Sunday, 18 December 2011

Capabilities and Process Architectures "Old Chestnut"

There have been many posts in recent forum discussions within the business architecture community which describe the commonality,within some organisations, between higher level process blocks and capabilities.
Some have suggested that this makes capabilities less useful. This is due to a combination of factors either because the organisation is very process dominant with low levels of physical things like, manufacturing or logistical activities or perhaps even due to poor analysis.
Process folks think process and when searching for capabilities use their reference point, process in current organisational structures, to search for capabilities. In many cases it is not surprising that they "low and behold" discover capabilities fairly identical to their high level process and say " well that was a pointless task wasn't it ".Quite often they have missed a lot of capabilities that the organisation has that could be instrumental to a step change in business model. 
Thus the introspective continual reference to to current physical state of the business constrains the thinking of the logical. Peter Checkland recognised this feature in his Soft Systems Methodology in Action (P.Checkland, Jim Scholes, 1999, Wiley, Chichester).
To model capabilities properly it is necessary to detach from what you know and the current context that you work within i.e. process and look in at the business from the outside through a fresh set of eyes lifting up to root definitions and conceptual models. This is not easy when your analysis team are steeped in operational thinking.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Business Architecture Training early 2012

Just started to get some initial  interest for public business architecture courses in 2012. It looks like the February offering near Southampton will go ahead now on the 15th to 17th of February. We could do with a few more delegates to add to the initial provisional bookings to crystallise the event.

In all though, in house courses for groups seem to attract more interest, although this doesn't help individuals either those privately funded or from smaller organisations who don't have larger groups of staff they wish to train in business architecture.

The thinking with in house courses, as opposed to public events, is that companies like to keep their own issues private and also it is more cost effective for a trainer to visit them with one set of hotel and travel costs rather than sending four or five people away on a public course with all the subsistence expenses that that incurs.

The downsides are that off site venues allow focus on learning away form the day to day distractions of being still in the "office" and we do get a lot of interruptions from BAU in these - in house - circumstances as people go away from the training event to attend brief meetings or arrive late or leave early to attend to their issues. This can on occasions be quite disruptive for  the event for all concerned and limits delegates full appreciation of what is on offer as they miss critical points, techniques or concepts.