Bernard Morris, Author of the popular e-book ‘Business Architecture Made Easy' and and Founder of the Arcibus Business Architecture Framework, describes how the Arcibus Framework was developed and how it can be used to effectively evaluate, design and action the strategic and operational requirements of the business.
Several years ago, whilst analysing and designing a financial industry company business transformation, I had the opportunity to conduct Action Research on my own work.
The focus of the Action Research was: 'how can the use of a Business Architecture approach effectively support the planning, design and negotiation of a business transformation initiative'.
In preparation for the Action Research, I undertook an extensive literature research into the success and failures of IT-based Business Transformation over recent history.
The results of this literature research suggested, a common set of attributes*, that when present appeared to contribute to the success of the transformation projects, and conversely, when absent appeared to be a major factor in those unsuccessful business transformation projects:
*Strategic and Operational Alignment,
The importance of commencing the proposed transformation with a structured focus on the appropriate Business Strategies and including controls for ensuring Strategic
Alignment is maintained;
,Ensuring the provision of sufficient knowledge to inform both the viability of the solution design and also the subsequent decision to proceed;
Improvement though not simply just that of the new service, but also equally important, the investment made in the ability of the purchasing and enabling client organisation;
The critical commitment made to a continuous and effective human approach, across the organisation for engaging with employees and stakeholders throughout the entire program.
I subsequently incorporated this learning into the
Arcibus Business Architecture Framework
This 'Business Architecture Made Simple' value exchange is a follow up to the popular e-book Business Architecture Made Easy.
This Value Exchange contains an introduction to all the material necessary to design a Business Transformation in Business Architecture
The book 'Business Architecture Made Easy ' discusses and describes in detail how Business Architecture can be used to effectively evaluate, design and action the strategic and operational requirements of a business in a way that is not only highly efficient but also holistic.
Whether you are about to embark on a major business transformation or you simply want to be better prepared for the next challenging period in the life of your business organization, the book and this follow up value exchange are designed to help you.
This section provides easy to understand answers to the following common questions:
What is Business Architecture?
“Business Architecture is an important new corporate activity being piloted by major corporate organizations and performed by cross organizational generalists who possess professional skills for transforming corporate strategy into business designs that enable corporations to increase market share, profit margins and flexibility, while reducing risk”
Paul Bodine Co-founder of the Business Architects Association
What are the Business Architecture Components?
Business Components are categorized as:
What is a Value Stream?
George Brown (2009) of BP Trends provided this description of a value stream:
"An end-to-end collection of activities that create a result for a customer, who may be the ultimate customer or who may be an internal “end user” of the value stream. The value stream has a clear goal: to satisfy or to delight the customer. Value streams differ from functions in that a value stream is a cycle of activity that begins with a specified event and ends when a specified output is produced. The customer is sometimes the ultimate customer of the enterprise; sometimes the "customer" exists within the enterprise. (Brown, 2009)
Brown, G. (2009). Value Chains, Value Streams, Value Nets, and Value Delivery Chains BP Trends (April), pp. 1-12
A Value Stream is a group of activity steps that will ultimately deliver the value result to the customer.
A few examples of Value Streams are:
The Value Stream can be simple or complex containing as little as 3 or as many as 12 steps. As these are high-level steps, they can also consist of a series of sub-steps that can normally be optimized by using Business Process Management if necessary.
A business may consist of any number of value streams from as little as 5 for a very small business to over 300 for a large corporate business. However, value streams do not always grow in proportion to the size of the company, whilst their frequency almost certainly does.
Each Value Steam has Inputs, that initially trigger the Value Stream and Outputs that represent the value based result of completing each business activity step in the Value Stream that become the inputs to the next step.
BO1 Value Stream Builder
The Arcibus Value Stream Builder is a custom-built table based tool that guides Managers, Consultant Facilitators, Business Architects, Business Analysts and Business Design Teams in identifying, establishing and improving their business value streams.
By displaying the relationship between Guides, Enablers and the Value Stream, business managers along with their local design teams can discuss many things related to the business performance.
Try this Value Stream Test
For each step identify:
Value Stream are designed against Critical Success Factors that represent the required business performance in respect of Time, Cost, Quality, Risk and Compliance.
Time – How long the process should take from a Customer Perspective
Cost – How much the process should cost, measured using for example TDABC (Time Driven Activity Based Costing)
Quality – A statement clearly describing the (fit for) purpose of the activity
Risk – The protected acceptable residual risk involved due to effective control
within the proposed design
Compliance - The specific interpreted requirements placed on the activity by
interpreting the obligations of associated legislation and regulations.
The Critical Success Factors are founded on the stated strategic intentions and priorities of the business.
What does business gain from using Business Architecture ?
A More Performance Focused Business
The time required to complete each business activity from a customer perspective across the business is clearly documented and understood by those concerned with achieving the targets. Targeted reductions in future business costs are directly linked to changes in the make-up of value streams. The quality purpose for each value stream is stated and clear to everyone involved in completing the process.
Faster Time from Demand to Solutions Delivery
Prototyping these target improvements with IT vendors and subject matter experts responsible for the associated value streams including feasibility studies, should produce far more efficient and reliable results than traditional time consuming requirement gathering methods.
Engaging New Staff
Efficient engagement of new staff can be a major expense for many organisations. By connecting the role to all the appropriate guides and enablers, it is possible to provide almost instant on boarding of new starters through predetermined role based access to systems and relevant value stream information.
Effective Risk and Compliance Management
Those responsible for governance are able to receive continuous evidence of compliance and risk management across all business areas and associated value streams. Business Risk Management and Compliance requirement is identified and managed at a reasonable level. Business Continuity is embedded in the architecture at the value stream level. When regulations change is imminent, it is immediately clear what business processes need to change
Future Proofing the Business
What are Critical Success Factors?
“The limited number of areas in which results, if they are satisfactory will ensure successful competitive performance for the organisation”(Forster and Rockart, 1989).
In this Arcibus Framework the Critical Success Factors are:
What is a Focus Group?
Guidance in the formation of the focus groups was provided by Tong, Sainsbury, and Craig (2007) , that states:
Tong, A., Sainsbury, P., & Craig, J. (2007). Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 19(6), 349-357.
Is it necessary to have a Transformation Implementation Project in place?
If a business transformation project has been identified as required or is being considered, the Arcibus program can form the ideal design stage in addition to preparing the organization for future change.
Arcibus initial stages are involved in determining what the business is trying to achieve and, particularly, why it cannot achieve that improvement without change. This process can often provide the structured thinking into what the transformation/s implementation may constitute.
The middle stages of Arcibus involve determining the level of transformation that can be achieved by the business. The program then moves on to determine what that transformation can look like.
The final two stages involve designing the Target Operating Models including all the transformed Value Streams.
How and when the transformed Value Streams are implemented, can be subject to particular internal considerations.
Therefore, how much of the designed change is necessary, and when it is likely to be implemented, is dependent upon business wider consideration and the subsequent associated decisions.
Watch this space for Further Information