These are strange times and for many of us the world has been turned upside-down by the Covid-19 pandemic. Enterprise architects, used to a medium- and long-term focus, suddenly and urgently need to contribute to the very survival of their organizations in the immediate term. This requires a thorough rethink of what we do, but we won’t have time to sit back and contemplate the EA discipline. We need to take action now and with this blog post I want to give you some concrete ideas on this. Read more
These are crazy times. We all see a lot of sad things happening around the world. In addition to the personal dramas of people falling ill, and medical systems being stretched, we see a lot of businesses struggle. ‘Lock-down’ situations reduce or eliminate revenue streams and there is great uncertainty about how long restrictions will continue to apply. Many business models are not sufficiently resilient to face the current crisis. Read more
Welcome to the last installment in this series. Today we’re taking a look at using Lean techniques as part of a process optimization initiative. Read more
Excessive complexity is something that most organizations over a certain size have to deal with. The more successful you are, the bigger the enterprise gets, and the farther removed it gradually becomes from the original core tenets that probably made it successful in the first place. So how does this hurt a company? Well, if we’re talking about the IT estate, erratic expansion and the resulting unmanaged complexity makes its presence felt in the form of higher IT management costs, increased risk, and a slow rate of innovation.
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 modern enterprises, change is no longer a simple, top-down affair. All levels of the organization need to be involved, and everyone from shop-floor employees to the CEO need to work on local improvements to business processes. Lean projects and agile product development teams must rapidly innovate digital environments, strategists need to invent and experiment with new business models, project and program portfolio managers have to decide on investment allocations, and those responsible for domains like risk management and regulatory compliance have to do their part. This “all hands on deck” approach requires enterprise-wide transparency and visibility of plans, structures, opportunities and constraints.
In my two previous blog posts, I described dependency analysis and impact analysis. These two kinds of analysis focus on what you might call the steady state of your enterprise, or the enterprise at rest. But there is also the enterprise in motion, where we look at the behavior of the enterprise, in particular its business processes.
In my previous blog I wrote about the importance of models to successfully complete a merger, acquisition or divestiture. Of course, one organization’s divestiture may be another one’s acquisition. In this blog post I’ll share one my personal experiences as a consultant, supporting two government agencies that were in the middle of this process.
Many organizations with large legacy application landscapes can no longer postpone a major overhaul of their IT. But how do you avoid creating tomorrow’s legacy today all over again? And how do you spend your IT budget in the most sensible way? Next to appropriate design and development practices (e.g. enterprise architecture, agile and DevOps, as we addressed in our previous blog) you need to manage your application portfolio as a whole, to decide where it is most important to invest.
Agility has become a key ability of enterprises. The pace at which customers require changes, at which new laws and regulations affect services and introduce processes, and the ease with which competitors can disrupt your business, as Google and Apple do nowadays, leads to tremendous pressure. Pressure to change rapidly, to adopt new technologies, to generate growth, to scale up or to reduce cost. Read more
There is a lot of power in Business Process Management (BPM) and process thinking. Our process flow diagrams describe ‘what is done’, and support us in designing, improving and controlling our processes. The results of processes should be of value to our customers. But how do our customers experience our processes? A very powerful technique, aimed at customer experience, is the Customer Journey. It is a must-have technique for your BPM/Lean toolkit!
In many organizations a mythical creature lays deep down in the catacombs, otherwise known as the server rooms. This dark monster has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Normally these creatures are in search of gold. However, this kind doesn’t fancy gold, this one hoards applications!
If we look at current IT-trends it is clear that everybody has heard of Big Data. Although there are some known successes (for example US retailer Target which through its extensive data could predict pregnancy faster than the person involved) many companies spend millions (or even billions) of dollars hoarding big data, without using it properly. Read more
Enterprise Portfolio Management (EPM) is the discipline that supports this allocation of investments to various asset categories of the organization, such as capabilities, applications, or infrastructure. EPM helps to create a healthy set of projects and programs that realize strategic goals.
Strategy execution remains a challenging task for many organizations. The ‘Digital Enterprise’ requires major business transformations, delivered at speed. Most organizations are in a constant state of change. The ‘unfreeze-change-freeze’ model, reasoning from the current to a desired future state, no longer applies; the current state is always in flux and the future state is a moving target. Read more
As outlined in another blog, architecture-based enterprise portfolio management plays a crucial role in an integrated business transformation approach. Portfolio management is responsible for allocating investments to various asset categories and for creating a healthy project and program portfolio mix that realizes the organizational goals. There should be a balance in, for example, the types of projects (development, research, etc.) and long-term and short-term projects.
The other day, while I was musing about the reasons why many large organizations see many of their IT initiatives fail or underachieve, I came up with a rather simple conclusion: ‘project thinking’ is the root cause of these disappointments. Let me explain. Read more
Sharing knowledge and good practices is one of the core values of BiZZdesign. We regularly organize and contribute to online and offline seminars, conferences and round tables. We recently had a very successful seminar on Enterprise Architecture in Dutch healthcare. After presentations on “Dilemma’s for Architects”, based on the relation between physical and digital architecture in healthcare and “Data Management”, we had a debate to discuss associated topics further with our attendees. Please share your good and worst practices by reacting to this blog.