Your Company Doesn’t Want Business Architecture
by Jeff Scott, on Mar 26, 2014 7:24:00 AM
Am I kidding?
Well, no. The chances are good your company really does not want a business architecture – even if you have a business architecture practice. I don’t mean that the management team has carefully examined business architecture as an approach to better business design and rejected it. Nor do I mean that management has assessed the potential benefits and decided they didn’t have value. I simply mean that there is currently little demand for a business architecture approach. If your company WANTED a business architecture, it would have one.
Observation 1. Very few companies are investing in business architecture initiatives in a meaningful way. Yes, there are many business architecture initiatives starting up, but they rarely have funding for more than two or three people. In Accelare’s 2013 Role of the Business Architect survey, only 53% of business architects reporting having a full time role in business architecture. Companies are vastly underestimating the value of better strategy execution management because we haven’t yet demonstrated it.
Observation 2. Business architecture flies in the face of most organization’s structural design and culture. Companies create independent business units and give leaders a great amount of autonomy and control over investments and operational decisions. This is a fundamental organizational design pattern supporting business mangers taking on big objectives - the fewer constraints the better. Most cultures do not encourage big picture thinking, long term planning, or broad collaboration. They support reactionary, narrow-focused, fast-twitch, don’t let anything get in your way actions.
The bottom line:_______________________________________________________________________________________________
The fact that your company does not want a business architecture is not a roadblock. It is simply a challenge that you as the business architect must figure out how to overcome. It comes down to these three things. Demonstrate value wherever you have an opportunity. Work within the organizational constraints you have. Proactively find ways to mitigate negative cultural effects. Easier said than done, but eminently doable. You just have to decide it is your job to do it.