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Business Architecture Example

business architecture example

A Business Architecture example will illustrate how to define and actualize business architecture for an enterprise.  Let’s use the case of a how Sally, a business architect consultant, worked with a client to develop a business architecture.

Business Architecture Example: 

Mega Corp: Sally’s client, MegaCorp, is a giant conglomerate with several lines of business spread across the globe. The company has grown both organically and inorganically resulting in a complicated business and IT landscape. The company has a plethora of patchwork systems, arcane processes, and cumbersome procedures. 

Sally poured over the company website and public documents to get a feel for the vision, mission, and purpose of the enterprise.  While a business architect does not determine or define the mission, vision, and purpose, understanding what the company is and what it stands for is an essential first step in modeling the essence of the business.

Next, Sally perused the strategy documents and had discussions with senior executives about the current and target operating model. Again, an operating model is an essential input into the definition of business architecture as business architecture is influenced by and in turn, affects the operating model.  

In addition to the target operating model, Sally also has developed a business model canvas to understand the context, customers, drivers, and resources inherent to the success of the firm. She vetted the business model canvas with the leadership team to ensure they are all on the same page.

Core Business Architecture Components: Now, Sally and her team of business architects dove into defining the core business architecture components. In particular, they focused on two essential elements – business capabilities and value streams.

While there are many ways to develop a business capability map, Sally, and her business architecture team have used a straw model-based approach in which they brought a sample business capability map to use as a starting point. With a sample business capability model in front of them, the MegaCorp team was able to absorb, ponder, analyze, and iteratively refine the business capabilities map.  The team also has documented definition and high-level capability-level profile information, including capability assessments. Sally knows that the iterative refinement will continue over a period as more teams participate in the business architecture development exercise as well as when the business capability map is put into use.

For Value Streams, Sally and her team of business architects collaborated with the process experts to abstract the specific flows into a high level, end-to-end stakeholder-based activity streams. For, example the group documented several value streams such as prospect to customer, quote to purchase, order to cash, issue to resolution, insight to the decision, etc.

Sally and her team, with help from other functional and process experts, mapped capabilities to value streams to create a view that combined the “What” (capabilities) with the “How” (value streams and processes).  To each step/stage of the value flows, the team has associated the underlying deeper level processes for a more in-depth understanding.

Next, Sally collaborated with the Enterprise and IT architects to take the inventory of applications, systems, and IT services and mapped to the capabilities and value streams. This footprint analysis has helped Sally and team understand the IT enablement of various capabilities and the coverage, redundancy, and replication. These views – Capabilities to Systems and Value Streams to Systems – are an essential business/technology deliverable which will be used in transformation and optimization decisions.

Immediately, Sally and the business architects have worked with the data team to understand the company-wide data subject areas and data entities and juxtaposed this information with the capabilities and value streams to gain an understanding of what data is involved in which capabilities and value streams/processes.

Sally continued her journey to identify various other components – locations, structure, roles, channels, stakeholders, business rules, KPIs, product offerings and the like – to use them as fit for purpose.

Sally and team also have mapped the key strategic pillars and the initiatives to capabilities, including allocating budget at a capability level.

Last but not the least, Sally and team developed most critical deliverable – what changes need to be made to capabilities to evolve them to a state that the company wants/requires them to be – the capability-based transformation roadmap.

 Sally’s journey has not ended but reached a critical milestone.  Let’s touch base with her and the team on what they do next.  Hope you have enjoyed the business architecture example and embark on an endeavor to create your own. If you have a business architecture example outlining your experience, please share it with us – sans any confidential information. All the best.

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