Business Enterprise Architecture Modeling


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Business Enterprise Architecture Modeling

  1. 1. Enterprise Architecture Vol. 8, No. 3 Business Enterprise Architecture Modeling by Ken Orr, Senior Consultant, Cutter Consortium; in collaboration with Bill Roth and Ben Nelson In most large organizations, how quickly the organization can respond to critical market changes is directly related to how well it manages its business-IT assets and infrastructure. The need for reduced cycle time has spurred a growing interest and investment in enterprise architecture. In recent years, a number of breakthroughs have occurred in enterprise architecture that help organizations better manage their business-IT assets; Business Enterprise Architecture Modeling is a new framework that incorporates these breakthroughs.
  2. 2. Cutter Business Technology Council Rob Austin Tom DeMarco Christine Davis Lynne Ellyn Jim Highsmith Tim Lister Ken Orr Lou Mazzucchelli Ed Yourdon Access to the About Cutter Consortium Experts Cutter Consortium is a truly unique IT advisory firm, comprising a group of more than 100 internationally recognized experts who have come together to offer content, consulting, and training to our clients. These experts are committed to delivering top-level, critical, and objective advice. They have done, and are doing, groundbreaking work in organizations worldwide, helping companies deal with issues in the core areas of software development and agile project management, enterprise architecture, business technology trends and strategies, enterprise risk management, metrics, and sourcing. Cutter offers a different value proposition than other IT research firms: We give you Access to the Experts. You get practitioners’ points of view, derived from hands-on experience with the same critical issues you are facing, not the perspective of a desk-bound analyst who can only make predictions and observations on what’s happening in the marketplace. With Cutter Consortium, you get the best practices and lessons learned from the world’s leading experts; experts who are implementing these techniques at companies like yours right now. Cutter’s clients are able to tap into its expertise in a variety of formats including content via online advisory services and journals, mentoring, workshops, training, and consulting. And by customizing our information products and training/ consulting services, you get the solutions you need, while staying within your budget. Cutter Consortium’s philosophy is that there is no single right solution for all enterprises, or all departments within one enterprise, or even all projects within a department. Cutter believes that the complexity of the business-technology issues confronting corporations today demands multiple detailed perspectives from which a company can view its opportunities and risks in order to make the right strategic and tactical decisions. The simplistic pronouncements other analyst firms make do not take into account the unique situation of each organization. This is another reason to present the several sides to each issue: to enable clients to determine the course of action that best fits their unique situation. For more information, contact Cutter Consortium at +1 781 648 8700 or
  3. 3. Business Enterprise Architecture Modeling ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ADVISORY SERVICE Executive Report, Vol. 8, No. 3 by Ken Orr, Senior Consultant, Cutter Consortium; in collaboration with Bill Roth and Ben Nelson We have to be very careful We think the primary reason Enterprise architecture, as its about making even small enterprise architecture has name implies, is all about high- changes in IT today because become so interesting is that, at level thinking and high-level they can impact the entire organization. some point during the past few design. IT and communications years, IT made a quantum leap have become so complex and so — Transportation into a new domain, a domain in interrelated in large organizations, Division Director which IT assets are increasingly and enterprise data has become important to the overall success so fundamental, that it is no All of a sudden, enterprise archi- (or failure) of large enterprises. longer possible to design, build, tecture (EA) is a very hot activity. Suddenly, people in large organi- and install major systems in isola- Most large enterprises today have zations around the world are dis- tion. Someone has to be thinking some sort of EA program, and bil- covering just how dependent they about the big picture, about how lions of dollars are being spent are on IT systems and IT infra- all the pieces fit together, because around the globe on enterprise structure as well as how inter- the big picture has become such architectures in order to help dependent all the various pieces a significant issue. organizations manage their vast of IT are with one another and IT expenditures and exposures in with users inside and outside the This Executive Report discusses a a more rational fashion. An inter- organization. Most importantly, new way of looking at enterprise esting question is, why now? Why people are seeing that IT enables architecture that encompasses is it that enterprise architecture is new things to be done, things that both advanced and traditional suddenly so hot? Why are enter- were not possible before. Once design concepts. The EA frame- prise architects in such demand? again, we see the truth behind work that we propose here is the old saw “The whole is greater called BEAM, short for Business than the sum of its parts.” Enterprise Architecture Modeling.
  4. 4. 2 ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ADVISORY SERVICE While this approach builds on been done to bring these three and value of their EA program. many of the historical enterprise different approaches into better This report is intended to address architecture frameworks, it is in alignment. While these three both of these audiences. many ways a different approach, approaches still represent three a much more business- and different views of what enterprise BEAM — AN EXTENDED data/information-driven strategy. architecture is about, there is EA FRAMEWORK greater consensus today about In a world of acronyms, adding THE THREE FACES OF how they complement each other. yet another is not likely to be ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE The Cutter report made a strong greeted with universal applause; Because of its newness in the case for business-driven enterprise however, acronyms do seem marketplace, there is confusion architecture as the key to the long- to help people remember and surrounding what enterprise term success of EA programs differentiate between different architecture is exactly and its regardless of whether the enter- approaches. We chose BEAM as value to business and IT manage- prise is public or private. In the an acronym because it captures ment. A recent Cutter Consortium time since the report was pub- the business-process orientation Executive Report [8] laid out the lished, the enterprise architecture that largely drives our strategy and major strategies for enterprise discipline has moved to reinforce because “physical beams” are architecture that are popular in this conviction. structural members of buildings North America.1 Those three and houses, so BEAM makes Enterprise architecture is now approaches are: sense in an architectural setting at a period of consolidation and as well. 1. Technology-driven enterprise reassessment. More and more architecture organizations are extracting value As with any good framework, from their EA programs at a vari- creating BEAM involved tying 2. Business (process)-driven ety of levels. These organizations together a number of different enterprise architecture are increasingly aware of how crit- ideas: mental models, proc- 3. Federal Enterprise Architecture ical enterprise architecture is to ess models, diagramming (FEA) their enterprises over both the approaches, and organizational short and long term. And there is strategies. Also, like any good Since that report was published, also a whole new set of organiza- methodology, much of BEAM is a great deal of practical work has tions that are just adopting enter- simply applied common sense. prise architecture and trying to We do not apologize for that fact. 1There are an increasing number of EA frame- put it into practice. Both of these Indeed, we have all been involved works being promoted and deployed around classes of users need guidance. the world. Many of these have decades of in business, systems, and technol- R&D behind them, as does BEAM. The three Those just getting started need ogy for quite a long time and, as approaches described here are the ones that advice on where to begin, what a result, have found things that have become increasingly popular in North America, and we believe in northern Europe kinds of skills they need, what work well in doing systems plan- as well, but this does not mean that we steps they should take, and so on. ning, requirements, and high-level have a full understanding of what all these approaches recommend or what their Those well underway need guid- design, and we have discovered strengths and weaknesses are. ance on how to extend the impact The Enterprise Architecture Advisory Service Executive Report is published by Cutter Consortium, 37 Broadway, Suite 1, Arlington, MA 02474-5552, USA. Tel: +1 781 641 9876 or, within North America, +1 800 492 1650; Fax: +1 781 648 1950 or, within North America, +1 800 888 1816; E-mail:; Web site: Group Publisher: Kara Letourneau, E-mail: Production Editor: Linda M. Dias, E-mail: ISSN: 1530-3462. ©2005 by Cutter Consortium. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction in any form, including photocopying, faxing, and image scanning, is against the law. Reprints make an excellent training tool. For information about reprints and/or back issues of Cutter Consortium publications, call +1 781 648 8700 or e-mail VOL. 8, NO. 3
  5. 5. EXECUTIVE REPORT 3 that these things also seem to communications infrastructure The Enterprise Systems work well in doing EA. and to its core (mission-critical) Feedback Model applications, can hinder as well as There are literally hundreds of But BEAM is no panacea; rather, facilitate management strategies ways of thinking about enter- it is a practical approach to doing and plans. Poor IT strategies can prises. The one underlying BEAM something very important. At create arthritic organizations just is the Enterprise Systems Feed- base, enterprise architecture is as it can create agile ones. back Model, which is derived about getting people — all sorts from cybernetics (systems think- of people — within the organiza- In the same sense that modern ing). The idea is that an enterprise tion to think in both broader and cities and nations depend upon can be thought of as a component longer terms about IT, IT infra- their fundamental infrastructure in a larger environment; what structures, and the core data and investments in utilities, transpor- the enterprise does is convert systems that IT supports. During tation, communications, and so resources from sources into the past 30 or 40 years, computers on, so too do large enterprises products and services for some and communications have played depend upon their IT infrastruc- given market or set of customers. a major part in restructuring most, ture investments. As a result, Figure 1 shows these components if not all, major organizations savvy management increasingly connected in such a feedback around the world. Today, organiza- realizes that it will have to invest structure. tions are now significantly differ- both wisely and well if it is going ent in the ways they operate and to be competitive in the 21st cen- In this model, the enterprise is are managed — much different tury. Enterprise architecture, then, represented as a black box that than they were just a decade or is a tool for leveraging technology takes in “resources” and produces two ago. Information no longer to make things happen faster and “products” or “services.” These just circulates within organiza- at less cost. products or services, in turn, are tions, it literally beams across used by customers or clients to the organization at light speed. THE ELEMENTS OF BEAM “do something” (that something Like any good approach to solving we refer to as “product usage”). But while computers and com- As a result of producing these munication have revolutionized large problems, BEAM involves several interrelated components. products and services, there is the way organizations operate, the also “product feedback,” which systems, connections, and hard- The most important of these com- ponents, discussed in detail in this deals with how well the product ware involved in this amazing meets its internal requirements, transformation are largely invisible section, are: and “customer (or usage) feed- to most who use it and even more A basic Enterprise Systems back,” which deals with how well invisible to those who make the Feedback Model (ESFM) the product meets the customer’s key decisions about how many expectations. If we were to apply resources should go into IT and A new way of considering business-technology alignment this model to the auto business, for what projects. for example, product feedback and innovation could be thought of as the “Six With the coming wave of ever An extension to the classic Sigma” (quality) part of the more powerful wireless devices, Zachman Framework model, and the customer (usage) the underlying IT infrastructure Treating the role of enterprise feedback might be referred to will be even harder to visualize. architect as a “committee as the “J.D. Power’s” (customer But IT, particularly as it relates of skills” relationship) part of the model. to an enterprise’s computer and ©2005 CUTTER CONSORTIUM VOL. 8, NO. 3
  6. 6. 4 ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ADVISORY SERVICE ESFM brings two important ideas ESFM and FEA models without decisions back to critical business to the study of enterprise archi- any difficulty. decisions. tecture: (1) all enterprises are in business to “make something” or While the ESFM may seem too Benson and Parker’s Square simple for those who think of the Wheel: Business and Technology “provide some service,” and (2) Alignment and Innovation they survive by adding value. organization as a complex thing, it is useful for getting people to think A second conceptual model that One of the great things about of their organization as a system is extremely important to BEAM is the ESFM is that it works both in component itself. In a systems Bob Benson and Marilyn Parker’s the public and the private sector. feedback sense, IT is all about “square wheel” model [1]. Figure Later, when we discuss the US systems and infrastructure. If one 2 shows this model, with the left government FEA model, we will cannot understand how those sys- side of the diagram representing be able to show the necessary tems and infrastructure relate to the business domain, and the right correspondences between the the business goals and objectives, side representing the technologi- it is exceedingly difficult to tie IT cal or technology domain. In the business domain, there are two components: business planning Sources Enterprise/Agency and business operations. Similarly Market (Business Partners) (Customer/Client) in the technology domain, there products/ product are also two components: tech- resources nology planning and technology services usage operations. The square wheel gets its name from the sequence of product feedback linkages between these various components. customer (usage) feedback Between business planning and Figure 1 — The Enterprise Systems Feedback Model.2 business operations, there is the “organize” function. Between business operations and technol- ogy operations there is an “align” Impact Business Technology function. Between technology Planning Planning operations and technology plan- ning, there is the “opportunity” Organize Opportunity function. And, finally, between technology planning and business planning, there is the “impact” (innovation) function. Align Business Technology Operations Operations For the most part, technology management experts have focused almost exclusively on Figure 2 — Benson and Parker’s square wheel [1]. the organizing and aligning func- 2There are hundreds of examples of systems models in literature, but this model is adapted tions to bring business and IT directly from Improving Performance [11]. closer together. They tended to VOL. 8, NO. 3
  7. 7. EXECUTIVE REPORT 5 leave out the link between tech- their organizations via real-time (systems) but in the entire region nology operations and technology collaboration. And organizations (enterprise). Urban planners planning. It might have made will have to be increasingly “trans- develop long-range documents sense 20 or 30 years ago to have parent.” Their systems will have that promote the well-being and most of IT’s focus be on aligning to be documented and auditable. happiness of all the residents technology with the business as it New requirements like those (users). To do this, they create existed, but today, technology is imposed by the US Sarbanes- land-use plans, negotiate with changing the way business is Oxley Act focus increased scrutiny developers, and help set building done everywhere. Key initiatives, on the role that IT systems play codes (architectural standards) — even entire business market- in today’s management of large building architects do none of places, have been created in the organizations. these activities. In this regard, past 10 or 15 years that leverage urban planners do a great many new technologies to deliver Extending Zachman’s Framework things for cities and counties that goods and services in previously A previous Cutter Executive Report enterprise architects must do for unthinkable ways. [6] discussed the need to extend the enterprises and divisions if the Zachman Framework using they are to be successful. Benson and Parker have provided urban/transportation planning us, then, with an important new Transportation planners are rather than building architecture way of thinking about manage- involved in planning the most as the basic model for enterprise ment communication. One of important infrastructure in any architecture. This extension has the most difficult problems con- city or region — the highway/ proved extremely useful, both in fronting business and IT managers public transportation infrastruc- doing enterprise architecture and today is communication. Histor- ture that moves the region’s in explaining it to business and IT ically, in most organizations, top IT goods, services, and people. management. management has not always been That physical infrastructure is part of the highest-level business Recently, a number of other influ- both very expensive and very decision making. Benson and ential organizations have begun to difficult to put in place. Moreover, Parker’s square wheel shows just speak in similar terms. For exam- highways and light rail are how important including IT man- ple, Microsoft now refers to what extremely hard to modify once agement is and will be in making it calls its “Metropolis” metaphor they are constructed. So trans- decisions about the enterprise’s IT [5]. This model reflects a new portation planners must be assets — what systems to attack, thinking on the part of high-level exceedingly careful and detailed what technologies to invest in, enterprise architecture developers in their planning. Transportation and so on. and consultants. Similarly, Disney planners routinely look 20 or 30 has begun to speak of the “build- years into the future when think- Increasingly, organizations rely ing about major arterial roads, ing code metaphor” in which it on their IT infrastructure and intersections, and projects; like- refers to “master plans” and systems to produce value. In order wise, enterprise infrastructure “building codes” as the key to be competitive, public and pri- planners are going to have to plan elements [3]. vate organizations will have to further and further ahead. If enter- become much more agile. They We feel the urban/transportation prise architecture is to become a will need to continuously improve planner is a more realistic analogy mature discipline, it will have to their business processes, find the than a classic building architect. model itself after other mature right data to solve management Urban planners are interested disciplines like urban and trans- problems, and connect the right not just in individual buildings portation planning. In developing people both inside and outside ©2005 CUTTER CONSORTIUM VOL. 8, NO. 3
  8. 8. 6 ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ADVISORY SERVICE the BEAM framework, we have Building architect skills period from the mid-1950s to the worked hard to create a frame- 1980s, for example, was domi- Librarian skills work that makes sense and that nated first by the development of parallels similar disciplines. The remainder of this section the interstate road system and examines each of these skill sets then by the “ring roads” that The BEAM Enterprise Architect: increasingly encircled major A “Committee of Skills” as they apply to BEAM. cities. These changes brought Architect (Gk. arkhitekton about profound revolutions in “head builder,” from Urban Planning Skills our cities and suburbs. Interstate arkhi- “head” + tekton The first set in the committee of roads funneled people further and “builder, carpenter.”) skills is urban planning. Urban further away from inner cities; and — Oxford Dictionary of planners work in an environment ring roads, in an attempt to allow English Etymology (Oxford in which they must try to reach a interstate traffic to bypass the University Press, 1966) consensus among several com- central cities, made high-speed, peting parties. Urban planning light-rail public transportation Increasingly, our work brings us involves working with developers, almost impossible, furthering the into contact with a wide variety of elected officials, and community deterioration of the central core. EA organizations — each different representatives to further the but with a similar set of problems entire community. As it turns out, So transportation planners have and constraints. One issue that this is much the same job that an enormous burden; they have continues to concern EA man- enterprise architects face every to be able to decide today where agers is determining the kind of day in the business-IT workplace. people and businesses will be personalities, skills, and training located decades from now. To do that are needed to do enterprise Urban planning skills involve this, they look at all the possible architecture work. planning, research, negotiation, information: economic data, and, most importantly, communi- demographic information, as well In putting together the BEAM cation. Planners must be technical as changes in technology and framework, we have come up enough to understand the dynam- lifestyle. with some clear ideas about roles ics of urban growth and decay and skills that are needed in an and sensitive enough to get war- In enterprise architecture, enter- EA group. What we have found, ring parties to sit down and nego- prise infrastructure architects take for example, is that the “complete tiate workable, economically on the same role as the trans- enterprise architect” doesn’t exist. viable solutions. Enterprise archi- portation planners. They must Rather, we concluded that there tects must be able to get user look at what IT infrastructure is a “committee of skills” that a management, IT management, exists today; try to imagine how rounded enterprise architecture and vendors to reach solutions and where people will be operat- team should contain. These that work in both the short and ing in the future; and then come skills include: long term. up with approaches that best Urban planning skills provide a communication and Transportation Planning Skills computer infrastructure that is Transportation planning skills both reliable and secure. To In real urban or regional environ- do this job well, enterprise infra- Building inspection skills ments, the highway engineers are structure architects must be good County agent skills often responsible for the most at detailed planning, but they profound changes. In the US, the must also be highly skilled at VOL. 8, NO. 3
  9. 9. EXECUTIVE REPORT 7 research, forecasting, and, again, an environment that has much County Agent Skills communication. more specific industry support. Between the end of the US Civil Because urban planning and War and the beginning of World Building Inspection Skills building code inspection have War I, agriculture in the US been around for decades, the In the world of urban planning/ changed dramatically. Before the rules and procedures are well zoning/building codes, it is the Civil War, American agriculture worked out. In addition, building building inspector who takes was basically on par with the rest codes are normally a reflection of on the role of enforcer. The build- of the world. However, by the industry standards, and, therefore, ing inspector is responsible for beginning of World War I, there are industry training classes reviewing plans, checking blue- American agriculture was clearly available to help practitioners. prints, and periodically visiting ahead of everyone else. Students For example, if you want to be a building sites to see that the plans of knowledge management credit licensed electrician or a licensed and all the requisite building this amazing leap forward to two plumber, you must attend specific codes are followed. major innovative programs: (1) classes and perform specific tasks the land-grant and (2) the county to get your license. Moreover, In enterprise architecture, the extension service/county agent. before you can be licensed, you enterprise project architects and must have served as an appren- As the name implies, land-grant enterprise project architecture tice for a period of time. With all colleges and universities came review teams play the role of of these standards in place, the into existence through an act of building inspector. In most mature building inspection department the US Congress, which allowed EA organizations, this process is does not have to assume respon- states to sell large blocks of pub- one of the key ways in which sibility for training practitioners; it licly owned land and earmark the enterprise architecture directly only has to monitor their work. monies obtained from these sales affects the long-term success of an enterprise’s IT management. for funding colleges and universi- The enterprise architecture Since enterprise architecture is ties devoted to research and situation is quite different. EA seen in many organizations as a teaching in the practical arts, standards and regulations are technology-control function, this is especially agriculture and engi- still evolving at a rapid rate, and, not that surprising. In the better neering. Some of the greatest because there are few people in EA groups, this inspection proc- universities in the country were the organization that understand ess is pushed further and further created as land-grant schools those standards and regulations, down in the organization, so that (e.g., Ohio State University, training, counseling, and men- the people who understand the Texas A&M, and Kansas State toring are especially important local environment are also the University). These schools con- issues. And while there is a cer- ones charged with ensuring that ducted research in agriculture, tain amount of knowledge transfer individual projects meet enter- pioneering such breakthroughs as that takes place as a result of prise standards. hybrid seeds, new animal breed- project-review sessions, in the ing techniques, and new pest con- long haul, enterprise architecture One of the material differences trol strategies. This led to huge will fail to take hold in most between enterprise project amounts of information to help organizations unless significant architects and building inspec- farmers and ranchers produce up-front training is provided. tors in the real world is that more at less cost. building inspectors operate in ©2005 CUTTER CONSORTIUM VOL. 8, NO. 3
  10. 10. 8 ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ADVISORY SERVICE But the research produced by to use those standards and rules. issues that play a part in the land-grant colleges did not auto- Like farmers and ranchers, devel- failure of very large projects. I dis- matically change farming in the opers are also practical people cussed the essential role a real, US. At the time, many farmers with little time to spare. Hands-on competent project architect plays, were illiterate, and even if they training helps people understand or should play, on these projects. had been of the mindset to try how to leverage enterprise archi- I argued that, in the real world, new things, few were aware tecture ideas, and mentoring links building architects do the design of the availability of new research that information to real-world and then stay with their projects information. This is where the circumstances. over the entire length of a given county extension service and the construction cycle. Here we rec- county agent came into play. Over the past few years, we have ommend that enterprise project been promoting the “enterprise architects do the same — that The county extension service was architect as county agent.” This they be responsible for detail created by the US Department of idea has met with nearly unani- requirements and design and then Agriculture to provide technical mous interest and support. More be charged with quality control support for farmers and ranchers. and more organizations are com- and change control of those In turn, the county extension ser- ing to understand that for enter- designs. vice created the position of county prise architecture to take root in agent, whose job was to review an organization, there needs to Throughout history, building the research coming out of the be more than just EA project codes and design standards have land-grant colleges, internalize review and audit sessions. People almost always been the result of that information, and then take need to know why and how these disasters. One only has to think it out and demonstrate it to the standards came into being and of the famous 1906 San Francisco farmers and ranchers. This proved how to use them in the most earthquake and fire or the to be amazingly successful. Most efficient and practical ways. Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster farmers and ranchers of that time in 19403 to see the point. Indeed, were very practical people (as Building Architect Skills in one issue of the Society of they are now), with little time to Mechanical Engineers publication, spare. County agents brought the In BEAM’s committee of enter- there was a discussion of the information to them and showed prise architecture skills, the skills organization’s history, and it them how to use whatever it of a true building architect are turned out that the organization was that the latest research still necessary. In the real world came into being as a direct result recommended. of large-scale construction, build- of boilers blowing up and trestles ing architects are responsible for falling down during the latter part Today, county agents would be working with owners/developers, of the 19th century. As a result classified as mentors or field con- coming up with detailed plans, of these disasters, engineering sultants. Their job in enterprise and then staying with the project societies were formed, and architecture is to take plans, stan- throughout the construction, being politicians set up rules that dards, and rules to the individual responsible for quality and change included professional testing and developers and users and to control. This is a role for which licensing. Something similar will explain and demonstrate them. there is a direct correlation in In general, this means communi- enterprise architecture, especially 3On 7 November 1940, the Tacoma Narrows cating the following: (1) the stan- on large projects. Bridge, a suspension bridge, collapsed due to wind-induced vibrations. Situated on the dards and rules; (2) the reasons Tacoma Narrows in Puget Sound, near the for those standards; and (3) how In a recent Cutter Executive city of Tacoma, Washington, USA, the bridge Report [7], I described several had been open to traffic for only four months. VOL. 8, NO. 3
  11. 11. EXECUTIVE REPORT 9 eventually happen with software, The Committee of Skills in Operation 3. Data/information/content but until that occurs, the closest architecture In operation, our committee of thing we have is training and skills may take several different 4. Application architecture certification. forms. In a large organization, 5. Technology architecture4 each skill set may end up being Librarian Skills a separate section of an overall EA For small organizations, a high- The final set of skills that we rec- group. In this kind of environment, level version is usually sufficient to ommend as being important for a people tend to specialize by their give them enough information to serious EA group is that of a clas- specific roles. In turn, people with do their IT planning and manage- sic librarian. People who study unique skills get classified into ment. For large organizations, library science learn a number of specific jobs. BEAM has two major phases: a important things: how to analyze high-level version followed by a In small organizations, individuals information, how to classify that number of lower-level architec- often wear more than one hat. For information, and how to help tures for each major part (busi- instance, an enterprise architect in people retrieve information from ness area) of the business. a small group may have to play a large organized store. the role of urban planner one day This may appear somewhat con- In this world of information and building inspector the next. fusing at first. What we do is use overload, being able to analyze, Or he or she may have to be infra- the process in Figure 3 first to do a index, and retrieve huge amounts structure planner one day and high-level “enterprise” version of of information is increasingly county agent the next. In small our enterprise architecture (only important. For more than a organizations, circumstances about 10 to 15 diagrams) and decade, IT professionals have pur- define what has to be done, so then, depending on the organiza- sued the idea of reuse, but reuse flexibility is a must. tion, develop lower-lever versions has proved largely elusive. Part of by “business area.” In practice, Enterprise architecture is such a the reason is that while the exact these business-area EAs typically new field that it will be some time component that we might need evolve out of day-long joint appli- before we have enough experi- in a given circumstance already cation development (JAD) ses- ence to know exactly what the exists, finding it can be a major sions with 15 to 25 users. At the roles and responsibilities will look undertaking; if people think that end of this second cycle with the like. Until that time, the commit- finding something will take too business areas, we have found it tee of skills is a good way to think long, they are more likely to build necessary to go back and rework about how we staff and manage their own. the enterprise-level version enterprise architecture. as well. Currently, enterprise architecture breaks down into business, data/ THE BEAM PROCESS In each of the following sections, information, application, and tech- BEAM is a systematic approach the same general framework nology domains. Each of these for developing enterprise archi- shown in Figure 3 is used to domains requires skills for which tecture for any size organization. drive the activity. librarians are trained. Over the It involves the following five 4The first four architectures here represent a next few years, we expect to see major phases: classic way of looking at enterprise architec- increased demand for these skills ture. Recently, we have been working to in enterprise architecture groups. 1. Strategic intentions bring yet another development/integration/ maintenance/migration architecture into the 2. Business architecture picture as well. ©2005 CUTTER CONSORTIUM VOL. 8, NO. 3
  12. 12. 10 ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ADVISORY SERVICE Strategic Strategic diagrams such as the one shown Intentions Intentions in Figure 4. These diagrams show Business Business u iness B Architecture the major organizational units, Context Co ntext business partners, and systems Business Value connected by arrows that repre- Business sent the messages (transactions, Process documents). These diagrams Data provide a quick, easily under- Architecture standable map of the primary Application interactions between parts of the Architecture organization and its business part- Technology ners. The development of a good Architecture business context diagram pro- Figure 3 — The BEAM approach. vides a consistent framework for thinking about an organization’s inputs, outputs, and outcomes. Strategic Intentions intentions are normally updated as a result of interviews with top In practice, more than one work- The first step of BEAM, gathering executives and facilitated sessions ing context diagram is often pro- strategic intentions, involves with executive committees. duced. And although it often takes understanding the general direc- more than one session to produce tion of the enterprise as seen by Business Architecture an enterprise context diagram all top management, taking into The next major step in BEAM participants can agree upon, the account external forces. In an involves developing the business effort helps to create a shared ideal world, enterprise architec- architecture. Of the four major understanding of the flow of infor- ture operates with a full-blown, enterprise architecture compo- mation within the enterprise. One three-to-five-year enterprise strate- nents, the business architecture of the most significant benefits of gic plan. In those organizations is by all measures the most criti- the context-diagramming process where such a plan does not exist cal, since it ties the basic and is that it allows everyone involved or where such plans cannot be advanced business functions to to express their knowledge and to divulged, IT planners must derive the other pieces of the enterprise reach a common understanding what they see as the organiza- architecture. Within BEAM, busi- of how the pieces of the organi- tion’s strategic intentions from ness architecture is made up of zation communicate with one their perception of top man- three subareas: another and with outside entities. agement’s direction over time, Business context diagrams also including such items as budgets 1. Business context provide a starting point for the and changes in organizational business value maps and business structure as well as any explicit 2. Business value maps process diagrams. initiatives. 3. Business processes Over the long haul, it is possible to Business Value Maps Business Context come up with a reasonable set of A process can be seen as a strategic intentions by looking at A key subprocess within the “value chain.” By its contri- other similar-sized organizations business architecture step is the bution to the creation or in similar industries. Strategic delivery of a product or creation of one or more context service, each step in a VOL. 8, NO. 3
  13. 13. EXECUTIVE REPORT 11 job request proposal order Customer complaints Sales delivery date estimate customer shipment invoice Estimating vendor shipment job spec Receiving receipt notice P.O. P.O. forecast product prices Production order Purchasing Vendor production schedule purchase request vendor Scheduling Inventory payment inventory status production report Control inventory status production schedule time cards Production time cards payroll checks Payroll Employee material costs payroll j/e production report cust inv j/e Billing G/L System P.O. cust payment j/e A/P vendor invoice purchasing j/e credits invoice A/R and Sales Cost Accounting material j/e customer payment Accounting G/L report Management P/L management reports Figure 4 — A business context diagram. process should add value Firm Infrastructure to the preceding steps. Supporting HR Management — Geary A. Rummler and Activities R&D Alan P Brache, Improving . Procurement Performance [11, p. 45] Operations and Sales Outbound Marketing Logistics Logistics The business value map can Inbound Service be traced back to the work of Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School. In 1980, Porter published the first of a set of diagrams that he called business Primary value diagrams (see Figure 5) Activities [10]. The most important feature of the diagrams was the idea that Figure 5 — Michael Porter’s business value diagram [10]. all enterprises have (1) a set of primary activities that are the fundamental value-adding and/or services and (2) a set of for the primary activities (e.g., processes by which enterprises supporting activities that provide finance, HR, procurement, produce their sets of products resources and management budgeting, IT management). ©2005 CUTTER CONSORTIUM VOL. 8, NO. 3
  14. 14. 12 ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ADVISORY SERVICE What is most important to get We consider such a process underlying truth within busi- right in developing a business canonical because a value map nesses of all kinds. Earlier, value map is the set and like this is common in many areas Henry Ford took this idea of sequence of the primary activities. of large-scale construction (e.g., work sequencing and created the In Figure 5, the primary activities buildings, airports, terminals) as assembly line, which was simply a are taken from what Porter con- well as for highways. Since such different way of executing busi- siders the basic sequence within process models are so common ness processes so that individual, a manufacturing organization: in the way architects and engi- specialized groups could work on inbound logistics, operations, out- neers think about the overall exe- what they were good at while the bound logistics, marketing and cution of their projects, it is not assembly line moved the work sales, and, finally, service. Porter’s at all surprising to find that many from organization (workstation) insight in thinking of organizations construction organizations are to organization. as input/output processes allowed organizationally structured into many organizations, for the first separate planning, design, con- Recently, the success of orga- time, to look at their operations struction, operations, and mainte- nizations like the Supply-Chain from the very highest level and to nance divisions. Council5 with its SCOR model has see not only their organizations’ reinforced the idea of canonical internal functions flow, but also The canonical construction model business processes. SCOR, how their organizations fit into an can be further extended to deal which stands for Supply-Chain even larger business context — a with utilities whose job it is to Operations Reference-model, has supply chain. build (construct) and operate net- five major processes: planning, works. In such models, the plan- sourcing, making, delivering, This simple but elegant way of ning, design, and construction can and returning. Using just these representing complex businesses be thought of as the “build-out of processes, SCOR has been able to touched off a flurry of business the network,” and the “opera- fashion an entire framework for reengineering processes in the tions” can be considered (1) the analyzing, measuring, and improv- 1980s and 1990s. With the advent part that deals with connecting ing a large organization’s supply of the Internet, it also provided the customer to the network and chain management. an intellectual and engineering (2) customer service that provides basis for developing e-business the service and then bills and Business value maps are exceed- and e-government applications collects for that service. ingly important as a guide for on the Web. understanding an organization’s All large organizations develop business framework. Figure 6, for Over the years, it has become some sort of fundamental canoni- example, shows the business increasingly clear that what Porter cal business process based on value map for a transportation actually described was only one of the natural “break points” in their agency. The items in gray refer to a number of “canonical business business activities. This allows the the primary activities, while those processes” — value chains that organization to subdivide the work in black refer to the supporting are shared by organizations in the naturally so that, for example, the activities. same business or business area. planning, design, and construction For example, a canonical business units can work independently of The business value map is a map process (primary activities) for a one another with well-defined of the entire IT landscape for the highway construction organization interfaces. might be as follows: planning → 5The Supply-Chain Council is an organization design → construction → Porter’s business value chains made up of supply chain managers from operations/maintenance. have simply rediscovered an some of the world’s largest enterprises. VOL. 8, NO. 3
  15. 15. EXECUTIVE REPORT 13 enterprise. It has proven espe- Administrative Management cially useful in distinguishing between primary business activi- IT Management ties and sporting ones. One of the HR Management uses we’ve made of the business value map is adding overlays to Financial Management show the major applications or Supporting (Financial, HR, IT) Assets the major data classes for the enterprise. (See sidebar “Using Program/Project/Contract Management Business Value Maps.”) Preconstruction Construction Maintenance Real-Time Business Processes Operations An organization is only as Planning effective as its processes. Local Support (Public, Transit, Aviation, Other) — Improving Performance [11, p. 45] Research and Laboratories Business processes are the heart Safety of large organizations. Business Transportation Infrastructure Assets processes are the way things get done. There’s a push today for organizations to formalize and Figure 6 — A business value map for a transportation organization. USING BUSINESS VALUE MAPS Like any good map, a business value map provides an overall way of looking at the territory — in this case, the whole enter- prise. What makes this map useful is that it continuously ties enterprise architecture components (applications, data classes, etc.) to the business itself. These maps have no technological bias, and they allow people unfamiliar with the enterprise to have a quick look at what it does and what it produces. In practice, we usually place an organization’s business value map as the first or second thing in our enterprise business documentation. The business value map fits neatly within our Enterprise Systems Feedback Model (ESFM) as well. Recently, we have begun to reinterpret business value and systems feedback diagrams in light of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) initiative. In FEA, a series of reference models are used, including: Performance Reference Model (PRM) Business Reference Model (BRM) Service Component Reference Model (SRM) Data Reference Model (DRM) Technical Reference Model (TRM) From a business architecture standpoint, PRM and BRM are by far the most important. Using the ESFM and the business value map, we have been able to link the ESFM and FEA frameworks directly (see Figure A). (Sidebar continues on next page.) ©2005 CUTTER CONSORTIUM VOL. 8, NO. 3
  16. 16. 14 ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ADVISORY SERVICE USING BUSINESS VALUE MAPS (continued) This is quite useful for those in the government sphere using the FEA framework. As you can see in Figure A, BRM is broken down into the following four major areas that have been developed to categorize the various business processes that go on within the public government sector: 1. Services for citizens 2. Mode of delivery 3. Support structure for delivery of services 4. Management of government resources Based on the underlying business value concepts of primary activities and supporting activities, it was a straightforward exercise to identify “services for citizens” and “mode of delivery” as primary activities, and “support delivery of services” and “management of government resources” as support activities. This in turn allows us to provide an even stronger linkage between the BEAM and the FEA frameworks. By bringing the BEAM and FEA PRM/BRM frameworks together, it has been possible to go even further and to map the major components within FEA’s BRM into the appropriate spots. There is a strong need to move BRM from a taxonomy to a set of solution templates. Government General Relations Legislative Public Affairs Development Regulatory Collection Revenue Resource Planning and Management Risk Oversight Controls and Administrative Management IT Management HR Management t Management of Government Budget Su por Structure Suppor t st ructure for Delivery of Services Support Deliv y of Services Delivery Resources (Support Activities) (Delivery of Services — Supporting Activities) (Delivery of –Supporting Ac tivities) Support Structure for Delivery of Services Financial Assets/Supply Chain (Delivery Services —Supporting Activities) Reporting Federal Regulatory and Compliance Federal Pass thru- Regulatory Compliance Public Goods Creation and Delivery Knowledge Creation and Delivery Direct Service to Citizen Credit and Insurance Financial Assistance Infrastructure Economic Resources Workforce Support Education Services Ser ices itiz ns CCitizens e End End Results Re lts s Community and Social Services Health Natural Resources Environmental Services of Citizens Corrections (Primary Activities) Mode of Delivery Judicial Legal (Delivery of Services — Law Enforcement Primary Activities) Inputs Outputs Ou tcomes Outcomes BRM PRM Figure A — Integrating BRM components into the business value map. rethink major business processes. architecture, which starts with business processes — canonical One of the ways that enterprise business processes. business processes. This section architecture can have the biggest is more about modeling detailed immediate impact is by focusing As you probably noticed, much of business processes. What we are more attention on the business the discussion in the section on going to do here is talk about business value maps centered on something called “swimlane VOL. 8, NO. 3