1. Peter Schooff
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Everyone seems to be talking about the importance of business architecture these days. So exactly how important is business architecture to the success of BPM?
Derek Miers Accepted Answer
Given that BPM is usually operating in support of some broader transformation initiative, business architecture gives shape to your transformation program. Typically, in that context, Business Architecture is about articulating the Target Operating Model as a way of engaging the broader organization.
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David Chassels Accepted Answer
What ever is said about a "business architecture" it should be expressed in business language so they can understand. So well said Michael and it is very important.

This is taking into the arena of requiring understanding how the BPM supporting software actually works. This architecture should embrace front and back office in a seamless manner but also needs to recognise the use of existing architectures and legacy systems. Fact is business logic never changes so clear identification of the required tasks human and system is required as part of the architecture as does how these are configured and joined up. It is a fundamental for future BPM Solutions that change is supported and the architecture needs to cater for this important aspect.
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Max J. Pucher Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
The main problem is that it is mostly just talk. I have seen very little usable work in relationship to business architecture, with or without BPM. Most BPM efforts are to cut costs in certain processes and BA is not needed for that.

Business architecture is about structuring capabilities and mapping them to business objectives. For a total BPM effort that is essential but there are hardly any all-out BPM projects.

So all-in-all BA is not relevant for BPM as it is done today ...
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Lloyd Dugan Accepted Answer
Respectfully disagree with the last comment. Something gives context to BPM as a discipline, just as BPM as a discipline can advance such a context. It is just that we may not always recognize or label it as such, and it may be unorganized as well. I would suggest that to the extent a BA exists and is used, BPM maturity is likely to be higher and vice-versa. Having said all that, I concede BPM is and can be done without a formal BA.

My interests is that from a meta modeling standpoint we get the correct mapping from concepts in BPM such as the process model to relevant concepts in a BA. And that we make the means for realizing this realizable in terms that the business side can understand. In truth, Business Architecture as a related discipline should not be allowed to become a tool, in reality or only in perception, of IT like I feel Enterprise Architecture has become. A BA can have a normalizing effect on process and data models, leading to a formal common vocabulary across the business.
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David Brakoniecki Accepted Answer
In theory, business architecture should make it much easier to implement successful BPM projects for all the reasons covered above. It should define the context into which BPM is being deployed and thereby what the BPM project needs to achieve to be successful.

In practice (as Max points out), there is often little or no connection between the two.

Perhaps, the question should be:

What are characteristics of a business architecture practice in an organisation that would help it contribute to a successful BPM implementation?

By no means, an exhaustive list but here are some places to start:

  • The business architecture function is staffed by employees who have some tenure with the business. If its filled with external consultants or new employees, then it's likely to be still finding its feet.

  • The BA team should be able to give you a solid idea of who is needed for your first process discovery meeting. That might be a strange claim but if they really understand the organisational capabilities and objectives then telling you who owns parts of your process should be easy. This also indicates that they have done the hard yards to really understand the business.

  • People listen to them. For me, this is a big one. It doesn't matter if the analysis and vision is perfect if no one pays attention. Here's a quick test: Ask the business architect to explain the context of the BPM project and then ask the same question to the budget holder for the project. If their answers are consistent then you might be onto a winner.

It should also be noted that BPM is not exceptional either. A high-functioning business architecture team generally makes projects (IT or business) easier to deliver.
Principal Consultant
Modexe Limited
Twitter: @dajb2
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I think, we have to talk about the importance of achieving the synergy between BizArch and BPM (trio of discipline, tools and architecture practice).

BizArch brings the context – business strategy, business priorities, chain of business goals, business metrics, business reports, org. structure, governance structure, etc. BPM brings the power of explicit and executable processes (which are used for various purposes: modelling, automation, execution, control, measurement and optimisation).

Correct and joint usage of BizArch and BPM enables:
1) direct (or explicit) execution of the business as the same model of work is used by top management, line managers, ordinary workers and implementation teams
2) better management by proactive control of process execution
3) better capacity planning by implementing capabilities via processes
4) better customer experience by fitting internal business processes to customer’s business processes (the latter maybe be implicit some times).

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Jose Camacho Accepted Answer
Besides agreeing with most of the reviews that highlight the importance of Business Architecture for BPM, I would add that I see the BPM itself in its stage of design and modeling the architecture of business processes as integrant part of the BA, because it defines how we propose to carry out the strategy .

For example, when we define which value proposition we intend to approach customers (Price, Product, Placement, Promotion ), this strategic variable will have a distinct impact on the processes structure (BPM). If price was defined as predominant variable, then we should focus on core processes with greater weight, and identify competitive advantages in terms of costs, but if we want to compete for the Product (quality and innovation), then we should focus on the processes that will drive innovation, etc.. Another example might be the definition of the contact channels with customers, figuring that the strategy sets the call-center and shops, it is easy to understand that the structure of procedures for customer contact will be different depending on the channel since there are tasks that can be performed in person (stores) and others can only be executed on remote (call center), ...
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carlos evangelista Accepted Answer
Valuable opinions have been announced showing that we know what should be done.

I believe when you decide by the execution of an BPM project you are making the choice for the transformation of how your business works.

Need to transform both the business side as technology.

I have seen great disappointments in BPM project as they were not able to realize the expected and worst processing, were not conducted within the methodological standards. Sorry about sincerity but many still do BPM projects as proof of concept.

Well, I'm convinced I need to get in addition to the BPM governance plan a governance plan in Business Architecture and both go in parallel having a bond in common a box I call "Corporate Strategy", it must ensure that all projects BPM are synchronized with the strategic plan of the corporation.

Remember that during the measurement of my business processes probably have to review the capabilities of the business.

But how to do this?
If you do not have time and money to first do: Business Architecture after BPM.

How to do it synchronized with the transformation to IT doing Enterprise Architecture?
I have done a tremendous effort into making these two disciplines go together and need to do this in a way very "SIMPLE".

Let's talk about it.
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George Chast Accepted Answer
(I have had this thought in mind for awhile waiting time to respond...)

I am with Max at this point in the maturity of business architecture. I fondly remember Enterprise Data Models hanging on the wall... So, I try to separate the practical from the academic and find staffed business architecture teams scary to this discipline we have that sits in-between business and IT because the risk is there to add no value and get discovered doing such... I do find value in business architecture in very specific times. When people at the higher process or org level do not understand that they have a process that is cross-organizational, or when the components of their process are not clear to them; and when those in the lower tier service organizations do not realize that their processes, how they do work, is part of and impacts the cross-organizational level process; then business architecture concepts do help understanding, cooperation and agreement to then do something about it.
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