Monday, August 12, 2013

Seven Aspects of Business Architecture

Enterprise Architecture is a synthesis of the Enterprise Business Architecture and Enterprise IT Architecture disciplines. BA should provide the business context for EA  Here are more perspectives upon BA: 

  1. A Business Architecture is a part of an enterprise architecture related to corporate business, the documents and diagrams that describe the architectural structure of business.  Business Architecture is the fundamental organization of a system [the business] embodied in its components [structure and processes], their relationships to each other [flows], and to the environment [value system] and the principles guiding its design and evolution [vision and business strategy]  
  1. Business architecture has two purposes
    1) To support the “maintenance” by describing via a variety of models and  how a business function should be in its current states;
    2)  To enable business change by describing how the business will function when the current vision is implemented and in the various stepping stages on the way to this “nirvana”  
  1. Business Architectures are supposed to answer questions and help define direction for organizations. Business architecture can not be defined with a fixed set of deliverables such as value chains, functions etc. it all depends on the problems being addressed. If the requirement is for a strategy to be developed, corporate direction needs to be defined and this is not necessarily done with value chains. Only once the strategy is agreed,  the definition of value chains, functional decomposition, organizational charts etc are used to describe the change that needs to take place within the organization and potentially externally. All of this needs to be defined in a standard repeatable way. This is where the meta model definition comes in. 

  2. Basic Business Architecture is a high level diagram describing the key business capabilities (functions) and flows. Other important business architecture components (Components = different artifacts) include such as capabilities, functions, roles, events, rules, data, services, processes, goals, objectives, events, performance, market/locations/geographies, risk, resource- including systems, process and involved party architecture, distribution channel architecture. Relationships = a) relationships between artifacts of the same type, taxonomies, and b) relationships between artifacts of different types, processes.  
  1. Business Architecture Views are any aspects of the Enterprise concern to a stakeholder, representations of which can be linked to EA as long as they comply with the enterprise structure and EA framework. Views are not designed in isolation. They must be consistent, linked and navigable across the EA. One of the reasons that different views (and hence diagrams) exist is because you have to create a view for each key question that you want to answer with it. You have to know: "what is this view used for?" For each key question, the view you produce will be different. BA’s views may include: A Process View, A Business Strategy View, An Organizational Structure View, An Organizational Governance view, A Business Capabilities View, A Business Value Stream view, a Business Operating Model view, and other views. The most commonly useful view includes influencers, drivers, business models, and initiatives for change. One of problems about Views in the Enterprise today is they are not integrated; they keep re-defining, re-naming, re-interpreting, duplicating and reinventing the enterprise components and their relationships. Views need to be designed taking into account the business architecture components and EA framework.  
  1. Business Architecture is one practice driven by the C-level and interwoven throughout EA or a company's operating strategy. Therefore, BA’s users include: 1) C-level:  BA could become a great executive communication tool, particularly when the BA discussion is kept at a higher level. 2)  Managers: The architecture that is created needs to be maintained and used by the managers to adapt and improve the organization in the future. 3) EA (Enterprise & Business Architect), BA (Business Analyst) who is both BA designer and user. 
  1. It is the Business Architecture defines the means for the strategy while management defines the means for architecture implementation: During volatile or dynamic market 'season', the Business Architecture must define very flexible blueprint but it is the management's responsibility to re-organize the corporate structure to make it equally flexible.  


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