You do what? You are a Business Architect, What is that? Part 1

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Business Architecture is about making sure the whole business holds together. It’s a role built around business planning, pointing out opportunities to utilize IT more effectively.”

Alex Cullen, Forrester Research analyst

Hey Guys,

You know the usual situation, you meet someone new and the introduction usually goes along the lines of…

Hey I’m Mark, Nice to meet you – What do you do?

Now I love meeting new people, and I enjoy building my network with like minded people! however the last bit of the introduction has lately gotten me into situations where, I’m left thinking I should just say I work at Telecom, or my new life role “I am a Merchant of Happiness” 🙂

This Blog is to answer that infamous question, of what Business Architecture (BA) is and just  what exactly Mark does at work – so If you want to know more about an emerging career the is very new and important to the world of business and it not a “Enterprise Architect” focused on IT, the BA is focussed on the business benefits and strategic direction before commissioning IT for solutions then read on 🙂

Firstly, Why did I become a Business Architect?

Business Architecture is Complex and deserves more than one blog to digress all of what we do.

In my previous role I was privileged to work with a great Senior Business Analyst on some big projects, Also my manager at the time could see the drive and knowledge I had to succeed on some big initiatives that were going on.

Measuring twice, cut once

A couple of years with this under the wing mentorship had me on my way, to tackling large issues that effected the customers, and the business as a whole – basic questions were used to help SME’s articulate their position and influence in various project decisions. It was at this point I realised, that projects are great to work on, however some projects were just no needed and were not going to add real value to anyone. This is where I started to hone the strategic thinking.

Ask the 5 Whys

When operating at a higher level I realised that there is a trend, and so I started to research success rates, and failure rates on implementation of programmes and or projects. What I found was ASTOUNDING, and quite frankly hard to believe. The lower level executors always get the flack for projects failing etc (I have touched on accountability in this blog here). However I was shocked to see that middle management and executives were the biggest reason for programme / project failures.

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I kid you not. I thought then and there, I must be part of this problem and I must find a role that aids the resolution.

I was lucky enough to be hunted for a Business Architect role through a great mentor of mine, My mentor is a great leader,  he builds leaders – more leaders should strive to have this quality. My mentor is more than just that, his value proposition is a long list of qualities and skills, that help – close deals, inform leaders even orchestrate transformation from a problem space, to an opportunity space.

I grabbed the opportunity with both hands

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Why you NEED Business Architecture!

Business Architecture serves to properly align the organization. Business Architecture reveals how an organization is structured and can clearly demonstrate how elements such as capabilities, processes, organization and information fit together.

Business architecture aligns execution with strategy

The way you KNOW where you are going is to have a well-articulated strategy that is clearly illuminated across the organization and managed on a day-to-day basis.  When everyone has the same understanding of strategy – not just the goals – activities become synergized and productivity improves dramatically. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

Business architecture creates a clear prioritization process for investments.  

Business architects clarify how today’s investments are being expended by translating the more technical aspects of projects into business capability enhancements that can be readily understood by management – and everyone else. They enable future funding prioritization through capability value contribution models and performance assessments that clarify which capability gaps are most important to close.

Business architecture creates employee engagement

Business architecture creates employee engagement in two ways. First, it creates meaning by connecting every role from the CEO to the janitor to the vision, mission, and goals of the organization. Everyone can see how the work they do contributes to the overall success of the organization. Second, it provides a set of guardrails making it safe and productive for employees to take independent action. When employees act autonomously they feel competent and confident.  They are much more invested in the outcome when it is their decisions guiding what they do.

 

Info graphic to inform those who don’t want to read 🙂

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I know that the above sounds like Jargon, buzzwords and a whole lot of hocus pocus, However there is a role that aims at transforming the historical culture of doing things, properly aligning the business while its moving and then demonstrating the value of Business Architecture through making informed decisions, allocating resources at the right programme / projects and consolidating resources being spent that does move the business towards their vision / mission.

“Every project is strategic in that it either moves you closer to your goal or further away….but you have to know what your goals are”

Next blog will go into the Anatomy of a Business Architect and what persona I have.

Cheers

M

References:

The Business Architect

Do 70 Per Cent of All Organizational Change Initiatives Really Fail?

What is Business Architecture

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5 thoughts on “You do what? You are a Business Architect, What is that? Part 1

    • The personality types for the advisor role within MPI? I could definitely do that, however as it’s not my role I would assume that these types are already defined by the groups management team?

      • I was just meaning defining what they do, not the personalities of the people currently doing it. Anyway, good post man.

      • Manage and assess applications
        Boarder control
        Document management
        System support

        They can obviously be fleshed out depending on involvement / possible business change.

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