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Business Architecture Deliverables

business architecture deliverables

If you are a business architect, what business architecture deliverables should you consider producing? At the outset, Capstera’s view is that many business architecture deliverables range from the ivory tower, armchair thinking artifacts to deep in the weeds details. So, what business architecture deliverables should you strive for, based on the audience, the context, and the use case?

Before we dive deep into the deliverables, let’s be on the same page with regards to business architecture definition, the components of the business architecture, and a broad overview of the business architecture.

Business Architecture Deliverables:

At the outset, Capstera’s view is that many business architecture deliverables range from the ivory tower, armchair thinking artifacts to deep in the weeds details. So, what business architecture deliverables should you strive for, based on the audience, the context, and the use case?

The range, scope, and depth of the business architecture deliverables depend on various factors, and here is a summary view of what’s needed, when, and which format. For example, if the business is going thru an M&A, prioritizing business architecture deliverables that cater to the specific need should be the high priority. Similarly, if the company is engaged in a process reengineering, it will be prudent to support this endeavor with value streams and link them to underlying processes as well as map them to essential business capabilities. Last but not the least, it is different strokes for different folks regarding what format to use. For example, for executives’ PowerPoint slides may be the best bet; whereas Visio type artifacts may be useful for peers such as enterprise and solution architects. Irrespective of the medium used, it is also essential to communicate the value of the business architecture deliverables.

Artifacts and Deliverables needed while setting up the business architecture practice:

Audience: Executives in the firm who will approve and fund the business architecture practice, as well as other stakeholders who will benefit from business architecture deliverables

Deliverable Description Best Practices
Business architecture Value Proposition Make a compelling case for the value business architecture provides Focus on the outcomes, benefits, and value of business architecture, not sausage making.
Business Architecture Business Case A companion to the value prop, the business case provides a more in-depth qualitative and quantitative benefits of business architecture As John Zachman says you cannot “cost justify architecture” and hence don’t try purely on a quantitative basis. Use a combination of qualitative and quantitative, where it makes sense.
Business Architecture Framework Whether you adopt from others, or create one on your own, a business architecture framework is an encapsulation of scope, depth, and range of activities, outcomes, and deliverables Whatever you do, create one view that is consumable by executives and business stakeholders. If needed, you can go deeper into other use cases.
Business Architecture Roles Roles and responsibilities from the leader of business architecture to business architects role. Be realistic. Should not read like a puff piece but pragmatic view of what’s expected and possible.
Business Architecture Roadmap A roadmap on specific maturity steps and the outcomes of implementing business architecture discipline. If it takes too long, the value will be diminished.

Business Architecture Deliverables needed during the strategic business architecture phase:

Audience: Executives, enterprise architects, business architecture team members, consumers of business architecture.

Capture the strategic context of the firm
Deliverable Description Best Practices
Strategic Context Use sta, the strategic context of the firm, Strategy Maps, Business Model Canvas, Value Chains and the like to make it familiar to all audiences.
Business Capabilities Map A multi-level decomposition of what your business does. Go beyond wall art, even though the wall art will be useful for a summary view with executives.
Value Streams End to end flows aimed at delivering value to a stakeholder Value streams should be highest level flows, not deep in the weeds. If needed, you can supplement with process maps.
Structure Capture the organizational structure, such as roles, locations, business units and the like. This is not a hierarchy map, even though that may be considered as a part of the exercise.
Information High level business information model Don’t go too deep as your data architects will do the conceptual, physical and logical data models.
Systems An inventory of the systems landscape to juxtapose against capabilities and value streams No need to reinvent the wheel. Your IT architects may already have the application inventory in a repository.

Business Architecture Deliverables that Juxtapose the various Components to generate Views and Viewpoints:

Audience: Executives, Enterprise Architects, Business Architects, Solution Architects, Business Analysts, Business Product Managers, Project Managers et al.

Deliverable Description Best Practices
Capability to Strategy Mapping Map capabilities to goals, objectives, strategy pillars to understand the importance of capabilities in a strategic context. Use terminology that executives can understand and appreciate.
Capability to System/Services Mapping Provides a footprint of which applications realize what capabilities (using value streams) Map to capabilities at lower levels for better granularity and transparency.
Capability to Value Stream Mapping Which value streams are used to realize the capabilities. There can be additional value if for each stage of the value stream, there are detailed process maps.
Capability Roadmap While capabilities are an abstraction, a capability-based roadmap of what changes need to be done in Value Streams and Processes and Applications, aligned to capabilities will be valuable. Do this at a feature/function level, not in the weeds detailed requirements.

Specialized and Situation-based Business Architecture Deliverables:

Audience: It depends on the specific deliverable.

Deliverable Description Best Practices
Capability-based Vendor Analysis Evaluating a vendor system, based on a set of cohesive and comprehensive capabilities will yield better comparison Avoid marketing speak by focusing on clearly enunciated capabilities.
Capability-based M&A analysis and post-merger integration Capability maps can be used in M&A situations to map relative strengths of capabilities, overlaps, redundancies across the acquirer and the target. Support your M&A teams with pre-built templates.
Capability-centric budgets Showing budget data aligned to capabilities will give an indication where the spend is going vis-à-vis the strategic priorities and capability importance. If funding is not aligned to capabilities, it is challenging to allocate it.

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