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Business Architecture: A New Opportunity for Consultants?

Friday, April 09, 2010   (2 Comments)
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Business Architecture: A New Opportunity for Consultants?

by Dr. Rick Hubbard

Things Change. As Consultants—

—we like to keep up.

Business Architecture adds a new element to consulting. It helps grow your practice, enhance Trusted Advisor stature and provide greater client value.

Decline of Middle Management

The 1980s saw the decline of Middle Management. Organizations were flattened and efficiencies wrung from business processes. The 1990-2000s resulted in "Post Bureaucratic” organizations.

These forces changed the nature of consulting.

Yesterday’s Success Created Today’s Problem

Plentiful Middle Managers simplified "designing” the business.

Why? Smart people created processes. They achieved business objectives. They adapted when needed. Middle Managers designed, monitored and executed business processes.

Following the near extinction of Middle Managers remains the need to design, execute and monitor the business.

What’s Driving This Change?

Reductions in Middle Management—coupled with advances in strategy and business process automation—revealed a critical gap.

How do clients bridge Strategy ("Direction”) and Operations/Optimization? This is driving the emerging discipline: "Business Architecture.” A key component of Business Architecture is "Business Design.”

"Business Architecture,” according to Jack Hilty, President of the Business Architects Association, "includes purposeful design of collaboration across divides…between specialties.” Hilty adds, "Within functions, success is readily achieved. Yet, executives aren’t satisfied—they expect success end-to-end.”

Business Architecture—Designed

Business Architects are planners and designers. They also monitor to detect undesirable deviations. They drive organizations to further evolution by implementing corrections.

Hilty describes members of the IMC USA, saying "…Business Architecture [is performed] by cross-organizational generalists—typically with breadth and depth of diverse experience. [They] possess professional skills for transforming corporate strategy into functioning business design.”

Because value is important to Mr. Hilty, he stresses, "Business Architects enable corporations to increase market share, profit margins and flexibility, while reducing risk.”

Business Architecture Helps Consultants

Business Architecture provides consultants insights regarding client organizations. One way is use of a common frame-of-reference; shown here:



Using Business Architecture, consultants can be more advisory, effective and efficient without reinventing descriptive models.

Consultants Obtain Many Advantages

The emerging discipline of Business Architecture equips consultants with many advantages, including:

· Using an empirical approach to quickly analyze and predict effect on client organizations means you more easily transition from strategy to operations.

· With a solid reference model, you focus more on delivering your unique value to the client.

· Using the BAA’s growing Body of Knowledge means your client’s will have greater confidence in the foundation underlying recommendations.

· If you elect to participate, the Business Architecture Association and Certification means your clients place increased weight on recommendations as strategic.

Are All Management Consultants Business Architects?

IMC USA Chairman and CEO, Dr. Drumm McNaughton, CMC says, "The emerging discipline of Business Architecture provides consultants a valuable frame-of-reference and simplifies explaining cross-organizational changes to clients. Any management consultant should take a look at this emerging field.”

Enhance Your Consulting Value—Learn about Business Architecture

Leverage Business Architecture in your Consulting Practice. Download Business Architecture: An Emerging Profession from http://www.businessarchitectsassociation.org/about.

About the Author

Dr. Rick Hubbard first earned his CMC in 1986. He’s been involved with Local Chapters and National Conferences. He’s helped practitioners—in a dozen countries—save millions of dollars with Small Project Systems & Tools (http://www.SmallProjectSystemAndTools.com).He is a member of the IMC USA and the Business Architects Association. www.imcusa.org/member/rickhubbard

Comments...

Michael E. Cohen CMC MBA says...
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010
The link above doesn't work, i.e.: "http://www.businessarchitectsassociation.org/about." Please provide the corret link.
Walter Oelwein CMC says...
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Hi Rick, This is a very informative article, and couples the increasing trend to include design thinking in improving how organizations perform. I’ve started a project along a similar vein which I’m calling “The Emerging Field of Management Design.” It aims to create a management class that perform management duties by design rather than by accident. You mention how management was flattened, and it appears what managers remain were expected to be sage in managing high-performing teams and strategic individual contributors, without much supporting infrastructure on the techniques to do this. I started a blog to facilitate discussion on the current “designs” we have for creating managers that meet 21st century needs, as well as identify behaviors and tips that current managers should engage in to meet these needs. The URL is http://www.managerbydesign.com.

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