Business Architecture (BA) sounds good but we still don't know what it consists of. Nevertheless, what we all want is a diagram showing how our Enterprise works, that is what are the key functions and flows of an Enterprise.

Here, http://www.enterprise-architecture-matters.co.uk/gods-business-arch...
is a simple generic one page Business Architecture expressed in terms of key business functions and flows.
I would like your opinion.

Tags: Architecture, Business, Chain, Enterprise, Flow, Function, Value

Views: 788

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I like it, couple of suggestion.
- Channel instead of web portal.
- Content Management or enterprise content managment or content management & record management instead of document management



Question, can this be used to represent business architectrue for a government agency ?

I also use following generic one page capability map; several consulting organizations including Microsoft follows this type of capability map.


I can use the above concept to architect any enterprise discipline (e.g. case management , Content Management, Risk Management , Marketing etc ).
Syed, well done for putting-up such a model, which I think captures the idea well. It's similar to the business canvas model (Alex Osterwalder) and Tom Graves' enterprise canvas. There's a useful web site 'light enterprise architecture web site' with references (http://liteea.com/).

To clarify your model please define the difference between 'vendors' and 'providers'. 'Client facing channel partners' is interesting as it allows for being partway along a value chain.
@Ron- This is not me who has put up such a simple model. I think this is from a consulting company Argos Advisory (http://www.argosadvisory.com/ ). I have seen Microsft using it in its business architecture (MSBA) framework as well. This model provides a view of enterprise based on "business activities" (aka business capabilities) that are independent of specific business processes and organizational silos - silos according to product, channel, customer, geographical and informational lines as is the case in most organizations today.

Anyway, I have been successfully using it on EA engagement and it works very well. This model is very much customizable. I used the above model for a government agency dealing in health and social services. They wanted to have a clear distinction between Medicaid providers vs any general vendors such as consulting service provider, software/hardware vendors etc. So, I seperated providers into two external constituents. You can customize the model based on the type of the business. Was this helpful?

I am very much familiar with John Wu's Light EA framework.

. Thanks for the references.
Ron Segal said:
Syed, well done for putting-up such a model, which I think captures the idea well. It's similar to the business canvas model (Alex Osterwalder) and Tom Graves' enterprise canvas. There's a useful web site 'light enterprise architecture web site' with references (http://liteea.com/).

To clarify your model please define the difference between 'vendors' and 'providers'. 'Client facing channel partners' is interesting as it allows for being partway along a value chain.
Thanks for the clarification and didn't mean to embarrass you Syed. Commenting on your 'providers', other models might refer to such relationships as 'partners'. Its interesting though that government doesn't think of those relationships (e.g. doctors, physiotherapists etc) in that way, so applies different thinking and business patterns when maybe a partner model would work better. Certainly a major use of such models is not only to represent a business but also to explore different 'what if' scenarios.

Notable missing from this particular model, which appears in others, is 'value proposition'. To me this is critical, as not a lot of point setting-up the paraphernalia for doing business if the value proposition isn't clearly defined and understood. Indeed, at one level the simplest business model I suggest is:
supplier <-> value proposition <-> customer
Syed, I've seen a version of this model from Microsoft. I would say that the model lacks sales and services for one.
Product development if not truly part of the production cycle.
Management was never part of the Value Chain.
Collaboration is everywhere, evident and different from case to case, as part of the communication between functions. Should not be there at all, I think.
The model attempts to list the external stakeholders but there could some other.
It looks to me like a basic version of a Value Chain, in a circular arrangement.
But the model, being a Value Chain is still OK.

Thanks for suggestions.
Adrian
@Ron- You can use this high level model and then start establishing the linkage from external constituents to the capabilities , so for example, you can draw a line (to represent a flow of information or interaction) to show what value enterprise creates through a product or services for its constituents (e.g. clients, partners etc).

@Adrian- Second level of business capabilities can be identified to represent sales & services capabilities. See the diagram below:


You can customize the models to represent as many number of external parties and the interaction with the business capabilities of the enterprise.



Ron Segal said:
Thanks for the clarification and didn't mean to embarrass you Syed. Commenting on your 'providers', other models might refer to such relationships as 'partners'. Its interesting though that government doesn't think of those relationships (e.g. doctors, physiotherapists etc) in that way, so applies different thinking and business patterns when maybe a partner model would work better. Certainly a major use of such models is not only to represent a business but also to explore different 'what if' scenarios.

Notable missing from this particular model, which appears in others, is 'value proposition'. To me this is critical, as not a lot of point setting-up the paraphernalia for doing business if the value proposition isn't clearly defined and understood. Indeed, at one level the simplest business model I suggest is:
supplier <-> value proposition <-> customer
Syed, sure, the main point of a one page model is to provide the top level 'headings' to be considered, and the relationships between these headings. Better still if its a small enough number of headings to be manipulated in short term memory, i.e. Miller's magic number 7 plus or minus 1.
Ron, Agreed with you. This capability model describes in 5 top level capabilities your business and the relationship with the external parties. I can't imagine any simpler model that describe WHAT view of the business in such an intutive & holistic way. A business capability view enables the enterprise to identify and focus on capabilities that are critical to business success and where they can achieve differentiation in delivery ( be it cost or value).

IT has means to approach to business in their own language using this type of model. This simple common view of enterprise also allows business and IT to get a common understanding of the business and allows IT to document the business needs in a structured way that is meaningful for the business.


Ron Segal said:
Syed, sure, the main point of a one page model is to provide the top level 'headings' to be considered, and the relationships between these headings. Better still if its a small enough number of headings to be manipulated in short term memory, i.e. Miller's magic number 7 plus or minus 1.
Syed, there are a number of such models with similar top level 'headings', see my earlier reference. The Microsoft one (if that's where it originated) appears to be based on Alex Osterwalder's business canvas (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Model_Canvas), so I'm going to bow down to Alex rather than Microsoft :). The concept of 'collaboration' in the Microsoft model is different and strikes me as a bit of an odd term for what is really 'orchestration' of a number of process areas (1 to 4 in this model). Noteably the model is missing 'value proposition(s)', which in my view should be depicted in the high level diagram (e.g. see Tom Graves' model http://weblog.tomgraves.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/value-web-se...).

'Value proposition' might also be indicated as 'Vision', as they are strongly related. 'Vision' works better for non profit or government organisations. Value proposition and/or vision are what drives the model, without them what's the point! Which brings me on to 'competitors', which is also absent from the business canvas. I wonder why as 'Competitors'change the whole dynamic of business. Of course 'competitors' doesn't normally feature in and is a major distinguishing factor of government business, although it is often relevant to non profit business, e.g. competing charities.

In any case these models are variations on a common theme which I think captures well what we mean by 'business architecture'. The business canvas, Microsoft model, Tom Graves' models, are I think at the right level of abstraction to provide a top down grasp of the key concepts and their relationships.

Commenting on 'GODS', my immediate reaction is that, unlike the business canvas, it is at too low a level of abstraction to be generic, although could be seen as a useful example model of the design of a specific enterprise. To understand how and whether the detail makes sense in a generic architectural context, I would want to map it back to a model at a higher level of abstraction, such as the business canvas, or Microsoft model presented here.
Ron, Osterwalder's business model is neither a business architecture nor the result of "business modelling", even though it sounds like it. A business model describes the elements to consider in order to deliver a profitable product. It does not depict the components of the Enterprise and their relationships as an architecture does. The business model would benefit from a business architecture (or better enterprise architecture) that illustrates functions, flows and resources.
As such, I do not think that you can use business model to describe business architecture.
@Ron- In my view & I agree somehow with Adrian; business models are not the same as business capability map or business architecture. We create business models part of the business strategy development and not part of EA or business architecture exercise. Although, if there are no business models, sometime business architects may provide assistance in creating a business models. I agree that Business Models does defines the manner in which organization delivers value to customers or partners and also it represents how an organization makes money or provide services to customers . Osterwalder's business model canvas does convey this message in one page very nicely. I am as such not familiar with Osterwalder's business model so can't comment much. However, it is not clear how the canvas gets all the information that is aggregated on it. Also, Adrian indicated the business model would benefit from a business architecture.



See this picture below:






I consider , as stated above, business model part of the strategy development exercise & Outcome model represented by KPIs & goals/objectives, priorities can be part of either strategy development or EA/business architecture exercise. By placing capability model in the strategic area, we know WHAT the business desires in the future and as well as the business knows the current maturity of those capabilities. The Capability Models feeds information such as gaps (aka portfolio gaps) in the organization capabilities and issues (e.g. portfolio issues) in the capabilities to the Business Model. Here portfolio gaps are missing capabilities , while portfolio issues are problems with existing capabilities.

In architecture terms, strategic plans are lists of capabilities that are aligned with strategic goals and objectives & with the business model.The capability map identifies capabilities which are contributing in revenue generation, capabilities that are contributing in business innovation, capabilities that are market differentiators, capabilities that are outsourced , capabilities that are contributing in business collaboration etc.

I would love to learn how Osterwalder's business model canvas get information that is represented in the canvas.






Ron Segal said:
Syed, there are a number of such models with similar top level 'headings', see my earlier reference. The Microsoft one (if that's where it originated) appears to be based on Alex Osterwalder's business canvas (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Model_Canvas), so I'm going to bow down to Alex rather than Microsoft :). The concept of 'collaboration' in the Microsoft model is different and strikes me as a bit of an odd term for what is really 'orchestration' of a number of process areas (1 to 4 in this model). Noteably the model is missing 'value proposition(s)', which in my view should be depicted in the high level diagram (e.g. see Tom Graves' model http://weblog.tomgraves.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/value-web-se...).

'Value proposition' might also be indicated as 'Vision', as they are strongly related. 'Vision' works better for non profit or government organisations. Value proposition and/or vision are what drives the model, without them what's the point! Which brings me on to 'competitors', which is also absent from the business canvas. I wonder why as 'Competitors'change the whole dynamic of business. Of course 'competitors' doesn't normally feature in and is a major distinguishing factor of government business, although it is often relevant to non profit business, e.g. competing charities.

In any case these models are variations on a common theme which I think captures well what we mean by 'business architecture'. The business canvas, Microsoft model, Tom Graves' models, are I think at the right level of abstraction to provide a top down grasp of the key concepts and their relationships.

Commenting on 'GODS', my immediate reaction is that, unlike the business canvas, it is at too low a level of abstraction to be generic, although could be seen as a useful example model of the design of a specific enterprise. To understand how and whether the detail makes sense in a generic architectural context, I would want to map it back to a model at a higher level of abstraction, such as the business canvas, or Microsoft model presented here.
Adrian, sounds like we have a different understanding of 'architecture' and also perhaps of the business canvas, which in my view is a good example of an architecture pattern (abstracted, holistic structure), although I would accept that it is arguable whether it relates to enterprise rather than business. On the other hand GODS is a more specific map of organisation functions and their relationships. Taken too literally this model would likely drive a siloed organisation with separated functions, rather than say a value stream approach, where functions are integrated into streams and there is overall stream orchestration.

Syed, we are getting into a very fuzzy area here, trying to distinguish between business model, business architecture, enterprise architecture, capability model, and whether design as in architecture is within or driven by strategy. Much of this is viewpoint and context dependent. Although some people will swear blind that their viewpoint is 'it', and I'm probably sometimes as guilty as any.

Strategy is a bit of a hobby horse. Strategy and capability are chicken and egg. Strategy makes use of existing capabilities and may drive the development of improved capabilities, or even entirely new ones. However, within every strategy there must be a sound rationale for its achievement, else its meaningless. E.g. vision + goals + objectives could be to rule the world + in 5 years + 50% by year 2, which is a worthless platitude without a viable method of achievement. So strategy is vision + goals + objectives + rationale, where rationale implies capabilities (i.e. method or plan enabled by capabilities - e.g. think military strategy).

The goal of business architecture or design as I see it, is to refine and extend that rationale into an effective 'business as a system' specification. However, the quality of the initial rationale will determine the potential for success of that activity. Consequently part of the role of an architecture, or business design function should be to assure the quality of a business strategy, participating in, perhaps driving its quality improvement to ensure that there is a clear, viable rationale.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2014   Created by Syed Suhail Ahmad.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service