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Respect as an architectural issue: a case-study in business survival


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The client: a large bank in Latin America. The business problem: loss of respect of the company in the market and the broader community, plummeting from highest to lowest in the region in a matter of months, with impacts throughout all aspects of the business. This real-life case study explores, step-by-step, the actual practices and underlying architecture principles that were used to tackle a major strategic issue with enterprise-wide scope, and set the groundwork for subsequent process development.

Published in: Business
  • @popcycle really glad to hear that it helped - many thanks!
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  • Tom,
    I have to say that after studying EA for the past 6 weeks. Your ppt has summarized it to the basics. I now am sparked with new thoughts to implient to my team for the new year. Thanks
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  • Hello Tom,
    I liked it that you use the metafor forming/storming stages. It gives a good perspective to groupsdynamic and architecture.
    peter hepp
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Respect as an architectural issue: a case-study in business survival

  1. 1. Respect as an architectural issue - a case-study in business survival Tom Graves , Tetradian Consulting IRM-EAC London, June 2011 / 12 Jun 2011 (c) Tom Graves / Tetradian 2011
  2. 2. Scope of enterprise-architecture (this, we’re often told, is the entire scope of enterprise-architecture )
  3. 3. Scope of enterprise-architecture (complete EA includes many other intersecting ‘ architectures ’ – security, process, brand, organisation etc)
  4. 4. Enterprise-architecture beyond IT <ul><li>EA often starts with IT infrastructure , but... </li></ul><ul><li>IT tech-architecture depends on applications </li></ul><ul><li>Applications-architecture depends on data </li></ul><ul><li>Data-architecture depends on business-info need </li></ul><ul><li>Information-architecture depends on business </li></ul><ul><li>Business-architecture depends on enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise-architecture defines the context </li></ul><ul><li>An enterprise-architecture must have whole-of-enterprise scope – it ’ s not just detail-level IT! </li></ul>
  5. 5. A question of maturity 12 Jun 2011 (c) Tom Graves / Tetradian 2010 (adapted from maturity-model in TOGAF 9, chapter 51)
  6. 6. TOGAF scope in maturity-model 12 Jun 2011 (c) Tom Graves / Tetradian 2010 TOGAF 8.1 TOGAF 9 (...everything else is just ‘detail stuff’) Main emphasis of TOGAF, for IT-architecture only ‘ Big-picture’ strategy Pain-points + wicked-problems But business most wants us to work on these...
  7. 7. The business problem “ Loss of respect ” – fallen from most-respected bank in region to least-respected bank
  8. 8. Symptoms … <ul><li>Deterioration in customer relations </li></ul><ul><li>Deterioration in government relations </li></ul><ul><li>Deterioration in community relations </li></ul><ul><li>Severe loss of morale in all staff areas </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties in recruiting and retention </li></ul><ul><li>Unresolved operational, technical and cultural problems from previous merger with other bank </li></ul><ul><li>No real strategy to address any of this... </li></ul><ul><li>All of these having significant, identifiable impacts on bottom-line performance </li></ul>
  9. 9. … and requests <ul><li>Request is from Organizational Development unit: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the problem-areas </li></ul><ul><li>Identify ‘anchors to unify the tribes’ </li></ul><ul><li>Create experience in use of whole-enterprise view and whole-system techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare executive-team for real strategy-work </li></ul><ul><li>Combined effort of business-transformation and enterprise-architecture </li></ul><ul><li>(will include IT-architectures etc at a later date, when business-issues have been identified) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Stage 1: Meeting with executive-team
  11. 11. First meeting … <ul><li>One-day offsite for 32-person executive team, but : </li></ul><ul><li>Participants wander in at random, up to half an hour after scheduled start </li></ul><ul><li>People answer their phones, texting, jump out of meeting to take calls </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CEO is worst offender in this – probably >10 times... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CIO sits off to one side, isolated from the team, using her laptop throughout most of the day </li></ul><ul><li>A simple question: </li></ul><ul><li>how does this reflect respect within org itself? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Five Elements in all organisations (adapted from classic Group Dynamics project-lifecycle)
  13. 13. Five Elements workshop <ul><li>Provides a quick, experiential means to introduce systems-thinking to practical business-folk: </li></ul><ul><li>Describe roles within each ‘element’ </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the ‘other’ roles from each role </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ we’re right, everyone else is wrong” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ All move round one” – suddenly feels ‘unfair’ </li></ul><ul><li>Different views, roles, time-perspectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>these arise from the work itself </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What happens if one ‘element’ dominates? </li></ul><ul><li>What happens if no-one keeps the balance? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Working with Five Elements (Five Element workshop in progress, for a different organisation)
  15. 15. Functional Business Model (typical Functional Business Model, for a different organisation) Describe the structure of the work, how each part relates to other parts, and who is responsible
  16. 16. How is this business structured? (Functional Business Model process, with photos, for a different client)
  17. 17. Music as metaphor <ul><li>Powerful experience of interdependence in org’n </li></ul><ul><li>Basic exercises – hit the beat, simple sequence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>need to listen to each other, and to instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complications – orchestrating multiple sequences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>align with own team, yet also listen to others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complexity – interweaving patterns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>respond as a collective to natural ‘unorder’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Freeform ‘chaos’ – adapting in the moment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>real-time responsibility for ‘feel’ of the whole </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aligns strongly with Latin culture, though can also be used elsewhere </li></ul>
  18. 18. Music as metaphor (music as metaphor for team-coordination – executive-team from another organisation)
  19. 19. Stage 2: Set-piece with frontline staff
  20. 20. Out in the firing-line … (workshop-facilitator in theatre with 400 frontline staff)
  21. 21. Getting issues out into the open … (each group described their issues and challenges at work)
  22. 22. What ’ s going on for the front line? <ul><li>A very broad range of unaddressed issues: </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of morale – e.g. “I’m embarrassed to tell my friends that I work for the bank...” </li></ul><ul><li>Clashing imperatives – e.g. issue credit-cards vs withdraw credit, confused risk-management </li></ul><ul><li>Clashing performance-metrics between teams </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural mismatch – individual vs collective </li></ul><ul><li>Operational / IT-issues – e.g. multiple apps needed for single task, manual crosslinks needed </li></ul><ul><li>...all with real impacts on business effectiveness </li></ul>
  23. 23. Stage 3: Back with the executive-team
  24. 24. Back to the future... <ul><li>Another one-day offsite with the executive... </li></ul><ul><li>Report from the frontline – ‘bad news’ that they could not afford to ignore </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation vs enterprise – create a better understanding of their place in business world </li></ul><ul><li>The market-cycle – where respect and trust come from, and why they’re crucial for business </li></ul><ul><li>The structure of strategy – why their current ‘non-strategy’ could not create success – and what to do next to make it work </li></ul><ul><li>...and this time they did turn up on time! </li></ul>
  25. 25. Organisation and enterprise <ul><li>We create an architecture for an organisation, but about an enterprise: </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise : a social structure defined by vision, values, mutual commitments </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation : a legal structure defined by rules, roles, responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>The enterprise is – provides motivation , WHY </li></ul><ul><li>The organisation does – provides action , HOW </li></ul><ul><li>They’re fundamentally different – don ’ t mix them up! </li></ul>
  26. 26. Organisation as ‘ the enterprise ’ <ul><li>From a business perspective, this is the effective scope of TOGAF ’ s ‘ business architecture ’ </li></ul>
  27. 27. Business-model as ‘ the enterprise ’ <ul><li>Typical business-model or supply-chain view (complete supply-chain should extend beyond this) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Market as ‘ the enterprise ’ <ul><li>Overall market includes actors who do not yet have active transactions with us, or have other transactions </li></ul>
  29. 29. The real scope of ‘ the enterprise ’ <ul><li>The overall enterprise has many actors who may have only ‘ intangible ’ transactions / interactions with us (yet can have major impacts on our business) </li></ul>
  30. 30. The market-cycle <ul><li>transactions depend on (reaffirmed) reputation and trust </li></ul><ul><li>– loss of trust creates anti-clients! </li></ul>boundary of ‘market’ in conventional business-models
  31. 31. Strategy, tactics, operations (overall cycle and relationships need to be in balance)
  32. 32. The ‘ quick-money ’ failure-cycle (common source of ‘unexpected’ failure – focus only on immediate profit, with classic “ last year +10% ” used as a substitute for strategy)
  33. 33. Completions and the market-cycle <ul><li>Production-focus, market-focus, enterprise-focus? </li></ul>Focus only on Production Focus on Market and its transactions
  34. 34. The structure of vision <ul><li>Vision is the overall anchor for everything </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ vision ’ in the ISO9000 sense – not ‘ marketing puff ’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vision-descriptor has distinct 3-part structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>focus [noun]: context or things of concern to everyone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>action [verb]: what is to be done to or in the focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>qualifier [adjective]: why this is important to everyone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: ‘ ideas worth spreading ’ (TED conferences) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ ideas ’ (focus) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ worth ’ (qualifier) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ spreading ’ (action) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Components may be in any order, but all must be present </li></ul>
  35. 35. Putting themselves on the line … <ul><li>Visioning was a huge struggle... </li></ul><ul><li>Could not break free from self-centrism – kept reverting to standard ‘marketing puff’ </li></ul><ul><li>After three hours... – finally arrived a vision-statement that was fully enterprise-inclusive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ creating better financial futures’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Another real challenge (but a happier one!) </li></ul><ul><li>Performing music for families and colleagues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>simple percussion, as in the previous sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>... provided a first-hand reminder of what it’s like to be out there on the business front-line </li></ul>
  36. 36. Business outcomes
  37. 37. What happens next? <ul><li>Practical outcomes for Organisational Development </li></ul><ul><li>Executive did create a true business-strategy – for the first time ever, apparently... </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraging vision – as a guide and descriptor for all enterprise relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Rethinking culture – creating shared-learning between executive and front-line </li></ul><ul><li>Rethinking performance-metrics – a joint effort between OrgDev, HR, BPM, IT and others </li></ul><ul><li>...and yes, some of this did link into the existing IT-centric ‘enterprise-architecture’ </li></ul>
  38. 38. Summary <ul><li>The real key to enterprise-architecture is enterprise culture </li></ul><ul><li>Architecture is for an organisation, but is always about the whole enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Always start from a real business-problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in this case, the loss of respect in the marketplace </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep the focus on one area at a time, but always remain aware of the whole </li></ul><ul><li>A real enterprise-architecture begins and ends with people – not solely the enterprise-IT </li></ul>
  39. 39. Many thanks!
  40. 40. Further detail: books by Tom Graves <ul><li>Doing Enterprise Architecture : process and practice in the real enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Everyday Enterprise Architecture : sensemaking, strategy, structures and solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping the Enterprise : modelling the enterprise as services with the Enterprise Canvas </li></ul><ul><li>Bridging the Silos : enterprise architecture for IT-architects </li></ul><ul><li>The Service Oriented Enterprise : enterprise architecture and viable systems </li></ul><ul><li>Real Enterprise Architecture : beyond IT to the whole enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>SEMPER and SCORE : enhancing enterprise effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Power and Response-ability : the human side of systems </li></ul><ul><li>( see for details ) </li></ul>12 Jun 2011 (c) Tom Graves / Tetradian 2010