The Enterprise Architecture, being a tool that provides visibility of the business, providing ‘line of sight‘ between strategy and execution, allows it user to gain insights that would otherwise be obscured.
With being able to ‘slice and dice’ the business, the capability to assess the impact of change and the carrying out a ‘what if analysis’ on areas of interest is greatly enhanced.
The key to determining impact is the identification and inclusion of Business Measures within the Enterprise Architecture and their ongoing monitoring as part of ‘Business as Usual’ activities. The measures, once established, will be influenced by many different parts of the business and need to be looked at holistically as a change in one area may have a consequential change elsewhere.
Business measures must also not be looked at in isolation.
- Increasing revenue by increasing prices may provide a short term gain but might be at the expense of customer satisfaction and market share
- Increasing efficiency or productivity may come at the expense of employee satisfaction.
- Driving down costs may come at the expense of revenue and customer satisfaction.
- Revenue may have increased through no reason than population growth yet if market share has decreased is this a success.
Business success should be assessed by taking a multi-dimensional view of the business. Success will be measured through the contribution of multiple individual measures and the context in which they taken.
It is reasonable to assume that if a business manufactures more of a specific product for sale then both revenue and the cost of manufacture will increase. Success here can, simplistically, be assessed by looking at the interplay between these two measures.
- If increased production equates to increased profit then does it matter that costs have increased?
- Does increased sales equate to increased customer satisfaction and give some consequential additional benefit?
With Business Measures firmly entrenched within an Enterprise Architecture and processes in place that use them and are rigorously enforced, a business will be in an excellent position to shape its future and be ‘successful’.