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9680630868?profile=RESIZE_400xProfitability is at the core of successful businesses.  Many markets do not allow as much top-line revenue increase as the companies would like.  Therefore, organizations have to focus on improving the bottom-line.

Boosting the bottom-line entails raising Productivity.  Productivity enhancement can be achieved by eliminating redundancies and improving processes that change the company.  Process Improvement also means less people needed to accomplish the same tasks.

Change projects—as is the case with most other projects—almost always run over budget and over time, especially when new technology comes into the mix.  Causes for failures in Change Management are many and one of them is heavy and bureaucratic teams.

Raising Productivity in teams designated for change projects is well-nigh impossible.   A solution to this is Building Effective Teams by keeping teams small—a remedy that has shown its effectiveness time and again.

Smaller teams tend to communicate effectively, decide quickly, do course corrections more easily, work faster, and innovate more.

Large organizations have the tendency of deploying large teams because as the planning process goes on, the scope gets bigger and bigger.  This practice is defeating in itself because sight of the goal is lost in the bureaucratic rigmarole.

For projects to be executed swiftly and successfully the following 10 best practices for smaller, more Agile teams are very effective:

  1. Break Down Problems
  2. Eliminate Indispensable Roles
  3. Adopt One-step Decisions
  4. Foster Trust
  5. Share Information Freely & Informally
  6. Increase Visibility & Accountability
  7. Minimize Conference Calls
  8. Track Less
  9. Increase Cross-team Collaboration
  10. Adopt Technology Faster & Effectively

 Let us delve a little deeper into some of the best practices.

Break Down Problems

Dividing the project into distinct problems or separating business capabilities into converged organizational units makes it easier for smaller teams to deliver.

Assorting sizable, complex problems into discrete, attainable pieces and teaching members to develop a Problem Solving Mindset enables small teams to take them on easily and over deliver on them.

An alternate to making teams smaller without compromising on the structure of the organization is to separate business capabilities into focused organizational units. 

Eliminate Indispensable Roles

Making sure that individuals with a certain type of skill or key people are not scarce in the organization lest they get pulled by different teams at the same time. 

Essential people are wanted by all teams, consequentially their time gets split into such small chunks that no task gets done properly.  Operational risk becomes prodigious when dependent on a single person.

It is vital to work away from such scenarios in a team.

Adopt One-step Decisions

Bureaucratic way of decision-making in large teams should be avoided by identifying types of decisions and the decision-making authorities, at the outset. 

Foster Trust

Trust speeds up progress, augments quality, and diminishes execution risk.  Trust has to be built up by conscious effort.

Share Information Freely & Informally

One of the ways for effective Team Management is to keep communication swift and the only way of doing this is to keep it informal.

Interested in learning more about these best practices for Small, Agile Teams?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 10 Best Practices for Small, Agile Teams here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9662216489?profile=RESIZE_400xStrategy Development has followed a set path since the last century where a predetermined, rectilinear, and inflexible approach defined the process.

In the 21st century, however, business leaders are devising Strategy by evolving it into a probabilistic, repeated, and multifaceted process.  An approach that can both endure and adapt to the growing pace of Change and Disruption that is manifesting itself in all industries.

Using gaming, AI, unremitting execution, and adjustment, with numerous scenarios to deliberate on, leaders create “Flywheels” that successfully tackle the not so deterministic world where the future is highly uncertain.

Flywheel is a concept originally used in the power industry to explain an origin of stabilization, energy storage, and momentum.  The concept was propagated in the Strategy context by author Jim Collins.  Employing the Flywheel concept, executives are able to validate assumptions through simulations as well as in the real-world scenarios.

Rather than using past assumptions and relying on instincts, using the Flywheel Strategy, decision makers exploit the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Advanced Analytics. They model the multitude of variables and produce a sizable number of simulations that propose many strategic bets, option-value bets, and no regret moves.

Instead of numbing decision-makers with a profusion of options they created, the simulations render elucidative insights.  Also, the AI system is made more capable through learning mechanisms called Reinforcement Learning by selecting from the above strategies.

The collection of strategic choices is increased exponentially and cost of experimentation is diminished by this approach.  Decision-makers are also empowered by this tool to make better decisions.  Likewise, organizations are able to select accurate market approaches, pricing, advertising, and customer strategies for several cities and communities, over a time span.

Strategy Flywheels can be used as a basis for developing Growth Flywheels by organizations.  The Flywheel Strategy approach consists of the following 3 phases:  

  1. Sense: Market Sensing
  2. Think: Strategy Formulation and Investment Planning
  3. Act: Performance Evaluation and Learning

The dynamic and resilient Flywheel Strategy of Sense, Think, Act has 3 parts, which are based on establishing policies, contending with dynamic models within the background of environmental assumptions, and handling randomness.

Let us delve a little deeper into the 3 phases.

Sense: Market Sensing

Environmental assumptions are formulated through this procedure of extraneous Market Sensing.

Uncertainties to which probability assignment is difficult are the target of Market Sensing activity.  Most urgent strategic matters can be detected and senior leaders consistently engaged in devising a response to them by recurrently sensing extraneous market changes.

Improvements in Machine Learning and cutting-edge AI can aid in not only expanding the quantity of information scanned but also enhancing the quality of content evaluated.

Think: Strategy Formulation and Investment Planning

Conventional strategic thinking can be aided in the new way of strategizing by the 3-phase process for Gamification—Design and Build, Simulate, and Evaluate.

A stable strategy consists of a portfolio of investments and projects with diverse risk profiles.  Diverse risk profile of performance is a mix of:

  1. No-regret moves
  2. Strategic bets
  3. Option-value bets 

Act: Performance Evaluation and Learning

Performance Evaluation and Learning from the efforts has to be carried out so that improvement in proficiency to sense the market and experiment with new ideas occurs.

Interested in learning more about how Amazon and Uber used Flywheels, how the Gamification approach is used in Flywheel Strategy formulation, and what constitutes a diverse risk profile?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Flywheel Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Editor’s Note:

If you are interested in becoming an expert on Strategy Development, take a look at Flevy’s Strategy Development Frameworks offering here.  This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve.  Full details here.

Want to Achieve Excellence in Strategy Development?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Strategy Development.  Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  Click here for full details.

“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory.  Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics.  Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to “Tactical” Strategy.  Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.

These frameworks include Porter’s Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner’s Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.

Learn about our Strategy Development Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9595419074?profile=RESIZE_400xBusiness and technology resources are aligned using Enterprise Architecture (EA) in order to achieve strategic results, improve organizational performance, achieve Cost Optimization and Operational Excellence, and guide departments to fulfill their central missions more efficaciously.

Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) does that for any U.S. federal agency and helps systems transcend interagency boundaries.

Planning is one of the most important elements for bringing about change in an organization, if not the most important.  Planning methodology for the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework is called Collaborative Planning Methodology (CPM).

Collaborative Planning Methodology is the next-generation successor to Federal Segment Architecture Methodology (FSAM).

Collaborative Planning Methodology encompasses 2 phases and a total of 5 steps under these phases:

Organize and Plan phase lets planners facilitate partnership between sponsors and various stakeholders in order to ascertain and prioritize requirements, explore other organizations with same needs, and devise plans to tackle the stated requirements.

Implement and Measure phase has the planners in assist role to other key personnel working to implement and monitor change related activities by supporting investment, procurement, implementation, and performance measurement actions and decisions.

Each step under these 2 phases has a number of activities that need to be completed in order to obtain the outcome for that step.  There are regular and essential iterations within and among the phases even though the phases have been displayed as successive.  Let’s discuss the key steps of the methodology in detail.

1. Identify and Validate

The objective of the 1st step is to ascertain what is required to be attained, comprehend the main drivers for change, and afterwards delineate and prioritize the goals with stakeholders and operational staff.

Key outcomes of the step include:

  • Identified and validated needs.
  • Overarching set of performance metrics.
  • Determination of who (governance) will ultimately oversee and approve recommended changes to meet those needs.

2. Research and Leverage

The aim of this step is to detect organizations and service providers who have already fulfilled or presently have requirements similar to those identified in Step 1.  This necessitates studying their experiences and outcomes in order to discover if they can be used and leveraged or whether an alliance can be created to fulfill the needs together.

Key outcomes of the step include:

  • Clear grasp on the experiences and results of other organizations.
  • Determination by sponsors regarding applicability, usage of experiences of other organizations or formation of partnerships if the other organization is also planning to fulfill similar needs.
  • Detailed analysis of alternatives.

3. Define and Plan

The purpose here is to form the integrated plan for the alterations essential to fulfill the requirements determined in Step 1.

Key outcomes of the step include:

  • Sponsor and stakeholders hold an integrated set of plans and articles outlining what is to be done, when is it to be done, what benefits will be achieved and when, and a projected cost.

4. Invest and Execute

Point of this step is to carry out investment decision and effect the changes as delineated in the Integrated Plan produced in Step 3.

Key outcomes of this step include:

  • Clear funding strategy and a decision to approve the investment of required funds.
  • Implementation of recommendations for tackling the identified needs.

5. Perform and Measure

Objective of this step is to execute operations and measure performance outcomes against established metrics.  The recently applied changes are leveraged by the organization in Performance Management.

Key outcomes of this step include:

  • Performance outcomes gauged against pre-determined metrics.
  • Production of significant outcomes e.g., feedback into planning with the view to making more adjustments in addition to what was implemented in Step 4.

Interested in learning more Collaborative Planning Methodology, its salient features, and the key activities in each step?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Collaborative Planning Methodology here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9570440077?profile=RESIZE_400xBusiness and technology elements are aligned by means of Enterprise Architecture (EA) so as to attain strategic results, augment organizational performance, and drive departments to deliver their central missions more efficaciously.

Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) achieves this for any U.S. federal agency and assists systems go beyond interagency boundaries.

We discuss here 1 of the 6 interconnected reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework—the Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM).

IRM takes care of definition of infrastructure technology elements, as well as provides direction for promoting favorable results across technology implementations.

IRM implementation aids in:

  • Reduction of lifecycle costs through sharing and reuse, also helps in exploiting economies of scale.
  • Increased interoperability throughout the government including its partners by identification and endorsement of demonstrated industry standards and associated platforms and products.
  • Detection of pragmatic design-patterns as clusters of technology packets or blends of technologies that work well collectively to sustain efficient acquisition and deployment.
  • Efficient control and sustainment of IT assets/resources through contribution to the delivery of consolidated and measurable infrastructure services and service levels as envisaged in Enterprise Architecture Management Maturity Framework (EAMMF).
  • Supplying of realistic use cases and methods corresponding to IT capabilities to facilitate business initiatives and better access to information across enterprises.

Common Approach to Federal EA as well as Purpose and Outcome of IRM are, respectively, the root of IRM Guiding Principles.  IRM guiding principles are:

  • IRM ought to be a robust-enough taxonomy and approach to fulfill future requirements and adjust new technologies.
  • IRM must be defined with regard to technology infrastructure services put forward.
  • IRM has to be expounded as a hierarchy of IT infrastructure components.
  • IRM should be developed in such a way to promote usability, convenience, and reporting.
  • IRM should simplify interoperability and shared services.
  • IRM ought to be criteria-based, both international and national, concurrence-driven standards organizations, with numerous levels of abstraction.
  • IRM has to be accommodating of the Application Reference Model (ARM) and Data Reference Model (DRM) by touch points.

Enabled by the Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture and supported by the IRM, 4 primary outcomes of IRM include the following:

  1. Service Delivery
  2. Functional Integration
  3. Authoritative Reference
  4. Resource Optimization

IRM scope encompasses hardware, platforms, networks, and the facilities that house the infrastructure.  The 3 levels of the model include:

Level 1Domain comprises of Platform, Network, and Facility.

Level 2—Area covers 13 areas, each belonging to 1 of 3 domain elements.

Level 3—Category consists of 90 total categories and each linked to 1 of 13 areas.

The interconnectedness of the IRM domains allows analysis of IT assets throughout the 3 dimensions.

For an implementation of an IRM-based categorization of assets to be useful, additional data points should be captured.  These data points include:

  • Manufacturer of the asset.
  • Cost
  • End-of-life/end-of-support date
  • Mapping to the Security Reference Model (SRM) 

Data points classified by IRM are relevant to detecting prospects of sharing services, decreasing redundancy, and stimulating consolidation.

IRM classification can be embraced, as part of implementation, by the ensuing extensively recognized best practices, guidance, and standards, both in the public and private sectors.

Interested in learning more about the FEAF: Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM)?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on the Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9564571461?profile=RESIZE_400xDigital Transformation in Manufacturing or “Digital Manufacturing” for short is not an optional decision for companies anymore.  Manufacturing concerns that want to survive have to jump on the Digital Transformation bandwagon hastily.  Digital Manufacturing has become a prerequisite for a profitable existence even for mere survival of a manufacturing concern.

Business Transformation of any kind is difficult—more so when it is a Digital Transformation in Manufacturing.  In fact, Change Management of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing is typically more difficult than any change or Transformation program that an organization may undertake.

Not many manufacturing concerns had cognizance of the digital technologies until very recently.  Still, manufacturing concerns find it very hard to manage a successful Digital Transformation.

Digital technologies can disrupt businesses.  A Digital Transformation is not the Digitalization of an existing business.  Digital Manufacturing does not entail simply changing technologies, automating processes, taking aid of Artificial Intelligence in the process; in fact it means redefining the nature of work and productivity.

Starting a Digital Manufacturing project can be an arduous process.  Executives customarily approach this task with a lot of prudence and get caught in questions that are actually misnomers and myths, weakening the Digital Transformation process.  The 4 biggest myths about Digital Manufacturing are: 

Myth 1. Is outsourcing or partnering, to build digital capabilities, not speedier and less investment intensive? 

Myth 2. Why can the existing IT team and CIO not be used for this project instead of hiring new talent and creating a CDO position, both unaware of our business? 

Myth 3. Should each of our businesses not have individual digital capabilities tailored to their needs rather than a central digital unit that serves all businesses? 

Myth 4. Should not our approach to developing digital capabilities be phased rather than big bang?

More on these myths can be found in the PowerPoint presentation titled Challenges to Digital Manufacturing on Flevy.

Digital Manufacturing opens doors for many opportunities.  It allows the manufacturers to find ways of refining the performance and reliability of machines and increasing customer productivity through customer usage data gathered by sensors in their machines.

This approach allows manufacturers to sell outcomes rather than products.  Outcome delivery via Data Analysis and Performance Enhancement is a business opportunity worth trillions of dollars, according to a World Economic Forum study. 

Despite realizing the opportunities of Digital Manufacturing, companies find the process extremely difficult.  Digital Manufacturing has both structural as well as behavioral barriers stopping it from being successfully executed.

Manufacturers have to surpass the following 3 chief obstacles in order for them to be true Digital Manufacturers:

  1. Incumbency
  2. Talent
  3. Culture

Let us dive a little deeper into the obstacles. 

Incumbency

Rigidity is a major barrier in bringing about change.  Companies create capabilities and Business Models to succeed.  Overtime, when these capabilities and Business Models become critical for success and hard to imitate for the rivals, they transform into rigidities.  Success of such capabilities and models make the companies wary of bringing change in them.

Leaders refrain from touching projects with longer time periods as it may not show benefits during their tenures.  The reward structure in companies also encourages short-term gains to longer-term, capital intensive endeavors.  

Talent

Not many manufacturing organizations consider developing Digital Talent internally.  This leads to a dearth of key talent integral to build Digital Manufacturing capabilities.

The primary reason for this is the view that digital technology is an auxiliary function.
In-house capabilities are not developed because Digital Manufacturing requires an amalgam of personnel from the virtual sciences and the conventional engineering sciences. Both have a very different way of thinking and doing things, making it a great challenge to build them into a team.

Culture

Organizational culture at manufacturing firms is a significant hurdle in adopting digital technology.  Manufacturers have traditionally had long product-development lifecycles, long sales cycles, and a culture of constantly improving efficiency.  In order to be more digital, manufacturing concerns have to accept concepts used in the digital world e.g., agility, simplicity, and responsiveness.

Interested in learning more about the Challenges to Digital Manufacturing?”  “You can download an editable PowerPoint on Challenges to Digital Manufacturing here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Want to Achieve Excellence in Supply Chain Management (SCM)?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Supply Chain Management (SCM).  Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  Click here for full details.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of Supply Chain activities.  It also captures the management of the flow of goods and services.

In February of 2020, COVID-19 disrupted—and in many cases halted—global Supply Chains, revealing just how fragile they have become.  By April, many countries experienced declines of over 40% in domestic and international trade.

COVID-19 has likewise changed how Supply Chain Executives approach and think about SCM.  In the pre-COVID-19 era of globalization, the objective was to be Lean and Cost-effective.  In the post-COVID-19 world, companies must now focus on making their Supply Chains Resilient, Agile, and Smart.  Additional trends include Digitization, Sustainability, and Manufacturing Reshoring.

Learn about our Supply Chain Management (SCM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9402689084?profile=RESIZE_400xBusiness and technology resources are lined up by employing Enterprise Architecture (EA) so as to realize strategic results, augment organizational performance, and direct departments to meet their key missions more effectually and achieve Operational Excellence.

Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) achieves these objectives for any U.S. federal agency and aids systems exceed interagency boundaries.

The FEAF comprises of 6 interconnected Reference Models, each relating to a sub-architectural domain of the framework.

Here, we deliberate on 1 of the 6 reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework—the Application Reference Model (ARM).  ARM sets the foundation for categorizing software applications and their components.

Through the implementation of ARM, we can achieve a number of positive outcomes throughout the enterprise.  Mapping of existing and future information systems to ARM categorizations assists in detecting gaps and redundancies.  Gap detection helps identify occasions for sharing, reuse, and merging or renegotiation of licenses.  Gap information is used in conjunction with other models to identify opportunities. 

ARM has been based on guiding principles that emanate from Common Approach to Federal EA with further refinement based on the purpose and desired outcomes of the Application Reference Model.  The principles are:

  • ARM should be based on the Separation of Concerns principle i.e., founded on an adaptive structure that permits addition of new methods of providing IT capabilities.
  • Definition of ARM should be with reference to applications supplied within the Service Oriented Architecture enabling facilitation of shared services and interoperability.
  • Definition of ARM should be in terms of a hierarchy of broadly paired IT application components.
  • ARM ought to be standards based along several levels of abstraction to circumvent vendor lock-in, under permitting circumstances.
  • Ascertained touch points should enable ARM to back the Business Reference Model (BRM) and the Data Reference Model (DRM). 

ARM contains 3 levels in its structure: Systems, Application Components, and Interfaces.  ARM is also strongly connected with the rest of the 5 reference models of the Consolidated Reference Model Framework.  More on that in the FEAF: Application Reference Model presentation. 

ARM uses 3 potential methodologies in combination with one another to assist in taking advantage of information and strategizing of applications and investments:

  1. Capability Modeling and Analysis
  2. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
  3. Portfolio Management

These 3 methods help take advantage of the information in the ARM structure as well as the agency mapping of applications and investments to it, in addition to the other Reference Models.

Let us dive a little deeper into these methods.

Capability Modeling and Analysis

Capability Modeling and Analysis is a requirements analysis technique that converts business or mission as well as technical requirements into distinct competencies that assist in sharing and reuse analysis.

Instead of employing standard requirement or business process analysis techniques, breaking down requirements into detailed capabilities, and modeling the capability dependencies, leads to a clearer picture regarding commonality of requirements.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

For assembly of IT solutions, a collection of interacting services enables an architectural style—SOA—a layered diagram that depicts the services and their dependencies.  SOA offers extra application flexibility due to ease of modification and replacement of services. 

Portfolio Management

Portfolio management techniques are employed to gauge assets for feasibility of use in future and to mature a service lifecycle plan for each asset thus promoting reuse and sharing of services.

Interested in learning more about the Application Reference Model (ARM)?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on FEAF: Application Reference Model (ARM) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9316883094?profile=RESIZE_400xEnterprise Architecture (EA) conveys management best practices for positioning business and technology resources to fulfil strategic goals, enhance Organizational Performance, and guide departments to achieve their core missions more successfully via Operational Excellence.

The Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) realizes this goal for U.S. Federal agencies and assists systems surpass interagency boundaries.  FEAF facilitates through documentation and information, and conveys a summarized outlook of an enterprise at various tiers of scope and detail.

The FEAF comprises of 6 interconnected Reference Models, linked through Consolidated Reference Model (CRM), each relating to a sub-architectural domain of the FEA framework.

Data Reference Model (DRM) is a FEA tool for ascertaining the data that the Federal government has and the process through which that data will be shared when business/mission requirements occur.

DRM is propounded as a theoretical framework from which actual implementations may be derived.

DRM offers a uniform way to describe, categorize, manage, share, and reuse data/information within and across the Federal government.  DRM also enables detection and communication of core information across organizational boundaries.

What DRM is not is static and invariable nor is it a data management manual for how to build and maintain data architectures.  It is neither a pan-government conceptual data model nor an all-embracing / fully attributed logical data model.  DRM is not supposed to be a comprehensive collection of XML schemas or a substitute of prevailing data structures within the agencies.

DRM works in consonance with other reference models in various ways.  For example, it identifies opportunities for strategic coordination through relationships among data sources by linking with Performance Reference Model (PRM) while improving business processes and decision-making performance through data sharing with Business Reference Model (BRM).

Data Reference Model arrangement is demarcated by a 3 layered hierarchy.  The 3-layer arrangement of the Data Reference Model delineates domains, subjects, and topics.

  • Domains – Uppermost level of the hierarchy comprises of 4 Domains.
  • Subjects – Central level of the hierarchy covers 22 Subject elements.
  • Topics – Lowermost level of the hierarchy consists of 144 Topic elements.

DRM refers to data and information required to execute Federal business and mission functions.  In order to assist agencies in consistently categorizing, describing, and exchanging their data, there are 3 fundamental method areas associated with the DRM:

  1. Data Description
  2. Data Context
  3. Data Sharing

 

Let us delve a little deeper into the DRM methods.

Data Description

Data Description offers an approach to consistently arrange, portray, and share data.  Customarily, Data Description was exclusively concentrated on arranging and describing structured data.  To tackle the challenge of unstructured data, DRM Data Description section was revised to focus on Metadata.

Metadata is broadly classified into 2 types, business or technical.

Data Context

Data Context is any information that gives added sense to data and a perception of the reason for which it was created.  Data Context permits Data Governance and forms the basis for exhaustive Data Description.  Data categorization methods such as Data Asset Catalog and Information Discovery and Search portray common data architecture artifacts.

Data Sharing

Data Sharing concentrates on architectural patterns for sharing and exchanging data.  Data Sharing assists in retrieving and swapping of data, where access involves supplementary requests and exchange involves permanent, repeating transactions between interest groups.

Interested in learning more about the Data Reference Model?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on FEAF: Data Reference Model (DRM) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9253825882?profile=RESIZE_400xDo people always follow a rational linear process to come to a decision?  Studies have suggested that a combination of Decision Making Models are used by people to reach quality decisions.

Strategic Decision Making is a complex process with a lot riding on those decisions.  Eliminating risk from Decision Making is unthinkable but radically enhancing chances of success is a realistic goal.

In making Strategic Decisions, executives tend to rely only on those Decision Support Tools they know best.  The usage of non-optimal Decision Support Tools is, in part, due to lack of knowledge about which tools work best in a particular scenario and, in part, due to lack of information regarding what tools are available out there.

Having access to a variety of Decision Support Tools increases the likelihood of making a successful decision provided the decision maker has knowledge of which tool to employ or a combination thereof in various scenarios.

The following 5 Decision Support Tools or their combination is applicable in a variety of Decision Making scenarios:

  1. Conventional Capital-Budgeting Tools
  2. Quantitative Multiple Scenario Tools
  3. Qualitative Scenario Analysis
  4. Case-based Decision Analysis
  5. Information Aggregation Tools

In some cases, just one tool is needed while in others an assortment of tools makes for the best combination.

Let us delve a little deeper into some of these tools.

Conventional Capital Budgeting Tools

Projected Incremental Cash Flows are used from likely investments to ascertain whether a project merits being funded through the firm’s Capitalization Structure.  Included in it are Discounted Cash Flow, Expected Rate of Return, and Net Present Value models. 

Quantitative Multiple Scenario Tools

Decisions are analyzed by completely specifying possible outcomes and their probabilities. Mathematical, Statistical, and Simulation methods are employed to distinguish the Risk and Return properties of prospective choices.  The tools include:

>  Monte Carlo Methods

>  Decision Analysis

>  Real Options

Qualitative Scenario Analysis

These techniques are beneficial to decision makers who encounter excessive levels of uncertainty about outcomes because the techniques do not assume a conclusive and entirely specified set of possible outcomes.

Real-life business Decision Making often comprises of judgments that are based on incomplete and uncertain information.  This can be mitigated by using appropriate Decision Support Tools.  However, which tools are appropriate will depend on the answer to the following critical questions:

  1. Do I know what it will take to succeed?
  2. Can I predict the range of possible outcomes?

The Causal Model question—combination of Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and economic conditions leading to success—needs settling before we can proceed to answer the 2nd question regarding Outcome Prediction.

Managers need to ask the following in order to clarify the state of the Causal Model hence the answer to the question:

  1. Do I comprehend what combination of Critical Success Factors will decide if my decision leads to a successful outcome?
  2. Do I recognize what metrics need to be met to guarantee success?
  3. Do I have an accurate understanding of how to attain success?

The other question to answer is: Can I predict the range of possible outcomes?

Managers should ask the following in scenarios predicting various outcomes and probabilities:

  1. Can I outline the range of outcomes that may result as a consequence of my decision, both as a whole and for each Critical Success Factor?
  2. Can I measure the probability of each outcome?

Even where the CSFs and Model for Success are understood, it sometimes becomes difficult to predict range of outcomes and their probabilities due to uncertain conditions.

Interested in learning more about Decision Support Tools?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Decision Support Tools here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9223435882?profile=RESIZE_400xBusiness and technology resources are aligned using Enterprise Architecture (EA) in order to achieve strategic results, make organizational performance better, achieve Cost Optimization, and guide departments to fulfill their central missions more efficaciously through Operational Excellence.

Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) does that for any U.S. federal agency and helps systems transcend interagency boundaries.  FEAF offers a shared approach for the consolidation of strategic, business, and technology management as a component of Organization Design and Performance Management.  The Enterprise Architecture methodology introduced under FEAF transcended several interagency boundaries.

The FEAF comprises of 6 interconnected Reference Models, linked through Consolidated Reference Model (CRM), each relating to a sub-architectural domain of the framework.

These Reference Models convey word-based abstractions of original architectural data and deliver a structure for relating significant elements of the FEA in a collective and uniform manner:

  1. Strategy Domain -> Performance Reference Model (PRM)
  2. Business Domain -> Business Reference Model (BRM)
  3. Data Domain -> Data Reference Model (DRM)
  4. Applications Domain -> Application Reference Model (ARM)
  5. Infrastructure Domain -> Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM)
  6. Security Domain -> Security Reference Model (SRM)

Discussed here is 1 of the 6 reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework—the Business Reference Model (BRM), its structure, framework, touchpoints with other reference models, and BRM Taxonomy.

Slide-Deck-image-FEAF-BRM.png?profile=RESIZE_710x

BRM is employed to explain the type of business functions at the system, segment, agency, sector, Federal, national, or international levels rather than giving an organizational vantage point.

Cross-government cooperation between the Executive departments and subsidiary agencies—as well as external partners—is promoted by describing the Federal government in this manner enabling:

  • Uncovering of possibilities for cost reduction.
  • Collaboration.
  • Shared services.
  • Solution reuse in agency IT portfolios and collaboration between and within agency.

BRM elucidates the “what we do” of the organization via the delineation of outcome-oriented and measurable functions and services.

BRM’s real usefulness and worth is gained when it is put to use effectively in business analysis, design, and decision support that aids in improving the working of an agency, bureau, or program.

BRM classification is organized as a 3-layer order, embodying Executive Branch Mission Sectors, Business Functions, and Services.

  • Mission Sector – Pinpoints 10 business functions of the Federal government in the Common Approach to Enterprise Architecture.
  • Business Function – Defines the Federal government functioning at high level, by means of budget function classification codes.
  • Service – Elaborates further what the Federal government does at a subsidiary or section level.

Mission Sector is exclusive to the executive branch of the Federal government.  This layer should be used appropriately for other organizations.

The 3 layers allow arrangement and analysis of IT investments and applications for an assortment of purposes.

All reference models are envisioned to work jointly.  BRM’s further mappings to other reference models contribute added context for the investment or activity.  Input for BRM is through Performance Reference Model (PRM) enabling BRM to feed other reference models.

BRM is intended to deliver agencies with a uniform means to classify their capital investments, detect areas for collaboration and reuse, centered on delivery of business capability.

BRM also aids in refining the general IT architecture to further improve mission outcomes. It extends decision-support abilities to stakeholders and various levels of staff, within and outside an agency, and across the Federal government.  From a Federal viewpoint, BRM permits discovery of prospects for joint effort and reuse of shared services, government-wide.  This collaboration takes 2 forms:

  1. Inter-agency
  2. Intra-agency

BRM is usable in combination with several architecture, development, or analysis methods to deliver all-inclusive standardized design, development, and governance abilities.  There are 3 primary types of BRM methods:

  • Business Architecture for Decision Support
  • Business Process Modeling
  • Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) 

Interested in learning more about the FEAF Business Reference Model?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on FEAF: Business Reference Model here and FEAF associated series PowerPoint presentations on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9209039874?profile=RESIZE_400xEnterprise Architecture (EA) denotes management best practices for lining up business and technology resources to realize strategic results, expand upon Organizational Performance, achieve Cost Optimization, and steer departments to achieve their core missions through Operational Excellence.

Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) was first introduced in September 1999 by the Federal CIO Council for evolving an EA within any U.S. federal agency.  FEAF assists through documentation and information that conveys a summarized outlook of an enterprise at various tiers of scope and detail.

FEAF offers a shared approach for the consolidation of strategic, business, and technology management as a component of Organization Design and Performance Management.  FEAF introduced a methodology for an Enterprise Architecture that transcended several interagency boundaries.

The Collaborative Planning Methodology suggested along with FEAF is envisioned as a complete planning and implementation lifecycle, for employment down all tiers of scope defined in the Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture—i.e., International, National, Federal, Sector, Agency, Segment, System, and Application.

May 2012 saw a full new guide, called the “Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture.”  The guide offers an overall approach to establishing and employing Enterprise Architecture in the Federal Government for expanding joint approaches to IT service delivery.  The Common Approach homogenizes the expansion and employment of architectures within and between Federal Agencies.

A 2nd version of FEAF was published in January 2013, meeting the criteria set forth by the Common Approach.  It underscores the importance of Strategic Planning and Strategic Goals as the source for driving business services, which consequentially provides the requirements for enabling technologies.  At the heart of it is the Consolidated Reference Model (CRM), which links 6 reference models and equips all departments with a shared language and framework to explain and evaluate investments.

The FEAF comprises of 6 interconnected Reference Models, linked through Consolidated Reference Model (CRM), each relating to a sub-architectural domain of the framework.

These Reference Models convey word-based abstractions of original architectural data and deliver a structure for relating significant elements of the FEA in a collective and uniform manner:

  1. Strategy Domain -> Performance Reference Model (PRM)
  2. Business Domain -> Business Reference Model (BRM)
  3. Data Domain -> Data Reference Model (DRM)
  4. Applications Domain -> Application Reference Model (ARM)
  5. Infrastructure Domain -> Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM)
  6. Security Domain -> Security Reference Model (SRM)

CRM is intended to permit inter-agency evaluation and detection of overlapping investments, disparities and prospects for cooperation within and across agencies.

By means of the collection of reference models a common nomenclature and system is cultivated for describing IT resources.  Making use of this standard framework and terminology, IT portfolios can be managed more suitably and taken advantage of throughout the Federal Government.

A brief description of the reference models is as follows:

Performance Reference Model (PRM)

PRM relates agency strategy, internal business factors, and investments, presenting a way to measure the influence of those investments on strategic outcomes.

Business Reference Model (BRM)

BRM depicts an organization through arrangement of common mission and support service segments rather than through vertical lines of control, thus encouraging cooperation within and across agencies.

Data Reference Model (DRM)

DRM assists in detection of existing data assets located in solitary storages and aids in comprehending the meaning of that data, ways of accessing it, and means for leveraging it for supporting performance outcomes.

Application Reference Model (ARM)

ARM classifies the standards and technologies involving systems and applications that support the delivery of service capabilities, allowing agencies to share and reuse common solutions and benefit from economies of scale.

The Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM)

IRM sorts the standards and technologies relating to network/cloud to aid and facilitate the provision of voice, data, video, and mobile service components and facilities.

The Security Reference Model (SRM)

SRM offers a mutual language and approach for deliberating on security and privacy in connection with Federal agencies’ business and performance goals.

Interested in learning more about Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) and its reference models?”  “You can download an editable PowerPoint on Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) Primer here and FEAF associated PowerPoint series presentations on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd