5 contexts of Strategic Business Architecture

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In my earlier post, I wrote that Strategic Business Architecture takes into account a number of key environmental contexts (in addition to the enterprise business model and its organisational background) to build a robust Target Operating Model that captures pragmatic choices and solutions to a successful transformation of the enterprise.

I see five most important contexts that every Strategic Business Architect must consider when working on a Target Operating Model. 

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What is Strategic Business Architecture?

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There exist several definitions of Business Architecture as a discipline.  One is that Business Architecture is ‘concerned with developing and maintaining business capabilities of the enterprise in line with the corporate strategy as well as contributing to the business strategy and plans’. Another, promoted by the Business Architecture Guilddefines Business Architecture as ‘a blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organization and is used to align strategic objectives and tactical demands’.

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The need for Strategic Business Architecture

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Having worked as a Senior Project Manager within the Global Transformation Office of a major global services company (see my professional career), I felt there was a need for a top-down, an easier-to-explain and understand integrated framework of Target Operating Model design. While some well known enterprise architecture frameworks (i.e. Zachman) and methods (i.e. TOGAF) exist, there is still a requirement for an overarching framework connecting all the dots – starting with environmental scanning and long term strategic business needs through to their final operational implementation, via business model confirmation, Target Operating Model design, transformation project planning and change management (as a note, Business Architecture Guild has been progressing in this direction for a while but its work appears to be less known in Europe). As more and more companies go through a potentially painful process of reorganisation and change, executives at all levels need to be able to visualise and understand what is involved along the way of corporate transformation, big or small.

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