There comes a time to re-assess business processes and information technology in use. The catalyst may be recognition that processes are not effective, that the business is facing new challenges, that technology needs a refresh and people are stuck in their old ways. Frequently, there is pressure to do more with less.
Ursa Major helps clients align business processes with strategy. We start with the big picture, and ask for the strategic plan and other guidance to understand where the organization is focused. In some cases, we've conducted a gap analysis or facilitated strategic planning to update an organization's goals and objectives, prior to delving into the details of its business processes.
Our approach is to work closely with client personnel, to both model their existing processes and lead them though an innovation process to encourage creativity and explore new alternatives. In key areas, we help them conduct benchmarking with other organizations to identify best practices. Based upon the results, we model and facilitate concensus around new processes and develop an implementation plan.
This process is called Enterprise Architecture (EA): alignment of business processes to achieve mission objectives, supported by appropriate technology, and measurable by appropriate performance measures. The Federal government has realized that business-led architecture is more successful in meeting strategic goals and responding to changing mission needs than technology- or budget-driven architecture. The Federal EA Practice Guidance summarizes it in the image below:
The EA provides a shared view of the current and future state. Prioritizing investments by segment helps define the implementation and funding strategy, and executing implementation plans provide strategic results that are measured by improved mission outcomes. The results also provide feedback into the architecture development processes for additional phases of improvements.
We have done EA for federal agencies, using federal standards, and for commercial and nonprofit organizations. We have conducted workshops and focus groups nationwide both in person and using virtual / social networking technologies, to develop integrated processes and systems spanning organizational boundaries. The abilities and expertise are in your organizations -- you just need some help to get it all organized. The results are always impressive!
Most recently, in 2013, we conducted an EA analysis of Management Touchpoints for the U. S. Marine Corps' Enterprise Business Transformation Office.