Data and Architecture: Business Capability Future State How-To, Pt. 1

Does your organization need to improve strategic investments and prioritize investments? Do you feel confident in the objectivity of your investment and spend decisions? Are you constrained with annual budget allocations and have to make tough decisions year-over-year with running the business work or “keeping the lights on” versus transformational projects?

Establish a process to integrate an environment of many complex organizational capabilities to simplify and inform specific business outcomes through a future-state business capability model.

Portfolio Planning Prioritization 1.0 (in our blog series) features a way to prioritize investments from a “bottoms-up” perspective, as featured in the figure. The prioritization model identifies current or upcoming projects based on strategic drivers (key elements that align to organizational strategy, key portfolio data, and business value/outcomes) and detractors (elements that reduce value based on longer time periods, cost, and organizational readiness). Although this model is a good way to make data-driven prioritization decisions for the portfolio, it does assume that the organization has identified the critical must-have business capabilities needed to advance the business.

Strategy in portfolio planning prioritization 1.0 vs. 2.0 poses an interesting question.  In Prioritization 1.0, is your organization really lead by strategy?  Or is your strategy developed only in response to the projects that receive funding?  Prioritization 2.0 provides a delivery approach that reflects long-term business interests defined by the organization’s strategy, and make recommendations on what business capabilities (as featured in our blog series) are needed to drive current to future needs. Prioritization 2.0 takes the guesswork out of your investment and project decisions in order to support the long-term objectives of the organization.  In other words, you can either choose to be a passive recipient of numerous individual investment decisions or an active director of where you want your organization to go.

Step 1: Understand Strategies and Goals of the Organization

The strategies and goals of the organization and the individual functional groups help to inform recommendations for what the current to potential future-state capability model can look like.  The approach to develop strategies and goals can vary, but consider these core topics to inform yours:

  1. Ask leadership and other key stakeholders – what is the strategic direction for the future for the overall organization and within each functional group.
  2. What are the top 3-5 strategic goals for the organization and within each functional group.
  3. Identify strategic documents, presentations and other artifacts of top organizational business goals. Group the goals together in strategic goal groups to inform top level capability areas that align to these strategic goal groups.

Step 2: Determine your architecture modeling scope

Determine your architecture modeling scope and the specific value-streams or lifecycles within your organization – i.e., value-streams or lifecycles are a chain of activities that deliver a product or service for the organization.  Examples would include an associate lifecycle or a sales transaction lifecycle. Understanding the lifecycles helps create specific focus in a business area for future-state capability improvements.

This figure is an example of how to view the general value-based lifecycles across an organization.

Here are a few examples that illustrate potential value-streams or lifecycles:

 Product or Service – what your company offers to the marketplace

 Selling Partners – partnering with other organizations that help promote and distribute products

Sales Transaction – converting market demand into sales opportunity, pricing, quoting, contracts, to financial realization

 Employees – recruiting, developing, and rewarding employees for their contributions to the organization

IT System – defining the business need, due-diligence, solution and implementation, adoption, optimization, monitoring and performance improvements for selecting and procuring applications and technologies

Marketing Campaign – generating market demand and value for your products and services

 Financial Planning – prioritizing, forecasting, spending, and reporting cash and noncash resources within your organization

Facility – driving the need, researching purchases, using and closing facilities across your organization

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