To better architect you need to understand the current but mostly the future drivers of your business
Archimate 2.0 introduced finally the strategic link in enterprise architecture under its motivational concepts. This is important because services / products delivered through operations (processes) must be results oriented and alignment is brought if people perform according to corporate strategy.
Unfortunately Archimate makes some mistakes and blend internal and external forces when considering discovering and evaluating business drivers. As version 2.0 puts it:
“It is essential to understand the factors, often referred to as drivers, which influence the motivational elements. They can originate from either inside or outside the enterprise. Internal drivers, also called concerns, are associated with stakeholders, which can be some individual human being or some group of human beings, such as a project team, enterprise, or society. Examples of such internal drivers are customer satisfaction, compliance to legislation”
First, one of the things is to use a second name to the same definition. Drivers can come from inside or outside sources and call be called concerns. Well, this is one of the reasons that semantics become one of the hot themes. Hence please just call it Drivers.
Second the fuzziness comes after when its stated that internal drivers can be compliance to legislation. Legislation is an external force bought to you by the government. The full picture of the drivers/factors/forces is described below:
The definition of a driver
As Archimate puts it:
“A driver is defined as something that creates, motivates, and fuels the change in an organization”
“Drivers may be internal, in which case they are usually associated with a stakeholder. Examples of internal drivers (or “
concerns”) are “Customer satisfaction”, “Compliance to legislation”, and “Profitability”. Drivers of change may also be external; e.g., economic changes or changing legislation.”
Again the confusion about the source (internal/external). As external stakeholder like the Treasury Minister that wants an enterprise to report on real time / online every sales transaction your company makes with your customers (as it happens today in Portugal), is “driving” something from the outside. The fact that it comes from a Stakeholder, and at large stakeholders include external bodies an organization interacts with, does nor transform the driver into internal.
The definition of Assessment
For Archimate, an Assessment is:
“An assessment is defined as the outcome of some analysis of some driver”.
“An assessment may reveal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats for some area of interest. These outcomes need to be addressed by adjusting existing goals or setting new ones, which may trigger changes to the enterprise architecture”
Ok. So now we are talking about SWOT analysis. But again an assessment can triggers change, that I accept, but according to the definition of a Driver it also triggers change. Ultimately everything can trigger change. But worse than that, is the premise that Assessment is the outcome of analyzing a business driver. I totally disagree with it because I think that it can so be the other way around (and the evidence it’s that the specification poorly proves with the examples provided). Making an assessment will help you to discover what is / will be driving your business. Hence this is a two side sword (it’s the same thing that you can make assessments top > bottom and bottom > up).
When making an assessment of Stakeholders in a context of let’s say a low cost Airline that was the following strategy:
Competitive strategy: Focus on cost (narrow target and low cost). Specific customer segment, business traveling. High value for the money.
Directional strategy: Growth. Horizontal concentration – new markets (countries).
Objective n.º1 – Achieve efficiency operational gains that allow to increase operational margin in 15% in the next 3 years.
[other objectives are not presented in order not to overwhelm]
Taking into consideration this background when making Stakeholder assessment.
Transfer most of passenger operations to online
Contribute to rise shares value
Improve cost structure
Hence it results that we can found Drivers when making assessments.
Putting the first part together
I consider that mapping the external environment and matching against internal “status quo” , helps organizations to actively design what they want to be. It’s not a matter making the strategic assessment “per se” is go get answers for this (I jumped the relation with Vision / Mission of the organization because is still a very abstract concept):
What is the service portfolio?
How we are going to serve our stakeholders?;
What are going to be the touch points?
How we are going to design the customer experience?
Are we going to transform Actors playing a single role and moving to play a double role? Like customers that are Target Groups and also become Agents?
All this reflection defines the architecture patterns to be applied across the organization. And Business Process design is still so far away from this phase …
In the example bellow, there are some tradeoffs to be considered when force a full web 5.0 customer experience.