Business and Technical Architecture are critical to ensuring successful enterprise BPM programs

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Enterprise Architecture is a discipline that aligns strategic objectives with projects and programs for change, and provides governance for those programs to ensure delivery of the objectives.  BPM projects seek to “continuously optimize the organization’s processes to improve business performance against goals and objectives”  Gartner Getting the balance of BPM and EA appears not to be […]

Enterprise Architecture is a discipline that aligns strategic objectives with projects and programs for change, and provides governance for those programs to ensure delivery of the objectives.  BPM projects seek to “continuously optimize the organization’s processes to improve business performance against goals and objectives”  Gartner

Getting the balance of BPM and EA appears not to be a simple mix of disciplines and skills, over the last few months I have seen organisations struggle to scale up successful pilot BPM projects into an enterprise improvement program. 

Project based programs are successful because they focus on a specific process or function and have well defined boundaries and scope.  However when scaling up to an enterprise program organisations struggle with how to master reuse, how to identify the reusable services andf components, how to prioritise requirements, how to identify a roadmap for change, which project should be next and on what basis, how to manage change and make it stick, how to manage duplication of data across the enterprise systems, how to deliver  in an agile manner within the constraints’ of traditional waterfall policies and procedures.

A recent survey by Derek Miers and Alexander Peters, Ph.D.  at Forrester entitled – Focus On Customers And Business Architecture For Greater Business supports our own findings and it’s conclusion endorse our approach to Enterprise BPM programs. 

 They concluded that : organisations at Process Maturity 1 focus on cost reduction while  those  at level  4 and 5 have a more balanced approach , they leverage a business architecture to focus on customer intimacy innovation waste elimination as well as cost reduction. However,  only 13% of organizations exhibit high-maturity behaviours and only 6% of organizations use an architectural framework

Many change initiatives are still at an early stage. The top three challenges respondents identified related to creating and assessing the transformation road map, ensuring customer centricity, Establishing and understanding the best practices for creating, managing, and leading centres of expertise (COEs) and deciding on program- and process-level metrics came next on respondents’ lists of challenges.

A surprising observation of the survey revealed that: Change management is still underestimated and that Business architecture remains the weakest capability since the launch of BPM as a strategic initiative earlier this year Capgemini have focussed on our holistic approach to BPM as our key differentiator.  At its core our approach stresses a business and technical architecture design as the foundation for business change.  

At Capgemini our BPM methodology is based on helping our clients achieve four strategic goals through enterprise process transformation programs;

  • Customer centricity
  • Agility
  • Efficiency
  • Compliance 

 

 Our approach to BPM embraces both business and technology architecture to help achieve strategic goals.   So what is Business Architecture at Capgemini,  it is  consists of defining Target Operating Model  (TOM) “a  TOM implies defining the key capabilities of the firm, describing the services that deliver value to customers and the high-level processes that enable this delivery” Forrester.   When defining a TOM we ensure that certain critical elements are in place;

  • Strategic objectives to align the business and technology initiatives
  • Business principles to guide the program through the transformation journey,
  • Organisational  design and processes and process metrics  required to achieve the objectives
  • Roles, policies , procedures and behaviours required to embed the change. 

 

 “A TOM provides a vision and framework for the change program; it acts as a rudder for the projects, helping the individuals involved make good decisions.”

 Business architecture and specifically the processes and  are used to derive the reusable components or business services that are required to deliver the core functionality to the enterprise,  the technical architecture, derived using our Integrated Architecture Framework (IAF),  can then begin to identify and align the business services to IT services, and reusable components that will be required in the technology infrastructure to deliver the business objectives.

In addition identifying the core business processes helps to identify the key data entities that will be used and provides a foundation for a mastering and managing that data. See my blog “Managing Data across the enterprise” also published at Capping it Off.

In our experience when transformation programs have stalled (and some failed),  it is where organisations have not fully appreciated the need for robust architectural design from both a business and technical perspective.  Too many programs are left rudderless and after the initial projects have completed.  As they don’t have an over arching design to act a blueprint,  a mechanism to identify the low hanging fruit, those that will provide key components to the architecture or deliver key business benefits to the program early.  

 It is often stated as a key goal of BPM programs that they bring business and technology together this is not merely from a project perspective, when defining and designing requirements and components, it is also from the architecture perspective where you first ensure alignment of vision and program objectives.  It is critical that any business architecture is robust model to serve as a guide, and as with all models it will change and adapt as the program matures and priorities change.   Managing that change in a systematic ally and pragmatically is where architectural tools can help.

 

 

Acknowledgements

Mathiue Hege Director and Head Of Business Transformation Delivery at Capgemini Australia

Sandy Kemsley at Sandy Kemsley Design 2011

*Derek Miers and Alexander Peters, Ph.D.  – Focus On Customers And Business Architecture For Greater Business Process Maturity by Derek Miers and Alexander Peters, Ph.D.

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