Enterprise Design Series

LEGO® Serious Play® triggers and enhances the skills for Creative Problem Solving. It includes imagination and reasoning by metaphors, as well as integration, analysis and evaluation, which are all powerful tools to unlock creativity to surprising and realistic solutions. It includes a facilitated meeting in which participants are led through a series of questions, probing deeper and deeper into the subject. Each participant builds his or her own 3D LEGO® model in response to the facilitator’s questions using specially selected LEGO® bricks. These LEGO® 3D models serve as a basis for group discussion, knowledge sharing, problem solving and decision-making.

“You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than you can from a lifetime of conversation” – Plato

As a group you will continue with building shared models and landscape, giving them meaning through story-making, and playing out various possible scenarios – a process which deepens understanding, sharpens insight, and socially “bonds” together the group as it “plays” together. The method serves as a shared language regardless of culture or position.

LEGO® Serious Play®

LEGO® Serious Play® is a tool operating in the vortex of Enterprise Design Thinking, it is the perfect tool to populate the Enterprise Design Canvas. In comparison to the classic approach of using post-its it adds creativity to the table. A simple answer put on a ‘post-it’ is based on the critical thinking thought process. It is like a short cut to “exploring solutions” and jumps to the thinking skills like identification, analysis or evaluation. By applying LEGO® Serious Play® we facilitate the thought process to start with exploring the vision or assessing the situation.

LEGO® Serious Play®

The LEGO® Serious Play® core process consists of the following four sequenced steps: posing the question, construct (a model and a covering story), sharing and reflect. Within the core process all of the following seven application techniques are used:

  1. Building individual Models
  2. Building Shared Models
  3. Creating a Landscape
  4. Making Connections
  5. Building a System
  6. Playing Emergence and Decisions
  7. Extracting Simple Guiding Principles

Each of the application techniques is based on mastering the previous one(s). To illustrate the use of these application techniques to populate the Enterprise Design Canvas, the LEGO® 3D models in the blog post have the Enterprise Design Canvas building block mentioned and the applied application techniques.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

Using a Creative Problem Solving method like LEGO® Serious Play® leads to creative and surprising, but realistic, solutions. By applying reasoning by metaphors to start telling your story around your 3D model new insights are shared, sharpened by other participants, and tested during playing out various scenarios. As a result, participants of the workshop are both confident and committed to implement the solutions discovered.

LEGO® Serious Play®

The story which accompanies the shared models, landscapes or derived guiding principles are etched in the memory of the participants, which makes them believe and live the business transformation. For outsiders a transcript of the (end-) stories is required to gain the insights.

© 2014 ARTe Group BV – All rights reserved

This is the second blog post on Enterprise Design Model. In this blog post we will take a next step in explaining the Enterprise Design Model, the application of IT. In the blog post Enterprise Design Model – Introduction we described the structure of the Enterprise Design Model. It is divided in three architectural type columns (i.e. Structure, Behavior, and Knowledge), which have been inspired by natural language, where a sentence has a subject (structure), a verb (behavior), and an object (knowledge).

When an organization decides to increase efficiency of the business by applying IT we see the following detailing of the Enterprise Design Model.

  • The business capability is partly realized with application capabilities, which consist of application services exposing application functions.
  • The business solution is partly completed with application solutions, which consist of application modules and application interfaces providing collaboration, access to application services and running organizations
  • The business component is partly fulfilled by technology components, which conduct of platform services delivering technology functions.
  • The business system is partly built with technology systems, which consist of platform devices and infrastructure nodes connecting networks, hosting technology components and deploying application solutions

Enterprise Design Model 2.0

This diagram illustrates the Enterprise Design Model applicable for business and IT. Equally as for the Enterprise Design Model for business and organization there are in total 14 or more models. In this blog posts only the IT specific architecture model are explained, complementary to the business and organization architecture model for the first blog post about Enterprise Design Model. Jon H Ayre wrote an excellent blog post explaining the architecture models for business and IT, which we have adapted to the following descriptions to start with:

Application Layer: Describes the capabilities, which deliver solutions to support the business layer. In an IT environment it contains the automation of business processes with application services, which are realized by applications functions processing data.

  • Capabilities (Application Behavior)
 – Illustrates the internal application services needed by the business (including IT) to allow it to undertake the processes described in the business layer.
  • Solutions (Application Structure)
 – Elaborates how the application services interact with one another to fulfil the needs of the organisation model and thus provide the desired customer experience.
  • Data (Application Information)
 – Captures the detailed data elements and relationships required to support the Information model. This data model is derived from the Information model, but at the same time, needs to be supportive of the application services described in the capability model (and vice versa).

Technology Layer. This layer could easily be rephrased as Infrastructure Layer, especially in a non-IT environment. In describes the systems required to support the solutions describe in the application layer. IT-specific it describes required components and sources exposed by platform and infrastructure service (e.g. messaging, processing, storage,) to run applications functions and store data.

  • Components (Technology Behavior)
 – Illustrates the individual technology components available to the business to perform its daily activities.
  • Systems (Technology Structure)
 – Elaborates how the technology components interact with one another to fulfil the needs of the solution model.
  • Sources (Technology Knowledge)
 – Captures the sources of the raw data described in the data model. In an ideal world, these sources will be derived directly from the data model, but in reality sources may duplicate data, or separate related data as a result of the choices made in the Component model. This model should therefore identify how the duplication and re-combination of data will be handled.

As Jon H Ayre already mentioned in his blog post there are a lot of models to consider, and we have to start somewhere. The majority of “traditional” organisations start by developing the Organisation model from a business perspective or the Solution model from an IT perspective. The pitfall of the last model is it often falls to IT alone, acting on a variety of unaligned instructions from many interested parties. It is also best to start with the Service Model in keeping with the value (proposition) oriented approaches that many business architects adopt, and then work left to right and top to bottom.

And Remember… One of the challenges with Enterprise Design is that when you explain it in words, it always sounds more complex than it actually is in practice.

note: TOGAF® is a registrated trademarks of The Open Group

© 2014 ARTe Group BV – All rights reserved

With the Enterprise Design Canvas we have captured a conceptual design including both business and IT. Using creative and critical thinking we have formulated solutions. The next step is to holistically approve this design. Within enterprise architecture the common approach is the application of The Open Group Architecture Framework, in short TOGAF®. It is a sound approach to design a holistic perspective. Its core strength is the meta-model which describes in abstract an entire enterprise. The standard out-of-the-book meta-model consists of most entities needed and is focused on the interaction between these entities. It is essential to keep focused on the interaction between entities or self-contained groups of entities.

This blog post introduces an enhanced meta-model called Enterprise Design Model, which correlates with the Enterprise Design Canvas. This correlation will be explained in future blog post(s).

Enterprise Design Model

This diagram illustrates our design meta-model applicable for business and organization. We named it Enterprise Design Model – Business, or Business Design Model. It is divided into three architectural type columns (i.e. Structure, Behavior, and Knowledge), which have been inspired by natural language, where a sentence has a subject (structure), a verb (behavior), and an object (knowledge).

We use the following description as a starting point:

  • Knowledge: describes the elements with which a behavior is executed. Usually these elements are business-, information- or data objects, but these could also represent physical objects like products or sources.
  • Behavior: describes the dynamics of each element. How does it behave or how will its behavior be exposed?
  • Structure: describes how all elements of the architecture will fit together to form a coherent whole. The structure concepts are assigned to behavioral concepts, to show who or what performs the behavior. The structure elements are the business actors, solutions and systems that generate the actual behavior, i.e., the ‘subjects’ of activity.

The Business Design Model provides an overview of the business and organization architecture models. In total there are 14 or more models. This might sound like a lot, but considering this represents the holistic perspective of an entire enterprise it is a relatively small number of models. Also, each model illustrates a specific job, and many stakeholders will be interested in only one or two of these models. The intent of a model is to communicate the overall concepts captured in the Enterprise Design Canvas. For this reason, the techniques used to draw these pictures may be different dependent on the environment, but as a starting point the following descriptions should work in most circumstances:

The context models focuses on the strategic intent, insights and decision making.

  • Objectives (Business Structure) – Illustrates the business vision and objectives set by the decision makers to be fulfilled by the organization, application solutions and technology systems.
  • Measures (Business Behavior) – Captures the measurements derived from the objectives to be related to the business services, business processes, application capabilities and technology components.
  • Outcomes (Business Knowledge) – Elaborates the desired business outcomes, which are expected into return of the customer experience with the organization. The business outcomes are the business insights required by decision makers to validate the business objectives.

The business and organization architecture models focuses on the value propositions offered to internal and external customers, which are realized in the organization by business activities processing information.

  • Services (Business Behavior)
 – Illustrates the business services to be provided to the internal and external customers to fulfill the business vision and objectives.
  • Activities (Business Behavior)
 – Elaborates the business activities to be performed to realize the value proposition (delivery of business services and products). It models these business activities as well defined and self-contained processes.
  • Organization (Business Structure)
 – Captures how the proposed business services fit within the target organisation model, and how these services interact (business channels) with one another to create the desired customer experience.
  • Information (Business Knowledge)
 – Shows the information as understood by the business as a set of objects and includes the relationships between these objects. This information model needs to be supportive of the business services described in the Services model (and vice versa).
  • Product (Business Knowledge)
 – Captures a product as understood by the business, a carrier of business knowledge or the result of applied business knowledge. This product model includes the relationships with the performed business processes to realize them and/or business services which are involved in the delivery.
  • Capabilities (Business Behavior)
 – Illustrates the internal capabilities needed by the business to allow it to commence the processes described.
  • Solutions (Organizational Structure)
 – Elaborates how the capabilities interact with one another to fulfill the needs of the organization model and thus provide the desired customer experience.
  • Data (Business Knowledge)
 – Captures the data objects and relationships required to support the Information model. This data model is derived from the Information model, but at the same time, needs to be supportive of the capabilities described in the capability model (and vice versa).
  • Components (Business Behavior)
 – Illustrates the individual components available to the business to perform its daily activities.
  • Systems (Organizational Structure)
 – Elaborates how the business components interact with one another to fulfill the needs of the solution model.
  • Sources (Business Assets)
 – Captures the sources of the raw data described in the data model, but at the same time, needs to be supportive of the components described in the component model (and vice versa). An example is a Human Resource, a person with a certain skillset to support the business component.

When  an organization decides to increase efficiency of the business by applying IT we see detailing of the Enterprise Design Model.  In future blog posts we will elaborate on detailing of the Enterprise Design Model with IT.

note: TOGAF® is a registrated trademarks of The Open Group

© 2014 ARTe Group BV – All rights reserved

A second blog post about Enterprise Design Thinking is to explain its iterative nature. As stated in our previous post businesses are both organic and organized therefore Enterprise Design Thinking should be both a mind-set and a process to deliver a specific service or product to a (business) stakeholder.

“A discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible, and with what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” – Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

Adapting design thinking and systems thinking resulting into Enterprise Design Thinking forces us to elaborate on the design thinking method with additional steps and approaches.

The common method of design thinking includes 5 steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. A common systems thinking application like within enterprise architecture development processes come down to: Plan, Identify, Create, Blueprint and Manage (implement and improve).

Enterprise Design Thinking

Combining both design thinking and systems thinking steps in an Enterprise Design Thinking process leads to: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Integrate, Reflect, Blueprint and Manage.

Empathize: The first step all about understands the context of the business change. This differs from operational challenges up to business strategy and down to existing business and information technology architectures.

Define: The second step aims to capture the context of the business change. A business change should be value focused, strategy driven and process oriented. Which highlights the need to have insight concerning stakeholders, motivation, customer / user expectations, requirements, risks, organizational structures, reporting, etc.

Ideate: The critical step of Enterprise Design Thinking. Using brainstorming, visualization techniques (e.g. Enterprise Design Canvas) to release creativity by generating out-of-the-box ideas to innovate or improve current ways of realizing the value proposition. It is about wishful thinkers, dreamers and engineers reaching to impossible and possible ideas.

Integrate: This middle step is by nature systems thinking. Besides creating a mock-up or sketches of ideas it is about the interoperability of the different aspects of business and information technology disciplines i.e. value, business, information, process, application, data and technology architecture. It is about the holistic without losing creativity.

Reflect: The fifth step is about validating the sketches and initial models (e.g. business, service, information, process, application) with stakeholders of the business change. This could result in refinement of previous steps.

Blueprint: The sixth step is all about finalizing the Enterprise Design and getting a sufficient level of detail to deliver a blueprint (models, archetypes, patterns) to accommodate the implementation of the business change.

Manage: The final step of the Enterprise Design Thinking process consists of two areas. First it is all about managing the implementation of the blueprint into the organization, including safeguarding and coaching within projects.


Enterprise Design Thinking


Secondly it is about governing the iterative nature of Enterprise Design Thinking process to learn and improve the Enterprise Design both during the implementation and the business operations.

© ARTe Group BV 2013 – All rights reserved

A widely adopted method to release creativity in the workspace is the Business Model Canvas from A. Osterwalder et al. An excellent visualisation tool to innovate or improve ones business model. From an enterprise architecture point of view THE starting point for a viable business architecture. So one question remains:

“How to bridge the Business Model Canvas to an enterprise design, modeling or architecture approach and still remain thinking visual?”

The strength of Business Model Canvas is the value proposition with its primary focus on the customer. The canvas contains 9 major building blocks, basically with a delivery view (Customer Segments, Value Propositional Channels, Customer Relationships and Revenue Streams) and a planning view (Value Proposition, Key Resources, Key Activities, Key Partners and Cost Structures)

To extend Business Model Canvas with the Enterprise Design Thinking approach – common for enterprise modelling and architecture – we have created the Enterprise Design Canvas. It enlarges the Business Model Canvas with the relevant building blocks and required details to generate a conceptual Enterprise Design, which is a holistic design as a starting point for a combined business and Information Technology architecture.

Enterprise Design Canvas

It is called a canvas because it has the same visual presentation as business model canvas and provides the same interpretation. The Enterprise Design Canvas exists of the following building blocks.

The Enterprise Design Canvas – Business:

  • Value Proposition – The Enterprise Design Canvas elaborates on products and business service classifications to address the big picture.
  • Customer Relations – The Enterprise Design Canvas is reusing the Business Model Canvas scope for this building block
  • Business Channels – The Enterprise Design Canvas explicitly calls this building block Business Channel to distinguish it from application channels (i.e. interfaces) and technology channels (i.e. devices)
  • Resources (incl. People & Information) – The Enterprise Design Canvas highlights the human and knowledge resources involved in the execution of the activities.
  • Activities – The Enterprise Design Canvas drills down the key business activities into main, supporting and management processes and process activities which are involved in realizing the business services and products

The Enterprise Design Canvas – Application:

  • Application Functions & Data Objects – The Enterprise Design Canvas addresses the Application Functions required to (partly) automate the processes and the Data Objects involved in the storage of the Information part of these automated processes
  • Application (& Data) Services – The Enterprise Design Canvas captures the Application Services, which expose the Application Functions to automate the business services. The required data services expose the data objects to the business services and products.
  • Interfaces – The Enterprise Design Canvas explicitly mentions the Interfaces connecting users to the application services

The Enterprise Design Canvas – Technology:

  • Technology Functions – The Enterprise Design Canvas highlights the Technology Functions required to deploy and host the Application Functions and Data Objects
  • Platform & Infrastructure Services – The Enterprise Design Canvas captures the Platform Services and Infrastructure Services required to support the business services, application services and data services.
  • Devices – The Enterprise Design Canvas records the technology devices involved in consuming Application Services by the User

The Enterprise Design Canvas – Contextual (Passé Partout)

  • (Revised February 2014) Goal & Objective (incl. Strategy, Rules) – The Enterprise Design Canvas adds a building block to capture Drivers, Goals, Objectives, Rules and Requirements
  • Customer & User Segments – The Enterprise Design Canvas adds User segments to the Customer Segments. The main reason is to address the different types of users using Interfaces via Devices
  • Partners & Stakeholders – The Enterprise Design Canvas elaborates Key Partners into all relevant partners and stakeholders involved or impacted
  • (Revised February 2014) Performance – The Enterprise Design Canvas stretches from Costs into performance of the business operation. It focuses on all aspects of efficiency
  • (Revised February 2014) Value – The Enterprise Design Canvas prolongs from Revenue Streams into the value generated by business operations. It focuses on all aspects of effectiveness

Next blog will explain the way of working with the Enterprise Design Canvas

© ARTe Group BV  2013 – All rights reserved

A creative way of thinking is required to bring business architecture to its full potential. Just copying common practice from the enterprise architecture doesn’t work. This would have been too simple because information technology excels in Systems Thinking while business primarily bases its decisions on intuition.

David M. Kelley founder of IDEO and Professor at Institute of Design at Stanford University is known for adapting design thinking for business purposes – an organic approach combining intuitive thinking and analytical thinking instead of an engineering way of thinking to design products and services.

“At what cost do we keep pleasing the user? This question can only be answered from a holistic perspective, which has been centralized around the value proposition in respect to generated margin by happy customers.“

In practice we see design thinking being applied in IT workspace around user experiences. Potentially facing danger of losing intuitive thinking due to constrains set by IT expertise or solutions.

From a business perspective we should never neglect primary focus on value proposition, creating and addressing the needs and wants of paying customers.

Enterprise Design Thinking

As mentioned above a business is both organic and organized. Therefore  applying a structured approach will still be feasible. Dev Patnaik founder and principal of Jump Associates introduced us to Hybrid Thinking – one-part humanist, one-part technologist and one-part capitalist. He points out to be more focused and curate creativity.

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing that a tomato doesn’t belong in a fruit salad.” – Miles Kington

Roger L. Martin dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto taught us about design thinking – the ability to both exploit existing knowledge and create new knowledge – and integrative thinking – the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and generating a creative solution that contains elements of the individual models.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while”. – Steve Jobs

The way forward is the sum of design thinking and systems thinking. Simply stated adding holistic perspective and structure of systems thinking to design thinking. The term Enterprise Design Thinking describes it all: a way of thinking to create a business architecture that is value-focused, strategy-driven and process-oriented

© 2013 ARTe Group BV – All rights reserved