We all agree it is important to monitor, track and report on the ‘common theme’ that runs through IT projects – such as implementing or developing a new system from initiation stage to rollout and implementation phase. In this article, we discuss how the requirements and artefacts – use cases, functional specifications, technical specifications and prototypes – can be managed effectively during the project’s life cycle.
IT applications contribute to the support of business processes, or other applications, thanks to the execution of IT software. Directly or indirectly, IT applications have one main purpose: supporting the business in the most efficient way. They can be considered as an asset of the enterprise.
If you were asked to draw a picture of an enterprise before its transformation and a picture after its transformation, like in the classic before/after house renovation advertising, what would it look like? As an enterprise architect looking for a way to represent an enterprise, we can interrogate TOGAF. It tells us that an enterprise is a system of systems, and that Enterprise Architecture is about managing enterprise transformation toward a target operating model; unfortunately TOGAF does not tell us how to draw a system of systems.
Creating a BPA is not a trivial exercise, and since it will always be subject to change and the exploration of greater detail, it is a never-ending job. Nevertheless a useful, working BPA can be developed in a few months and the immediate value of doing so can be remarkable. Quite apart from creating a solid basis for effective ongoing process management, discovery of the BPA focuses the organization wonderfully on really understanding how it executes its strategic intent. This article details why Business Process Architecture is crucial as a strategic and operational management tool.
IT applications contribute to the support of business processes, or other applications, thanks to the execution of IT software. Directly or indirectly, IT applications have one main purpose: supporting the business in the most efficient way. They can be considered as an asset of the enterprise. Either custom developed or packaged, IT applications represent a cost: licences, maintenance, customisation, development, running fees, etc. In a large organisation, due to reorganisation, acquisitions or lack of coordination, it is hard to keep track of which business processes are supported by which applications. A trusted IT application inventory, united with process descriptions, is the necessary foundation to answer the following questions with fact-grounded confidence: What are the applications that support the most critical processes, and which require attention and investment? Are there applications that are unused (or barely used) for which recurring fees occur? Is it possible to reduce costs by using one application instead of many for the same business purpose? By virtue of the dependencies between applications, is business continuity at risk if there is an IT failure?