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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

Business Architecture in support of organization re-design

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Let's say you have the task to improve the sales department workings in the context of the enterprise. Use business architecture. This has nothing to do with IT or technology, though.

To align sales and service operations with the organization, one has to understand the interactions with other functions and, indeed, the key activities in sales and services, current roles and organization, products, customer types and segments. 

Begin by sketching such an interaction diagram starting from the customer and considering all other functions. Sales and service have various internal functions that must be illustrated in exchanges. Then qualify these exchanges in terms of importance and frequency to find out with whom you interact most. This is the current picture. 

Then streamline these exchanges and try different organizations designs. Use swim-lanes diagrams. Come with a target functional architecture and proposed organization design that implements it.

The organization may not be optimal because because of existing silos with different management and objectives that make those exchanges more difficult.

Organization design is based on a mixture of business units, product lines, functional and geographical criteria. Consider these if you propose a different organization. 

Consider, too, describing current and future organization roles in terms of tasks that contribute to the function.

Then consider how to move from the current organization to the future one with minimum disruption--and plan the move. Work with all concerned to make it happen.

Ideally, one should understand the key sales and business workflows and the functional organization of the enterprise. You may want to view this high-level presentation on a reference business architecture.

You may start from the reference architecture to describe own processes at a relevant level of detail. Group related activities in a function to enhance exchanges. 

Common performance indicators may help align sales to other departments without re-organization.

You may also create horizontal (besides vertical organization) business responsibilities and (like in a matrix organization) to oversee products flow along the value chain, from production, distribution to sales. Similar to process managers in business process improvement approaches.

Comments welcome, as always.


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I've not got, Adrian, how Business Architecture supports re-design of the organisational model, What's new the Business Architecture has brought to this re-organisation that we did not have before?

I would understand if you were said, e.g., that BA triggers business re-organisation. At least, this is what I construct upon.

If business re-organisation goes on its own, it may be driven by private agendas that have nothing to do with the enterprise business and even with Business Strategic Plan. In this case, BA is just a placeholder with no real role in the company (aka 'business as usual')


You do not understand what Business Architecture brings new to re-organization but you understand that it triggers a re-organization - even if it brings nothing new! You seem to say that BA triggers a re-organization even it has nothing to do with a re-organization. I think you alone may clarify this dilemma.

Then you say that "if re-organization goes on its own" the BA has no role. But if it does not go on its own, then, BA has a role, isn't that so?

I am guessing now: is your question what is the good of documenting your business (with respect to re-organization)?
A business architecture, essentially a blueprint of your organization functions and processes, may be used to align the organization to the BA functional architecture to reduce duplication and size, streamline Enterprise processes execution...

Still, we can do without an BA (or EA for that matter) as we did for so long, as you discovered.


I >do not understand what Business Architecture brings new to re-organizationA business architecture, essentially a blueprint of your organization functions and processes

Adrian, you dig too deep with "the BA functional architecture to reduce duplication and size, streamline Enterprise processes execution..." with regard to my comment. Yes, BA does all of it but it is the cause of the organisation and, sometimes, of the re-organisation. This is what I said.

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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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