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An Inspired Approach to Business Architecture

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  • 1. An very little coverage of products and services offered, channels through which we reach our markets and financial issues, constraints and opportunities. Our definition of business architecture is Approach to much broader. We see it as: Business The design of a desirable future state of the enterprise, including the components, Architecture relationships and arrangement of these to achieve business goals Looked at in this way, business architecture is Graham McLeod not about providing IT with inputs to the “Enterprise Architecture” method or process - Chief Architect/Chairman Promis Ltd it really is about designing the future of the Founder Inspired organization. It is thus overlapping with April 2012 strategy. Traditional strategy practices, though, are often blinkered - e.g. mostScope of Business Architecture business planning approaches focus primarily on financial aspects, products and marketing.The term business architecture has been muchabused in popular use and recent literature. We believe that all important dimensions needWithin IT-oriented Enterprise Architecture to be considered in an holistic and integratedmethods, such as TOGAF, IAF and others, it way, with Business Architecture informing allhas come to mean “the business stuff that IT other architectures and driving the primaryneeds to know about in order to do Enterprise change within the organization. It is a twoIT Architecture”. This normally includes, for way street, though, and business architectureexample, organization structure, business also needs to be influenced by context,processes, business goals andbusiness infor mationrequirements. It may includestakeholders, roles, respon-sibilities and capabilities.There is usually extremelylittle coverage of anythingof a soft nature e.g. culture,ethos... or of issues in thecontext of the enterprise,s u c h a s c o m p e t i t o r s,industry trends, technologytrends, legislation, externalthreats, customer s and Figure 1 - Role of Business Architecture in the Organizationmarkets etc. There is usually© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 1 of 10
  • 2. available technologies, product and service • Channels: How do we reach our Clients andpossibilities and exciting new organizational Markets?forms and business models. • Collaboration: Who do we work with to achieve our results?Difficulties with a “method” for business • Legal: What are the legal constraints andarchitecture requirements under which we operate?Industry is beloved of “best practice” or cook • Risk and Governance: What Risks do webook approaches that try to endow practi- face? What Governance models are wetioners (often without the requisite personal required to implement? What reporting doexperience) with competence in carrying out we have to do? What are the requirementsarchitecture development or planning. This around security, privacy, transparency?can work to a degree where the goal is to • Social: What is our role in society? How doenhance communication between disparate we contribute? What are the trends thatstakeholders and to provide a lingua franca and affect our future? Who are the communitiesa safety net, ensuring that at least the basics we serve?are considered. It is a fraught approach when • Resources: What is available? What are thedealing with something of the scale of future scenarios for Resource types andbusiness architecture - there are so many availability?dimensions that form part of a comprehensive • Business Model: How should we befuture business design and so many different structured to best achieve our objectives instarting points / compe-tencies / maturity the longer term? What has become possiblelevels as well as a plethora of goals in socially, technologically and legally?undertaking business architecture work, thatit is almost impossible to have “a” business • Technology: What do we use and what willarchitecture method. be available? How can we exploit technology to our advantage?Techniques and Deliverables • Ethical: What are our beliefs and principles about how we should operate? What will beOur view is that we need a variety of sustainable for us, society and thetechniques and deliverables to assist us in environment in the long term?doing business architecture work. From the • Organization Model: What is the bestavailable techniques and deliverables, we will structure for the Organization, itsthen select those that are useful and achievable components and its relationships to partnersin the given situation. and other stakeholders? What skills do weThere are many perspectives that we need to need for our planned future and how will weconsider, including: retain, create or acquire them?• Motivation: Drivers, Goals, Objectives, • Timing and Events: What are the key Threats, Opportunities cycles we need to be aware of ? What are the• Products and Services: What do we events that require us to respond and who deliver / produce / provide to our clients? are the relevant Stakeholders concerned? What role do they play? What do they• Brand: What is our Brand? How valuable contribute and expect? and trusted is it? How can it be enhanced? Do we need to create new Brand(s)?© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 2 of 10
  • 3. • Information: What information do we need Telephone Small Business for operations; for performance monitoring System Owner and improvement; for strategic decision making?• Scenarios: How are things likely to pan out? What will an appropriate strategy be in each scenario? Are there things that we can do Western Europe that play well in all scenarios?• Planning Horizon: What time period are we planning for? What interim capability delivery points will we target? In fast Figure 2 - A model moving, low capital industries, this might be A meta model abstracts a model up a level so measured in months, while in mature capital that we identify the concepts involved and industries (e.g. resources and energy) it may their relationships, rather than the specific be decades. objects or items in the model. For the aboveAny particular business architecture / model, the meta model would include thestrategic planning exercise or project may concepts: Product, Client Segment andinvolve any combination of subsets of the Geographic Market and the relationships:above. There are also competing approaches to Product is sold to Client Segment; Product isbusiness strateg y, including the more sold in Geographic Market. We might includeconventional views (e.g. Porter) and more the concept Sale related to Product, Clientrecent and different views (e.g. Blue Ocean Segment and Geographic Market.Strategy). A key challenge is to perform therequired analysis in each area of concern, but Product Client Segmentalso to integrate the analyses and results intoa coherent whole. The analysis may take placeat different points in time and under different Saleprojects. A powerful way to achieve thisintegration is to have a common underlyingconceptual model and associated agreed Geographic Marketterminology.Role of a Unifying Meta Model Figure 3 - A meta modelA model is a representation (usually simplified The meta model thus captures the kinds ofi n s o m e w ay ) t h at s h o w s e s s e n t i a l things that we are interested in, the legalcharacteristics of something in the real world relationships between them, and the properties(or which we want to create in the real world). we want to record or know about for each. E.g.Thus a model might show that we sell product for Client Segment, we might want to know“Telephone System” to the client segment the population and average age; for the Product,“Small Business Owners” in the geographical we might want to know the average price inmarket “Western Europe”. Euros and the months since product introduction. An agreed meta model is a great way to achieve integration between various perspec-© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 3 of 10
  • 4. tives. Product managers could populate the figures, spreadsheets and graphs. This mightProduct details and relate products to be the best representation to use for modelsGeographic Markets where they are sold. The he/she will deal with. A Business IntelligenceRegional Manager s could define the officer might relate best to graphicalGeographic Markets and provide their conceptual data models and rich datacharacteristics. The Marketing people could visualizations. A Process Owner might wantpopulate the Client Segments and relate them to see process flow diagrams. A CEO mightto Products they buy, etc. want to see a report of how the complement of different staff types will change over time.The key here is to agree the meta model. We A Programme Manager might want to see acan then populate the contents of models milestone chart of key delivery points inconforming to the meta model at any time, several streams of activity.starting anywhere, as and when we have theinformation or it is useful to perform the The key thing is to consider the content (whatanalysis. With an agreed meta model, we also the role requires the person to see, know orhave a shared vocabulary, so that when we visualize); the orientation or most comfortablerefer to things within the different specialis- representation (e.g. list, report, spreadsheet,ations, we are talking about the same things matrix, diagram, visualization) that is best forwith a shared understanding. This is the stakeholder and the mode of obtaining thesometimes called a business ontology. information: e.g. regular report; ad hoc query; diagram editing; dynamic visualization etc.Ideally, the meta model and the models shouldbe held in a repository, where they can be To support the above, we need mappingscaptured, validated, maintained, analysed, between the meta model, the model, theshared and reused in further analysis work. logical model type and the representation. TheReuse is facilitated by having the common latter may also be adapted for the medium ofmeta model and trying to relate existing delivery (e.g. Paper, Web Interface, iPad/things before creating new ones. E.g. If I tablet).define a new Product, I can simply relate it toall the existing Client Segments Form Matrix Diagram/Plot List Composite ato which it should appeal. If Item ID Property: Value a 1 c aa ab Property: Value bthere are new Client Segments Property: Value b c bbbeing targeted, I could add thesetoo. Representation Representation Representation Representation RepresentationModels, Model Types and Model Model Model Model ModelRepresentationsWe have seen how a shared metamodel supports coordi-nation,reuse and sharing. We also have Objects in Repositoryto consider the best represen- Colour coding indicates classification into types according to the meta modeltation or form of presentation fordifferent stakeholders and target Figure 4 - Mapping of objects, models, model types &audiences. A Chief Financial representationsOfficer is used to dealing with© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 4 of 10
  • 5. • Tasks are related to skills and applicable techniquesDynamic Methods Using the Method The method model is implemented at twoModel levels:Many years ago, we developed a method • The first level is concerned with kinds ofmanagement model (M3) which supports the Projects, kinds of Deliverables, kinds of Tasks,modeling, management and evolution of kinds of Resources etc. (so it is effectively amethods and techniques within organizations. meta model)This has dimensions of Products/Deliverables • The second level is concerned with actual(what should be produced); Projects/Tasks Projects, Deliverables, Tasks, Resources etc.(what work is needed to produce the required as they will be applied in an actual project.outputs) and Resources (roles/people, skills, (so it is effectively a model)tools, other resources) required to produce theresults. Each of these facets has a decom- In the Product and Task facets there are alsoposition: dependencies. For Products this relates Products to those which are required as inputs• Projects break down to tasks (as you would have for a project work breakdown for their production. For Tasks, it relates them structure) to those required as prerequisites before the given task can be performed. This is often• Products break down to deliverables from derived from the Product dependencies. which they are compiled• Resources break down to categories and So why bother with all of this? Well, earlier finally actual resources to be allocated we said it is almost impossible to have “a” Business Architecture method, and that the• The three facets are also inter-related: approach would have to be tailored for each • Products are related to the Tasks situation. The above models provide support required to produce them (even automated!) for such tailoring. By • Tasks are related to the Resources selecting the Products that we need from a required to perform them given initiative, we can automatically includes determine: • What sub and input products are required Product • What tasks, subtasks and prerequisite tasks prerequisite produced includes are required to produce the above by • What resources are required to perform the Task tasks above includes prerequisite requires • What techniques and skills are useful or requires required in performing the tasks Resource requires Thus, we can effectively generate a tailored project plan for each situation. Doing this Skill Technique against a consistent method model and meta model will ensure that any time we do the Figure 5 - One level of the M3 Model same thing we achieve consistency. Also, by having the shared meta model underpinning© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 5 of 10
  • 6. the analysis work and deliverables we ensure Support for Implementationthat we get maximum reuse and that we can Ideally, the meta model, the models and theintegrate all the results across whatever methods information should be managed in adimensions. shared and secure repository supporting collaboration by all concerned parties.Use of Industry Models Inspired has provided such an environment,A great deal of work has been invested in known as Enterprise Value Architect Net-various industries/domains to develop models modeler (EVA) for many years. It is a servergermane to their specific domain. These based, meta model driven repository providinginclude: web browser, graphical modeling and pro- grammatic interfaces to support all of the• FrameworkX in the Telecommunications industry, which provides process, data, above concepts. service and functional models Similar results could be achieved with other• ARTS process models in the Retail industry toolsets, provided that a shared comprehensive• Insurance Application Architecture (IAA) meta model is implementable in the tool(s) and from IBM which addresses the assurance / that the method adaptation can be supported insurance industry by suitable customisation and tool APIs.• HL7 process and data models in the Health We provide our integrated meta model and Care industry methods management model as part of our• etc. toolset. It is also available in an industry standard form (XML and XML schemas) as aThe use of these models as a starting point, or separate product to assist implementation inas a safety checklist or to spur conceptual other toolsets and environments.thinking in development of businessarchitectures can result in higher quality Meta Modelmodels and great resource and time savings.The models can be preloaded into the unifying Since Business Architecture is typicallymeta model and serve as a straw man for the pursued by fairly mature and advancedorganization’s own models. Alternately, organizations which are also likely to havec o n f o r m i n g t o t h e s e m o d e l s at a l l some Enterprise Architecture activity, oftenorganizational interface points can greatly driven out of Information Technology, wefacilitate agility and flexibility in how we have tried to accommodate the industrycollaborate with partners. leading standards into our models, so that we have maximum congruence with industryUsing recognised models where suitable can understanding of the concepts, use consistentease the adoption of industry solutions (e.g. terminology and can leverage existingERP or Telecommunications Billing) based training and skills to best effect.upon these models, thereby enhancingintegration in business systems and opera- The dominant EA method in use today istions. TOGAF, from the Open Group, currently at release 9.1. The leading standard for architectural model representation in graph- ical form is Archimate, also from the Open Group, now at Release 2. These are not© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 6 of 10
  • 7. comprehensive for our purposes, but there is a • Enterprise Architecture (including Process,large overlap in concepts. Applications, Information, Technology)To leverage industry knowledge and common • Requirements Managementunderstanding, we took Archimate as a core, • Programme Managementsince it had the better defined meta model • Methods Managementcompared to TOGAF. We cleaned up a few • Risk Managementconfusing concepts there, then analysed whatwas missing to fully support TOGAF. We See next page Figure 7 for a graphic...added the concepts that would be required. Techniques and DeliverablesNext we looked at our own comprehensive Over the past decade, we have adopted, definedEA, Business Architecture, Methods Manage- and evolved powerful techniques and deliv-ment and Capability Management models erables to support the various analyseswhich we have built over the past two decades. required in support of Business Architecture.We added the concepts necessary to fully These have been mapped to our meta modelsupport our concept of Business Architecture described above and defined in model typesas defined above and those necessary to and representations supported in our tooling.manage methods, integrate with programmemanagement and manage architecture The techniques and deliverables are taught incapability. a comprehensive four day intensive course developed over the last two years and which has been introduced to the market to general acclaim. The techniques and deliverables include: • Business Operating Models • Stakeholder Value Contribution • Maturity Analysis • SWOT • Drivers, Goals, Objectives • Vision Development • PEST(LE) • Growth Vectors • Business Events • Value Chains and NetworksFigure 6 - Development of the comprehensive • Process Architectures and Models meta model • Functional Analysis • Service Oriented ArchitectureThus, what we now have is a fully integrated, • Principles and Business Rulesconsistent, comprehensive meta model • Channel Architecturescovering all the necessary concepts and • Design Thinking and Innovationrelationships to address:• Business Architecture© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 7 of 10
  • 8. Type to enter text• Figure 7 - The concepts included in the meta model related to Business Architecture (the oval represents the organization boundary)• Market, Product, Brand, Competitor • Modeling ability (especially abstraction) Analysis General ability to model and abstract using• Identifying “Blue Ocean” opportunities and various techniques including decomposition, planning to exploit them abstraction, synthesis, analysis, gap analysis etc.• Organization Design • Soft skills (communication, facilitation,• Information and Communication empathy) Architecture These are required to engage with senior• Gap Analysis executives and other stakeholders, to lead• Capability Modeling and Achievement facilitated planning sessions and reach• Initiative and Portfolio Management consensus, to communicate ideas and to• Roadmap and Migration Definition understand competing perspectives• Risk identification and mitigation • Domain knowledge of the industry in which the organizationSkills operates is essential. This is both toReal business architecture requires a broad understand the real issues, industry trendsrange of skills and abilities. These include: and to have credibility with senior business executives• Strong conceptual abilities to understand the wide range of concepts • Experience involved, their relationship and the impacts There is no substitute for experience. It is of change across the business very doubtful that newly trained practitioners, on their own, prepared only© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 8 of 10
  • 9. with theoretical knowledge would perform Training is offered in the UK, Europe, USA, well at the subtle and complex task of Scandinavia, South Africa, Malaysia and business architecture. Of course, as part of a Australia. Other locations can be accom- team with a few grey-beards they bring new modated on a negotiated basis. perspectives, innovation, enthusiasm and Consulting Services energy, which are also invaluable Inspired and Promis offer a range ofTraining consultancy services relevant to BusinessWe have a number of training courses which Architecture and Enterprise Architecture.support the approach we have described and These include:the development of the necessary skills.Courses typically include principle based • Architecture Capability Development -training (which delegates can adapt to specific where we work with organizations tomethods, tools and techniques) as well as rich establish the organization structures,case studies and practical assignments governance processes, methods andperformed in teams. These include: techniques that an organization will employ and the skills and resources that they will• Techniques and Deliverables of Business need to create or sustain a credible and Architecture valuable architecture capability Our comprehensive and intensive four day course for business architects, described • Architecture Method Adaptation and previously Implementation - putting in place and tuning the methods and techniques to suit• Practical TOGAF Certification Courses the organizational goals, requirements, A three day Foundation level certification culture, maturity and capability course and a five day TOGAF full certification course. Both are accredited by • Architecture Development - defining the Open Group. We have trained hundreds goals, collecting data, performing analysis, of students successfully since 2007 defining scenarios, defining future architectures, building business cases,• Executive Introduction to Enterprise creating change programmes Architecture A one day introduction for senior managers, • Architecture Review/Quality Assurance - CxO and board level executives reviewing work of internal architects or that done by major suppliers. Ensuring that• Practical Archimate all relevant aspects have been properly A one and a half day practical course considered and that the quality of analysis covering the Archimate notation. Can be and results is good used in preparation for Archimate certification • Architecture Due Diligence - When organizations are considering take overs,• Facilitators Kiln mergers or major outsourcing, looking at all A three day intensive course in facilitation relevant aspects to identify road blocks and skills, Joint Application Planning and Joint risks and to advise on whether to proceed. If Application Development techniques the decision is to proceed, identifying risksWe can also tailor training to specific and coming up with strategies to minimizeorganizational needs, given that there are these and facilitate rapid solid progresssufficient students to justify the effort.© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 9 of 10
  • 10. • Major Business Initiative Support - selecting suitable tools where required. This is defining goals and scope, establishing and facilitated by available meta models and our designing project, enhancing skills, knowledge of tooling in general. We are performing requirements analysis, creating familiar with domain specific modeling RFIs and RFPs, analysing vendor responses, concepts and have used advanced tools, such as establishing change programmes MetaEdit+ to create visual languages for specific modeling purposes.These are representative examples, butassignments are defined to match the Tooling integrationsituation, the client and the other parameters We work with clients, using the APIs in ourof each unique situation. toolset or other offerings, to create a produc- tive and integrated tool environment whichTools supports the workflow of architects andEVA Netmodeler is our comprehensive, related disciplines. Contact us for morecollaborative meta model driven knowledge information.management and modeling environment.Available as a SaaS solution or for in house References and Further Informationinstallation if required. EVA allows manage- You can contact the writer at: mcleod@iafrica.comment and secure sharing of all informationmentioned in this paper. It is fully meta model You can find Graham’s blog at:driven and the meta model and visual http://grahammcleod.typepad.com/representations are user customisable atruntime without programming. This makes it Inspired can be found at: http://www.inspired.orga highly flexible tool to meet the needs of Promis can be found at: http://www.pro-mis.combusiness and other architects. It has the ability A presentation on “Business Architectureto define an infinite number of model types Transforms Business” to the Open Groupand corresponding graphical notations to suit conference at Cannes, France in April 2012your needs or to conform to industrystandards. In addition, it supports instant A presentation including the M3 Method Modeldistributed working, report generation, More information on Porter strategy models here:sharing data via portals and even websitegeneration for distribution of knowledge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Porterwithout access to the tool. See a detailed More information on Blue Ocean Strategy here:brochure here. EVA comes preconfigured withour comprehensive meta models and methods http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Blue_Ocean_Strategymanagement capabilities as discussed in thispaper. An earlier paper on the Inspired EA FrameworksOther toolset enrichment More information on Domain Specific Modeling and MetaEdit+We also work with clients to implement theseideas in other toolsets and to assist you in© Inspired 2012 Inspired Approach to Business Architecture page 10 of 10

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