How to Make A Great Coffee… And Business Architecture

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A great cup of coffee might seem like an easy every day item, but have you ever truly considered what has to happen to make that coffee? The beans need to be beautifully roasted, they are ground to the perfect consistency, the milk is steamed until it’s silky and smooth, the crema is flowing and then the barista expertly combines them to give you a delicious mouthful of caffeine. Get even one of these elements wrong and suddenly the whole coffee experience is lost.

Just like making that cup of coffee, organisations need all elements of projects to be focused on the end outcome in order to successfully execute on their goals. As you can see above it only takes one misstep to ruin the end experience, so how do you create an organisational framework that promotes disciplined decision making, rigour and structure internally, while facilitating problem solving, when the external market is volatile, filled with uncertainty and fast-moving?

Business Architecture is the solution to making your organisational coffee.

Research has shown that there is a clear disconnect between strategy and project teams within many businesses, and with strategy execution a key focus area for C-level executives in 2016[1] this problem has never been more important. Business Architecture plays the ‘middle-man’, offering capability based planning as a way to find gaps, dependencies and problem areas.

Figure 1: The middle-man role

Business Architecture techniques do not have to remain unique to those within the field, Gartner[2] and Forrester[3] have discussed in recent articles the opportunity (and need) for disciplines such as Portfolio Management to take on a more active and strategic role to help the business better adapt towards its target state. Despite this there appears to be a growing skills gap in this area, analysis of the problem shows an increasing need for a change but less people in the industry are becoming equipped with the skills needed to present a solution.

So where are all our baristas? Being able to see all the elements of a business and guide them is no easy feat, but we believe this is a skill that can be taught and nurtured. So the next time you find yourself confronted with a reoccurring problem, I urge you to take a new view of the problem and try applying a Business Architecture tool. The results just might surprise you.

EA Learning offers a 4-day classroom course that teaches you how to apply Business Architecture techniques and tools. If you are interested in knowing more about how you can develop your Business Architecture capabilities, please view our Applied Business Architecture course.

[1] Gartner: Where Your PPM Career Won’t Be in 2020: Portfolio Management Will Be Driven to Provide Real and Accurate Analysis – October 2015
[2] Forrester: The Top 10 Technology Trends To Watch: 2016 to 2018 – October 2015
[3] Gartner: 2016 CEO Survey: The Year of Digital Tenacity – April 2016