MEGA, a company well-known for its web-based EA tool set, made a recent blog post concerning transformation through the methodology of business capability evolution. The premise is that business capability evolution as the motivational replacement for projects. The idea in the MEGA article is that the “Business” has goals. Everyone has goals, in fact. Business capability evolution is a strategic execution vehicle to achievement and assurance that the outcome matches the business strategy and goals. How?
The post suggests that all too often a goal to acquire a new capability, say predictive analytics, quickly digresses into a technological solution implementation, like upgrading the ERP or installing BI. The failure in this scenario comes when projects are focused on implementing the technology and ignoring the rest of the architecture, lets say the people and process involved. So while the technology is ultimately important, it’s probably the least important because without the other two elements, the tool will be difficult to extract value from.
The argument made is that attention is all too often repositioned from the goal of acquiring a new business capability onto a mere tactic of the capability, in this case the technical installation of the tool. In other words, we’ve lost sight of the original goal. What has to be done to correct this is argued that one should be procuring technology to enable the evolution or realization of the given business capability, not only technology. The results suggest that organizations fund business capability evolution are more likely to reduce failed project implementations.
The article’s intentions are good enough but I’ll admit I was hoping for a more dramatic idea. I’m sure some companies and CIOs articulate IT strategy this way but I hope most organizations who recognize the need for EA are more advanced in their IT engagement articulation than just focusing on a tool implementation. After all, shouldn’t there be functional requirements, use cases, and actual business objectives behind the goals? On the other hand, if IT is attempting to innovate and prepare the technological capabilities with the “build it and they will come” mentality, there’s a real risk the business won’t be ready for the transformation and ROI will be difficult to extract.
Daniel Hebda. To Succeed in Transformation, Stop Funding Projects! http://community.mega.com/t5/Blog/To-Succeed-in-Transformation-Stop-Funding-Projects/ba-p/12359