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.

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