Mapping the Future Organization

mapping the future organization

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." - Wayne Dyer (self-help author)

Having touched upon my fixation with jigsaws in the first blog, I would like to explore further the correlation between puzzles and strategy exercises within organizations. The top of the jigsaw box is a visual representation (vision), the number of pieces is denoted (building blocks) and the straight edged pieces of the jigsaw define the scope.

Organizational Strategy and Planning

Business architects utilize a myriad of models to link strategies and objectives to programs, projects and capabilities. During organizational strategy and planning exercises, the vision, scope, and building blocks are essential tools for determining the gap between current and desired architecture.

The first action is to understand the motivation for the desired changes. Architects utilize the motivational model to record the mission and vision, strategies and goals, and tactics and objectives as determined by the C-suite executives. The outcomes of the motivational model exercise provide insight into potential business changes, as well as clarifying the measurement criteria of progress reporting.

The second action will address the business model and changes identified by the motivational model. The organizational business model provides insight into the way in which the company plans to create and deliver value. The Business Model Canvas (as outlined by Alexander Osterwalder) depicts:

  • How the organization’s customers are segmented
  • The value proposition for the organizational customer base or segment
  • Which channels enable the value proposition
  • Potential revenue streams from the value proposition
  • Who will be the key partners in achieving this
  • The impact on cost structure

Now that we know what needs to be done, for which customers, on which channels, in conjunction with which key partners, we can start to investigate the gap between the current architecture and the value proposition. This portion of the business architecture addresses the operating model of the organization. Whereas the business model depicts the way the organization creates and delivers value, the operating model shows how it is structured to facilitate the running of the day to day activities.

An operating model consists of a value chain and support capabilities. Depending on the size of an organization, these underlying building blocks can run into excessive numbers, so my advice is to map the strategies to the impacted capabilities, focussing discussions or questionnaires on uncovering what is holding back the maturity if your organization. The response to this evaluation can then be documented and applied to projects within the investment portfolio.

One major flaw in the production of a corporate book of work is that the demand for funding is frequently generated from across the organization. Competitiveness within the organization ensures that there is very little, if any, discussion or collaboration between vertical or horizontal business functions. This leads to varying levels of duplication within capability enablement and leads to poor resource allocation and funding.

Business architects in collaboration with strategy and planning can, therefore, contribute to the organization’s bottom line by right sizing the book of work. This requires only a single build, meaning funding and scarce resources are made available for reallocation to other projects.

The modeling process has thus taken an organizational vision through multiple layers, ensured that investment is undertaken in an effective and efficient manner, contributed to a concise understanding of direction, and generated the business requirement definition in such a manner that it is understandable at a strategic, tactical or operational level.

It is thus an imperative in the success of any business architecture to ensure that organizational transformation is guided by the mapping of requirements to both the business and operating models. This gauges the impact on the organization at a very early stage of the process and the mapping exercises will identify both IT and non-IT requirements, ensuring that strategy execution and implementation is handled in a controllable manner, and governed by an agreed number of key performance indicators.