miércoles, 30 de abril de 2014
A business capability is an abstraction of a business function that describeswhat is being done by the business to achieve a specific purpose or outcome.
Conceptually, a capability is a “black box” view of a business function, and each capability encapsulates the people, processes and IT platforms that are needed to realise the desired outcome, and accomplish the stated purpose.
By observing the capability as a black box we can evaluate the performance in terms of known inputs and expected outputs, and we can make an assessment of how effective the capability is in terms of its stated purpose.
The description of a business function, or capability, brought into view by examining its externally visible behaviour, is tremendously stable. In contrast, observing how a business function is delivered, seen by taking an internal view of the enterprise reveals the heady pace of change in most businesses today.
The analysis of business function, leading to the identification of capability, must ensure that each identified capability is unique. Discovering similar capabilities is a signal for further investigation. Quite likely, your analysis has uncovered duplication and redundancy.
Leveraging the stability of capabilities, we organise the capabilities our analysis has revealed into a change-resilient model of the enterprise; our enterprise blueprint. When necessary, further analysis to decompose complex capabilities into simpler, smaller, and more purpose-specific capabilities can be performed. Only decompose when necessary, and no sooner.
Using the model we can also investigate how the identified capabilities relate to each other. The connections between capabilities are defined by the relationships that the capabilities have with one and other. Capabilities that are heavily interconnected with other capabilities may prove difficult to change, and the business architect can use this to highlight areas that pose a high risk in the face of change.
The Business Architect uses the capability model as their blueprint for understanding the business-at-rest.
Using the Capability Model
The diagram below presents a generic, level-1 capability model that the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge uses as an example to support its discussion on capabilities. The capabilities have been organised into three categories according to the intent of the capability. These categories are:
- Strategic or Direction Setting;
- Core or Customer Facing;
By stratifying the capabilities according to their intent we are better able to communicate with our stakeholders. The concepts we wish to convey using the model are simply stated, and require little additional explanation. Meaningful discussions can be initiated quickly.
During our analysis, while we are building the model, we will decompose these level-1 capabilities into their constituent elements. We will only decompose capabilities as necessary, and when necessary. There is a danger of getting bogged down with unnecessary over-analysing.
Figure 1: Example Level-1 Business Capability Model
Once we have built our capability model we can mine it for information using heat mapping, and other techniques. These methods allow us to clearly identify and better prioritise IT initiatives (and will be the subject of a subsequent article). Breaking free of the how-trap takes practitioners beyond mere process improvement and refinement, and the what-centric view encourages decision-makers to focus resources on those areas of their business that create the most value.
For example, analysis can highlight capabilities that hold high-value, but are performing poorly. These underperformers will naturally attract resources and investment over better performing, or less valuable capabilities.
In this way the capability model becomes pivotal to achieving strong alignment between Business and IT.
James Martin defines the value stream as:
A value stream is an end-to-end collection of activities that create a result for a “customer” who may be the ultimate customer or an internal “end user” of the value stream. The value stream has a clear goal: to satisfy (or, better, to delight) the customer.
Where the capability model provides a view of the enterprise at rest, the value stream demonstrates how business capabilities are orchestrated to deliver customer value, and value streams allow you to visualise your business in motion.
Customers have three basic requirements: on-time delivery of a product or service at the right price to the expected level of quality. Value streams span the enterprise, and take a cross-functional, birds-eye, process-centric view of how the enterprise acts to deliver on the customer requirement. A value stream can even include external participants such as suppliers and channel partners.
Each value-stream must align with at least one business goal, and its associated business objectives. In this way, the business value of each stream to be objectively assessed and prioritised during planning, and returns on the investment can be measured once the project has delivered an IT asset.
A value stream stage is enabled by a set of capabilities. Each unique capability can be used multiple times when doing value stream mapping, and capabilities are reused across any number of value stream stages and appear on multiple value stream maps.
The value stream therefore acts to tie what an enterprise does to create customer value (and by extension to grow shareholder profits) to how the enterprise actually delivers this value.
The diagram below simplistically describes a hypothetical value stream for processing a permit application.
Figure 2: Example Value Stream
Building the business architecture consists of constructing strategic views of both the current and the desired future state across all aspects of the enterprise for the purpose of planning the transition to the desired future state.
Because the architecture models are sufficiently abstract, there is a natural inclination to focus on the ‘big picture’, and discussions do not become mired in tactical details during the planning sessions.
The business architecture underpins a common language for sharing strategy, and communication amongst team members is unambiguous. There is tremendous opportunity to drive this common language down to line managers and team leads to ensure a consistent view of the enterprise at all operational levels.
A transparency will emerge that encourages collaboration and cooperation. The business architecture will highlight duplication and redundancy, brings sharp focus to improvement areas, and informs the tactical decisions necessary to improve co-operation and cohesion across all business units.
Effectively executed, the business architecture will directly lead to enterprise agility and cost reduction.
Defining Business Capabilities
Business capabilities have quickly become the core element of most business architecture models. Their appeal is largely driven by three factors. First, business leaders at all levels find capabilities an appealing and useful way to think about growing their organization’s impact. Second, capabilities are versatile, easily applied to high level strategic activities such as scenario planning or outsourcing investigations as well as lower level operational analysis. And third, capabilities can be linked to other elements in the planning process such as people, process, technology, and information. However, capabilities remain poorly understood and often confused with processes, functions, or services. This series of posts will take a deep look at capabilities from different perspectives.
Business Capability Definition
A business capability (or simply capability) describes a unique, collective organizational ability that can be applied to achieve a specific outcome. It describes what an organization is capable of doing, but not how it does it. A capability model describes the complete set of capabilities an organization requires to execute its business model or fulfill its mission. An easy way to grasp the concept is to think about capabilities as organizational level skills imbedded in people, process, and/or technology.
Each capability is unique. A capability is a fundamental element of the organization and as such is clearly different from other capabilities. A capability might be applied throughout the organization and may be applied in different ways to affect different outcomes but it is still a single capability.
Capabilities are stable. Well-defined capabilities rarely change. They provide a much more stable view of organizations than do projects, processes, applications, or even strategies. Capabilities only change when there is a significant shift in the underlying business model or mission which might occur through a business transformation initiative or in conjunction with a merger or acquisition. This stability is a key part of their appeal.
Capabilities are abstracted from the organizational model. Capability models are not just a simple restatement of the enterprise’s organizational model. They are organizationally neutral which means that changes in the organizational structure don’t require a change in the capability model. In simple organizations, the capability model may indeed look similar to the corporate organizational structure because organizations are typically built around common skills. But more complex organizations have many capabilities that appear in multiple functional groups.
Capabilities can be defined for any organizational unit. Though most architects think of capabilities at the enterprise level, every organization, large or small, has a set of capabilities it applies to fulfill its mission. Since capabilities represent the organization’s leaders’ interest, each organization will have a unique combination of capabilities not seen in the rest of the organization.
Individual capabilities do not have a purpose. Since capabilities represent what an organization can do and not what it actually does they can be viewed as potential. This means capabilities can be applied in multiple ways, for different purposes. This also means they must be assessed in terms of their application – measured on a fit-for-purpose scale not a maturity scale.
First and foremost capabilities capture the organization’s interest. The primary value in defining capabilities lies in their ability to create new insight and perspective for business leaders. To accomplish this, capabilities must be defined in a way that resonates with business executives’ thought process. Creating meaning is the goal. Coherence and completeness are not as important as resonating with business thinking.
Latent capabilities define an organization’s bench strength. A capability need not be employed to exist. Latent capabilities refer to the abilities an organization has but does not apply. These capabilities rarely show up in a capability model but can be important to strategy development. Defined capabilities might also have untapped potential in that the organization is not applying the full breadth of the capability.
Capability models are not hierarchical. Though capabilities can often be decomposed into lower level capabilities, the model is not entirely hierarchical. A lower level organization’s capability model cannot be derived from the higher level model. Since capabilities represent the organization’s leaders’ interest, each organization typically has a unique set of capabilities not seen in other organizational units as well as a set that is common with other organizations. Therefore, each organization within a single company typically has a unique capability map.
Capability models provide a powerful tool for facilitating strategic and operational dialog across disparate organizations, providing a foundation for objective analysis, and understanding how and where value is created. The next post in this series will look at how capabilities and capability models are constructed.
- Capability level one maps to major organization unit and information group
- Capability level one maps to capability level two, which maps to capability level three[iii]
- Capability level three maps to stages within the value stream
- Value stream stage decomposes into business process
martes, 29 de abril de 2014
lunes, 28 de abril de 2014
sábado, 26 de abril de 2014
A well-articulated strategy is paramount. We assess your current environment, help you build your future vision, and develop a set of practical initiatives to make that vision real. We create strategies to achieve ROI, ROA, revenue growth and key performance objectives. We help you drive your business forward by ensuring your investments are optimized and aligned to overall business strategy.
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- Cloud Opportunity and Readiness Assessment
- Enterprise Architecture Strategy
- Governance and Vendor Management Strategy
- IT Strategy
- Organizational Model and Change Management
- Readiness Assessment
- Shared Services Strategy
- Sourcing Strategy
Five Forces are changing today’s business world. Do you know how they affect your business? Find out now. Governance and Relationship Management Read More
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Business Architecture plus Enterprise Architecture = Alignment - See more at:
1. Lack Of Sponsorship.
Your architects need three tools to do a good job: access, leverage and goodies.
[ Change your life or career or both with better decisions. Read 7 Ways To Improve Your Decision Making. ]
Access means the ability to interact with the appropriate stakeholders, often at the C-level.
Leverage includes the right place in the reporting chain, involvement in governance, ability to influence the technology budget, and authority to stop inappropriate technology implementations. Sometimes even the seemingly small change of a title from technical architect to chief enterprise architect can make a significant difference.
Goodies include the ability to give out new technologies for testing, "lend" technology experts to struggling projects, and get access to exclusive information that can be traded for favors.
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Well-sponsored architects will be able to build trust by consistently delivering meaningful results. Lack of sponsorship will destine even the best architects to fail.
2. Hiring Or Promoting The Wrong Person.
The skills that earn someone the EA position don't necessarily make the person a strong EA. Often the most technical people get promoted when they lack other important skills. These include interest in the business, the ability to translate technology into simple business outcomes, and the ability to listen, communicate, present and market infectious enthusiasm for new technologies.
3. Building An Ivory Tower.
Some EA programs hire a bunch of brilliant architects who retreat for a long time and return with sophisticated frameworks. They then present them to key members of the leadership and the organization, most of whom will have no clue what the architects are talking about, so their complex reference architectures will be ignored.
Ivory towers tend to increase the complexity and upset the stakeholders. The new CIO will gain immediate recognition among his business partners by firing the EA team, with the result that enterprise architecture becomes a "bad word" deeply embedded in the institutional memory. Roger Sessions wrote a great white paper on driving simplicity through connected enterprise architecture.
4. Policing And Insensitivity To Culture.
I have seen a project manager burst into tears in the crossfire of enterprise architects' questions during a technical design review. I have been on a 2 a.m. call struggling to comply with unreasonable and obsolete technology standards just to get the chief architect's signature and meet the budget deadline.
In that particular case, the turning of enterprise architecture into a policing function resulted in its failure. It takes a lot of effort to convince, and regularly re-convince, your business and IT partners of the value of enterprise architecture. A gentle approach makes the function more likely to succeed. The best architects I've known spoke softly and carried a really big carrot. They followed Exupery's advice.
5. Maintaining The EA Artifact Factory.
Some EA teams keep busy documenting as-is states. They have an incredible array of diagrams at their disposal to represent the various aspects of everything. The world of diagrams is addictive, and perfect is the enemy of good when it comes to diagrams.
Instead, these teams should focus on producing frequent, meaningful and measureable business outcomes.
It isn't easy to come up with good KPIs to measure enterprise architecture. This GAO report clearly shows the challenges of defining good EA metrics in the government sector.
6. Clinging To A Particular Framework Or Tool.
There are more than 80 EA frameworks, and you'll find no silver bullets among them. The best approach is to read all of the major frameworks, discard most of what you have learned, and blend the remaining 10% in a way that fits your organization's culture, maturity and business goals. As an example, here's a lightweight, blended approach for tree huggers. When it comes to tools, go fancy if you have the money. But most of the time fancy isn't necessary. Visio, Excel, Word, FreeMind, Prezi and a collaboration team site works well. Limit the time spent on selecting tools and frameworks and instead focus on using them.
7. Thinking Enterprise Architecture Equals Technology Architecture.
Most EA programs are initiated by IT and never progress beyond the technology domain. Although technology standards, technology roadmaps and solid engineering practices will produce simpler, cheaper, portable, reusable and more supportable solutions, they don't align your IT investments with business goals and won't power your business with technology innovation.
8. Taking The "Enterprise" Word Literally.
"Enterprise" does notnecessarily mean the entire enterprise. It means stepping back and taking a look at the higher-level context before making a decision. Moving architecture to the real enterprise level requires a mature and committed organization. If you try to push the enterprise aspect too far too early, you'll crash and burn. Mike Rollings of the Burton Group has a great article on this subject
-- For the sponsor of the EA function: Make sure that your organization is ready for an architecture-driven approach and that the EA function is well sponsored. When you interview EA candidates, ask about the failure modes of the function. Keep looking if the person doesn't know the usual failure modes by heart.
--For the EA: When you interview for a new position, make sure you have what it takes to do a good job. Take into account your own abilities, the company culture, the level of organizational maturity and the level of sponsorship. If you're uncertain, walk away. Life is too short to spend years making no difference.
Two tech experts square off. A CIO compares working without IT standards to anarchy, while a CTO claims that standardization stalls creativity. Also in the new, all-digital The Standardization Debate issue of Network Computing: Next-gen data centers and the politics of standards. (Free registration required.)
viernes, 25 de abril de 2014
jueves, 24 de abril de 2014
- Introduction and Fundamentals
- Business Analyst – Who, What, Why?
- BA – qualities, skills, roles, responsibilities
- BA – Fundamentals
- CMMI Overview
- IIBA, BABOK, CBAP, CCBA Overview
- Software Development Life Cycle
- Methodologies – Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, RUP, Iterative, Incremental, Lean etc.Enterprise Analysis
- Product vs Service
- Client Software – why, how, when, who, where
- Business Architecture
- Feasibility Studies
- Project Scope
- Business CaseRequirement Process, Planning and Management
- Understanding IT project hierarchy
- Project Charter
- Requirements Process
- RACI Matrix
- Requirements Planning
- Work Efforts & Estimations
- Managing Requirements
- BA's responsibilities
- BA's plan to feed into Project PlanRequirements
- What are requirements?
- Characteristics of Requirements
- Types of Requirements
- Business Requirements
- User Requirements
- System Requirements
- Functional Requirements
- Non-Functional Requirements
- Implementation Requirements
- UI RequirementsRequirements Elicitation
- Principles, Constraints, Techniques
- Data Analysis
- Creating Models, Scenarios
- Context Diagrams
- Focus Group Interviews
- Reverse Engineering
- Wire Frames
- JAD – Joint Application DevelopmentRequirements Analysis
- Classifying Requirements
- Prioritizing Requirements
- Architectural Design
- Requirements Allocation
- Requirements Validation
- Requirements Pre-Review and Review
- Requirements Walkthrough
- Sign OffRequirements Documentation
- BRS, BRD, URS, URD, FRS, FSD, NFR, IR, UIR, SRS
- Writing Functional Specifications Document
- Rules, problems, use of terms, structure
- Structure and Grammar, banned wordsUML
- Overview of UML2.x
- Object-Oriented Approach
- Working with use case diagrams, activity diagrams
- Knowledge on class, object, state, sequence, collaboration, component, and deployment diagrams
- Working with UML tools
- Working with UI toolsRequirements Management
- RTM - Requirements Traceability Matrix
- Requirements Change Management
- Requirements Risk Management
- Impact Analysis
- Gap AnalysisMiscellaneous
- Kick-off Meeting
- Minutes of Meeting
- Weekly Status ReportsValidation
- General Idea on how Testing Team works
- Terminology used by Testing Team
- QA, QC, Software Testing
- Testing Strategy, Planning, Test Cases
- Types of Testing
- Testing Methods
- Testing LevelsUAT (User Acceptance Testing)Topic-wise study materialsTopic-wise Case StudiesStudent Portal
- Life-time free online reference libraryProject Wok
- Complete life cycles implementationMiscellaneous
- Anything that is not covered above and within the scope of BA job, we will take up each and every such topic and discuss in the class.Tools
- All the tools a BA generally use - train on the main objective and how you to use so that learner can practice and get expert with them. At the same time get to know how to work any other similar tools available in the industry – both FREE & PAID versions.Certification
- At the end of the course, a course completion certificate will be awarded on our company name - BA Training School.Online Delivery Model
- All the courses are conducted by an expert instructor. These live instructor-led-sessions will be delivered through Internet via WebEx with VOIP services. Normally you will be connected to audio using your computer’s microphone and speakers, but a headset is recommended. What you need to have to take this course is:
- Personal Computer with good Broadband Internet Connection to access Internet and have VOIP calls.
miércoles, 23 de abril de 2014
martes, 22 de abril de 2014
lunes, 21 de abril de 2014
domingo, 20 de abril de 2014
jueves, 17 de abril de 2014
Business capability is the expression or the articulation of the capacity, materials and expertise an organization needs in order to perform core functions. Enterprise architects use business capabilities to illustrate the over-arching needs of the business in order to better strategize IT solutions that meet those business needs.
Systems architects will frequently begin by making a business capability map that takes stock of all the essential functions of an enterprise. Business capability mapping is a useful tool for documenting the relationships between a businesses' core function and software applications, computing systems and components in the enterprise architecture. The goal of capability mapping is not only to align technology with business, but to discover waste and streamline operations.
Business capabilities are sometimes confused with other concepts in business process management such as business processes and business functions. Business processes describe the methods an organization employs in order to provide and leverage business capabilities. Business functions describes the roles that individuals and units within the business play in regards to meeting business objectives.
While functions and roles tend to change rapidly as new employees enter the business, business capabilities remain relatively stable. High-level business capabilities include concepts such as sales and supply chain management that can be met by a number of various business processes, which in turn can incorporate a variety of business roles. Business capabilities can also be broken down into more granular levels. Supply chain management, for example, could be split into product flow, information flow, and finances flow.
Principal/Lead Business Architect for Enterprise Architecture at The Walt Disney Company
The term Capability is overloaded in the IT world. I often hear it to mean any of the following depending on who is speaking and the context in which they are speaking. As I listen to people talk, I hear a few different definitions that I interpreted based on the speaker, context and content. I believe there are probably many more definitions.
1. Capability is a functionality required by the business and designed, developed, enhanced by technology. In this context capability can change, be created, replaced. I refer to this as functionality.
2. Capability is a technology asset. (Rules Engine, etc) I disagree with this use of the term, but nonetheless it is used.
3. Capability is a high level stable business conceptual construct that is inherent to what your organization does and will always be there as you remain in business. This concept is technology agnostic. To some extent it is also organizational agnostic in that it is something inherent to the business that multiple lines of business contribute roles, functions, processes, rules needed to support it. You may have thousands of processes and rules but only about 60 - 80 of these type of capabilities.
I wish Forrester named term number 3 something other than capability because the concept and purpose behind it is important, but number 3 is represented as a noun and not a verb which causes issues between the word itself and the purpose or definition.
So when you are talking to someone about capability, make sure you find out what their definition is because very likely they are not talking about the same thing you are talking about.
Overview of BMMThe diagram, below, is an abstraction of the Business Motivation Model (BMM) taken from the OMG specification. I will briefly discuss the Means and Ends that represent a strategic plan. Influencers and Assessment are elements of the strategic planning process that provide input for development and refinement of the plan, but they are not, per se, elements of a strategic plan.
EndThe End contains elements that define the desired future characteristics of the enterprise including the Vision and Desired Result.
MeansThe Means contains elements that describe how the future state of the enterprise will be achieved including Course of Action and Directives.
VisionA strategic plan, at the most abstract level, is expressed as a Vision of what the enterprise wants to be and how it wants to be perceived. This is complementary to the Mission.
MissionThe Mission expresses why the enterprise exists--what it wants to accomplish. Successful pursuit of the Mission should support realization of the Vision.
The desired result consists of Goals and Objectives.
GoalA goal is a long-term, qualitative result that the enterprise may already be pursuing or that may be advanced as a result of a business challenge or opportunity. It defines a purpose for the strategy.
ObjectiveObjectives are specific, measurable results to be achieved by a strategy and support enterprise goals. While there may be many measures of performance, objectives focus on selected, key measurements that reflect progress toward the strategy and goals from a management and investor perspective.
Course of ActionA course of action is the approach to implementation of the Mission in pursuit of the Goals and Objectives. It consists of Strategy and Tactics.
StrategyA strategy defines how the mission will be pursued and objectives will be achieved. In conventional strategic planning, it is an abstract description of how the enterprise will operate in the future. Typically, there will be multiple aspects to a strategy, potentially representing the integration of different ideas.
TacticTactics are incremental changes to the state of the enterprise that lead to the desired future state required by the Strategy. The distinction between strategy and tactics is somewhat subjective. Tactics will focus on resolving particular problems and steps toward implementing related changes.
DirectivesDirectives are the business policies and business rules that are to be incorporated in the future state of the enterprise.
Business policiesPolicies are statements of business operating requirements.
Business rulesBusiness rules define operating criteria or constraints in specific circumstances. Business rules implement business policies.
A business capability defines “what” a business does at its core. This differs from “how” things are done or where they are done. Business capabilities are the core of the business architecture(i). Before I go further, let me say that this is not an article on the importance of the business capability or capability mapping. If you have doubts about this, read some of the other posted articles or white papers on the topic to build your familiarity. This article is for those of you who already understand the value of business capability mapping and need to go to the next stage.
As companies launch business capability building exercises, many business architecture teams struggle with the issue of what is or is not a capability. I have included some simple guidelines to keep your efforts on track as you embark upon your journey. Determining if something is or is not a capability, differentiating capabilities from other capabilities and validating these issues within the context of your business model can be challenging. The following guidelines provide insights into how capabilities can be identified and differentiated when establishing your capability map.
- Determine if a capability is actually a capability because it describes what – not how – something is being done.
Faxing and emailing are not capabilities because they describe ‘how’ a capability fulfilled. Similarly, mailing an invoice is not a capability. Capital Management is a capability because it describes what is being done.
- Capabilities have outcomes.
Communication with a client or customer is not really a capability because it has no clearly defined outcome. A Customer Information Management capability would, however, have the outcome of ensuring that a customer has high integrity information associated within it at all times. Lower level capabilities have more specific but related outcomes to their parent.
- Make sure a capability is not a process or value stream.
Topic categories that require movement, such as the concept of authorizing, validating or engaging in some sequence of activities fall into a process category. A process or value stream stands out because it veers into “how” something is being done.
- Capabilities must be clearly defined.
Capabilities must have clear definitions at every level. Calling something Account Management requires not just a definition of the management portion but also the account portion of the term. This forces a common view of your business.
- Capabilities are unique in terms of intent.
If two capabilities seem alike, question their intent. For example, if a Customer Management capability appears to be the same as a Partner Management capability, consider that customers are inherently different than partners (the fact that they may be one in the same notwithstanding) and demand a different set of management capabilities. Conversely, managing customer information could easily double for managing prospect information if the business can align it terminology and thinking around this concept.
- Capabilities are framed by their parents.
The relationship within a given capability between a parent and its children is not process centric but just a detailed refinement of the parent. For example, if a capability called Risk Rating is contained within a higher level capability called Solution Management, then this case of risk rating is focused on delivering or furthering a solution. If a Risk Rating capability is shown under a Risk Management capability within a Capital Management capability, it is mostly likely furthering an aggregate view of risk management that is not tied to a given solution.
- Capabilities are unique based on the information they require and use.
One capability may use or produce certain information that a similar sounding capability may not require or use. Again, an aggregate view of Risk Rating when decomposed may only look at a country or a class of customer while a similar sounding capability within the context of Solution Delivery looks only and entirely at information that is tied to that specific solution. In addition, a capability definition must align with the corresponding definition of that business asset. Account must be defined in the same way as it is in the definition of Account Management.
- Capabilities can be framed by the roles and resources that have those capabilities.
Can two people switch jobs and still perform adequately well in relation to two similar sounding capabilities? For example, if the corporate risk manager switches jobs with an underwriter, will each person still be able to fulfill their roles within an equivalent level of effectiveness?
- Capabilities are purely business views of the business.
It does not matter if a capability is automated or not. It is a capability if the business can and does have this ability – even if it is weak. Keep the discussion of systems on the sidelines as you go through this exercise. Later, when your capability map has matured, you can begin validating and using it through value stream, organization and IT asset mappings.
One last point here for those organizations just getting started. There is a degree of introspection involved in capability analysis that few people have experienced. Not everyone can sit through the sessions, but for those that do, the rewards are very real. Business people have said that it makes a very different part of your brain go to work. Another said that the journey of building the map is as valuable as the end result. Good luck, as you continue your journey.
Understanding the capabilities required by your business provides a high level overview of the business and can be a very useful exercise as it allows one to take a step back and focus on what the key elements of the business are. You can avoid getting bogged down in the details of ‘how’ things happen and concentrate on ‘what’ does (or needs to) happen. Once you have done this it is possible to identify your key capabilities, for example, the ones that will differentiate your business and you can use this information to ensure that you focus on the areas of importance in your business, whether this is in defining new projects or ensuring business as usual delivers appropriately.
We use Business Capabilities to model the services that a business or enterprise offers or requires. These capabilities are modelled in the Business Conceptual layer and represent what the business does (or needs to do) in order to fulfil its objectives and responsibilities.
The Business Capabilities are the top layer of the business architecture. They belong to a Business Domain and are governed by the Business Principles of the organisation. The capabilities are realised by a business process and performed by a role, i.e. an individual or team in the organisation.
The Business Capability is, therefore, at a higher level than a business process and is in the conceptual layer. It represents a conceptual service that a group of processes and people, supported by the relevant application, information and underlying technology, will perform. The capability represents the what, whereas the process and people represent the how.
Business Capabilities can themselves be broken down into supporting capabilities, if this is useful. For example, ‘Order Fulfilment’ is a high level capability that may be broken down into further supporting capabilities such as ‘order approval’, ‘picking’, ‘packing’, ‘despatch’, ‘delivery’ and ‘returns management’, as depicted in the diagrams below. These are all examples of capabilities, or of services, that an organisation needs to perform to enable it to fulfil its obligation to its customers.
Using Stories to Inspire
miércoles, 16 de abril de 2014
martes, 15 de abril de 2014
lunes, 14 de abril de 2014
Let me start by saying TOGAF is a fine framework and if it is what your organization has selected that is great. This post is less about TOGAF and more about EA and making it work...
What is it about architects that makes us want to describe everything in a framework and then treat that framework AS everything? Oh common we all do it. EA's, SA's, IA's, all of us are guilty of trying to framework-atize whatever we are working on. It is probably one of our best features, and it is probably one of our worst.
Recently I was talking to a chief architect about architect education. One of the things that we discussed is that the organization has standardized on TOGAF and that nothing else would be allowed. I clarified that architecture education isn't about a framework it is about skills and capability development regardless of framework. Survey after survey both internal to their organization and within IASA shows that architects do not feel that they are prepared or have all of the skills necessary to do their jobs. Yet time and time again people think that TOGAF or UML or MSF or Struts or the Unified Process or whatever are architecture.
Lets put this clearly a SKILL is the ability to complete a job that is acquired over time. Sometimes a skill uses tools. Say for example you would like to be a good presenter. Some of the TOOLS you have to choose from are Keynote, PowerPoint and Open Office. Or like me you may often present without slides (I often find it is easier to capture an audience if they aren't constantly staring at a screen).
A framework is another tool (and not a very clear one at that since it is used equally for Zachman Views, TOGAF which is a methodology and portal components which is a technology framework). A framework is not the skill or the point of the activity in the first place. For example, the ADM from is basically a methodology like UP, MSF or SCRUM. It is a process for doing things. In this case it is a process for doing architectural things instead of developmental things but just a process none the less. There are other methodologies out ther for architects. FEAF, DODAF, MODAF, and others include methodology components. And your organization may choose to mix and match these or not use them all together. But what is the point, the goal and the skill?
The point is to use a common process to make architecture easier and better, the goal to save time and hence save money and the skill.... Applying Architecture Methodologies. Wow that was complicated. Learning TOGAF may help you with one company but what if you go to work for the DOD (Dept of Defense)? They use DODAF and well um you will be out of luck. Learn the skill not the tool and everything will stop 'looking like a nail'.
Oh by the way, methodologies like TOGAF aren't even comprehensive from a process perspective. Governance, Strategy Rationalization, ROI calculation, Technology Framework Selection, and the other 75 things listed in the architect skills taxonomy we've identified have NOTHING to do with it.
- See more at: http://www.iasaglobal.org/iasa/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&ID=74#sthash.hLhUlla6.dpuf
I feel the IASA skill set and TOGAF (and other) frameworks are essential.
IASA skill set do prepare an individual to become an architect.
Frameworks tells us how to architect a system
The important point here is, you need to learn the skill sets and you also need to understand some matured frameworks and then design (or redesign) your enterprise architecture.
Can you design a system without having the basic skill sets (like IASA), by only mastering an architecture framework (like TOGAF)? Yes, but then you are lucky. Lucky that the methods, tools and patterns specified suited your organization.
Can you design a system only by learning the basic skillsets and not even looking into matured frameworks, Hmm yes, then you are a genius. How many organizations HR will know that you are a real genius?
Your comments are highly appreciated.
I’d agree about the value that IASA provide in terms of skill-sets for IT-architects. The problem is that what we’re talking about here is real enterprise architecture – whole of enterprise architecture – of which IT ‘enterprise architecture’ is merely one small subset. And there are no standard frameworks or skill-sets for that as yet – in fact what we’re doing right now is creating them, for the next generation of architects.
Unlike The Open Group, IASA did recognise right from the start that real enterprise-architecture is a great deal broader than just IT. But at present – and wisely, in my opinion – they’ve concentrated on the IT end, because that’s where the immediate need is.
One aspect of my comment about ‘TOGAF Certified’ was really about exactly the point that Stanly made: how would HR departments know that I know what I’m talking about? The need for some kind of proof of competence goes right back to the days of the masonic handshake – a literally tactile proof that you’d been trained to a level where your cathedral wouldn’t come down on people like, well, many tons of bricks… And although, for what I do, the TOGAF certification doesn’t mean all that much (given that it covers only a tiny subset of the scope I need to address in my work), it’s about the nearest to a generic architecture certification that I can get. IASA certification sounds like a good idea, but in practice it leads me further away from where I need to be – it’s specific, specialised to IT, whereas my emphasis is on whole-of-enterprise integration.
To give a specific example, look at the difference between data architecture and information architecture:
- Data architecture deals mainly with logical models and logical-to-physical transforms. In Zachman terms, it sits happily and comfortably within those two levels (‘logical’ and ‘physical’) of a single segment (‘virtual’) of a single column (‘What’). Plenty of custom-built toolsets exist for this purpose – ERWin, for example, or the data-modelling components of System Architect. It’s (relatively!) simple and straightforward; and though it requires real skill, it’s relatively easy to learn via training – and hence appropriate for straightforward certification of competence.
- Information-architecture deals mainly with business-oriented information – particularly counts-of, averages-of, trends-0f, comparisons-of and other complex derivations and aggregates. Although it seems to end up as ‘virtual-What’, it does not sit there – in fact it often pinballs around the entire Zachman frame, through business-rules (‘Why’), transform-functions (‘How’), skills and heuristics (‘Who’), trigger-events (‘When’) and much more besides, at every level from real-time operations upwards. Trying to model this in a data-architecture tool such as ERWin is a bad joke (says he from bitter experience…); and despite the claims of the vendors, there are no EA toolsets that come close to tackling this properly. Almost invariably there will be many hand-overs between IT-based and non-IT-based transforms – so a strict IT-centric approach (as inway too much SOA at present…) is going to cause big problems. Doing this work requires a high level of skill, which depends on a great deal more experience than a straightforward training-course; and some at least will be highly context-specific – making certification extremely hard, or dubious at best.
And information-architecture itself is just one subset of real enterprise architecture – which is what I’ve been trying to describe for the past ten years or so. And although, yes, I do use “matured frameworks” where they exist – and yes, I do know how to adapt those to the different contexts we find in different organisations – they don’t cover more than a small portion of the scope we need, and half the time we have to do major surgery to those frameworks to correct for the impact of their mistaken assumptions about the supposed centrality of IT.
(An aside: back in the late ’70s, in the early days of micro-computing, it was generally accepted that the worst qualification for working in the field was computer-science – because graduates came to the problems with mindsets, assumptions and experience which were great for big mainframes and DEC-11s, but entirely wrong for the very different trade-offs with CP/M and Z80s and 6502s. The best qualification was linguistics, followed by arts degrees in general – especially graphic design, which was my background then. We have the same kind of problem here in real enterprise architecture: without careful ‘conversion training’, IT-architecture background and experience can often be more of a hindrance than a help.)
So there are no standards or certifications for that whole-of enterprise level. Real enterprise-architecture – rather than IT-architecture getting grandiose ideas about its own importance – is still way too new for that: and to be blunt, I’m one of the few people who’s actually working tocreate those broader standards, and to show why it’s essential to break free of the IT-centric mindset. Hence when Stanly asks “How many organizations HR will know” that I know what I’m doing with this kind of architecture, the short reply would have to be a sardonic “Tell me about it…” – I struggle to get them even to begin to grasp what I’m talking about at all, let alone get to the level of checking my credentials… Hey ho…
Stanly correctly emphasises the need for both skill-sets and frameworks – rather than trying to get by with just one or the other – but I’d also add that there’s at least one other key component for which we’re likely to need certification: governance. In an IT-centric context I’d recommend at least a base-level ITIL certification, and probably PRINCE2 and Six-Sigma as well. But at the whole-of-enterprise level? – well, who knows? We ain’t there yet – not by a long way. My guess is that something like a cross-merging of ITIL, TOGAF, PRINCE2 and some of the SOA-governance themes will come out of this work – but it’s probably five years away at least. In the meantime… well, we just have to do the best we can, yes?