In this episode, Daniel Lambert helps us to understand what Business Architecture is, how it differs from Business Analysis, and the value it can bring to an organization.
After listening to this episode, you'll understand:
- What Business Architecture is
- How Business Architecture differs from Business Analysis
- How a BA can get value from Business Architecture
- What a Business Analyst needs to do to become a Business Architect
Business Architecture is more of a model than a method. It gives you a snapshot of your organization to better understand it’s capabilities, products, and how it delivers value.
Often, Business Architecture is documented via a series of maps (value stream maps, strategy maps, etc.). It’s used to get an accurate picture of your company so that product and IT leaders can extract opportunities and create initiatives. It also allows you to build epics and user stories that tie back to opportunities and capabilities of the origination.
You’ll be able to see elements in the business architecture model and be able to grasp the full picture and be more accurate in requirements and avoid redundancies.
When we look at the top reasons for project failure (missing requirements, unrealistic expectations, etc.), knowledge and application of Business Architecture can help address these issues.
Business Analysts can use the Business Architecture model to help define your requirements or User Stories. Linking your requirements to the architecture helps to find errors, unneeded requirements, and omissions. Additionally, understanding organizational capabilities can help accurately frame expectations.
The Business Architect and the Business Analyst
Business Architects main focus is at the organizational level and understanding the capabilities, market, products, and how value is delivered to customers. The Business Architect does not focus on delivery, but the information that they develop can lead to projects and ensuring alignment with organizational capabilities.
They’re all about planning and generally not at all about delivery and execution. That’s where the Business Analyst comes in.
You can think of a Business Architect as a scaled up version of a Business Analyst.
- Business Architect: Understands and creates maps and models to represent the organization’s capabilities, delivery of value, products and services, etc.
- Business Analyst: Understands value of their project/initiative and focuses on business needs and solution delivery. Ensures alignment of their projects and requirements to business strategy and business architecture.
- Enterprise Architect: Understands and helps define the roadmap for the technology used by an organization. May lack business acumen.
- Solutions Analyst: Understands requirements created by the Business Analyst and devises solutions that meet the requirements while aligning to the organization’s technology roadmap.
The BA Career Path
The Business Architect can be described as a Business Analyst with a more strategic, higher level focus. As such, the Architect role may be on the career path for the Business Analyst.
Often, the Business Architect reports to the Director of Business Architecture under the CIO. However, because they have a business focus, it may be more effective to report up through the COO instead of technology.
To learn more about the Business Architect role, you can join the Business Architecture Guild. They created the Guide to the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge (BIZBOK), which you can use to learn more about creating and using the maps and models that make up business architecture.
You can (and should) also seek out the Business Architect in your organization to learn more about what they do.
Listen to the full episode to hear all of Dan’s tips and advice.
Find out about the Business Architecture information in your organization and use it to enhance your ability to link requirements and solutions to the organization’s strategy and capabilities.
If there is no Business Architecture information in your organization, it represents your opportunity to add more value and advance your career.
Vice President at Benchmark Consulting
Daniel Lambert has over 25 years of experience in IT. His company’s software, IRIS Business Architect, enables the rapid creation of Business Architecture meta models and allows for collaboration by making it easy to share the Business Architects’ work. He recently wrote an article on Business Analysts and Business Architecture for Business Analyst Times.
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