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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

A critique of the BP Trends' Business Process Architecture approach #2

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...continued from previous post. This BP Trends advisor proposes a method to develop a business process architecture which...

In fig. 4 and 5, the customer, interacting with various links of the value chain, is placed at the end of the value chain arrow. This interaction was first described in the GODS generic business architecture paper, available on the BP Trends site indeed, for free under Creative Commons licensing, since 2010References though, are a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, in the BP Trends approach, the positioning of the customer at the value chain arrow end would cause the customer interactions with the value chain to look like crossing more components/links of the value chain which have no bearing on the interaction. The diagram has circumvented this though by deftly illustrating the value chain links much smaller than the chain arrow and the customer interactions outside the value chain components but still inside the big arrow (!).

In any case, there are more and rather different (sub-types of) Customers of which two at least, if not all, have no business at the end of the value chain. A Consumer (or Prospect or you may call it differently) interacts in the development phase of the value chain, a Client (Customer itself) pays for/contracts the product and a User employs it. They are not necessarily the same. In fact, in many cases, they are different. The Consumer or the Client are not involved at all in the subsequent stages of the value chain and as such  they should not be represented at the end of the chain. For instance, a Consumer interacts only in the first phase of the value chain since it is neither a Buyer nor a User.  

In fact, none of these actors has to sit at the end of the chain arrow. The "Margin" (missing in the figure) was pictured at the chain end rather than the customer. And Margin has to do with the enterprise rather than the customer.

The positioning of Customer at the end of the value chain, right or wrong, has no big significance though. Here are the key customer interactions terminated at each stage of the value chain rather than at its end, as presented in the original paper.  

Moving on, in the BP Trends approach, "Develop New Services" becomes a part of the value chain. This form of value chain was proposed in the past. Nonetheless, you don't develop a "new" product/service each time you produce it. You design once and produce it many, many times. Hence, at least in my view, the Development and Product delivery cycles cannot normally sit in the same value chain. Development (product design) is rather a value chain in itself which has little to do with the rest of the delivery cycle.

By the way, the product Manufacturing or service Execution are missing from the picture. Even a cleaning service though has to be performed before being delivered.

So far, this approach looks to me like an assembly of bits, collected from various sources and assembled without much processing or integration.

Further on, but as expected from the beginning, the Business Process Architecture shows up next as a Process Map rather than an architecture, as illustrated in figure 6.

to be continued...

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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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