In preparation for our webinar with Forrester Research, How to Let Business Needs Drive Your Enterprise Architecture, I was reading a report about letting business needs drive your enterprise architecture practice. The key takeaway that resonated with me the most was that EA should be strategic and one way to do this is by using capability maps as a basis for strategic discussions with the business. It is a way to speak the same language.
In working with customers over the past 10 years, I find a striking difference between customers whose implementations are very successful vs. marginally successful. Marginally successful customers have rolled out application portfolio rationalization or standards governance, excellent use cases, but lack alignment to the business. It’s the very successful customers who have not only implemented one or more use cases but who have deliberately tied multiple portfolios to the business capability hierarchy.
I realize it’s easier said than done. Sometimes a business capability hierarchy exists, but it may be outdated or fragmented due to various lines of business maintaining their own version. What can be done when there is no existing vetted and official business capability hierarchy for the entire enterprise?
In a perfect world we would all work with business analysts to better engage with the business and document business capabilities. But this approach is not only costly and time consuming, it may also require a project to be spun up, creating new budgets and resource approvals.
After reading this you may be feeling discouraged, but there are excellent resources available that provide a starting point without having to begin with a blank piece of paper. Troux provides over a dozen capability maps including a cross industry map for customers looking for a general place to start. To see some examples, download our whitepaper “6 Capability Maps Your Business will Love.”
The bottom line is that now is the time to start engaging with business stakeholders on EA initiatives. One way to start that process is by using capabilities to set strategy. Moreover, once portfolios such as application, technology, investment and information portfolios, are brought together, they can be rolled up to give a real time view of both opportunity and risk at the enterprise level.
There’s no better way to engage with your business colleagues than to talk in terms they can relate to and starting with a capability map is an excellent way to do this. If you want to learn more about how capability maps can help you show value, watch our webinar with Forrester Research Director Alex Cullen.