As I discussed in my previous blog and earlier, the capability concept is a great help in defining a good business architecture. It is used ever more widely and rightly so. As I mentioned in that blog, the concept itself is rooted in the defense domain, and from there it permeated various other domains. To quote again from the NATO Architecture Framework: “A capability is the ability to achieve a desired effect under specified standards and conditions. […] In NAF, the term is reserved for the specification of an ability to achieve an outcome. In that sense, it is dispositional – i.e. resources may possess a Capability even if they have never manifested that capability.” Read more
In this recent video, I outlined why enterprise architecture is an essential instrument in improving the capabilities of your organization. The notions of capability and capability-based planning have become quite popular and important in enterprise and business architecture in recent years. But there is also some confusion around this concept, in particular for those who are familiar with the similar concept of business function. In this blog, I want to clarify some of this confusion. Read more
Business capabilities are stable building blocks that define what an organization does. They encompass elements such as people, processes and systems that come together to realize specific functions. Due to their relatively lasting nature and the way they consolidate various cross-domain components, capabilities are a very useful tool for facilitating dialogue between stakeholders on the business and IT sides of the organization. Specifically, by managing and planning the way these capabilities and their constituents interact with strategy, with technology components etc. organizations can better navigate the complexity inherent in any large enterprise’s business-IT landscape. Read more
Even when an Enterprise Architecture practice is present in an organization, it is most often understood to be either strictly preoccupied with the management of IT, or at most with the management of business and IT together, but on a horizontal level. The truth is, however, that mature EA is not only capable but also expected to deliver a vertical line of sights between strategy to execution. This, by definition, entails giving guidance on the direction of investments and the orientation of change programs/projects. Read more
Planning and executing change is a key capability for organizations in this day and age. However, in order to do this successfully, businesses – especially large ones – must overcome the heavy burden of complexity that generally adds up as the organization scales up its operations. Complexity often means that an enterprise has little visibility into the full range of consequences for any proposed change or investment. Read more
Enterprise Architecture Means Business
Perhaps it’s in the name – enterprise architecture. Maybe that’s what prevents business stakeholders from engaging in a more meaningful way with the EA team. Architecture summons images of systems design, technology infrastructure, software development – IT, in other words, and that spells techie guys in the basement. “Definitely not what we’re interested in”, the verdict probably goes. It’s quite possible that’s at least part of the problem. Read more
As the Vice President of Customer Value here at BiZZdesign, it’s my job to work with a great many organizations and identify ways for them to successfully achieve their objectives. This means I deal with big enterprises, small enterprises; companies that have a mature EA practice, or are only just now starting out; from retail to tech, and everything in between. Read more
The past few months have presented both challenge and opportunity for all organizations. The problems are immediate; businesses face financial pressures to sustain an existing cost base in a context of reduced staff availability and reduced revenue. Given the changing social dynamics, the opportunities are numerous. Read more
I was recently invited onto the BiZZdesign Enterprise Architecture Podcast to discuss the journey of organizational change at the Royal Bank of Scotland, an initiative in which I’ve played an active role – and still do, in fact. I think it was a good talk and I encourage you to give it a listen if you can spare a few minutes. Read more
In the first part of this blog post, we discussed in general how the structure of the ArchiMate modeling language matches the structure of both component and feature teams. In this second part, we want to go a bit deeper into this topic.
In the most recent post in our ongoing series on agile and architecture, I argued why architecture models are valuable for agile organizations. That post concentrated on the ways in which you can use these models to foster business agility at the enterprise level. In this post I want to zoom in a bit and discuss how architecture models and ArchiMate in particular can support agile teams. Read more
Covid-19 – a trying chapter not the end of the story
Having the right focus
The customer is the most important variable in the equation of success. Please them and you’ll do well; ignore their needs and desires, especially in this age of speed and lower emotional attachment, and you invariably go out of business. Read more
ArchiMate provides a powerful language to visually describe the architecture of an enterprise at different layers – from strategy to implementation. Read more
Today, organizations need to move at speed and adapt their business to a volatile environment, while at the same time dealing with many inside and outside stakeholders and influences, ranging from customers and partners in the ecosystem to regulators, competitors, and the uncertain effects of politics (viz. Brexit or the US-China trade war). To be an adaptive enterprise, business architecture is an indispensable discipline. Without an architectural approach to your business, you will quickly get mired in the myriad changes and effects, without a clear path forward.
In my recent blog post on stakeholder communication, I described various basic forms of communication about architecture, with diagrams, tables, heatmaps and the like. What I did not touch upon in that post is how you can enrich your architecture (and other) models with additional data and display the results in various dashboards. That is the topic of this post.
In my previous blog post (https://bizzdesign.com/blog/a-pattern-for-sizing-archimate-diagrams) I described why it is useful to reduce complexity when creating architecture diagrams. It supports the architect by guiding the creation of diagrams and it supports the reader by not creating overly complex diagrams (too many different types of concepts). Each viewpoint addresses a specific concern, e.g. a capability map to show what the capabilities of a company are. In this blog I will focus on the application layer to provide practical examples using the viewpoint creation pattern described in the previous blog post. The examples are quite generic. They are meant to be used as a starting point for professionals looking to learn more on the subject so they appeal to a large audience.
In our previous blog post, we outlined why Enterprise Architecture and Agile/DevOps are key in becoming an adaptive enterprise. We also described several use cases where EA can strengthen Agile and DevOps practices. Now, we want to focus on the ways in which you can connect these in practice, using architecture models and appropriate tool support.
In today’s business landscape, effective transformation is critical for enterprises to stay competitive. By definition, transformation happens over time.
Enterprises (or some subsection thereof) have a current state which needs to change for the better. That change – however small or large – results in a different future state. With the widespread adoption of Agile working practices and DevOps-based continuous delivery, these changes can be very small and very frequent.
-Nick Reed and Bart Molenkamp
In the previous instalments in this series, we discussed common drivers for architecture in defence and industry, commonalities between the architecture practice in defence and the civil sector, and why the ArchiMate language was chosen as a recommended standard for expressing architectures in the NATO Architecture Framework v4. In this final instalment, we discuss the work that still needs to be done for using ArchiMate in the context of NAF v4.
– Kevin Wallis (MOD ISS) & Marc Lankhorst (BiZZdesign)