Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Business Architecture Quality

Forward-thinking organizations are in search of business architecture totality, reimagine the future of business.

Digital business spontaneously self-organizes; generates patterns, structures, and layers, to create unique texture. The role of Business Architecture is to design and manage digital business that can respond to multidimensional factors impacting business model, operations, and reputation by providing a set of practical tools to explore macro-environment and navigate critical business activities to manage uncertainty and deal with complexity effectively. 

Any architecture has to accommodate the fact that all organizations operate simultaneously as open and closed systems. Here are a number of dimensions that might be used to define architectural quality:

Usability - how readily available and accessible are architectural descriptions that people actually use regularly: Business Architecture is a series of methods and industry-standard practices to describe what you do, why, how, where, and who derives or how to do it. It can be very valuable for performing a wide array of services such as strategic positioning, business process measurement and optimization, and other business functions. It is a practical tool for organizational leaders to blueprint the vision and recognize business transformation, have a very clear understanding of why their businesses exist, the value they bring to customers; seek strategic views of changes; work to perceive issues from multiple points of view, identify trade-offs; make choices, while continually remaining open to discovering errors in one’s reasoning. It is an effective tool for planning, facilitating communication, and process optimization that business leaders and professionals need to use periodically to continue improving their business effectiveness and maturity.

By leveraging Business Architecture as an effective tool, business executives define more than one way of achieving the strategic goal. For each approach, estimate costs, resources required, timelines, risks involved, and trends. It helps business professionals gain visibility across the core processes and having someone owning the end-to-end process, optimize business processes and create a rhythm of meetings that establish clarity around the top priorities of the company. In addition, Business Architecture provides a practical knowledge management framework, to enable knowledge flow, connect ideas but also people, nurture a learning culture, and crucially manage to generate business value. The main emphasis is on doing "better pre-work," leveraging Business Architecture as a learning tool to learn the business context, defining the situation, trying to proactively remove cultural, organizational, or systemic obstacles, and gaining an in-depth understanding of the organization.

Craftiness or lack thereof: How mature is the architecture design: functioning, firm or delight? Going back to fundamentals, our thoughts are deep things and the “genius factor” of all inventions and human changes. Take business architecture as a way of thinking and embodies the quality of human thought. It enables “mind crafting” and deals with the diversity of thoughts, know how to tap their various resources and be inclusive and recognize merit, orchestrate the interrelationship between people and process, and bridge the multitude of viewpoints. Business Architecture contains the organizational context and is strategic in that it gives direction to the business design and improves organizational maturity. We can construct without design but we elevate construction by design. In turn, we elevate design through architectural thinking. The careful consideration of requirements in design along with an overarching vision is what a good architecture represents. How mature the architecture design is based on its role to improve its organizational maturity from functioning, to firm to delight.

Business Architecture role in designing and planning future enterprise helps to set up the environment for implementing business solutions such that it becomes hard to not do good design, and make a seamless shift from inside-out to outside-in, from static to dynamic; from process-driven to capability-based and people-centric, from industrial-segregation to digital modularization. At some point in the enterprise evolution, business effectiveness and efficiency are correlated specifically when the organization reaches its capacity, to be open about your architecture, encourage criticism, allow requirements to drive your architecture updates. Only high-mature business architecture which is truly the super glue between strategy and execution, can become an enabler in transforming management style.

Coverage - how well do the architectural assets cover the entire scope of the organization, from scope through to the operations layer? An effective Business Architecture helps business leaders look at complexity in different lenses and untangle it systematically in search of simpler concepts and methods; conduct organizational level briefing and choose the most suitable and acceptable approach. It’s important to define a very flexible business blueprint, covering all areas of the business, with the abstract components (components = different artifacts) including such as capabilities, functions, roles, events, rules, data, etc. It’s a useful tool to allow business management to find a balance between working on the business to deal with strategic issues while doing the business to achieve operational excellence, as well as between managing complex issues today and predicting the uncertainty and volatility of tomorrow.

Companies must begin thinking about ways with a strategic planning perspective via business architecture lens to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams while becoming more responsive, scale up and speed up by adding the right ingredients and going digital internally and ecologically. Business Architecture is a highlight which changes to focus on, which one can be ignored; helps to look at the transition and state transformation of the enterprise. It is a facilitation tool to get timely and meaningful Business intelligence; help business management provide financial assets required for the transition. Attach timelines, interim goals, assumptions, business units’ support needs, and implementation plans, etc.   It helps the degree of customer centricity alignment – customer strategy, the process to the strategy, technology to process, and organizational design to all - tells the story.

The role of Business Architecture in designing and planning future enterprise is both interesting and challenging. Business architecture performance can be assessed objectively via its cost reduction and complexity management efforts. Forward-thinking organizations are in search of business architecture totality, reimagine the future of business, and consider designing the new structural model to embrace high velocity and drive transformative change.


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Systemic The Glue

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