Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Applying Business Architecture to Unleash Organizational Potential

The real value of business architecture is about keeping the priorities in balance and facilitating the strategic communications within the business executives.

Business Architectures are supposed to answer strategic questions and help to define the direction for organizations. It is not just for knowledge collection, but for capturing business insight/foresight. 

To dig deeper: What is the role Business Architecture may play to design and manage future businesses that can respond to such multidimensional factors impacting business model, business operations, and business reputation? Which skills the architect of the future should sharpen in order to design the future of business?

Change Navigator: Running business is about managing changes large or small, organizational change becomes common practice within an organization, it turns to be one of the ongoing strategic capabilities which underpin successful execution and move an organization from “keeping the lights on” to strategic responsiveness. Technically, to change an organizational system, you must first understand the concept of the true meaning of the organizational system and the interdependence of varying components. To actually facilitate change or movement in a company, you need a business steering instrument such as business architecture that gives you a holistic view to highlight changes with standardization, coherence, and visualization of business improvement initiatives so that the business problem can be seen from every relevant perspective and every perspective has a whole world behind itself to be described.

High mature organizations use business architecture as a body of knowledge and experience in guiding and managing knowledge and change. It is important to envision a “To-Be” state first, because it creates a digital paradigm shift in your change management approach. It is a series of methods and industry standard practices to describe what you do, why, how, where and who derives or contributes the value of such interactions. As the digital world becomes hyperconnected, interdependent, and dynamic, the industrial silo and old boundary has been broken down, it’s no surprise that we will leverage a cross-disciplinary approach to solve complex problems and overcome common change challenges.

Strategic Differentiator: The capability-based strategy is to well bridge ‘as-is’ and "to-be" states. Many organizations do not have alignment between strategic intentions and their ability to execute those intentions. Business Architecture is a discipline that helps organizations define their strategic differentiator and deliver organizational capabilities aligned with their strategic goals and objectives. It can be taken as a mapping tool in providing the visibility and defining the roadmap for strategic alignment. Prepare the strategic plan points the company in a direction where it can maximize its market position and reap as many benefits as possible.

Organizational capability maturity is an important digital business differentiator to improve the effectiveness of strategy management. The multitude of organizational capabilities expands the business horizon to take a different path for reaching the “to-be” state. What matters is capability maturity, the high-mature set of business capabilities can make organizations more adaptable to fulfill their strategy, as the key business differentiator. With business architecture as an effective tool, the capability maturity can be assessed by measuring the technology impact on capability effectiveness; the process impact on capability effectiveness, and the people factor about the collective capability effectiveness and maturity.

Process Conductor: The organization stagnates because the business systems are no longer able to accommodate changing needs or too fragile to speed up. It requires some kind of rethinking and reinventing the corporate processes and creating the sense of support for adapting to emerging events. Business architecture can be very valuable for performing a wide array of additional services, including strategic positioning, segment analysis, process optimization and measurement, a wide array of other business functions, leveraging repeatable processes, and mastering expectation management.

Business Architecture should have the capability to transform the manual process and the business requirement to process design and process governance. It is good to look at processes in terms of the very characteristics such as flexibility, resilience, value contribution, reproducibility, reusability, etc. The process of preplanned change shouldn’t be too rigid or overly prescribed, otherwise, it could create the bottleneck for streamlining change scenarios. Important business processes need to be reviewed regularly, refined regularly and are transparent across the business. It should help to bring into alignment most of the key parts of the business such as Sales, Marketing, Operations, Customer Service, Purchasing, Warehouse all come into play. The ultimate goal of Business Architecture is to architect business in transition to the strategic state, a holistic approach would be to look at the purpose of the business, then look at the function (products and markets), processes required and the structure, resources, authority of the system.

Empathetic Communicator: The Business Architecture is an effective communication tool at C-level to facilitate the varying business dialogue which is neither one-way street nor “once in a while “event. It needs to be continuous, iterative, and multi-channel because change occurs on a continuum. It helps to keep all executives at the same page by walking through discussions about strategy planning, governance, or business transformation, etc.

The real value of business architecture is about keeping the priorities in balance and facilitating the strategic communications within the business executives. The business architecture equivalent takes a look at balancing the business priorities and forcing conversations that are otherwise difficult to have. It enforces cross-divisional communication and collaboration, and makes strategic alignment, for advising, monitoring, deliberation, and sustaining a balance of diversified viewpoints. It’s an effective communication and governance tool to blueprint the future of business.

Business Architecture brings the systems understanding of relationships, ecosystems, market dynamics, and the connections between related business functions. It contains the organizational context, provides guidance that does not make it tactical by nature, and is strategic in that it gives direction to the large-scale business transformation while tactical realizations are underway.

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