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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Step By Step Business Architecture

Developing a business architecture for an enterprise can be a daunting task. However following a systematic approach makes it a bit easier, or at the very least organized.

1. Develop a description of the existing business architecture if it exists. The description should include as much of the AS-IS architecture as needed for the development of the TO-BE architecture.

2. Identify any reference models, tools, patterns and techniques that should be used to develop the TO-BE architecture based on the context, complexity and scope of your business requirements.

3. Select viewpoints of the business architecture to be utilized to illustrate the architecture, according to the business requirements. Common business architecture view points are operational, systems, technology, governance, financial and functional viewpoints.

4. Develop an architecture model for your TO-BE business requirements. Ensure that you perform each of these,
  • Create the model for the specific view point. For example create the activity model for an operational view point of the business architecture. Common models are activity models, use-case models, class models, node connectivity diagrams and information exchange matrices.
  • Verify that all stakeholder requirements and concerns are included.
  • Ensure you have models for business goals and objectives, business functions, business services, business processes, roles, business data,
  • Ensure your architecture has captured the interlocking of organization and functions, and interlocking of processes and systems.
  • For each business function identify when, where, where, how often and by whom will the function be performed. Identify the inputs to the function and the expected outputs.
  • Identify dependencies and assumptions for each business function.
  • Conduct trade-off analysis if any conflict exist among the different views.
  • Validate and verify the developed model against requirements for completeness and scope
5. Select the business architecture building blocks. Reuse blocks as applicable, and develop new ones to add to the BA library.

6. Hold a formal architectural review of the developed model and building blocks with the stakeholders.

7. Review the non-functional requirements and service level agreements. Common non-functional requirements are scalability, performance, availability, costs, reliability and capacity.

8. Complete the documentation for the business architecture by ensuring that you,

  • Have a completed requiements traceability report.
  • Identified requirements that are driving the architecture.
  • Mapped the architecture to reference architectures and models in the organization.
  • Identified new vs. reused building blocks.
  • Documented rationale for architectural decisions.
  • Completed the business architecture report including the business footprint, detailed description of business functions, and their information needs.
  • Outlined the governance footprint as related to the business needs and scope of the TO-BE
  • Included a table of standards, rules, guidelines, assumptions, dependencies, and measures used.

Business and Enterprise Architectures: Differences and Commonalities

Business architecture is a unifying structure that enables the execution of business strategies through initiatives to achieve business results. The business architecture could also be viewed as the relationships and connectivity among the various value streams and the inputs that feed these value steams, the processing centers that enable the value streams and the value realized.

Business architecture is only one component of enterprise architecture. In an enterprise there are business objectives, technology and infrastructure assets, organizational units, security concerns information handling and processing and various other components, each of which can be defined as a separate architecture and part of a defined framework.

The business architecture encompasses the business flows, activity models, use cases, user models, class models, node connectivity diagrams and business information exchange matrices. Business architectures usually reflect a baseline known as the AS-IS architecture and defines a future aspiration known as the TO-BE architecture.

Enterprise architectures explain all aspects of an enterprise; its data, business processes, infrastructure, technology and business