Reducing the risk, cost and time to deployment of new business systems

Blue Prints for Change

Business Transformation is like a Construction Project

The Architecture Team Designs the Business Changes

A General Contractor Coordinates the efforts of the Subcontractors

 

Blueprints and Specifications Align the efforts of the Subcontractors

Business change programs may be thought of as being similar to a building construction project.  The construction project has an architect, a general contractor and a set of subcontractors.  

Similarly the business change program has a business architecture team that designs the changes to the business.   It then acts as the construction manager (in the manner of the general contractor) to coordinate the activates of the subcontractors (IT, HR, and Operational Organizations) to carry out the business transformation.  

During the construction phase the General Contractor uses the blueprints and specifications to insure that development goes according to plan.  When issues arise where one of the subcontractors encounters problems or opportunities such as the IT organization discovering a new technology that can reduce program cost, the Architecture group evaluates whether or not the program can assimilate the new technology.  

This may require changing the blueprints and specifications for the people and processes (the other subcontractors).  It may or may not be possible to make the proposed technology change within the budget, schedule, and requirements for the program even though the there might be a cost reduction for the technology.  The Architecture team balances the demands on each of the subcontractors and makes decisions in context of the overall business objectives. 

Businesses need to build a culture that is capable of coordinating the efforts of "subcontractors" to meet the strategic needs set by the executive team.  Business Architecture teams can provide the business view for business transformation decision making.  The nDyn Knowledge Nexus and Business Architect have been designed to support such cultures.  Management of operational knowledge, the development of business "blueprints" (with supporting specifications) are core methods and tools for Business Architects using Business System Engineering to carry out business transformation programs.  

The management of operational knowledge and the development of blueprints and specifications are core capabilities of the Knowledge Nexus and Business Architect.  

The figure below provides an overview of business transformation blueprints and the role they play in aligning the subcontracting organizations to carry out a business transformation program.  In the construction analogy the sheets of the blueprints are centered on floor plans.  The floor plans provide a common frame of reference for the electrical, structural, and environmental subcontractors.  The floor plans locate electrical outlets, and air conditioning ducts.

In a business transformation program the business process diagram plays a similar role to the floor plan on a construction project.  The business process is the common framework that identifies required technological capabilities, required human competencies, required facilities and required equipment.  

Additional sheets in the construction documents program external views of the building and site plan.  The business transformation documents provide analogous extra sheets like organization charts, floor plans, use case diagrams, and maps of facilities.  The package of diagrams and specifications as a whole drives the program.  

Today most of these diagrams are being made individually and independently.  The Business Architecture Team gathers them together and insures that the subcontractors are aligned to business objectives.

As with the construction documents the blue prints and specifications are the basis coordinating or aligning the efforts of the subcontractors.  The blueprints and specifications are the tools used by the Business Architecture team to coordinate and manage the business transformation program.  

 

Organizational Alignment

Managing Business Transformation

 

The following are a collection of diagrams that together form an example set of “blueprints” for the transformation of a fictitious business called BizCom.  Sections are provided for each of the major subcontractors involved in the program 

  • Information Technology

  • Human Resources

  • Operational Organizations

  • Facilities

The table of contents outlines sections for each of the major subcontractors on a Business Transformation program.  The production flow section is intended for use by operational organizations to guide their activities in changing business processes.  The human resources section provides requirements for acquiring or developing human competency to support the business process.  The information technology section provides requirements to drive the development or acquisition of technologies to support the business process.  And finally the plant and equipment section captures the requirements for facilities and machines to carry out the business process. 

These blueprints are accompanied by a set of specifications  that capture details not included in the diagrams.  The combination of blueprints, specifications, and operations concept documents provide the controls necessary to carry out a business transformation program.
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Blueprints

Each Business Transformation project has a set of "blueprints" (and accompanying specifications) developed and assembled by the Business Architecture team which includes specialists from each of the subcontractor disciplines (IT, HR, and Operations

 

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Table of Contents

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Process Sequencing Diagram

This figure show tasks and activities on a process diagram.  The yellow boxes represent tasks and activities while the blue lines represent the order in which those tasks and activities are performed.  The diagram is read from top to bottom.  The triangle at the top of the figure marks the beginning of the process.   
The icon below the second task ( ) indicates that all of the branches following may be performed concurrently. The selection icon ( ) indicates one of the following branching paths may be taken.  Finally, the sequence of steps between the paired ( ) icons is performed iteratively. 
Business Operations
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Production Flow Diagram

This business process diagram captures the flow of tasks that produce the product.  The products ( )of a supplier are shown coming into a raw materials inventory ( ) at the upper right corner of the figure.  Within the business these raw materials  are input to tasks that transform them into various stages of work in process ( ).  The completed products are placed in finished goods inventory at the San Francisco location  awaiting shipment to customers around the world. 

In this illustration all of the tasks, materials, inventories, and products represent entities in the Knowledge Nexus.  A Nexus user can launch navigation tools from this view, and “drill down” capabilities enable the user to move through levels of abstraction within the process model. 

These process diagrams may or may not contain all of the details of the production process.  In many cases a de-cluttered version of the process may be presented to address a specific audience.  Additional detail can be maintained in the Nexus and can be output as specifications in document form.  In fact the diagrams may be included in those specifications. 

 

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Cross Functional Process Diagram

Processes can be represented and presented in different notations.  This example shows a process diagram in a cross functional form.  Connections to Roles, Organizations, People and Tasks are presented on this example.  
Human Competency
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Competency Map

This overlay of the process diagram identifies the competencies required by tasks.  Knowledge required by each task and competency may also be shown.  The roles that provide those competencies are also portrayed.  
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Organization Chart

Information Technology
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Process Technology Map

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Use Case Diagram

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UML Static Structure Chart

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Logical Network Diagram

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Wide Area Network Diagram

Plant & Equipment
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Process Facilities and Equipment

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Floor Plans and Equipment

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Facilities Map

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