand the way the enterprise works as a whole, as a holistic enterprise. The connection provide the cohesion in the model. CxOs can understand all the connections internally between business units, their business model, their business motivation model and externally with their customers and suppliers. And to gain an understanding of how the company fits within the market environment and compares with its competitors. The connections provide knowledge and dynamics.

To get the right answers you need to ask the right questions. The connections between components will provide the answers and support decision making.

Here are some questions that might be asked:

  • How are the Business Capabilities realised?
  • How do the Business Processes access Data and Information?
  • What Knowledge is available to my staff?
  • What Business Services are associated with my Value Proposition in my Business Model?
  • How does the Product Lifecycle change over time?
  • What are the dependencies between Business Capabilities?
  • How are my User Needs and Customer Journeys satisfied?
  • What components are expected to evolve in the future?
  • How do my Business Capabilities compare to those of my Competitors?
  • How does my enterprise compare to the Market Offerings?
  • When are the Capability Increments realised with Initiatives in the Roadmap?
  • Which Initiatives are planned as Programmes and Projects?
  • What Resources are assigned to each Initiative or Project?
  • What are the Risks associated with my potential Investments?
  • What are the dependencies in the Project?

More connections in an EA model will make that model richer and more useful. Connections provide the behaviour in a model.
Connections are not just static but are dynamic and may be changed far more often that the components they link. Modelling dynamic behaviour in an EA model is something that is often overlooked.

An Enterprise Architect is thus someone who makes vital use of “the fundamental interconnectedness of all things”, in order to understand complexity and to find the right answers for the whole enterprise; and who thereby becomes the master of changes, transformations and evolution of the enterprise over time.

Increased interconnectedness in an enterprise architecture model can stimulate innovation and the emergence of new ideas and possibilities.

Written by Adrian Campbell

A good analogy for an Enterprise Architecture capability is to think of it as the equivalence to an intelligence corps in the military.
Military Leaders and business decision makers will use this Strategic Intelligence capability to:

  • Know what their current capabilities are
  • Know the capabilities of the enemy (competitors) are
  • Understand and gain awareness of the market situation
  • Understand the nature of the environment (the market place)
  • Understand the chances of success (costs and revenue)
  • Help define their goals and objectives
  • Help plan their strategies and tactics
  • Help create plans of attack or defence (a roadmap for transformation ad change)
  • Help to make new plans as the situation changes (a plan is always the first casualty of war)

The military intelligence corps is responsible for gathering, analysing and disseminating intelligence and knowledge about the military situation.

Enterprise Architecture is a business capability that collects information about the whole enterprise and uses various modelling and analysis approaches to create knowledge about the enterprise, provide advice and guidance to CxOs and heads of business units, and provide intelligence in support of their strategic decisions.

Most enterprises maintain some kind of business intelligence capability to collect information and analyse it, but this is not enough. An enterprise architecture capability is also needed.

For a long time the high level decisions made by executives and senior managers have often purely been based on intuition, personal experience and anecdotes.
Often their experience is 20+ years old and no longer relevant. Unfortunately most CxOs didn’t ever learn about enterprise architecture in their MBA courses, or were never taught about it in the first place. This is woeful ignorance in todays fast moving and complex business environment. Don’t let other players on the golf course make your decisions for you.

Often CxOs and senior decision makers are simply copying the decisions made by their competitors, for better or worse. If one of their competitors is playing with Blockchain, so that must be a good strategy right? Right? Another silver bullet or a waste of money? Does your enterprise architecture capability give you a competitive weapon?

Companies that want to succeed should put their trust in real strategic Enterprise Architecture.

Q. How many CxOs does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None.
– They get their Enterprise Architects to enable the strategic change.

Connections between components in an enterprise architecture model are the basis for identifying, creating and providing knowledge, analysis and intelligence.
In other words, Enterprise Architecture creates the Situational Awareness model for the organisation. The battle map on which the strategies and tactics can be plotted.

Enterprise Architecture models include the strategy, business architecture, information/data architecture, application architecture, infrastructure architecture domains etc.
EA Models also includes a study of the  behaviour of their contacts, customers, competitors, vendors and suppliers, from both a strategic and tactical perspective. Both for the current state and future target state, or indeed multiple alternative future states based on alternative business scenarios. The target operating model is the same as the target enterprise architecture model.

The Enterprise Architecture capability provides valuable knowledge, intelligence and experience of the dynamic changes going on and not just as a static set of deliverables or inflexible process. When the strategic situation changes, then the Enterprise Architecture body of knowledge and intelligence needs to rapidly provide the answers. Keeping pace with today’s dynamic markets requires an Enterprise Architecture capability to enable and deliver a strong strategy and amplify it. A better way to change that light bulb.

Achieving a company’s full potential and stimulating creative needs, innovation and knowledge needs answers to lots of known and unknown questions.
Leaders focus on the most important decisions, answering questions such as:

  • What if a competitor does this?
  • What if the regulations change?
  • What can we do to help?
  • How to persuade the customer to buy more?
  • How to increase profits?
  • How to improve our service?
  • How to stay competitive in a changing market?
  • How can we innovate?

 

Achieving instant readiness with Enterprise Architecture is better than not being ready at all, or too late.
If you (the CEO) don’t act now to establish an Enterprise Architecture capability now then you will lose out on competitiveness and efficiency.

The most successful leaders in business already have a Strategic Enterprise Architecture capability established, providing the organisation with Intelligence and Knowledge.

Strategic Enterprise Architecture (Intelligence corp) capability includes the following sub-capabilities that enable the most successful leaders in business.

An Enterprise Architecture Capability:

  • Provides the ability to envision and visualise an ideal future state based and create a roadmap in order to realise it (situational awareness and winning the war)
  • Provides the ability to understand trends that present threats or opportunities for an organisation (countering the enemies threats)
  • Provides the ability to identify, analyse, integrate components and connections required to achieve a business strategy (organising your forces)
  • Enables and motivates people to work together to realise a strategic business transformation. (ensures success and keeps up morale)
  • Enables governance and compliance of strategic relationships with vendors and suppliers, including for cloud services (maintains direction and momentum)

..I love the smell of Enterprise Architecture in the morning. Smells like victory…

 

How often is an established Enterprise Architecture approach used to create a Target Operating Model?
If the answer is not often, then why not?
If the answer is yes all the time, then how should we go about creating one ?
Are traditional consultancy approaches to target operating models good enough?

What is an Operating Model?

The term Operating Model is a fuzzy one. What does it really mean? What is in an Operating Model?
It appears that often some consultants totally go out of their way to avoid mentioning Enterprise Architecture and instead focus solely on the term Operating Model.
This may well be a side effect of the misunderstanding of Enterprise Architecture as only concerned with IT Architecture. Or may be because those consultants want to invent new terminology to make their services sound unique?

Is a Target Operating Model just another name for the Target Enterprise Architecture?
And by Enterprise Architecture of course I don’t mean just the IT Architecture domains, but all the EA domains which now include:
  • Strategy & Motivation
  • Business Architecture
  • Information/Data Architecture
  • Application and Application Service Architecture
  • Technology & Infrastructure Architecture
  • Physical Architecture (I.e. Archimate 3 Physical Elements)
It seems to me that a target operating model is fundamentally just another name for the full target Enterprise Architecture model and in particular primarily represents the mapping between the Strategy and Business Architecture domains and the other EA domains.

Why do we need an Operating Model?

An Operating model at the very least represents the mapping between the strategic views and components, such as :
  • Business Model (BMC)
  • Business Motivation Model (BMM)
  • Wardley Model
  • Strategic Map/Balanced Score Card (SMBSC)
  • Business Capability Models
and the rest of the enterprise architecture models, views and components in the other remaining EA domains.
If we update the strategies then we will need to update how those strategies will be realised.
A strategic change / business transformation programme will be used to realise the new strategic changes and essentially change resulting operating model.
Many refer to a Target Operating Model in a simplistic fashion as consisting of People, Processes and Technology, but there is more to it than that.
According to POLISM, a definition that comes from Ashridge Business School, an operating model covers six component areas:
Processes
– The business processes that needs to be performed
Organisation and people
– The people and roles performing the processes and how they are grouped into organisation units
Locations, buildings and other assets
– The places where the work is done and the technology, infrastructure and physical equipment in those places needed to support the work
Information
– The Information, data and applications needed to support the work
Sourcing and partners
– External entities, people and organisations outside the enterprise also performing the work
Management
– the management processes for planning and managing the work
Missing from this list is an analysis and understanding of Customers, Risks, Assessments, Performance metrics and measures, and other influences.
A secondary question that I always ask myself is why don’t Business Masters (MBA) courses teach executives and management about Enterprise Architecture?
This may indeed be the source of the fuzziness and lack of preciseness of the term Target Operating Model?

Target Enterprise Architecture Model

For me a better approach is to use a complete Target Enterprise Architecture Model as the Target Operating Model.
The Target Enterprise Architecture Model will consist of a number of more specific models (viewpoints) grouped into a number of EA domains.
Each of the EA domains will typically address the needs of different stakeholders and
visualises their concerns. This is a bit like for the POLISM stakeholders above but in better detail.
Each of the specific models listed within an EA Domain below may well evolve and change over time independently. The specific models can be updated when necessary as the enterprise itself evolves and changes in reaction to changing business and customer environments.
There is traceability connection between each specific model, so creating or updating one model will inform and influence other models. The primary traceability connection are see in the diagram below.
As with any target enterprise architecture models, there can be a number of alternative future versions often aligned to different strategic themes,  business scenarios or intermediate transition architectures. There need not be a single view of the future.
The complete set of the following specific models makes up the whole target Enterprise Architecture model, grouped into the following EA Domains:

Strategic Architecture Domain

Business Model (BMC)
Wardley Model
Business Motivation Model (BMM)
Strategy Map / Balanced Score Card Model
Value Chain Model

Influences Domain

Influences model
Stakeholders model

Customer (Outside In) Domain

Business Value Network Model
Business Scenario Model
Customer Journey Model
Business Services  (value proposition) Model
Business Events Model
Business Service Flow Model

Risks Domain

Risks (RAID) Model
Assessment Model
Business Capability Domain
Business Capability Model
Capability Dependency Model
Component Business Model

Governance and Compliance Domain

Business Policy Model
Business Rules Model
Governance Model
Requirements Model

Organisation Domain

Business Context Model
Organisation Structure Model
Business Locations Model
Business Roles Model

Business Process Domain

Business Process Hierarchy Model
Business Process Flow (Value Streams) Model

Knowledge/ Information/ Data Domain

Knowledge Model
Business Information Flow Model
Business Information Object Model
Logical Data Object Model
Physical Message Model
Physical Data Storage Model

Applications Domain

Application Services Model
Application Landscape Model
Application Integration Model

Infrastructure Domain

Infrastructure Services Model
Infrastructure Model
Network Model
Physical Models

Roadmap Domain

Initiatives Model
EA Roadmap Model
Project Roadmap Model
Programmes and Project Portfolio Model
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Summary

In summary we should not be defining target operating models with yesterday’s approaches, but must instead use today’s better Enterprise Architecture techniques and models for defining the next Target Operating Model.
The models identified above are all fully defined and available in an Abacus model. Anyone who wants to follow this approach can contact me for more details.

Digital strategy is not simply about marketing. It is about a better engagement with potential and existing customers. It is about the perception of the brand created with customers though close interaction via social media and close communication leading to a value proposition that can better serve their actual and future needs.

As with any business strategy, the enterprise architecture discipline is there to support the business transformation to success with a design strategy. It is useful here to remind everyone that enterprise architecture is not just another name for an enterprise wide view of the IT Architecture and the underlying infrastructure architecture

The term ‘Enterprise’ in Enterprise Architecture refers to the greater scope of the organisation which includes the Customers, contacts, stakeholders in the wider market environment which is addressed by the Digital Strategy.

Enterprise Architecture will help organisations to drive innovations and new business capabilities across their entire value chain and to better understand the digital environment in which they will be operating.

Joe Tucci, Chairman and CEO, EMC Corp.– “To stay relevant in this new, always-connected digital universe, businesses in virtually every industry are reinventing their business models for unprecedented customer access, interaction, speed, and scale.”

Using Enterprise Architecture to provide a blueprint for digital strategy

Enterprise architecture consists of the following primary architecture domains.

  • Strategy
  • Performance Architecture
  • Business Architecture
  • Information/Data Architecture
  • Service/Application Architecture
  • Infrastructure/Technical Architecture
  • Business Transformation/ EA Roadmap

In addition to these usual enterprise architecture domains, I propose that further Architecture Domains are required for supporting a Digital Strategy.

Additional Architecture Domains  
Customer Architecture

 

Modelling the Customers’ own Environment, their processes, usage scenarios, customer journeys. Includes the communication channels used for communications directly to the customers and other external stakeholders.
Market Architecture Modelling the outside-in view of what is happening outside the organisation boundaries in the Environment in which the enterprise does business, Social media, Competitors, Competitors Value propositions.
Brand Architecture

 

The branding, value proposition, projected identity that provides value to the customers for the lifecycle of the business. Includes generic communication to the customer and market, advertising the brand and value propositions.

Figure 1 Enterprise Architecture for Digital Strategy

EA for Digital Strategy

Strategy

Obtain clarity on the goals, objectives and principles guiding your digital strategy Business strategy /Digital strategy

  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Business motivation model
  • Business Model
  • Goals and objectives

Market Architecture

Identify the environmental, industry and internal factors that are influencing the digital strategy.

  • Communities
  • Market environment
  • Modelling what the competition is doing
  • Assumptions
  • Networks
  • Competitors and their activities
  • Who else is in your space?
  • How do you differentiate?
  • Market trends
  • Topics
  • Hashtags
  • Media
  • Threats and opportunities
  • Gaps
  • Blue ocean
  • Search topics

Customer Architecture

As usual this means developing Business Scenarios and Customers Journeys, but also modelling the customers (potential and actual) own business processes.

These models will help to understand the customer touch points with the organisation and their desired brand and product experiences.

The Customer Architecture will also include a Connection Model to understand the relationships with customers, communities, to better understand the customers own information and process flows.

A current state Connection Model will capture the Communities, External online nodes, web sites, collaboration social networks (Facebook, Twitter), mobile platforms (IOS, Android) and cloud platforms (Evernote, Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive) where content exists and customers will go to visit. This Connections model will also include Search sites (Google),

multimedia sites (Flickr), advertising (Ad-Words), entertainment and gaming sites eCommerce sites (Amazon, eBay ), Mobile applications (from Apple Store,  Google Play), Smart TV applications etc.

This is similar to a Context Diagram showing interaction between the Organisation and its Stakeholders, but in this case the organisation is not in the centre of the diagram and may not be shown at all in a current state (as-is) Connection Model. The organisation will however be shown in a target state Connection Model.

In a target state Connection model, it will be important to model how the organisations internal models will be coordinated and aligned to the Customers connection Model.

  • Outside-in perspectives
  • Obtain clarity on who the customer, consumer, partners are, their roles and their values.
  • VPECT.
  • Business Scenarios
  • Customers journeys
  • Wardley Models
  • Customers own processes
  • Understand the customer touch points and the desired brand and product experiences
  • Connect relationships with customers to better understand them over time
  • Customers own information and process flow
  • External online nodes, web sites, networks, platforms where content exists and customers visit
  • Communications
  • Obtain clarity on how the organisation means to listen and respond to consumers.
  • Multi-channel / Omni channel communications
  • Communications flows both ways via whatever channel the customer is comfortable with
  • Customers’ ideas
  • Many channels and many messages
  • Understanding and analysis of those messages
  • Gaining customers’ attention
  • Earning their trust
  • Customers motivation
  • How customers share content

Brand Architecture

A brand’s look and feel and tone of voice is as important as its identity, experiences and value proposition.

  • Creating brand experiences
  • Brands
  • Brand story
  • Brand Strategy – Developing a creative brand strategy that is fit for purpose, up to date and distinctive is key to establishing all marketing communications.
  • Who engages with your brand?
  • Selling the Experience
  • Understand the customer touch points and the intended brand and product experiences
  • Insights about Customers – observations that trigger innovations
  • Blue ocean strategies

The internal mode of the organisations Brand will need to be part of the Value Proposition model and show where the Brand messages will be projected.

  • Modelling what the customers will love to buy
  • Modelling how customers interact via social media
  • Causal loop model (system dynamics)
  • Modelling what customers are interested in.
  • Mapping to the value proposition
  • Minimum viable concept
  • Behaviour change model
  • Value and truth about the value propositions offered
  • Value propositions
  • Products
  • Business Services

Business Architecture

Business model canvas

Create the structure required to understand the business model required to realise your digital strategy

Create transparency and traceability across the market model, products and business services model, and the target operating model

Business capability model

  • Create a view of the organisational capabilities across people, process, information and technology required to deliver the brand and product experiences.
  • Capability assessment against goals and objectives
  • Business Capability based Requirements
  • Improve the way you manage your digital requirements
  • Business Capabilities can be informed by the user needs identified by using Wardley models

Manage information from data architecture and information security through to delivering key messages to the market environment

  • Content management
  • Understand the content management approach and how it is enabled.
  • Value of each bit of content.
  • Relationship of content to value proposition
  • System dynamics model (stocks and flows / cause and effect)
  • System thinking

Governance

Provide clarity over decision making across the digital architecture

Business Transformation / EA roadmap

Create an understanding of the extent at which your current capabilities are able to support your digital strategy

Create clarity of the EA roadmap required to support the digital strategy

Obtain consensus, commitment and support for your digital strategy and roadmap which we believe are critical to the success of your strategy

Performance architecture

Obtain clarity on your measures of success and identify plans to measure and monitor them

  • Investment case
  • Procurement
  • Programme/Project Portfolio management
  • Delivery plan

As usual if you don’t measure, then you can’t manage. However, it is surprising just how many enterprises fail to measure anything at all, including what they have done and what they plan to do.

  • Define Metrics and create measures
  • Critical Success factors
  • Capability Maturity models

Business transformation involves significant changes to all areas of an enterprise. It focuses on the future strategies.

These includes strategies, business models, operating models, business processes, information & data, systems, products, business services and channels. These are exactly the deliverables developed by enterprise architecture to understand the current state of an enterprise, to envision and design the future state of the enterprise, to discover the gaps between them, to identify the opportunities for investment in change and to plan the enterprise architecture roadmap to achieve the change initiatives.

This sounds just like what Business Transformation approaches do, doesn’t it?

In fact Enterprise Architecture and Business Transformation disciplines have much more in common, than they have differences.

It’s clear that real Enterprise Architects play a critical role in business transformations. The Chief Enterprise Architect is the most important member of the senior management team leading a business transformation and ensuring that it is effective.

By the way Enterprise Architecture, by definition, should not be misunderstood as only being about IT Architecture or Technical architecture, used just to support IT solution development. This is not what real enterprise architecture is for. Business transformation is rarely limited just to IT projects.

The CxOs are the business leadership responsible for providing business direction, identifying the needs for the business transformation in the first place and making the investment decisions.  But the Enterprise Architects will work directly with the CxOs to drive out the devil in the details, planning the future transformation roadmap, developing future scenarios, making projections and forecasting future options. Acting without enterprise architects is equivalent to failing to make proper preparations and is asking for trouble. The enterprise architects perform the important task of analysis and evaluating the impact of strategies and proposed changes in detail, identifying risks and prioritising the transformation initiatives into a viable roadmap. They manage the complexity of transformations and are essential to achieving success and effective transformational changes. Enterprise architecture is about bridging the gap between the transformation vision and strategy and its realisation.

What approach should be taken for leading business transformation?

The recommend approach is based on the books by John Kotter, “Leading Change”, “A Sense of Urgency” and The Heart of Change Field Guide”, together with real enterprise architecture approaches to managing strategic change.

Creating the conditions for business transformation

1 Increasing urgency

For Business Transformation to be successful, then the whole enterprise needs to understand the need for it. The whole enterprise needs to have a view of the current state and the motivation for change.  Enterprise Architecture provides an understanding of the existing problems and the desired future vision. Avoid complacency and business as usual behaviours. Business transformation means new behaviours and new ways of working.

2 Building a joint Enterprise Architecture/Business Transformation team

A Business Transformation team should not be a group isolated from the enterprise architecture team, but completely integrated with it. Remember that a real enterprise architecture team is responsible for the future business change within the enterprise (and is not just an IT development function), typically up to between 2 and 5 years into the future. Seriously, how can they be kept separated from a business transformation programme?

Identify the members of the Enterprise Architecture/Business Transformation (EABT) team. Look for a mixture of strong management leaders and include a good influential people from a continuum of all job titles, levels of authority and statuses. Remember that enterprise architects are strong and effective change leaders and already cross cut the whole enterprise. Non-enterprise architects in the EABT team will probably have greater political and financial skills whereas Enterprise architects will have cross domain knowledge about the whole enterprise in detail, analytical skills and significantly greater modelling skills. All team members should have good vision and leadership skills.

Hold honest and convincing discussions, dialogues and workshops. Enterprise architects are often useful as facilitators at this stage.

Ask for emotional commitment from all EABT team members and commitment to work together for the common good of the enterprise.

3 Establishing the Target Transformation Vision models and Strategy

What does business transformation success look like?

Planning the strategies and confirm the business motivation. Enterprise Architects and C-level managers will use a Business Motivation Model for this, identifying Strategies, Goals, Objectives and performance measures.

Analyse the various ideas and options to develop an understanding the various Business Models for the target transformed enterprise. Alternative business models can be produced by the enterprise architects using a Business Model Canvas approach and these can be compared with multiple measures, including total cost of ownership and potential revenue.

Avoid thinking in terms of systems and IT solutions too early, after all this is the job of the enterprise architects later on and business transformation is a business problem.  Allow for unfettered innovations to emerge from discussions.

Identify stakeholders including customers, partners and suppliers.

Examining the Outside In views from the perspective of these customers and partners.

Creating detailed Business Scenarios, Customer Journeys and Partner Journeys using any suitable story telling approach. Remember that stories are powerful, especially if they come directly from your customers. The enterprise architects will capture and analyse these business stories, but remember that at this stage these are not detailed IT requirements or user stories/use cases from an Agile software development perspective. Those kinds of deliverables will be defined much further downstream.

Identify opportunities and innovations. The team should consider approaches such as a Blue Ocean Strategy (see the book).

Definition the transformation Vision, Values, Motivations.

Defining the transformed value propositions

Analyse and understand the risks, their probabilities of occurring and their potential mitigation.

Engaging and enabling the Enterprise

4 Communicating the Transformation Vision and strategy

Communication is essential for all business transformations if they are to be successful.

There will be detractors and strong opposition to some of the transformation vision. The enterprise architects in the EABT team will ensure that fact based decisions can be made.

Publish and communicate the business transformation models as widely as possible. This will help make the right decisions and solve problems. Don’t assume either the C level managers or the enterprise architects have a monopoly on good decisions. Challenges need to be addressed and responded to.

Obviously some aspects of the transformation vision and strategy will be commercially sensitive and should not be communicated to the competition without careful thought. However, ultimately remember that the enterprise will want support from all customers, internal stakeholders, outside stakeholders, partners and suppliers and this support and buy in cannot be won without communication. Talk often and modify the transformation visions as needed. The enterprise architects will keep track of alternatives and decisions in the transformation model. The Vision and strategies need to be tied back to all aspects of the transformation model. This becomes infinitely easier using a flexible EA management tool (such as ABACUS) and avoiding spreadsheets and Visio diagrams which rapidly become unmanageable.

Ensure that the joint Enterprise Architecture/Business Transformation (EABT) team is able to lead by example by speaking about the transformation vision at any time and to always evangelise about it.

5 Enabling Action

Enabling transformation change is about removing the barriers to change and empowering staff. It involves removing resistance. Often resistance to change from staff is tied to functional divisions and people who are not measured by enterprise’s transformation success but only by fulfilling their own their own personal goals. Paradoxically, it may be the way they are measured and rewarded by the C-level managers that causes people to resist and avoid supporting transformational change.

To enable the right actions, the authorities, responsibilities and rewards need to be re-aligned with the business transformation vision, goals and objectives.

It is the enterprise architect who takes the business strategies and business model and successfully realise them on behalf of the whole enterprise, so are often best placed to also identify the authorities and responsibilities needed to focus people on benefits to the enterprise.

Ensuring that the Enterprise Architecture /Business Transformation (EABT) team has the right authority is also essential, and is able to resolve competing priorities. This authority is also exercised in relation to the governance and compliance stage.

Establish the appropriate metrics and measures, and maintain a scorecard for the business transformation vision, goals and objectives. It is strange how often performance is ignored and enterprises do not know how to measure success, or align performance to desired outcomes. Costs and revenue need to be balanced with other measurement dimensions. Measures should be aligned to transformation changes in the EA management tool.

6 Define Investment Opportunities

Examine the investment opportunities and develop an investment case. The Enterprise Architects will be best placed to determine how realistic and feasible a specific investment opportunity will be, and determine the fine details. Whereas the C-level management will understand the balance of costs and revenue developed in the Business Model.

Enterprise Architects will use a Business Capability model to scope and plan which business capabilities will be modified by a transformational change.

Transformational changes will typically be classed as short term or long term changes. However by definition, transformational changes will tend to be large and disruptive rather than “low hanging fruit”. Short term transformational changes will however be useful for maintaining the transformation momentum across a number of iterations.

Changes to business capabilities are identified as a number of capability increments. The dependencies between these and their priorities will form the first draft enterprise architecture roadmap and provide the scope and context for subsequent change iterations.

Implementing and sustaining the business transformation

7 Keep up the momentum

It is important to keep up momentum for a business transformation. The EABT team must keep communicating and clarifying the business transformation changes.

The business transformation model must be regularly published and all opportunities taken to speak to all stakeholders about it and inform them on status and progress. Capture feedback and responses to continually validate the vision and measure its effectiveness.

Address the fear, uncertainty and doubt from detractors and sceptics and motivate supporters to evangelise about the transformation. Encourage desired culture and values that reinforce the transformation changes.  Keep your eyes on the roadmap and don’t assume everything is done after the success of the first iteration and let performance and concentration levels drop. Don’t let the EABT team get diverted into other side projects. Perseverance is important. Remember that change is the only constant.

Develop communication material including web sites, brochures and posters. Posters can be very effective as information radiators.

8 Enterprise Architecture Governance and Compliance

C level managers will be making the investment decisions and providing funding for investments in change.

Establishing an enterprise architecture governance and compliance capability will ensure successful realisation of transformation changes, and help them become permanent business as usual.

Detractors will often try to derail changes but the formal governance and compliance approaches will enforce decisions made but will also provide a platform for challenges and objections to be discussed openly and objectively.

9 Realising Transformation Changes

Business transformation needs many kinds of potential future changes to occur, not least of which are the key cultural changes and organisational changes.

Business Process changes, Information changes, system changes and procurement changes are also important. However for these I recommend designing for flexibility and adaptability not going for a fixed solution which may be cheaper but will invariably be difficult to change the next time. Business transformation should be thought of as a continuous process, enabling an enterprise the rapidly respond to changing forces in the market environment.

Before changes are executed, it is a good idea to conduct a Change Readiness Assessment, if you have not already done this earlier in the Enabling Action stage. This will help find out how prepared the enterprise is for the transformational changes and identify the enterprise’s overall competence, knowledge, skills and capabilities. Any shortfalls will be addressed by planning suitable skills training, and addressing the shortfalls.

In conclusion

For maximum success in strategic business transformations, an enterprise needs to completely and fully use their enterprise architecture resources and enterprise architects. You have to work hard and plan carefully. Building the proper foundation with an enterprise architecture model for the scope of the business transformation will make everything very much easier.

EABT

There is no good reason why real Enterprise Architecture and Business Transformation should not be merged as a single discipline. The skills needed for each hugely overlap, especially the Business Architecture domain of enterprise Architecture.

A joint Enterprise Architecture Business Transformation team is essential to achieving successful and viable transformations.

Cognitive Dissonance

11 November 2013

I was reading this today:

http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/ea-matters/is-there-an-enterprise-architect-paradox-surely-is-57728?rss=1

It is a good analysis of the cognitive dissonance between what Enterprise Architects should be doing and the role and situation they often actually find themselves in. The term Enterprise Architect has been hijacked for far too long.
An Enterprise Architect should indeed be a senior leadership role, ideally reporting to the CEO.
 
The trouble I’ve often seen is that mid level executives often think that because they have been promoted into that role that their job title automatically gives them the skills and experience of a real enterprise architect.
 
News Flash: It doesn’t!
 
They do have the skills to set business strategy and provide direction of course (This is a Viable System Model System 5 role). But are they capable of plotting the effect on the enterprise architecture and planning an Business transformation roadmap? Often not so much. They understand the market realities and their customers. The Roadmappping and Busienss Transformation is more the domain of expertise of the enterprise architect (This is a Viabale system Model System 4 role).
 
Subsequently the mid level executives tend to think that real Enterprise Architects who engage with them are somehow after their job (instead of being there to help them) and spend their political capital to push them back to IT where they think they belong.
 
News Flash: Enterprise Architects don’t belong in IT!
 
There should be a Chief Enterprise Architecture Officer with a EA Management Office (or better still called the Office of the CEO) to support them, in the same way that a PMO supports Programme Managers. 
 
My advice is to educate the employers and teach them what an Enterprise Architect really does, and not let them employ other skills and erroneously call them Enterprise Achitects.
 
Its time Enterprise Architecture was taught properly in University MBA courses to the next generation of business leaders. Maybe then the cognitive dissonance will be avoided.
 
 
 
 
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