Sunday, 24 June 2012

Public Course Harben Newport Pagnell

Just finished delivering a public offering last week of our Business Architecture course to six delegates at Devere Harben conference centre , Newport Pagnell.

We had a mix of independent contractors and permanent employees from a well known health care provider and the mix was useful from all points of view, avoiding the potential insular discussions one sometimes gets in delivering courses in house. We had business architects, business analysts and technical infrastructure architects all who contributed well and made for a rich and dynamic learning experience.

It was interesting to see the growing number of tablet devices used by delegates who use them to capture notes and refer to documents among other things.

Every course seems to result in more technology like this being deployed and I thought afterwards that there must be some mileage in communicating business architecture, particularly Target Operating Model depictions, in a more exciting format than basic word and power-point documents and decks.

With the ever present challenge of communicating the right view to the right stakeholder a touch screen device with multiple branching links and potential views of the core business architecture seems a good potential for some development.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

We asked them they delivered. BPMN in Concept draw

The business architect blog has been working with CS Odessa in asking for business modelling upgrades for their suite of graphically based tools and here is their first response. BPMN is a basic requirement in any process diagramming tool but nevertheless this shows their commitment to developing into an analysis tool set for professional business architects.
We will do a review on this tools set soon and see how it competes with things like MS Visio and how it complements things like IGrafx Flowcharter.

PRESS RELEASE: 13th June 2012.

New Business Process Diagram Solution: Business Process Modeling Notation Made Easier than Ever.

We at CS Odessa (, developer of the industry leading cross platform business graphics and diagramming tool, ConceptDraw PRO v9, have released a new Business Process Diagram Solution, in the Business Productivity Area of the ConceptDraw Solution Park. The solution, using ConceptDraw PRO’s dynamic RapidDraw feature, allows you to build diagrams in an instant and is available for download at no charge to current owners of ConceptDraw PRO v9.
Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is a set of standard symbols that allow you to create a graphical view of a business process. The symbols were developed to help users develop standard, unified structure of processes, and any messages shared between these processes.
As the business world becomes more complex, so must the processes that keep it running. What's more, with more participants involved in the running of a business, both from inside and out, it's important we have a unified modeling technique that can handle the interaction between these processes. BPMN is a visual tool for businesses and business process implementers. A critical focus of BPMN is that it is seen as critical for business users to easily read and understand business process diagrams. 
BPMN is a process-oriented approach to modeling of systems; this sets it apart from UML which has a more object-oriented approach. With the addition of BPMN to ConceptDraw PRO, users have the capability of using either BPMN or UML to describe a process, depending on their needs.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Is business architecture design?

There seems to be unending debate on whether business architecture is about design or not. Some argue that design is about solutions and architecture shouldn't be about solutions. They say architecture should be purely about mapping the relationships between business components i.e. how the parts are constructed to make the business work.

The debates get quite heated at times and mainly stem from people speaking from their point of view within a role within a particular organisation; individuals are confusing role with definition of an approach or the discipline of business architecture.

The basic issue is that business architecture is not succinctly defined and in fact I am quite OK with that as the important thing is the value it adds not what it is called or what its scope is - outcomes are key here.

A business architecture as such, as an artefact, does represent how components are joined together to make the business work but business architecture as discipline is somewhat varied depending on where you sit.

As a discipline it is about translating strategy into operational reality. Its scope varies from place to place in role terms, but that is a different matter. Strategy partners, business architects and solution architects all do sections or multiple sections of business architecture; they apply business architectural techniques.

So does business architecture embrace design?

Well yes I think it does as it is part of the overall process of defining change. Does it matter that this might upset the purists? Well not really as long as the client is happy with the outputs and sees business architecture in a good light then that is fine by me.

Lets face it a static set of diagrams - a business architecture- has little perceived value to stakeholders whilst a well articulately change road map with traceability from strategy to solutions has considerable value and value is key.