Many businesses struggle with economic fluctuations. Digital transformation initiatives require extra structure and governance flexibility to survive and thrive. Unless these initiatives create and implement solid architectural frameworks, they cannot compete hence fail to survive.
In this article, I introduce vital aspects of the business architecture framework, especially for startup ventures specialising in digital transformation outcomes. I look at these critical components from the perspectives of two key stakeholders: business executives and business architects who create, design, and execute the framework.
A framework is a basic structure underlying a business and technology system. Creating architectural frameworks starts with understanding the organisational structure of the business. This framework can include multiple considerations and business viewpoints. Business organisations are made up of stakeholders with different roles focussing on common goals.
There may be many people with varying roles and responsibilities undertaken by the business, technical, operational, and partnering stakeholders in the digital transformation programs. Therefore, it is a critical responsibility to analyse business stakeholders carefully and methodically. Business architects must analyse business stakeholders and document their roles, responsibilities, concerns, expectations, requirements, and aspirations with input from business executives.
Business organisations can have multiple capabilities. We can broadly categorise these capabilities under services and products offered to customers to generate revenue and grow the business.
Business architects need to understand the incurred costs and gain profits from these business capabilities related to revenue and growth. Understanding business capabilities can help establish a fundamental business architecture framework supporting the digital transformation goals. Business organization must generate revenue, control costs, grow strategically, and cannot survive without profit.
In addition to business capabilities, business architects need to consider value streams carefully. Business value streams can relate to both internal and external stakeholders.
External stakeholders are usually the customers of the organisation. Business value streams refer to the value gained from the customers based on products and services that the business organisations provide. They must be analyzed and mapped to the future state of our business architecture framework by considering the organisation’s business capabilities, vision, strategy, and tactics.
This critical focus brings us to the next significant component of the business architecture framework: business vision, strategy, and tactics. These three essential business terms are interrelated. Every business initiative starts with a concept that sets the future state. Understanding business vision helps the team set a business strategy. Business strategy is supported by business tactics which are small steppingstones to the strategy. These relationships amongst the vision, strategy, and tactics must be crystal clear in our business architecture framework.
The next core factor in the business architecture framework is business information. Every business organisation generates and owns various information types and systems at the organisational level. Business information can include facts and can be generated from data of various systems in the organisation.
In many business organisations, information establishes the communication and operating processes and can also be critical assets making the products and services for the customers. Therefore, business information can be considered an important capability and fundamental business value proposition for organisations.
The business architecture framework must consider the projects and initiatives of the venture. The main goal of these projects and initiatives is to enable business products and services for customers. Projects and initiatives are exceptionally structured, and they can be seen as practical approaches for creating our business value. Therefore, projects and initiatives manifest as products and services of the organisation.
Other important factors that we must consider are business events and decisions created by projects and initiatives. A business project lifecycle can consist of many business and operational events and require various business decisions related to marketing, sales, financial, political, and commercial aspects.
Business architecture framework must also factor in governance requirements, including policies, rules, and regulations. These are fundamental business management factors to govern internal and external aspects of business and financial processes. Governance relates to all aspects of a business organisation. For example, effective stakeholder management requires a flexible and functional governance model.
A business architecture framework must consider considerable metrics and measures to complete the whole picture from governance and administration perspectives.
To conclude, a business architecture framework must include organisational structure, stakeholders, business capabilities, value streams, information, vision, strategy, tactics, projects, initiatives, events, decisions, products, services, policies, rules, regulations, metrics and measures.
A proper structure of these critical items designed coherently as a framework can enable business organisations to produce, compete, survive, and thrive in the market.
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
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