Description

From time to time, one of the major challenges an Architect usually faces is misalignment between technology and “the business”. Therefore, they need to have in-depth understandings on organization profile particularly its vision, mission, goals and objectives. Digging in deeper, they need to identify multi-faceted business elements ranging from business environments, terms, values, benefits, drivers, principles, strategy, plans, needs, functions, services, processes, roles, capabilities and impacts to later on identify business problems and most importantly business opportunities.

In such cases, there might be a need to verify and update the currently documented business strategy and plans, and/or to bridge between high-level business drivers, business strategy, and goals on the one hand, and the specific, relevant business requirements.

In other cases, little or no Architecture work may have been done to date. Moreover, there will be a need for architecture team to research, validate and gain buy-in to key business objectives and processes that the architecture takes place to support.

Understanding business architecture and ability to assess current and future business capabilities gaps including the shortcomings, problems, and limitations of existing solution have become extremely crucial.

Additionally, extensive knowledge in Business Process Management (BPM) including its various approaches and advanced skills in selecting and implementing appropriate architecture methodology are highly required to cultivate business process modeling and business workflow activities.

Nonetheless, cut the case short, Architect must be able to master the language of business and language of architecture, and on the flip side of a coin, language of technology.

Overview

Why does an architect need this skill?

The Architect requires this skill to ensure technology always align with business goals and objectives which in the end also in the same page with organization overall Enterprise Architecture. They shall focus on bringing business needs, capabilities, technology and process together in an efficient and effective manner as they work at the highest levels of abstraction, ambiguity and complexity within the organization. This is to gain further understandings on Business Architecture and be able to assess Capability Gaps.

In relation to BPM, the Architect will deliver value by implementing improvements to the way work is performed within their organizations whereby both initiatives determine how manual and automated processes are created, modified, cancelled, and governed.

Common tasks involved in this skill?

The Architect should be having in-depth understandings on Business Architecture and Business Capability Analysis by having following competencies:

  • Problem Solving
  • Systems Thinking
  • Business Principles and Practices
  • Industry Knowledge
  • Organization Knowledge
  • Solution Knowledge

Furthermore, in the case of BPM, the Architect is required to challenge the status quo, dig to understand the root causes of a problem, assess why things are being done in a particular way, and encourage subject matter experts (SMEs) to consider new ideas and approaches to make their processes more efficient and effective. They are also required to understand, articulate, and move back and forth between internal and external views of the processes under analysis.

Due to the effects that changes to processes have on the working habits of individuals, interaction skills are valuable in a BPM initiative as they are likely to involve all levels of the organization and then communicate across organizational boundaries as well as outside their organizations. To be more precise, the necessary skills are:

  • Business Process Re-engineering
  • Lean
  • Six Sigma
  • Cost Analysis
  • Define Measure Analyze Improve Control (DMAIC)
  • Value Added Analysis
  • Value Stream Analysis
  • Root-Cause Analysis

What is their ownership in this skill?

As BPM highlights the context of developing or improving business processes, the Architect may address a single process with limited scope or they may address all of the processes in the organization. They frequently focus on how the processes of an organization can be changed in order to improve and meet the objectives of the organization.

Organizations that hold a process-centric view treat BPM as an ongoing effort and an integral part of the ongoing management and operation of the organization.

How is this skill used by the architect in daily activities?

The Architect would be expected to be able to:

  • Understand the framework including its structure, people, processes and technology that supports organization’s strategy
  • Accurately identify current enterprise business capabilities
  • Accurately identify gaps that prevent organization from achieving desired outcomes
  • Accurately identify shortcomings, problems and limitations of existing solution
  • Appropriately focus on how organization performs work to deliver value across multiple functional areas to customers and stakeholders
  • Attain comprehensive views of value delivery spanned across the entire organization

Proven Practices

Describe why an architect should be involved in this skill at a corporate level

Due to effects that changes to processes have on the working habits of individuals, interaction skills are valuable in a BPM initiative. As such the Architect have to be on the neutral side by being an independent facilitator of the change. They are urged to frequently negotiate and arbitrate between individuals with different opinions, and expose and resolve conflicts between different groups within the organization.

This individual works to build and facilitate a business architecture that leverages enterprise capabilities and efficient usage of process, technology, data and people to align these capabilities. The Architect influences the interconnections between the business processes, technology, data and people, and facilitates the execution of these components to drive business performance throughout the enterprise.

He or she sees patterns in process, data and technology that are common across the enterprise and facilitates efficient execution of the business operation by leveraging these patterns.

Primary push back and/or challenges for architects

Oftentimes, it will be difficult or impossible to prove the delivery of a new capability will meet a business need, even in cases where it appears reasonable to assume that the new capability will have the desired effect. In particular when happened at uncertain times and environments. Therefore, several assumptions must be revealed and clearly understood, so appropriate decisions can be made if later on they are proved invalid.

Additionally, Business Capability Analysis requires a broad, cross–functional collaboration in defining the capability model and the value framework. This is something quite often pretty challenging.

In BPM practice, business processes are not generally supported by Information Technology systems while on the other hand the development of those systems is not covered by most BPM methods. Therefore, the Architect may suggest additional business requirements based on existing IT systems.

Lack of senior management and other unit, section, function support on BPM initiatives and so the Architect may be pretty involved in suggesting additional business requirements based on organizational strategies.

Most BPM methods do not tackle the development of strategy whilst BPM systems require a tight integration with organizational strategy.

How would a stakeholder engage an architect for assistance utilizing this skill?

Stakeholders can engage with the Architect at any stage of BPM life cycle from designing, modelling, execution and monitoring as well as optimizing. Regardless of techniques they capitalize from such as BPR, substantial discovery, process bench marking and Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) applications, the outcomes ranging from business process models, business rules, business decisions, process performance measures, and process performance assessment.

Ideally, the Architect works at highest levels of abstraction, ambiguity and complexity within the organization. He or she will perform business capability analysis tasks to connect information, technology, processes and business needs in varying levels of detail.

Sub-Capabilities

BUSINESS CAPABILITY ANALYSIS

Prioritize capability gaps in relation to values (business and customer) and various risks (business, technology, organizational and market). The Architect should be able to provide a framework for scoping and planning by identifying shared understanding of outcomes, pinpointing alignment with strategy, as well as categorizing scope and prioritization filter.

Iasa Certification Level Learning Objective
CITA- Foundation
  • The Learner shall be able to describe what organization, or part of organization, is able to do
  • The Learner shall be able to comprehend the value of full support from senior leadership
  • The Learner shall be able to attain participation and involvement from business owners and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • The Learner shall be able to understand organization ability to act on or transform to achieve business goal and business objective
CITA – Associate
  • The Learner shall identify current and desired capabilities to accommodate performance expectations, given the business strategy
  • The Learner is able to understand capabilities impact value by considering revenue, cost, service and compliance
  • The Learner must be able to assess organization ability to offer new products and or services
  • The Learner must be able to identify risks and their impacts within performance’s capability or when lacking of performance
CITA – Specialist
  • The Learner shall have work experience in assisting the development of an organization’s Business Capability Analysis
  • The Learner shall have work experience in improving performance of existing business capability
  • The Learner shall be able to identify specific performance gap between current and desired state, given the business strategy
  • The Learner shall be able to produce recommendations or proposals for solutions as basis for product road map and release planning
CITA – Professional
  • The Learner can demonstrate experience of conducting Business Capability Analysis for large organization
  • The Learner can demonstrate experience in identifying and leveraging values and risks in developing Business Capability Analysis
  • The Learner shall ensure capabilities should support organization in terms of competitive advantage and value proposition
  • The Learner shall demonstrate how to align business initiatives across multiple aspects of the organization
  • The Learner must attain support from executives as well as business owners and SME as the stakeholders in developing Business Capability Analysis

BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT

Address single process with limited scope or might address all processes in the organization with focus on how the processes of an organization can be changed in order to improve and meet business objectives as an ongoing effort and an integral part of ongoing management and organization operational activities.

Iasa Certification Level Learning Objective
CITA- Foundation
  • The Learner shall have deep understandings on root causes of business problem and or business opportunity
  • The Learner shall be able to see the patterns in process, data and technology that commonly utilized across the organization
CITA – Associate
  • The Learner shall be able to articulate and leverage internal and external views of business processes under analysis
  • The Learner shall be able to facilitate efficient execution of business operation by leveraging patterns in common process, data and technology
  • The Learner shall be able to frequently negotiate and arbitrate between individuals with different opinions from time to time
CITA – Specialist
  • The Learner shall have work experience in exposing and resolving conflicts between different stakeholders within the organization
  • The Learner can demonstrate how to get the involvement, support and fruitful participation from all levels of the organization
  • The Learner can demonstrate how to effectively and efficiently communicate across organizational boundaries as well as outside the organization
  • The Learner shall have working experience in capitalizing current and future business models
CITA – Professional
  • The Learner can demonstrate experience of developing BPM for large organization
  • The Leaner shall have work experience in influencing interconnections between business processes, technology, data and people
  • The Learner shall have work experience in assisting and or facilitating BPM execution to drive business performance throughout the organization

Resources

Reference Resources

Blogs/Webcasts/News:

IASA IT Architecture Body of Knowledge (ITABoK) http://www.iasaglobal.org/iasa/ITABoK.asp

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) http://www.opengroup.org/publications/togaf

A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) Guide v3

https://www.iiba.org/babok-guide.aspx

International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) Business Analysis Competency Model Version 3

https://www.iiba.org/Careers/Business-Analysis-Competency-Model.aspx

Training:

IASA Architect Core

http://www.iasaglobal.org/assnfe/CourseView.asp?MODE=VIEW&clCourseID=1&csCategory=&csFrom=&csTo=&csKeyWord=&csSortBy=1&clPageNumber=1

IASA Training http://www.iasaglobal.org/education-training/

TOGAF http://www3.opengroup.org/certifications/togaf9-program

IIBA https://www.iiba.org/Learning-Development.aspx

Certifications:

IASA Certification http://www.iasaglobal.org/certifications/

The Open Group Certification http://www.opengroup.org/certifications

IIBA Certification https://www.iiba.org/Certification-Recognition/Benefits-of-IIBA-Certification/What-is-Professional-Certification.aspx