Increasing customer focus with TOGAF®-based enterprise architecture

Hello, Habr. As part of recruiting students for the course Enterprise Architect prepared a translation of the material.

Also, everyone has the opportunity to visit an open demo lesson “Reasonable structural changes in the organization in a rapidly changing environment.” In this webinar, we will walk together through the process of researching, evaluating, planning and controlling change in an organization. Let’s see how the methods of enterprise architecture are applied – this is a tool available to many. Contrary to popular belief, it does not require deep technical knowledge, but is focused on understanding the subject area and effective communication.

The area of ​​business architecture under Enterprise Architecture is not just about business opportunities and business processes. This primarily concerns value optimization (value) for your customers and the effort to build a more customer-centric organization.

The Importance of Value in Enterprise Architecture

Traditionally in Enterprise Architecture, business processes (business processes) are the main means of interaction with stakeholders. Regarding the concept of business opportunity (business capabilities), then this is a newer concept and is also often used in Enterprise Architecture. Business Opportunities provide a better understanding of how software applications support business, which is very well explained in this video – “TOGAF® Business Architecture: A Guide to Business Opportunities“:

It often happens that there are no supporting applications for some (new) business capabilities, while there are too many of them for other (old) capabilities. Both concepts alone do not reflect the value that an agile, customer-centric organization must provide in order to maintain and increase its market share through faster and more continuous innovation change and more informed customers that force them to have more agile business strategies.

Corporate architects must master and use the concept of value in a customer-centric enterprise, as shown in the image above. The organization usually provides several value propositions (value propositions) to various segments of their customers (or persons) and partners who are delivered by value streams (value streams), consisting of several stages of value creation (value stages). Internal stakeholders (stakeholders), external stakeholders and very often consumers. The value creation stages create the conditions for the customer journey stages (customer journey steps) are capability-based and process-driven (usually level 2 or 3). Video TOGAF® Business Architecture: Guide Value Flow gives a very clear and simple explanation if you want to know more about it. Client paths are not, strictly speaking, part of the business architecture, but are nonetheless very useful for stakeholder engagement.

These value streams / stages cannot be implemented from scratch. The organization must be able to achieve a specific goal, which is to provide value to initiating stakeholders, in particular customers. This ability is a critical business opportunity. Without this capability, the organization cannot provide value to the initiating stakeholders (customers). It enables the value creation phase and is implemented by a business process. It also belongs to one business unit or branch within an organization and is used by one or more business units or branch offices. Typically, the capability must be supported by at least one application, system, or IT service.

In fact, value propositions, streams and value creation stages are the “why” of an initiative or project to be implemented. The stakeholder is “Who” must be involved in order to create value. A business process is “How” an organization can create value. Finally, business opportunity is what the organization must control or must do to create value.

Important definitions

Referring to standard definitions TOGAF, each element mentioned in the picture above must be defined as follows:

Business Process A business process is a group of related and structured activities performed by individuals or equipment that, in a specific sequence, produce a service or product (or serve a business purpose or task).

Business Capability. Business opportunities are special abilities that an enterprise can possess or exchange to achieve a specific goal. Business opportunities must be supported by applications, systems and / or IT services.

Customer (Customer). Anyone who buys a product or service.

Customer Journey. The customer journey describes the complete experience customers go through when interacting with an organization as a path of successive steps before and after purchasing a product or service. Rather than looking at only a fraction of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the entire customer experience. The customer journey consists of several stages.

Product (Product). A product offered by an organization is a product, idea, method, information, object, or service conceived as a result of a process that satisfies the needs or desires of a customer. The product is usually part of the value proposition.

Stakeholder. A person, team, organization, or a combination of the above with an interest in the system.

Service A repetitive action is a discrete behavior that can be requested or otherwise initiated. The service is usually part of the value proposition.

Value Proposition. A value proposition is a commitment to deliver value to an initiating stakeholder (usually a customer) who is convinced that there will be benefits after the purchase. A value proposition consists of one or more products or services.

Value stream. Presenting a continuous set of value-adding activities that create an overall result for a customer, stakeholder, or end user. The flow consists of multiple stages of value creation in which at least one identifiable stakeholder is involved.

Roger Burlton, Jim Ryne, and Daniel St. George recently wrote a whitepaper titled “Similar, but still different – value streams and business processes: a business architecture perspective”, Which clearly explains how business processes and value streams and their enabling capabilities differ.

The business architecture value stream and associated capabilities provide a value-driven perspective of the capabilities required to run any type of business (such as any hotel), regardless of the organizational structure, location, product options, specific procedures, or other operational characteristics that distinguish specific business or business chain. In contrast, a value-based business process, and its decomposition into activities and flows, provides a value-based perspective of the flow of goods, information and the achievement of results through the activities of a (potentially common) business.

Enterprise Architecture and 5 Stages of Agile Strategy Execution

Now, let’s position each element shown in the figure above as shown in the figure below to identify 5 steps in organizing the implementation of an agile strategy. These stages are described in detail in the book “A Practical Guide to Implementing an Agile Strategy: Design, Architecture, Prioritization, and Successfully Achieve the Corporate Future“.

Customers (segments and / or persons) and partners are involved in all five phases of an organization’s agile strategy. Business stakeholders are involved in all but the fourth stage, which is the flexible delivery and execution stage. In terms of IT stakeholders, they are mainly involved in planning the initiative (step 3) and flexible delivery and implementation (step 4).

Value propositions, products, services are mainly developed during the business design and strategy stage (step 1) to achieve specific strategies and goals. Customer paths, flows, and value creation stages are typically learned early in the transformation design (step 2). Business opportunities are explored in both transformation design and initiative planning (steps 2 and 3). As for business processes, they are mainly taken care of during the agile delivery and implementation phase (step 4) at the operational and tactical level, when business process experts and agile experts need to achieve clear goals in tactics assessment.

To provide added value to their organization, enterprise architects need to understand that business architecture is not only about business capabilities and business processes. Enterprise architects should not limit themselves to transforming design and proactive planning for their organization. Enterprise architects can also contribute to optimizing value for clients and partners in their organization. Incorporating all aspects of business architecture into your enterprise architecture practice will make your team much more valuable to stakeholders in the early stages of business design and strategy development, and to IT stakeholders during agile delivery and implementation.

Learn more about the course Enterprise Architect

Watch the webinar “Reasonable structural changes in the organization in a rapidly changing environment”

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