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Using Enterprise Architecture to Drive Customer-Centric Business Process Management Steven E. Else, Ph.D., PMP Michael J.

Novak, CQE, CMQ/OE
Traditionally, Enterprise Architecture (EA) has resided in the domain of the Chief Information Officer and the IT staff. But current economic conditions require a more enterprise-wide perspective of EA, and in particular where EA drives a more customer-centric focus through the management of the organization’s key business processes. Conventional EA models (e.g., Zachman, TOGAF, FEA) fail in this regard because of their complexity; their lack of understandability often causes consternation and frustration on the part of non-IT personnel. A more elegant, less intricate model is needed if the entire workforce is to become engaged in EA and its support of the organization’s business processes and customer focus. Isher Kaila, speaking at the Gartner Business Process Management Summit in 2008, poses three key issues in using business process management as a driver of customer centricity (Figure 1, below). 1

Figure 1 – Key Issues in Process-centric Customer Focus

Kaila goes on to say that customer experiences are affected and synthesized through the synergies that exist among people, processes, and technologies. He then introduces the term

Figures 1 and 2 © Gartner, Inc., 2008, used with permission.


to describe specific points in business processes when an opportunity to define. and go about their business without true engagement in EA. aligning and integrating its business processes. This can result in the organization’s failure to leverage the benefits of EA in optimizing its performance. and service. it becomes a principal enabler of organizational success in managing prcesses with the ultimate purpose of understanding and meeting customer requirements. Kaila provides a framework for viewing how business processes are managed to affect customer experiences (Figure 2). 2 . TOGAF. nurture. Zachman. and diversify an enterprise's service differentiation and competitive messaging to a customer would be most optimal. Further.” first coined at SAS Airlines. or FEA). But traditional EA frameworks are often intricate and complex. experiences.“Moment of Truth.. Accordingly. individuals in non-IT business units often pay lip service to EA. and therefore difficult for operational and non-IT support functions to comprehend. Figure 2 – Managing Business Processes to Affect Customer Experiences Kalia’s model is useful as it stands.g. but when viewed in the context of an EA framework (e. and maximizing customer relationships.

and challenges. These concepts are depicted in Figure 3. These are supported by the organization’s measurement and analysis processes. The Baldrige organizational management model provides a systems perspective for managing an organization and its key processes to achieve results and to achieve customer-centric organizational excellence. knowledge management approach. relationships. A systems perspective also includes using measures. on the organization’s strategic planning. and on the organization’s customers. a simpler view of EA. below. core competencies. It means linking these strategies with the organization’s work systems and key processes. 3 .To counter this tendency. and management of IT systems. is needed – particularly when integrating the management of key business processes with the management of other aspects of the organization’s overall management system. These three factors drive the organization’s workforce and processes. and aligning resources to improve organizational performance and to focus on customers and stakeholders. responding to. The sine qua non of a systems perspective is the organization’s senior leaders’ active participation in monitoring. The Baldrige “systems perspective” starts with the organization’s senior leaders’ focus on strategic directions. All seven factors – the sewven Categories of the Baldrige Criteria – operate in the context of an organizational profile that provides a snapshot of the organization’s operating environment. indicators. which produce results or outcomes. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria for Performance Excellence provides just such a view. and managing performance based on performance results. and organizational knowledge to build key strategies.

values. It describes the organization. and core competencies)  The organization’s workforce profile  The organization’s major facilities. and the organization’s system for performance improvement. and differences in the requirements within and among these segments and groups  The organization’s key suppliers. including such key factors as:  The organization’s main product and service offerings and delivery mechanisms  The organization’s culture (purpose. customer groups. mission. vision.Figure 3 – The Baldrige Organizational Management Model The Organizational Profile is a snapshot of the organization – a context or “umbrella” under which the organization operates. and collaborators The Organizational Profile also describes the organization’s competitive environment. and stakeholder groups. Included are:  The organization’s competitive position and key competitors  Principal factors that determine the organization’s succcess 4 . technologies. and equipment  The regulatory environment in which the organization operates  The organization’s structure and governance syustem  The organization’s key market segments. key strategic challenges and advantages. partners.

mission. and the organization’s approach to assuring legal and ethical behavior. and results in legal and ethical behavior (primarily vis-à-vis customers and stakeholders)  The process whereby senior leaders communicate with and engage the workforce (the assumption being that workforce engagement is a leading indicator of customer satisfaction and loyalty)  The process whereby senior leaders create in the organizaton a focus on creating and balancing value for customers and other stakeholders in organizational performance expectations The Strategic Planning category includes processes for establishing organizational strategy. to key suppliers and partners. Also included are processes for building a customer-focused organizational culture. how senior leaders communicate with the workforce and encourage high performance. determining customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. and to customers and other stakeholders  The process whereby senior leaders promote an environment that fosters. agreed upon. addressing strategic challenges. and innovation processes Once these key factors are known. and publicized. requires. this category includes such factors as:  The process for setting the organization’s vision.   Changes in the operating environment that might affect the organization’s competitive position Organizational sustainability issues Organizational performance evaluation.) The Customer Focus category specifically addresses customer-centric process management. fulfilling societal responsibilities. and supporting key communities. and using information obtained from customers to improve performance and to identify opportunities for innovation. Specific to customer centric process management. determine how to meet customers’ needs. the organization can then align its key business processes with those factors and integrate them with one another to achieve customer-centric success. (The term “customer-driven excellence” is one of eleven interrelated Core Values and Concepts of the Baldrige method. This category includes processes that engage customers. to the workforce. gleaned from research of organizatons that have demonstrated world-class performance. organizational learning. processes for converting strategic objectives into action plans. and support customers’ use of the organization’s products/services. The Leadership category includes processes whereby the organization’s senior leaders guide and sustain the organization in the realm of customer centricity and in other areas. this category includes:  The process whereby the strategic planning process addresses shifts in customer preferences 5 . listening to the voice of the customer. how the organization is governed. how the organization improves its leadership performance. But the other “process” categories of the Baldrige model also drive customer centricity. and leveraging strategic advantages. In particular. and processes for deploying action plans. and values (Do they reflect a customer focus?) and how they are deployed through the leadership system.

customers and other stakeholders  The process for transferring relevant knowledge to. security. Thes processes enable the organization’s workforce to effectively perform the work necessary to meet customer needs. gathering. and action plans. and knowledge assets. workforce engagement 6 . up to date. aligning. and for reviewing and improving organizational performance. and best-in-class performers  The process for keeping the organization’s performance meaurement current with business needs and directions. among others. complete. information. and integrating data and information for tracking daily operations and performance. reliable. and Knowledge Management category encompasses processes for selecting..g. Also included are processes for assessing workforce capability and capacity needs. and for deploying these modified plans to the workforce to achieve optimal customer satisfaction The process for developing human resource plans to maximize workforce capability and capacity to meet customer needs The process for budgeting and allocation of resources to support action plans and to maximize cuatomer service The process for establishing and monitoring performance metrics. to meet customer needs The process whereby the strategic planning process considers and balances the needs of all key customers and other stakeholders The process for converting strategic plans into customer-centric action plans The process for modifying action plans to account for changing customer segments and requirements.       The process whereby the strategic planning process addresses acquisition or development of core competencies needed – e. managing. standards. valid. analyzing. for managing information technology. and knowledge are accurate. and developing the workforce in alignment with the organization’s overall mission. and to continuously improve performance. and secure  The process for making data and information available to. and continued availability of hardware and software systems. information. collecting. with a view to continuity of service to customers and other stakeholders The Workforce Focus category includes processes for engaging. As mentioned earlier. among others.g. Analysis. managing. customers and other stakeholders  The process for ensuring the reliability. strategy. and improving data.. including progress in meeting customer requirements  The process for using comparative data to measure the organization’s performance (e. with a view to ensuring maximum customer satisfaction The Measurement. for assessing and improving workforce climate. Included in this category are:  The process for selecting. and for building a high-performance workforce. in customer service and satisfaction) relative to competitors and other organizations. including shifts in customer requirements  The processes for analyzing and improving organizational performance  The process for ensuring data.

vision. 7 .g. Continuous improvement of work systems and business processes is necessary to meet constantly increasing customer expectations. The work of an effectively managed workforce is aligned with customer-focused goals. disaster recovery. and loyalty. in essence. and improving key business processes. Effectively designed. primarily. and “best in class. This category also includes processes for emergency preparedness. educated. comparison of performance against competitors and other organizations. The Results category is. References: Kaila. strategies. and continuity of operations. The focus of the Process Management category is on continuous delivery of customer value.” Finally. productivity). which in turn are leading indicators of customer satisfaction. It is. The Baldrige model in no way claims to meet the requirements of the mandated Federal Enterprise Architecture or to conform to other. which lead to sustainability of customer service. this category shows integration of results with one another (e. action plans. September 10-12. and developed with a a focus on customer engagement. DC. But it is an elegant approach to aligning the management of business processes with an organization’s mission. “Employing Business Process Management to Drive Customer Centricity. industry standards. implemented. and managed work systems and business processes effectively meet customer requirements. a means for ensuring processes in all categories are integrated with one another to maximize organizational outcomes – in particular. more complex EA models. and for designing. satisfaction. to focus on most effectively determining and meeting the requirements of customers and other key stakeholders. A workforce that is continuously trained. values. Isher.” Gartner Business Process Management Summit. 2008. These measures illustrate the current level of performance of the processes in the six “process” categories:  Product outcomes  Customer-focused outcomes  Financial and market outcomes  Workforce-focused outcomes  Process effectiveness outrcomes  Leadership outcomes This category also shows process performance trends over time. and objectives – particularly in small and mid-sized organizations that may not have the resources to implement more extensive architectures. engagement. thereby enabling the workforce to effectively meet customer requirements. the effect that a change in workforce engagement has on. Washington. managing.. say. This category includes processes for designing and implementing work systems. goals. a balanced set of measures.and satisfaction are leading indicators of procutivity and quality. and loyalty is poised to provide world-class service to customers and other stakeholders.

a non-profit 501c3 organization committed to addressing complex issues related to the public-private dynamic in a time of government transformation. Steven E. Baldrige National Quality Program 2009-2010 Criteria for Performance Excellence. Dr. 1996. U. In addition. 2008. Novak is a retired U. serving as Co-Chair if the Federal CIO Council’s Knowledge Management Working Group. Department of Commerce.. Wisconsin: American Society for Quality. Naval Officer and retired Federal civil servant.Kaplan. and David P. Norton. 8 . The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action. Milwaukee.S. Else is the Founding and Executive Editor of the EA Zone Journal. He is also Chairman of the Center for Public-Private Enterprise. and serving as an Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and other Baldrige-based award programs. National Institute of Standards and Technology. he teaches EA graduate courses at the University of Denver and directs the TOGAF program at FEAC. Michael J. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Highlights of his extensive federal career include drafting the Treasury Department Strategic Plan.S. Robert S. developing and implementing Defense Department procurement policy. serving on task groups chartered by the Vice President’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government.