In this four-part blog series, I will, based on a business-outcome-driven enterprise architecture view, guide you through what you need to do to transform your business. Starting at the beginning of the enterprise architecture efforts, this series will go through what you need to do to form a strategic direction, choose the right enterprise architecture tool to support your efforts, create a roadmap and execute it, and finally how you can use enterprise architecture as a strategic navigator.
The blog series is structured in the following four parts, where each part presents relevant knowledge, timely actions and real results for your enterprise architecture program:
- The vision and strategy phase – Gathering management support for future architecture
- The design phase – Creating the foundation for positive change
- The delivery phase – Transform your business’ capabilities
- Beyond strategy – Using Enterprise Architecture as a strategic navigator
You should now have a value proposition, executive support, an enterprise architecture tool that fosters collaboration and helps you govern your architecture, and a modeling structure. Beyond this, you should have begun to model the knowledge of highest priority to your Enterprise Architecture program.
In this third installment, you will learn what you need to do to execute your value proposition. As we in the previous post established that tool support is very important, this post is assuming you have acquired an enterprise architecture tool that help you to create Coherency, Consensus, and Consistency with the help of a digital collaboration platform accessible to all employees.
The Delivery Phase – Transforming your Business’ Capabilities
The delivery phase entails realizing the value proposition created during the vision and strategy phase. When looking at your goals, you should analyze which business capabilities are needed to achieve them – focusing on outcome rather than output. The focus on business capabilities rather than business processes in a transformation program is useful, as business capabilities have a more holistic scope than business processes. I will explain the difference between business processes and business capabilities later in this post.
When you have determined the needed business capabilities, you should draw a roadmap that details priority and requirements for the changes. While implementing the changes, your enterprise architecture tool should enable you to analyze progress, focus on continuous alignment and optimization across processes.
What you need to know
Business Capabilities = Abilities + Resources + Restraints + Processes
In short, business capabilities are what your organization can do. Business capabilities consist of the skill sets and knowledge base of employees, technological support, and resources such as raw material and time. They are delivered by processes and restrained by regulations and policies – internal and external.
When developing, or improving business capabilities, you must consider how the business processes delivering them are structured. Therefore, it is important that you have modeled the processes for the capabilities you want to improve or model the processes for the capabilities you want to develop. You must also consider which resources and skills the business capabilities rely on and how they are restrained. This all affects their agility for change and ability to grow.
To manage the development of your Business capabilities, you should track their importance, status, and progress – this can be done easily with the right enterprise architecture tool and give you a comprehensive strategic and operational overview. Below you can see an example of a business capability overview where multiple factors are tracked.
Business Capabilty Overview from QualiWare
Business Outcome vs Output
Focusing on outcome rather than output implies that your focus on the end user or customers experience. A café, for example, may believe their outcome is the cups of coffee they sell. 500 cups of coffee may also be their output. However, their customers may actually be buying a ‘time out’ in a comfortable sofa or a certain lifestyle.
It is important that an organization is aware of what its outcome is. To truly know the difference between your output and your outcome, or to confirm the reception of your intended outcome, you should have a good contact with your customers and stakeholders. You should map your customer journey and business ecosystem to get a better understanding of your customers and external environment. Additionally, it would be advised to investigate your customers’ viewpoint – why do they choose to do business with you rather than with your competitors?
Business Ecosystem Model from QualiWare
When you know your organization’s outcome, you are also able to create more meaningful KPI’s that measure performance on issues important to your customers as well as stakeholders.
Your roadmap should consider where you want to go, your current value chain, the performance of your enterprise and the changing context over time. This means that your roadmap should be dynamic rather than static. A 40-page word document detailing a two-year plan will simply not do. Changes happen too rapidly in the external environment, and the need for agility is great. The roadmap should contain a portfolio of projects to ensure overall success – see part 1 for more information on enterprise investment, or look under further readings at the end of this article.
A digital roadmap, which is easily shared and updated by multiple stakeholders, is by far preferable. With the right tool support, you can manage a roadmap of change requirements, update its status in real time rather than once every quarter, and get real-time feedback on it. This way employees and stakeholders across functions are easily included in performance reviews and progress updates.
Strategic Roadmap from QualiWare
What you need to do
Step 1: Model needed future Business Capabilities
You should already have modeled your desired value chain – if not, you need to do so. The work now lies in translating your future state into business capabilities, and what will be needed to deliver them.
If you haven’t modeled your existing business capabilities yet, you must do this before you can define your change requirements.
Step 2: Define Change Requirements and draw your map, creating a project portfolio
Based on your models of current and future business capabilities, you should define change requirements and prioritize them. The roadmap should ideally be modeled on your online collaboration platform, so all relevant personnel and stakeholders have access to it and can register their progress. Below is an example of a transformation plan, which is more detailed than a strategic roadmap.
Transformation Plan from QualiWare
Make sure your change projects have good KPI’s that focus on progress rather than status – for more information on how to create good KPI’s look under ‘further readings’.
To increase the probability of overall success of your roadmap, you should diversify your project portfolio. The more diverse a portfolio, the better your chances of overall success are. However, choose your projects with care and cut them when your well thought out KPI’s indicate they won’t succeed.
Step 3: Execute and Govern your changes
This, along with the next step, is where most of your effort and time will be spent. Having a supportive tool will certainly ease your efforts governing the progress.
Make sure to assign responsibilities for the changes in the affected business units. It must me clear to those responsible for managing the changes, how and when to update their progress in the collaboration platform. The collaboration platform should ensure optimal sharing of knowledge. As, for example, process owners have the most knowledge about their business processes – it is essential that they are enabled to share this knowledge, and remember to do so.
Much effort will be going into supplying business units with models of their processes – aim to supply just enough information just in time while expanding the organization’s knowledge repository. This means that you need a great communication setup that enables the business units to let you know what information they need when they need it.
The right tool support can help communications a great deal, but it will also take a lot of effort to get business units to exploit the new communication channels. An effort should be made to nurture the culture of the organization towards embracing digital collaboration.
Step 4: keep track of status quo and update your plan accordingly
The expansion of models will uncover the need for alignment across the organization. This should be considered in your roadmap. You should aim to create Coherency, Consensus, and Consistency (see part 2) across business units regarding how they work.
Ensure the information the business modeling reveals is used to continually optimize the processes. This is an iterative process which, along with analytics regarding business capabilities and other strategic models can be used as input for transformation efforts.
Keep an eye on your project portfolio, evaluate the progress of the projects and take appropriate action.
Real results from the Delivery phase
During this phase, you have created a strategic roadmap describing the change requirements for enabling the desired business capabilities. You have started a cross-organizational collaborative effort and are using it to create a knowledge repository and improving processes. The products are as following:
- Actionable roadmap based on future business capabilities to fulfill your value proposition
- Collaboration across business units
- Continuous improvement of processes creating coherency
- An up-to-date knowledge repository
The next post, which will also be the last in this series, will touch upon how you can go beyond your initial strategy or optimizing efforts and use the information from your new knowledge repository to initiate business transformation initiatives.
Sources & further readings
BPTrends. BPTrends.com. 2017. http://www.bptrends.com/category/archives/articles/.
Burlton (editor), Roger. Business Process Manifesto! BPTrends, n.d. http://www.bptrends.com/resources/bp-manifesto/
Guenther, Milan. Intersection: how Enterprise Design Bridges the Gap between Business, Technology, and People. London: Elsevier Science & Technology, 2012. http://intersectionbook.com/
Hill, Janelle B. Business Transformation: Keys to Success (webinar). www.gartner.com, September 22, 2016.
Kerremans, Marc, and Samantha Searle. "Market Guide for Enterprise Business Process Analysis." Gartner, 2017: (G00308341). Link here (Registration needed)
LeHong, Hung. "Digital Business KPIs: Defining and Measuring Success." Gartner, 2016: (G00297283). Link here (Registration needed)
Potts, Chris. Dominicbarrow.com. 2017. http://www.dominicbarrow.com/chris-potts-articles.html