Where Does Enterprise Architecture/Design Add Value in the Strategy Planning Cycle?

Every EA will be asked more than once in their career – where do you add value?

In my mind Enterprise Architecture and Design is a fundamental part of strategic assessment and planning.

Just take a look at the strategy map in this article and let’s play out where the Enterprise Architect / Design team plays.



Strategy Map

The EA/ED will be passionate about how to provide the most impactful operating model to enable all aspects of your strategy.

From a capability (growth) perspective the EA/ED will be mindful of the culture and leadership styles that your business value and they will want to work with your HR team on how best to align teams and establish “ways of working” to foster the right business outcomes. Ultimately looking at the information flows and human capabilities required of the business to achieve the top line growth.

From an internal perspective the EA/ED will want to understand how effective the processes are and need to be to achieve your business strategy. Are the operational, customer, innovation and regulatory processes set up for success. Are there tensions across the operating processes that are preventing or limiting strategic performance? Ultimately, highlighting areas for improvement to enable the new strategy to be a success.

From a customer perspective the EA/ED will want to listen to product owners and service owners and understand what needs to change to deliver on the strategy – what is the product and service owners “why” – what investments will be needed in tech, data and people to develop and deliver the products and services and how will the business need to configure the product and service teams to get results – often looking at supplier and business partner relationships to ensure your operating model is pulling on core competencies internally and supported by partners and suppliers in areas where it makes sense to do so

And then when you get to the top and the business drivers of productivity (costs) and growth (revenue) the EA/ED will want to work with finance to surface pain points for growth, and opportunities to reduce costs.

The EA/ED team has a part to play in the overall strategic business model, the operating model, the experiences model and the product models and will consider the implications on processes, tech, data, teams, suppliers and partners and as such be able to help scale and shape the change agenda to be able to execute on the strategy.

Many internal EA/ED will be found working alongside the “consultants” that CEOS bring in to help define and refine the multi-year plan – the “consultants” will need to assess what it will take to deliver the plan and the internal EA/ED is no doubt viewed as “gold dust” when assigned to a strategic review team.

As the plan moves into execution the EA/ED will be found working closely with the sponsoring exec and shaping programmes of work for the change team to drive forward – the EA/ED will be constantly reviewing progress against the operating model roadmaps and supporting teams in the adoption and adaption to change.

The role sits at the enterprise level and often has team members that are focused on specific business units or spanning business domains (customer, ops, corporate) and will work closely with IT and data architects and HR departments in getting a joined-up understanding of where and how to move things forwards.