Five or ten years ago, terms like ‘business architect’ and ‘business architecture’ left even the most informed C-level executives scratching their heads.
But as organisations aim to modernise and thrive in the digital era, the need for complex organisations to transform and adapt has paved the way for business architecture to emerge as a practical, effective solution for navigating change.
Business architecture helps an organisation understand why it exists, what it does, how it delivers value and to whom, and how it can adapt and improve in an evolving ecosystem. (For a detailed breakdown of business architecture and how it differs from other practices, read part one of Cordelta consultant James McPhillips’ business architecture crash course, also published on The RiotACT.)
Organisations like the Business Architecture Guild, which was founded in the United States in 2011, have long understood the value of business architecture. Nine years on, this message has well and truly reached Canberra, with the launch of a local Business Architecture Guild community to build and expand the profession in the ACT.
The Canberra Business Architecture Guild Community, which is the second of its kind in Australia, met for the first time this month. The community aims to:
- Introduce consistency in the approach, methods and terminology used by business architecture practitioners
- Educate organisations on the quality standards and utility they should expect from business architecture products and outcomes
- Grow business architecture skills and knowledge to make it easier for the market to access qualified professionals
- Provide confidence that there are consistent standards in this emerging discipline that can act as a guide for practitioners in Canberra.
Community member and volunteer Krishan Jogia says the decision to launch a Business Architecture Guild Community in Canberra was an easy one. Canberra’s key business sectors, including government, are increasingly aware of the practice of business architecture and the value it provides.
“Locally, government, private sector and not-for-profit organisations are catching on to what businesses interstate and around the world have known for some time: that access to conceptual views of the business is necessary to successfully plan, prioritise, coordinate and implement lasting change,” he says.
“The ability to see what levers you can push and pull to improve your business is an extraordinary tool for senior executives to harness.”
As these organisations recognise business architecture’s potential for navigating change, local demand for business architecture services is soaring.
“The days of business-as-usual are over, and the age of change-as-usual is here. Organisations have realised that transformation is not a one-off programme that is delivered over the course of a few years, then shelved. Rather, transformation takes a conscious mindset and continuous effort to improve how we deliver meaningful services and facilitate useful outcomes for our stakeholders.
“Business architecture provides the means for organisations to execute on their transformation strategy by bridging the gap between the abstract and tangible realms of their business,” Krishan says.
Fortunately, there are plenty of local business architects available to meet demand. Business architecture is more and more acknowledged as a specific discipline, and there is strong interest from those in related fields to learn how to leverage it for better client outcomes.
The inaugural Canberra Business Architecture Guild Community meeting, for example, was attended by business architects as well as IT security experts, business analysts, project managers and enterprise architects.
“Business architecture has its own standards, methods and practices, outside of its historical connection with traditional enterprise architecture and business analysis. While business architecture is still complementary to these disciplines and others such as portfolio management, user research and service design, it has evolved in its own right,” Krishan explains.
The next Canberra Business Architecture Guild Community meeting will be held in July 2018. Members and non-members from all professional backgrounds are welcome to attend to:
- Learn how to support business leaders make informed decisions
- Encourage teams to buy-in to their organisation’s overarching purpose and vision
- Affect meaningful change during periods of uncertainty.
For more information, go to the Business Architecture Guild website.