BTOES Insights Official
February 16, 2021

Enterprise Architecture Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT : Become indispensable: Strengthen your EA practice by producing valuable business outcomes

Courtesy of 's Dan Hebda, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Become indispensable: Strengthen your EA practice by producing valuable business outcomes' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at Enterprise Architecture Live Virtual Conference.



Session Information:

Become indispensable: Strengthen your EA practice by producing valuable business outcomes

Organizations have spent the past years focusing on efficiency, which meant when hit with a major disruption like COVID-19, many business processes were too brittle to quickly adapt and simply broke.  During the rebuilding process, Gartner indicates that leaders must design an architecture that: enables better access to information; can augment that information with new insights; and is composable, modular, and can change and respond more quickly as decisions are made. 

But how do you do that?  A good first step is to add a business architecture top layer to your enterprise architecture efforts.  Using this lens, you can connect IT to business objectives (ensuring your efforts are business-outcome-driven) and therefore easily changeable when business objectives evolve or change.

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Create a strategic roadmap where you can plan future business capabilities and other IT investments
  • Understand how emerging technology can be leveraged to support business objectives
  • Optimize your current IT portfolio for cost, lifecycle, and agility
  • Ensure transformation projects are aligned with strategic objectives
  • Implement business-outcome-driven enterprise architecture

Session Transcript:

Who is the Chief Strategy Officer at International?

And Dan is going to do our first presentation, Then, please do join us, turn on your camera, so that weekend, we can see you.

Hello, Dan! Great to have you! Daniel has been in the enterprise Architecture World for over 20 years, working on transformation projects across many industries today. He is the Chief Strategy Officer at ... International, where he continues to research trends in the space, and provides advice and direction to architects.

Then it's fantastic to have a leader with your depth of expertise sharing that knowledge with us.

So, Thanks for taking the time to be here with us, and sharing your gifts with our global audience, Great to be here, thank you.

All right, I'm just getting set up over here to share the presentation.

But bear with me one moment, and now I will walk you through. So, welcome everybody, thank you for attending this morning. If you like me or not a morning person, I truly appreciate it.

The topic for today is becoming indispensable in architecture, really strengthening the EAA practice and going through some tips and techniques on how to do that.

First, a little bit of an introduction, just to speak to Transformation and the era of, You may notice between the image on the camera versus what you see in the image of the screen here, that during Covert I myself, have also gone through a transformation. May not be easy to tell, but I have a different haircut than I used to have. All right, so getting started into the enterprise architecture space.

Many of the conversations that I have with architects, they often stem around the debate or the discussion of what is enterprise architecture. And it's from here that they start to work on the charter for the organization, articulating some of the deliverables that they might produce, or even some of the methods that they might engage with. I've picked two random definitions here.

Screenshot (32)I won't go through them in detail, but what you'll notice, if you read, didn't review them, they're not aligned, they're not the same, There's always a different perspective on what it is. And I find that this dialog, it becomes too heavy.

And I think one of the ways to become indispensable is to change this dialog just a little bit. It doesn't mean that the discussion of what is, within a practice is not important. Of course, we should still have that dialog. But, what I find to be more important is to consider what Simon Sinek calls the golden circle.

Start with why, because most of the dialogs, I have run enterprise architecture, focus on what it is.

Then they might get around to methods of how they pursue it. And rarely does the dialog get to the level of why it exists, or why it is valuable, and that's going to be the basis for becoming indispensable on, which we're going to add some of the Business Architecture.

Elements I will speak to in just a few moments.

So I'd really like to get to that level of saying: what is the purpose of an EA practice?

Not what is a buy in of itself, but really what is the purpose of that practice?

So that we can have a dialog that fits two, the real value that we're going to offer to our customers, which are the stakeholders within the organization.

So I've established here a conversational example, Aline, Enterprise Execution by Design, and I think the by design is the key element of where architecture comes into play. To the corporate vision, mission, and strategy, It's really aligning operating models to business models in order to deliver against the strategy.

I've put a recent quote at the bottom here from the Predicts 2021 at Gartner. And you can see that there is this shift due to ... and how organizations are focusing on design and transformation. And that enterprise architecture particular will be shifting the focus toward business design. And so that's why I call it a work in progress.

To conversational example, it acts as sort of an umbrella, if you will, across the different services that an EA practice will offer to, they're business stakeholders.

So using a quick example of why I think this matters, when we speak to what EA is absent, why, we could discuss things like standards, and creating standards, and organizing standards. And I use the example of standards. Because in our recent presentation delivered by a colleague of mine.

Btog CTAHe spoke to the value of standards, and a number of questions came in saying: Wait, but that's: that's old school EA standards. Slow things down, they get in the way.

That's true. That's a perception that exists, But it doesn't need to be the reality.

If we contemplate the value or the purpose of EA, there are certain standards that may be defined to make the architects' life easier.

If everybody follows these rules, then then we have, let's say, less complicated work to do. But you could also have a standard, which is an enabler.

If somebody's trying to achieve something, maybe we have a pattern to help them deploy a new technology. Or maybe we have certain capability models that can help them re-imagine a new business design. So there's a different perspective on viewing, even a construct that's common, like standards.

When we focus on why it is, somebody's putting that into practice.

So question for the audience thought Exercise: if you will, can you articulate the EA services that you offer to the business, and that's the broad business, It doesn't exclude IT, it means to the entity in the organization that you work. What is it that you deliver that they would identify themselves as being valuable to their work?

And so you can imagine a couple of broad examples here, If I look at business design, operating model design, or application portfolio management, that that could be broken down further.

I'd say that as an EA practice, we can help.

the organization contemplate new business models, look at the composable elements of their architecture and bring them together in new ways, Probably involving new technologies that we're tracking and managing to highlight different ways of keeping up with new customer expectations.

You could also revisit the operating models, and that can be done from an efficiency perspective.

Looking for optimizations, updates, maybe as we review the application portfolio, we realize there's certain tech debt, we're going to make some technological changes that will have an effect on the operating model, and so there might be a number of these services that will work together.

And if you start thinking at this level and why EA exists, what the purpose is, that your stakeholders are really looking to benefit from, it changes the approach, and the way that you interact with the organization.

So, at mega we've established a model we call Noisy to Influential.

And this really is key to becoming indispensable within architecture. Many individuals, outside of enterprise architecture may have a historical connotation of enterprise architecture, or even business architecture that's not fully understood, or in the worst-case has a negative connotation what we call noisy they don't really know what it is. Maybe they don't know how they can leverage the benefit of the work that you do.

So what we suggest is, and just to clarify, there's a little different than a maturity model, that you focus on, moving from noisy first to becoming useful.

Every architect I speak to, of course, knows that architecture can be, and perhaps should be influential, But there's a pathway to get there, and you can't skip a step.

So first thing is, can we demonstrate value through usefulness to the business stakeholder?

In order to do that, we will call it, we call push mode.

We're going to take architectural deliverables with a specific purpose, which is discussed a moment ago, and we're going to raise visibility to different individuals across the organization.

Did you know, for example, that a certain architecture was based on declining technologies and changes need to be made? Or did you know in emerging technologies on the horizon coming up, and that it will affect the way that our business operates? Raising these things, and pushing it out to business stakeholders, increases the value and the visibility of the work that you do.

So we start there, as we gain traction, finding stakeholders, we're gonna then find it shifts to what we call trusted.

This is where, after you push a number of information, and they understand the value of the services that your practice offers, you'll find that stakeholders across the business start coming to you asking more questions. This we call pull mode. This is where they start saying, I'm looking to enter into a new market, a new business line. Can you help me understand the implications, How the technology would play: Can you show me where I've got a failing point, or a gap in an offering, and can you help me understand and reconcile that? Or I heard about an upcoming technology. What might that mean for our business? So when you get to the trusted stage, now you're growing the number of stakeholders who recognize the value of the practice and the work that you do.

And then we make the ultimate step towards influential, and this is where it's collaborative.

There's gonna be some level of pushing some level of pulling working together to Drive the Future and coven. Has accelerated this, because there is this notion that organizations need to go through an enterprise redesign.

Copy of Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (3)Not everybody's calling it enterprise architecture, or business architecture, but it is absolutely the work that we know how to do. That's being asked for, help us accelerate transformation.

We maintain a level of risk management, and keep an eye on the tech debt that we have as we move forward. And so we can get to that influential level.

Now I mentioned this is different than maturity, and it's important to manage that distinction.

If you go and look at maturity, it's somewhat an introverted review of your EA practice.

How are we doing, how capable, are we, based on our own assessment, this spins it around and says, Let's Ask the individual outside of the architecture practice.

And as a matter of fact, we did this at a survey at a number of events in 20 19, in person. And the individual came to our booth, our presentation.

And we would ask them, is your enterprise architecture practice valuable, just generically?

And they would come with high remarks. Yes, absolutely, valuable, et cetera. We then change it, and we said Now if we were to ask somebody from your business.

If they perceive your EA practice as valuable, would they say that you're valuable?

And all of a sudden the answer's changed. Well, I'm not sure. I don't think so. They might perceive us as noisy. Maybe some would say useful. Very few acknowledge that the business would consider them trust that are influential. And so it's really important to take that extroverted view to say what would others say of the value of your practice.

OK, so how do we make this work? What are some tips and techniques we can do to drive this forward? Well, the traditional ivory tower approach will not work, and the good news is most architects are understanding this.

Now what we do see, is that we call it Hybrid EA organization, get the architects to work directly with the business, directly, with programs, and projects, that are leading and driving transformation, with skin in the game.

If you put skin in the game, and they see that you're just as accountable to the transformation as they are, there's a much greater dynamic, a much greater collaboration that brings value. And, additionally, what we'll speak to in the next few slides. Using capability based planning for that evolution, that transformation is a great tool to help drive and guide. That transformation is a great way of keeping the projects moving in the direction that you need them to.

So, we're suggesting here to add a business architecture layer to your enterprise architecture efforts. If you're not doing this already, it's something you should absolutely do. If you are doing it, then it's something that we can revisit and see, are you aligned to some of the best practices and making the most out of the offering? Again, in particular, in the way that we're going to communicate value over to that business.

Recent quote from foerster, BA professionals are responsible for understanding how the business plans to succeed, planning that course of action.

Then navigating the change as a single unit. That orchestration, that navigation is critically important Role for the architects. Because you have the bigger picture that you're looking to align and ensure that all of the individual transformations that are occurring across different projects and programs are moving the company towards ultimately that strategic goal.

So, diving into business architecture, looking at the Business Architecture Guild, they split what it is.

What we spoke to in terms of the ear practice, the very beginning of this presentation, a blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organization, But they also give us that purpose.

It's used to align strategic objectives and tactical demands, and that alignment as an outcome driven through design work, transformation planning work, is where you'll see a lot of value.

So, diving into capabilities, this is one of the areas where, if you are new to business architecture, I do suggest you can begin here. Capability planning is identifying the capabilities or what the business does across the entirety of the business.

And then we're going to look to use those capabilities to understand how the organization is performing, relative to the metrics that are needed to achieve the strategic expectations, or outcomes we're looking for.

Also, you can look for capability gaps here, as we start establishing a capability model, and you look to plan for future state of the business achieving certain strategies, you can identify that there are capabilities that are missing, and start to design and plan for how to create and include those capabilities into your organization.

Then, one last tip on this slide, is it also you can look for capabilities that may no longer be necessary.

We do find that most design, work, and architectural work solves problems through adding.

And often, you need to go back then, and look for things that are no longer necessary, and that can be process technology, but even all the way up to the capability level. So, let me create a little bit of an example a story if you will, for this.

I'll use a human instead of an organization that makes it a little bit easier to talk about. Let's consider the ability to walk as a capability. Maybe I could call it bipedal locomotion.

And if I look at the graphic on the slide, we can see that a typical individual will obtain the ability to walk again bipedal locomotion, so that could be jump, jog, run, et cetera, at what I'll call toddler.

Now, sustain that capability for quite a long time. Capabilities, generally speaking, are stable. They're not changing daily. They're not highly dynamic, They are stable, and this is what allows us to use them for planning, because they're stable because they're well understood.

We can use them to communicate across all different facets from business individuals' executives to technolog tech talent technologists, sorry. We can use capabilities as a key element for communication. This particular example comes from the BA guilds common reference model, and you can see under brand definition that it's defined an ability to articulate, establishing, create the brand in a manner which demonstrates the customers, what it does, what it stands for, and why it's different from its competitors.

So, very clear business language that can be used to align the organization as we plan for transformation.

OK, so, what? I'm sure you look at that and you say, fine, I can see some level of value. Why is it so important? Why should I care?

Well, for me, the number one value prop of this is it's unconstrained thinking.

When you start with what, in advance of how you might do things, and you ignore temporarily, any constraints, you can be much more creative and innovative in taking the business to a new direction.

This is very, very, very important.

As constraints and starting with the how aspect of an architecture will often lead to small, minor changes that won't have the major impacts or effects that you need to succeed or transform, especially in light of the accelerations that have occurred during covert and the pandemic. So, a story, and just to start with, this story is not a true story. It's illustrative. And so, I've put the fact check down at the bottom. There's this story that compares to space races. You could say the NASA and the United States, compared to any other country who's going to space.

And the NASA astronauts said we need a pen to work in space. And so, NASA put an investment in and spent tens of millions of dollars, because penn's require pressurization and they don't work without gravity and it was a big problem, whereas the competing entity, they said, we need to write, in space and so they sharpen the pencil.

Screenshot (4)So while the story is not true, the illustrate illustration still holds. If you constrain yourself in many cases unnecessarily.

You'll find that your considerations your course of actions are limited and are stunted in a way that will often create complexity and avoid simple or modern obvious solutions.

Using that, we can find that there is a level of back and forth that can be driven between the strategy and the capabilities.

We can articulate a strategy and a vision, we can understand where the board and the executives want the organization to go.

We can look at the capabilities that exist, and determine, will they enable me to get there?

We find certain gaps, maybe we hit certain roadblocks, And we can provide that as feedback to executives, the board, et cetera, to say, in order to achieve that strategy, we're missing certain capabilities with the current funding, or maybe the current state of certain technology, We're not going to be able to get to that strategy as you desire. And so there may be edits to the strategy and, again, revisit taishan to the capabilities. It's a cycle that works back and forth to drive the company forward.

An example of this, I take from an Elon Musk tweet, Tesla was pushing for hyper automation within the organization, and you can see the comment here, that, yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake to be precise. My mistake.

Humans are underrated.

So, when I look at this, I am looking to assess a little bit.

The humans are underrated statement, did he mean that they simply needed more people walking around the Tesla, Tesla factory will, of course, not.

What it refers to is that there's certain capabilities that were needed to implement that hyper automation strategy that we're missing.

Those capabilities were fulfilled by humans, by individuals, and it wasn't contemplated properly. There was not the proper assessment of capability needed to implement and execute that strategy. And that led to a problem.

If you were to have done that capability assessment, and say, In order to achieve this level of automation, these capabilities would be required, and these capabilities would be needed to operate at a certain level.

Then you could have determined that there are certain skills from individuals that were necessary, brought them on board, and avoided some of the problems or mistakes that had occurred.

So, we want to take and articulate the strategy. We understand that the architects aren't going to be responsible for defining the strategy for the organization, but they can co-operate. And again, depending on where you are in the noise at influential stage, you may have a role in participating in advising on the strategy.

But in any case, we want to make sure that we can represent that strategy and clear terminology so that the architecture team and the business in general, can fully understand and appreciate what the mission, vision and strategy is.

Be sure to do this in an efficient manner. It cannot seem to be something that's complex or takes excessive amounts of time, and then we're going to review and assess those capabilities against that strategy.

How well fitted are the current capabilities within your organization to enable us to achieve that strategy. And where we find gaps is where we can focus on transformation and we can use that to prioritize those transformations to give us the best chance of achieving success.

Those assessments on capabilities can be looked across multiple criteria. So we don't have to just say, well, does this fit the strategy or not? We can look at it from a risk perspective, a financial perspective of business alignment perspective, and of course, we can take it further to some of the people process and technology that enable those capabilities. And how well fitted they are. Maybe I have a capability today that is delivering what it needs to in order for the business to operate. but the technologies it's based on are about to end of life.

And so, if we're at that state, then we need to plan for changes to sustain that capability, which itself may be a high priority. Again, depending on how important that capability is, to the business and the strategy using the multi criteria type of assessments, even down to the people, process, and technology, will help you do that.

Now, let's add to it a little bit more specificity about business outcomes themselves.

So having that foundational view of capabilities, and how they can be used, and understood to communicate to align communication to push for transformation guidance, and prioritization. Let's now set specific measurable outcomes that we can articulate and define, and we're going to continue to use business capabilities as the basis for this.

So it's really, really important that we're able to do this to align the vision for the capability transformation, to understand what it is that we're trying to get to, and within which timeframe.

So I'm gonna go back to my human example. We spoke to the ability to walk the capability. I'll call bipedal.

I'm getting a warning, so bear with me just a second.

So, bipedal locomotion, if I look at this and say, OK, the capability of the ability to walk by a pet of locomotion is stable, It exists across a significant amount of time, OK.

But, if I were to measure that ability across each of those points in time, would I end up with the same metrics?


So, if I look at the bipedal locomotion, and I pick three KPIs, just to illustrate, speed, stamina, and stability, I can then contemplate how fast the toddler might be able to run compared to the child or the adult.

Or what's the level of stability that exists within the toddler? The elder or the adult. I'm going to have different measurements, even for the same capability at different points in time.

Screenshot (32)I call this an exhibited capability. And that metric can be used to define an outcome.

Because I can measure capabilities in the past and the present, but I can also plan and define for capability metrics in the future. How do I want to measure one of these capabilities in three months, six months, one year, et cetera, from now?

This is especially relevant as it relates to achieving the strategy.

So, if I understand the strategy, I can look back to these capabilities and define their level of performance needed in order to fulfill that strategy.

Continuing with my human example, if my strategy were to participate in a marathon and the outcome is I want to complete successfully, that marathon, then I would look at that speed, stamina, and stability. And say, What do I need to increase those metrics to achieve the outcome that I'm looking for?

I am not in shape today to participate in the marathon. I'm probably quite far from shape to participate in a marathon so, first, of course, would be stamina.

Can I complete 26.2 miles of bipedal locomotion?

That would be step one, and that would get me to the ability to complete Emeric.

What if I wanted to attempt to win a marathon? Well now I'm also going to need to increase speed with the stamina. And stability will play a role as well in order to have a chance at winning the marathon.

I could then take that detail and walk backwards. So, what would I need Then Certain training, certain diet, certain equipment, maybe different shoes, or what have you in order to participate in the marathon to either completed or when it. Well, we can take the same approach when we look to architecture, is when we plan for achieving a certain measurable outcome, then we can have a different dialog about how we get there and what people, process and technology would be required.

Some coming back to the Space Pen example. Earlier, we just simply said, we need to be able to write, it was an ability, a capability. There was no metric attributed to it.

Now, if I put in a metric though, it might change the dialog.

So instead of just saying, I need to be able to write in space, maybe there's certain criteria about mutability or persistence, do I want to track changes over time? Do I want this to be saved for posterity sake, for forever? Then, sharpening the pencil may be insufficient.

I may have to look to other alternatives. Maybe the pressurized space pen at all of its expense is the right option. Or, today, maybe a more technological option is available using computers to document and track changes, et cetera.

So, when you put metrics in play, now you can start to have a more proper dialog on how to transform the organization.

And we can bring the business into that dialog.

When we do that, I like to refer, this is focused ideations.

So, when we look at soliciting, suggest suggestions from anyone in the business architects, or anyone else.

You've got a broad, broad response realm of what type of suggestions you might get and their applicability to the current strategy or transformations that you're working on. That doesn't mean they're without value, but there may be so many with such scope that it becomes hard to focus, and they end up being somewhat ignored.

But, when you get a dialog that says, Here's our strategy well articulated. Here are the capabilities they're involved, and these are the metrics we think we need to measure them at in order to achieve that strategy.

Now, we can take that to the organization, it says, Who has ideas on how to achieve that?

The specific outcome changes, the dialog when you're looking to drive innovation and plan for transformation because the suggestions you get will be much more focused or targeted.

A simplistic example and they're not well formed capabilities, Apologies for that.

But if we had a restaurant and that restaurant offered pizza and we're focused on pizza delivery, and we said, well, look, we're trying to increase the strategy has that said general element of revenue and growth, great.

one of the areas we focus on is we think we can improve pizza delivery, because today we have a narrow radius. So, let's look at one of the metrics as, how far can we deliver?

Maybe, the time in which it takes to deliver? and then, also, the freshness of the piece itself. And I'll determine that by temperature.

So, now, if we say, OK, we want to increase the distance within a fixed amount of time, let's say, it has to be half hour, maybe 45 minutes will be a little fair, and we want to sustain a certain temperature. It cannot arrive cold.

Now, we can speak to the organization, says, who has ideas on how we might fulfill that unconstrained? So we can think of drones. We can think of oven cars, we can think of all sorts of topics. And then when we get those suggestions and ideas, we can use our architectural experience to identify what the feasibility of the different suggestions might be. Look at the budgets, look at the timeframes, and see which ones could be implemented.

And I might do this in an incremental manner. Maybe within three months, I'm going to broaden the radius by a certain amount. Within six months, it's going to get broader still.

When we get into a year, I want it to be a significant growth to the radius that we really have to look at innovating for time and temperature.

So, you can really plan this.

And it becomes a major, important dialog to using capabilities in business architecture, to driving transformation, in a way that highlights the value of the purpose for architecture, because you're going to be able to define measurable outcomes, and then track the result, and demonstrate how architecture helped you do that.

In addition to that, we're going to leverage these capabilities to help us track and manage emerging technology.

So we may have a general radar approach to see what's upcoming, what are the different trends in the marketplace, But we can look and see how they would affect the different capabilities within our organization to look for chance of disruption or opportunities that could be disruption that were affected by.

Or it could be that we see an opportunity to be the disrupter by tracking an emerging tech, and applying it in a way that's unique to our business.

That ties into that composable theme that I touched on at the very beginning, is if I do understand the composable elements of the business, I can re-imagine bringing them together in new ways. And, of course, part of that is with emerging technology.

I call this the IT fit, so we're looking at, does the technology fit well to the business need?

Of course, there's elements in here around cost and risk, but ultimately, does the technology do what the business needs to do, and as the business is transforming and changing, will it continue to deliver on what the business needs to do. ... has given great visibility to architecture and rapid transformation.

Remote work happened very quickly, in many cases, quite efficiently, and it demonstrated what we can do.

I like to use this example for twofold, that, of course, general practice you can continue to do that, to drive the transformation, understanding the IT and technological fit. You can also do it for crisis preparedness and resiliency planning.

I'm going to go through this a little bit quickly, because we are running short on time.

But the idea is that if you have that capability model in advance of a crisis or a pandemic, you assess the capabilities necessary for survival, and you look to determine at what level they should be measured. So, consider those business outcome metrics I mentioned for future state.

Copy of Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (3)But let's imagine that it's a state of operating below match capacity. Again, use covert as the example. Maybe we can reduce some of the speed or some of the performance that we would have, and thinking in advance of the capabilities that could be turned down. Technologies, people process, that could be re repurposed or changed during the stage, allows you to be better prepared for when this might come up in the future.

So, the value of putting metrics, on a capability, at a point in time.

Again, we call it exhibited capabilities As part of your business architecture, practice, is immensely valuable for planning for the future state, but also planning for potential problems to increase resilience.

The theme of the day in EA practices is Adaptability and Resiliency, and this is one way in which you can strongly support that vision and that angle.

Focusing now on executing against that strategy. So a recent research note out of Gartner Management Research consistently shows that when an organization fails, it is almost always at the point, of executing its strategy.

This, by the way, is not something that's new, we see that strategy and execution failure is a common theme for at least a decade, I'm sure, more. This is the part of the process, where the operating model is actually defined and created.

And so if we see the second part of that middle bullet, is an opportunity for architects to play a role in ensuring that the definition of that operating model is fully aligned to that business model, to support the strategy.

That was my working example. for the purpose of EA. We can really build on this and drive the way forward, that strongly recognizes the value of architecture, and moves you towards becoming indispensible.

So, in conclusion, make sure that you have a strategy and business model for your organization. The strategy won't be yours to initiate, but you want to articulate it well and clear, so that all the architecture initiatives can be aligned on the same page, and you can assess your architectural work to see how it supports that strategy.

Develop the business model for the organization, and put forth new ideas for new business models, contemplate enterprise redesign, and be a valuable player in that dialog.

Make sure that you have a capability model as part of your business architecture layer.

Assess that capability model to that strategy. Look for gaps, and where you find those gaps. Plan for transformation that will enable the people, process, and technology to deliver the operating models needed to fulfill that strategy.

Define business outcomes, Put metrics on those capabilities at points in time.

I can track how we're doing today, maybe that's a baseline. I can establish the ambition of where that capability should be for performance, and I can track that movement.

I can then propose architectural changes that will enable the metric to be measured at the level I need it to.

Again, what are the people, processes and technologies I need to have in place in order to fulfill the metrics that I've defined, in order to achieve those business outcomes?

This is not only good. For the business transformation itself, it's also good for allowing your architecture practice to get credit for the value it delivers. When we focus on why we do the work that we do.

We're also going to put together stages to plan for that transformation over time. I'll call it incremental. That doesn't need to be a definition of smaller or large scope, but it's organized. We're planning for that change.

And then we're going to validate and ensure that those operating models strongly deliver on the business models that are necessary for the achievement of the strategy and the outcome.

So, with that, I will say thank you for listening, and I believe we will open it up for questions.

Excellent. Daniel, thank you so much. I ask the audience to submit their questions while engaged in the live Q&A with with Dan.

And then, if you could please click on stop sharing your presentation, so that the audience can see both of us in the in the larger screens right there, Perfect.

So, what are your questions for than? We had lots of interesting sites here on the capabilities for enterprise architecture, business architects, and so many other topics that the then covered so then that was fantastic. Really great insights. Out 1 of 1 of the questions that came up while you're speaking has to do with the with the stages that of maturity, if you, if you will, of the business, of the partners, of the enterprise architects as partners to, to the business and you know, the noisy use for trusted and influential that you talked about.

Tell me a little bit about, wow, how do you develop those people? An enterprise architects will have those capabilities.

You develop them, or you reveal them where you find them in the organization, and what are you looking for? An Enterprise Architect? Who have the capability to, to get to that collaborative level, which is the ultimate level?

Screenshot (4)So that's a great question. There's multi facets to answering that, Of course, it will depend on the skills within the practice at that time. And so if it's a brand new E practice with a lot of new architects, you'll have to define where you can deliver value. So what was the catalyst for the practice to be established?

What was sort of the mission that led to it, the pain point you're resolving?

We find today that's often starting at a low maturity perspective on things like application rationalization, tech costs management.

This isn't where EA should go just to be clear. But that's an easy way to deliver measurable value. And that's where you can start to show to the business the purpose and benefit of architecture.

If you have higher skilled, more mature architects already in the practice, maybe it's been established for a number of years, similarly, you would look to see what are the value that you can offer and knock on doors and market the value that you have. I think this is under done when it comes to EA practices. Really get out there and make it known to the business, what you're offering, what you're capable of, and build a set of stakeholders, who can be, in essence, internal references for your practice. Where if you help one business line, solve certain problems. You can go to another business line and say, Hey, if you're curious about what we do, or maybe you're not certain talk to this other business line, and you can see how we were able to help them achieve certain successes, hit the metrics that they're looking for, we're able to help you as well. So really pay attention to marketing your EA practice and value. Assess the capabilities of your own EA practice, determine where you might have gaps that can be fulfilled to offer new services that are needed to that that organization.

And then this actually can be quite a significant change for a lot, a lot of organizations and enterprise architects, and the way that we look at enterprise architecture Does it impact the way you hire? And you go, and you identify the right, enterprise architects for your organization.

If I'm creating a new group, a new Enterprise Architecture group, What are some of the skills that I should be looking for beyond the technical skills?

Yes. So for me, Yes, but if it does depend on where that Ian practice is in their aspiration. So if they're in the forward looking view of architecture, that's more business oriented than you would want individuals who don't only have technical skills, but also have business awareness.

There's some soft skills that you may want to assess, their ability to communicate, their ability to present and interact. Storytelling.

I think, you mentioned this from yesterday's session, storytelling is a key element to an architectural practice if you can't communicate a story effectively and efficiently, you're gonna have a hard time articulating, not only the value, but the transformative vision. So I think you've gotta look for yes, they should still have some understanding of technology for sure. But they have to be business aware, they have to be storytellers. And I would say generalist is another angle to look at how adaptable is that resource so that they can take on new challenges. As the practice evolves.

Those are great insights and so thanks for that.

By the way, you have done a masterful job of weaving storytelling through your own presentation, so you do you preach in the in the in the fact that your illustrate your presentation illustrates, that starting thali that Storytelling capabilities, the analogies that you use the depend on the pencil.

The walking analogy, the motion analogy that I use with humans is a great, beautiful way of illustrating some of the points that the, the, the URL for Sizing very well up with what have you seen As.

If you look past this last 12 months or so, we have had tremendous amount of disruption, of course, remote work became a major thing and, and, and, and then beyond remote work. What have you seen, in terms of the organizations that you work with, What have been the most meaningful changes in Enterprise architecture that you have seen as a result of the pandemic as a result of the dislocation that we have experienced?

So I find that that tends to be industry specific. Certain industries were disrupted in different ways. And so some we saw with the remote work, they also had to move some of their processes, remote even interact with customers.

So things like digital signatures, aspects of not requiring in person, contact points, but really strong variability by industry. We had certain industry had to really rethink the business models of what they offered to find revenue streams that maybe weren't possible if they continue down the historical paths. Whereas other industries were they weren't not affected. Of course everyone was, but it was less affected from a business model perspective.

So really was industry different from that I will say that an interesting dialog ahead with our Customer Advisory board about mid last year and asking what effect covert had on their EA practices and the recognition of value sort of the theme.

Even of today's presentation and many almost all of them had indicated it raised the visibility that there was this level of they used the word panic. I don't think they mean it in a negative sense, But it was just sort of What do we do? How do we do? And when the architects were able to say, we have understanding of what technologies, where we can move you remote, we can make changes to the business models, we can understand what technologies can be turned down, or which ones maybe need to be reinforced. It really raised the value perspective on a lot of the practices, and so I think that's one of the key changes as well, That there was this recognition of EA saying, Oh, I didn't even know that entity existed. And wow, the work you've got really helped us navigate this path. So I do think that's one thing that was sort of a cross industry, which is pretty positive.

Yeah, we'll certainly concur that. We have seen that across even, you know, our own events, you know, the, the increasing in interests, on learning about enterprise architecture, right? I mean?

A bit of a generalization here but a lot of the work on Enterprise Architecture. And though the conference around Enterprise Architecture in the past kind of trend to attract just more purely technical people. And the and though we have seen a significant shift on that. And, and, and this, in this conference is, a great example of that, this is a conference on Business Transformation and Operational Excellence as its foundation.

and, and a lot of business leaders who are, who are here today with us. And on that, I'm looking at the questions coming in, and then for the audience, you know, please keep posting your questions. The theme that, interesting enough, one of the main themes that people keep asking about, is the, is the storytelling aspect of your presentation. And I think that you caught the imagination with some of the stories that you told, and they see that as a very valuable asset, again, ends and capability to the, to be developed by, by enterprise architects. Do you have any resources or suggestions on people who, who haven't had much experience with storytelling, I want to develop those capabilities?

Yeah. For me, there's a couple of themes to look at. Of course, you can look outside of architecture, and just generally look at story arching. And see, what are the trends in traditional phases that a story could go through? You could look, of course, magazine website has success stories. And you can start to track those in your dialog. I'm sure other vendors have similar. And you can use those as a basis to apply to yourselves as an organization. And then, of course, I always welcome anyone. Reach out to me, e-mail, LinkedIn, phone call. We can talk through stories and to kind of bounce ideas off each other. It helps me learn. I'm happy to help them learn. And so we welcome that dialog, also.

That's excellent. Thank you. Thank you for that.

And then to wrap up our discussion, what what do you see happening in the next few months as we may continue on the path that we're on right now of tremendous uncertainty and disruption?

Or we may forget about going back to normal. We may have a new state that we live in front enterprise architecture standpoint.

Are there any trends that you're looking at, or technology, emergent technologies that are really interesting to you, What do you see happen in the next 6 to 12 months that we may need to pay attention to?

I think there's there's probably two things that are key to answer, that there's more, of course, at a lower level detail, but there's going to be the continued trend for things like artificial intelligence and the way that machines interact with individuals', so, automation, intelligence, et cetera. So from a technological perspective, that, but also for the business implications that, and then from a more architectural perspective, I think the big change is going to be, and I'll quote or paraphrase from a McKinsey study of last year, CEOs will not expect the transformations to slow down.

When corvid, I say ends, for lack of a better word, when things return to the new normal, they'll want to continue the pace of transformation.

I think there's a little bit of a missing detail in that, that today, a lot of the speed transformation is due to absence of risk considerations. If you have the risk of going out of business due to the pandemic versus a proposed change, it becomes a very easy decision if that high risk of going out of business to the pandemic goes. away then you start to re contemplate the typical risks that you would have seen pre pandemic. And so finding a way to have a risk aware transformation vision that moves at high speed. That's what I think the architects are going to be helping navigate is to propose high speed transformation while contemplating the new risks post pandemic.

Fantastic, Dan, thank you so much for taking your time to share your wisdom and expertise with us, we really appreciate the insights you have share with us. Excellent, thanks for having me.

Ladies and gentlemen, then have the Chief Strategy Officer for mega international real pleasure to have him with us today.

And, and we're going to set up our thank you, Dan.

And then we're gonna set up our next presentation at the top of the hour.

We are welcome, software, AG, and the software AG and its senior vice-president of product management and are indeed, doctor .... I think doctor ... is going to be talking to us directly from Germany, today, and doctor ... will discuss strategy execution for the Agile enterprise. So, be a digital business faster. And the. And, how do you do that? And then, really, this, this somewhat of a friction between Agile, with Scrum, and kind of those Lean approach, is applied to software, and the need for clear strategy, direction, and execution. And, and how do you merge those two? So very much looking forward to their presentation. I'll see all of you back at the top of the hour. Thank you.


About the Author

more (64)-Feb-16-2021-03-22-59-71-PMDan Hebda,
Chief Strategy Officer,
MEGA International.

For over 20 years, Dan Hebda has been at the forefront of technology innovation that helps businesses meet their strategic goals. In his current position as Chief Strategy Officer for MEGA International, he drives the company’s strategy, focusing on formulating product direction that meets evolving market needs for business transformation software solutions.

Dan has led many complex programs in business transformation, from the perspective of enterprise architecture and change management. Through his expertise, he helps organizations begin projects faster and deliver ROI sooner. His background in business architecture, process analysis, technical architecture, application integration, and product customization has helped him guide companies in their strategic initiatives and use enterprise architecture to produce valuable business outcomes.


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