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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

A generic One Page Business Architecture, cnt'd

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The essential generic business architecture (gBA) shows the main Enterprise Functions and Processes that describe, in one page, both the Enterprise structure and behaviour.

gBA illustrates a full product cycle from forecasting and planning, to demand creation, product delivery, sales and orders, revenue accrual and customer services for both production and services types of industries. It also depicts the Governance, Development and Support functions. It builds on the concept of Value Chains.

As such, besides operations/production, support or IT, gBA addresses all Enterprise activities and thus stakeholders from marketing and planning, sales, customer services, finance, etc.

It is a reference Business Architecture in the sense that it describes generic business elements in interconnection - rather than a disjoint list of capabilities disconnected from the Enterprise value flows -, that can be used to describe any/your Enterprise.

It is also a business architecture because it does not describe technology alone as so many other frameworks do. Still the EA IT architecture of today can be easily aligned.

gBA is part of the EA though. Business and other EA Views can be linked to gBA to show further process detail and the systems implementing the business functionality. FFLV, the related method described on this site, can be furthe used to build the whole EA.

By comparison, Zachman is a taxonomy for EA artifacts rather than a BA or an ontology of the Enterprise (that is Enterprise elements and relationships) as sometimes claimed. 

Here is a description of the key Enterprise Functions and Flows that form the generic Business Architecture:  

- The Planning Flow begins with the market investigation, followed by forecasting; this Flow prepares all Operational, Development and Support cycles.

- The Demand Creation Flow  stimulates the market, through various channels, to acquire the products

- The Production Flow or Supply Chain delivers the Products, from sourcing to distribution

- The Demand Flow or Sales & Ordering  is the process through which the customers obtain the products

- The Revenue Flow or Money Flow  charges the customers  at sales and ordering, bills and invoices them and  accrues the revenue  attained for the firm

- The After-Sales Flow or Customer Services depicts the customers' feedback/complaints, product returns and repairs Flows 


The Services Industry Flows looking slightly different

- The Service Provisioning Flow  describes how the customer acquires membership to a scheme, or subscribes to a service

- The Service Delivery Flow  depicts  how the customer, once identified , claims and uses the service, often provided by a business partner; analogue to the Production Flow

There are also shown a few typical business functions that are supporting the interaction with customers, such as:  Customer and User Authorization, Products Catalogue,  Business Rules and Request Routing and so on.

In principle, the Customers channels and interaction are represented at the top of the diagram.

The Development, Support and Governance Flows, even though important, are not shown here; the corresponding Functions are illustrated in the picture.

A note: I might have called the Flows, Value Chains, Streams or Processes but each terminology  comes from a different domain, with baggage and meanings I wanted to avoid.  Also, Functions are part of Capabilities which capabilities include physical resources as well.

On a practical plane, you will have to

       Customise this business architecture to illustrate your own Business Operation. 

       Align the Technology and Organization Architectures to the Business Architecture. 

       Map the Strategy objectives to the overall Architecture to enable strategy execution and transformation of the Enterprise.  

Comments welcome. 

Further information over here: slideshow  and video.

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Adrian Grigoriu blogs about everything relating to enterprise and business architecture, SOA, frameworks, design, planning, execution, organization and related issues.

Adrian Grigoriu

Adrian is an executive consultant in enterprise architecture, former head of enterprise architecture at Ofcom, the spectrum and broadcasting U.K. regulatory agency and chief architect at TM Forum, an organization providing a reference integrated business architecture framework, best practices and standards for the telecommunications and digital media industries. He also was a high technology, enterprise architecture and strategy senior manager at Accenture and Vodafone, and a principal consultant and lead architect at Qantas, Logica, Lucent Bell Labs and Nokia. He is the author of two books on enterprise architecture development available on Kindle and published articles with BPTrends, the Microsoft Architecture Journal and the EI magazine. Shortlisted by Computer Weekly for the IT Industry blogger of the year 2011.

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