In order for an organization to be successful and achieve its mandate, what do you think are the fundamental things that everyone involved in an organization needs to clearly understand? Three questions initially came to my mind:
- WHO we are?
- WHY we exist?
- WHAT we do?
There are few variations and opinions you will encounter when reading through articles on this topic. However, the following are the common themes in a simplified form and we needs a bird’s eye view of an organization to be able to answer these questions.
- Motivation: WHY does the organization work the way it does?
- Function: HOW does the organization carry out its work to deliver the value?
- People: WHO does what?
- Network: WHERE is the work conducted?
- Data: WHAT things are needed – i.e., resources and information?
- Time: WHEN does work need to happen?
The discipline of holistically looking at an organization and conducting it’s analysis, design, planning and development is called “Enterprise Architecture“. Refer to Zachman Framework and The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) if you are interested in learning more about widely used Enterprise Architecture frameworks.
Well defined Business Architecture Artifacts such as below can help providing answers and bringing clarity to those questions.
- Organization Structure
- Business Process Design and Modelling
- Enterprise Context Model
- Business Canvas Model
Please remember when creating artifacts:
- Use simple language and diagrams as appropriate to convey the message.
- Your goal should be to create things that can easily be understood by everyone at every level of the organization. If it’s complicated and hard to understand, no one will reference and use them.
- Simplify Simplify Simplify… and Simplify!
- Break down existing complexity – prioritize and focus on creating things that will help simplifying complexity, and support establishing a foundation to keep your organization moving efficiently, enable to respond quickly and adopt to ever changing environment.
Let’s keep things simple! Be logical, prioritize and focus on things that are important, communicate clearly using plain language to get everyone on the same page, foster collaboration to channel energy of your organization… and take your organization to the next level one step at a time!
View of Han River from 92nd floor at Signiel Seoul, October 2018