Tag Archives: Enterprise Strategy Model

Monet revisited (or: non-traditional approaches to developing TOGAF® Next)

By Stuart Boardman, Getronics

Right now work is starting on the next major release of TOGAF®, which for now is known as TOGAF® Next. That makes it a very good time to look at what else is going on in the world and what kind of contribution that might make.

A lot of the best ideas come from unexpected directions. Enterprise architects (fortunately) often have passions that don’t have much directly to do with that discipline. Let’s be honest, the best ones almost always do. Peter Bakker recently drew our attention to a current debate in the world of photography and photo journalism. People are using apps like Hipstamatic to make deliberately grungy images – to make the results less “realistic” and more “impressionistic” (same thing Claude Monet and his pals came up with in the late 19th century except they didn’t have apps back then). Apart from the intrinsic interest of the topic, Peter suggested this might be applicable in EA. That made me think. We’ve invested vast amounts of time and effort (and therefore money) in being able to specify things in enormous detail according to increasingly tightly defined models. In fact, people used to complain that those tight models were what TOGAF® lacked. Hmmm. Sometimes the result is not seeing the wood for the trees. Or assuming that detail equals fact. Or getting realism muddled up with reality. Or information with knowledge (never mind wisdom). The Impressionists wanted people to be able to get a feeling of what it was like to be there — not precisely what it looked like at a specific moment in time. So while I’m sure they weren’t thinking about quantum mechanics (that would have been quite an achievement!), they were certainly leaving things open for probabilistic interpretations. Could we do the same in EA – without just producing vagueness? Why not – at least down to a certain level? If you use the Business Model Canvas, for example, you can build up a very meaningful picture of an enterprise’s business model without vast amounts of detail. It provides a lot of knowledge and even some wisdom on the basis of an optimal amount of information. And that has the great benefit of allowing you to fill in the detail where it’s actually going to be useful to you. So why wouldn’t we do something similar in general in EA?

Ross Button is developing an idea he calls Scatter Architecture. You could visualize it as a lot of puzzle pieces that you scatter on a board and see what kind of a picture you can make out of them. They might turn out to fit together in more than one way. That’s actually a good thing, as it probably makes you more adaptable and less exposed to change. Some of the pieces will duplicate each other wholly or partly. Viewed from a TOGAF® perspective we can say that these duplicates occur both on the Enterprise Continuum and on the Solution Continuum. Duplicates are allowed in this architecture. I don’t suppose you’d find them in the Enterprise Strategy or in the Architecture Strategy but you might well find partial duplicates among your propositions, activities, resources and partners – particularly the latter. After all, you probably don’t really want to be dependent on one supplier but that doesn’t mean they’re all exactly alike. So your architecture strategy might even codify that, which means your architecture models will need to take account of it. On the solution side of things it’s just as likely. Ross has explicitly pointed to Cloud as an example of this. Just as in the “real” world, if you can avoid being locked into just one supplier (without the cost implications being too high), you have much more room to manoeuver. The Amazon crash a couple of months ago provided some good positive and negative examples. Moreover, just as in the “real” world, these partners might become part of your value creation process as opposed to just cost elements. So this introduces my second theme, multiplicity.

Louisa Leontiades has just launched a social media integrated business. It’s a great example of how enterprises are changing and why we need to understand them in non-traditional ways. What can we say about her business? Well, it’s an Internet company but it’s not selling technology. It sells real people skills but everything lives in the blogosphere. You can buy her stuff via the site but it’s not an eShop. It’s Louisa’s company but in some ways it’s a virtual enterprise. What does that mean? Well, there will be multiple contributors generating and selling content and the quality and commercial success of the content will shape how the company develops. Or to put it another way, the contributors are not merely suppliers but actually investors, who benefit from the success of the company. Oh and it has its own website but the marketing happens via separate blog sites, via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn – you name it. It’s easy to see then how capturing the architecture of such an enterprise is about capturing the essence and not getting distracted by detail that can change at any moment – exactly due to the multiplicity of contributors and propositions. It’s a daring concept – jumping into the unknown – and of course we won’t see this model in the large enterprise world for quite some time but in the non-profit world or perhaps even in education one could imagine a more rapid adoption. In fact you might reasonably expect to see it adopted in education. It was after all educational and research organizations that gave us the Web in the first place. And back then the web was all about collaboration and sharing – co-creation.

Tom Graves has been looking at extending the Business Model Canvas into Enterprise Architecture as a whole. One part of this is extending it upwards (or outwards – depends how you look at it) to reflect the extended enterprise context in which most organizations “live” today. This involves taking concepts which we already apply to the single enterprise and applying them to a world we don’t control, where multiplicity is the rule and in which our objective is to be an equal partner. This gives rise to relationships, which are both complex and shifting. I would argue that one consequence is that we need to put the emphasis on capturing the entirety of the situation, so we can understand its dynamics and reach (breadth), and we need to avoid the distraction of those details, which we know can and will change without our being consulted (anyone see a similarity to Cloud here?). Another part of what Tom is doing is a mapping with Archimate. I don’t know whether Tom sees it exactly the way I do, but I think one of the advantages is that it combines the impressionist approach with a standardized modeling technique and allows us to provide detail where it’s meaningful and useful. And what it also does is provide a semi-formalized way of using techniques coming from a different discipline within (or along with) familiar EA frameworks. Well, I say “does” but I should say “will do”. It’s work in progress, just like Scatter. Just like TOGAF® Next. You can contribute to these things, influence them or adapt them to your own purposes. You can read and leave them aside but at least you’ll have thought about it. And that in and of itself will enrich your practice.

Stuart Boardman is a Senior Business Consultant with Getronics Consulting where he co-leads the Enterprise Architecture practice as well as the Cloud Computing solutions group. He is co-lead of The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group’s Security for the Cloud and SOA project and a founding member of both The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group and The Open Group SOA Work Group. Stuart is the author of publications by the Information Security Platform (PvIB) in The Netherlands and of his previous employer, CGI. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on the topics of Cloud, SOA, and Identity. 

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How strategic planning relates to Enterprise Architecture

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

TOGAF® often refers to Strategic Planning without specifying the details of what it consists of. This document explains why there is a perfect fit between the two.

Strategic Planning means different things to different people. The one constant is its reference to Business Planning which usually occurs annually in most companies. One of the activities of this exercise is the consideration of the portfolio of projects for the following financial year, also referred to as Project Portfolio Management (PPM). This activity may also be triggered when a company modifies its strategy or the priority of its current developments.

Drivers for Strategic Planning may be

  • New products or services
  • A need for greater business flexibility and agility
  • Merger & acquisition
  • Company’s reorganization
  • Consolidation of manufacturing plants, lines of business, partners, information systems
  • Cost reduction
  • Risk mitigation
  • Business process management initiatives
  • Business process outsourcing
  • Facilities outsourcing or insourcing
  • Off-shoring

Strategic Planning as a process may include activities such as:

1. The definition of the mission and objectives of the enterprise

Most companies have a mission statement depicting the business vision, the purpose and value of the company and the visionary goals to address future opportunities. With that business vision, the board of the company defines the strategic (e.g. reputation, market share) and financial objectives (e.g. earnings growth, sales targets).

2. Environmental analysis

The environmental analysis may include the following activities:

  • Internal analysis of the enterprise
  • Analysis of the enterprise’s industry
  • A PEST Analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors). It is very important that an organization considers its environment before beginning the marketing process. In fact, environmental analysis should be continuous and feed all aspects of planning, identify the strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities and threats (SWOT)

3. Strategy definition

Based on the previous activities, the enterprise matches strengths to opportunities and addressing its weaknesses and external threats and elaborate a strategic plan. This plan may then be refined at different levels in the enterprise. Below is a diagram explaining the various levels of plans.

To build that strategy, an Enterprise Strategy Model may be used to represent the Enterprise situation accurately and realistically for both past and future views. This can be based on Business Motivation Modeling (BMM) which allows developing, communicating and managing a Strategic Plan. Another possibility is the use of Business Model Canvas which allows the company to develop and sketch out new or existing business models. (Refer to the work from Alexander Osterwalder).

The model’s analyses should consider important strategic variables such as customers demand expectations, pricing and elasticity, competitor behavior, emissions regulations, future input, and labor costs.

These variables are then mapped to the main important business processes (capacity, business capabilities, constraints), and economic performance to determine the best decision for each scenario. The strategic model can be based on business processes such as customer, operation or background processes. Scenarios can then are segmented and analyzed by customer, product portfolio, network redesign, long term recruiting and capacity, mergers and acquisitions to describe Segment Business Plans.

4. Strategy Implementation

The selected strategy is implemented by means of programs, projects, budgets, processes and procedures. The way in which the strategy is implemented can have a significant impact on whether it will be successful, and this is where Enterprise Architecture may have a significant role to play. Often, the people formulating the strategy are different from those implementing it. The way the strategy is communicated is a key element of the success and should be clearly explained to the different layers of management including the Enterprise Architecture team.

To support that strategy, different levels or architecture can be considered such as strategic, segment or capability architectures.

This diagram below illustrates different examples of new business capabilities linked to a Strategic Architecture.

It also illustrates how Strategic Architecture supports the enterprise’s vision and the strategic plan communicated to an Enterprise Architecture team.

Going to the next level allows better detail the various deliverables and the associated new business capabilities. The segment architecture maps perfectly to the Segment Business Plan.

5. Evaluation and monitoring

The implementation of the strategy must be monitored and adjustments made as required.

Evaluation and monitoring consists of the following steps:

  • Definition of KPIs, measurement and metrics
  • Definition of target values for these KPIs
  • Perform measurements
  • Compare measured results to the pre-defined standard
  • Make necessary changes

Strategic Planning and Enterprise Architecture should ensure that information systems do not operate in a vacuum. At its core, TOGAF® 9 uses/supports a strong set of guidelines that were promoted in the previous version, and have surrounded them with guidance on how to adopt and apply TOGAF® to the enterprise for Strategic Planning initiatives. The ADM diagram below clearly indicates the integration between the two processes.

The company’s mission and vision must be communicated to the Enterprise Architecture team which then maps Business Capabilities to the different Business Plans levels.

Many Enterprise Architecture projects are focused at low levels but should be aligned with Strategic Corporate Planning. Enterprise Architecture is a critical discipline, one Strategic Planning mechanism to structure an enterprise. TOGAF® 9 is without doubt an effective framework for working with stakeholders through Strategic Planning and architecture work, especially for organizations who are actively transforming themselves.

This article has previously appeared in Serge Thorn’s personal blog and appears here with his permission.

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He has more than 20 years of experience in Banking and Finance and 5 years of experience in the Pharmaceuticals industry. Among various roles, he has been responsible for the Architecture team in an international bank, where he gained wide experience in the deployment and management of information systems in Private Banking, Wealth Management, and also in IT architecture domains such as the Internet, dealing rooms, inter-banking networks, and Middle and Back-office. He then took charge of IT Research and Innovation (a function which consisted of motivating, encouraging creativity, and innovation in the IT Units), with a mission to help to deploy a TOGAF based Enterprise Architecture, taking into account the company IT Governance Framework. He also chaired the Enterprise Architecture Governance worldwide program, integrating the IT Innovation initiative in order to identify new business capabilities that were creating and sustaining competitive advantage for his organization. Serge has been a regular speaker at various conferences, including those by The Open Group. His topics have included, “IT Service Management and Enterprise Architecture”, “IT Governance”, “SOA and Service Management”, and “Innovation”. Serge has also written several articles and whitepapers for different magazines (Pharma Asia, Open Source Magazine). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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