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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