As a fan of the Subway cult classic “Chuck” I was intrigued as to how far away the technology featured in the show is. For those not familiar with the show’s premise, Chuck, played by Zachary Levi, is a Stanford dropout who opens an e-mail from his ex-roommate and all the National Security administration and CIA databases gets downloaded into his head. Fearing security risks, the CIA sends him a handler played by Yvonne Strahovski, to help the government make best use of the download known as the “Intersect.”
I remember watching a television advertisement almost twenty years ago where someone took their laptop out on the high dive to do some work. The idea was novel at the time – a computer that could go anywhere because of its battery! Twenty years later we have advanced so much farther (are you reading this on a smartphone?) and not just personal laptops, but business uses as well.
In our first video in the S2E for the Entrepreneur series, we followed Jake from the initial strategy and vision, to building a competitive business model. You can watch this first video about Jake adopting S2E methods to compete head-on with the digital music world.
Living in the information age can be at once illuminating and daunting. From a business perspective, modern companies now have unparalleled abilities to gather information to keep them smart in their respective fields such as health care fraud, waste, and abuse. However, in the process, many Fraud Investigation Units are finding themselves inundated with medicaid related information — and are as thought leaders in big data have long noticed — drowning in the data.
This is the first of in series of blogs, articles, webinars, eBooks, and news blogs to help healthcare agencies, healthplans and their Fraud Investigation Units build the capabilities they need to win the war on fraud, waste and abuse.
The film “The Imitation Game” is a suspenseful drama that captures the incredible work done by the Enigma code breakers during World War II. The top minds in the UK worked for years in secret at Bletchley Park to crack the famously difficult Enigma code that the German forces used to communicate. Not only was the challenge difficult, but time was of the essence. Some estimate that the incredible work of the code breakers, and the work of Alan Turing in particular, shortened World War II by several years.
In a 1995 interview, Steve Jobs said at every stage of Apple whether he was in his garage or later at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, being successful required vision and execution. Not all of us have the innate abilities of a Steve Jobs and need some help. Not long ago, the tools of strategy and execution were only available in large companies or from consultants. That’s no longer true.
I’ve been thinking about the business architecture profession – where we are and where we want to go. We have been at this for at least ten years with a lot of struggle and a little success. I think it is time we reflect on where we’ve been, where we are currently headed, and where we might like to go. This is the fourth post in the series, “Reimagining Business Architecture”. The ideas expressed here are meant to stir thought in the community and I would definitely like to hear yours. Post a comment or email me at: Jeff.Scott@accelare.com.
There is a great amount of energy from business architecture community groups
and various pundits to establish the one, the only, highly wordsmithed, industry standard, TRUE, business architecture definition. The successful business architecture community is ignoring these efforts for the most part by trying to create descriptions that actually reflect what they do and the value they create. Before, we jump to a well-crafted definition we should give some thought to what business architecture is and what it is we are trying to accomplish with it. Is it a product (i.e. blueprint), a profession, a function, an approach, or something else entirely? What are the salient elements of a business architecture effort?
Here are at least some of business architecture’s foundational elements.
1. Business architects create broader perspectives. Business architects’ primary role is to create broader perspectives. Most business architects will talk about this as creating an enterprise perspective but that isn’t completely accurate. Informing IT leaders of all the technology the organization owns before buying additional technology is creating a broader perspective for those decisions. Helping one business unit understand how it might leverage the capabilities of another business unit or how its actions might impinge on another unit is another example of creating broader perspective. Creating broader perspective might also go beyond the enterprise in the cases of marketplace, competitive, and new innovations perspectives.
2. Business architects provide “objective” analysis. Much of the day-to-day work of business architects is collecting data, organizing it, and analyzing it to understand what it means. This can be anything from project investments to strategic plans. Though most business architects struggle to be objective, I do see this as their ultimate goal.
3. Business architects facilitate complex problem solving. Business architects apply what they have learned through creating broader perspectives and business analysis to supply information to complex problem solving. They also provide tools, techniques, and facilitation to help business leaders arrive at and agree on solutions.
4. Business architects clarify strategy. Business architects clarify their organization’s strategic intent by looking at both aspirational strategic statements and day to day tactical reality. They clarify, expand, structure, and illuminate strategic intent to make it consumable across the organization. Business architects use this illumination to help translate corporate strategic intent into aligned, focused, and targeted action at the business unit and department levels.
5. Business architects design strategy execution. While few business architects are meaningfully involved in creating corporate business strategy they do play a significant role in how that strategy gets translated into business unit operational strategy and tactical action. For most successful business architecture practices, this is their ultimate goal.
6. Business architects research new business alternatives. Advanced business architects apply their perspective building, problem solving, and business analysis skills to explore new business opportunities. This might be in the form of more efficient ways to structure the organization’s operational work but it also includes applying current capabilities in innovative ways, identifying new capabilities to build, and envisioning new products and services for business leaders to consider.
What would you change/add to this list? Please post your thoughts or send me a note. Jeff.Scott@Accelare.com
The bottom line:______________________________________________________________
Business architecture is much more than a set of “blueprints”. To clearly describe who we are, we must first explore what we do and what we want to accomplish even if these are aspirational at this point.