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6 things to consider when implementing a business architecture

Gilles Morin Gilles Morin on August 4, 2016


There are many things to deliberate when looking to implement a successful and meaningful process-based business architecture.

1. Organizational readiness

The first key consideration factor is synchronisation, or organisational readiness.

Implementation is very difficult to do in a very low-maturity organisation, or one that does not care, speak or talk about processes – an organisation where success is based on individual heroic efforts. In this case, we clearly recommend that the organisation starts by delivering successful process-improvement projects.

2. Issues with process improvement

If your organisation has been doing process projects (lean, or other improvement performance projects) for a while and is experiencing some pains when dealing with transversal processes initiatives, then this may be the time to seriously look at a process-based architecture initiative.

3. Current strategic or business viability

If  you are planning a major strategic initiative, or suffering major pains related to your existing operating or business model – or if you even doubt you have a realistic reading of what’s going on in your whole organisation. This means you have a major organisational or BU burning platform. 

4. Organizational leadership

A fourth consideration factor is the leadership, ownership of your CEO, or the CXO, leading the BU, or a major corporate functions like the CFO, the CIO or CHRO.

This is truly a top-down business exercise. This approach seriously engages the whole management or leadership team. You can’t delegate this down. Would you delegate your strategic plan down to your supervisors?

5. Time to implement

Time is key success ingredient.

You can’t race your way through this; you can’t condense it. People need time between workshops. You may need to collect critical data and information at the start to substantiate or validate performance issues. This is not a weekend job!

6. Organizational Culture

Culture is also a key consideration that may ease, or put at risk, the whole exercise.

In some organisations – those allergic to performance metrics and to measures – the approach may have to be adjusted; but, you cannot embark without a minimal commitment to performance measurement. Performance management behaviours and managerial systems can, in certain cases, hinder your capacity to execute the realigned investment plan. This might require that you adjust or realign your performance measurement system. Excluding this at the onset could jeopardise your chance to realise the full benefits of this investment.

Before embarking on a process-based business architecture implementation, it is important spend some time understanding the context of your organisation. This reading is key to anchoring the project – or to ascertain that this initiative might not work for you.

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Topics: BPM - Business Process Management