Business Agility is an often discussed as a key desirable attribute. One of the ways of achieving Business Agility is through the portfolio management of a set of business capabilities and services , rather than application portfolio management which tends to intertwine the services and higher order business capabilities into an application -- not a robust and flexible way of enabling business agility and optimization.
The main building blocks that provide a platform for business agility are outlined below. I have elaborated the last one more than the others in this post, and will elaborate further in future posts.
Laws governing eco-system as a whole (e.g., to disallow
financial market meltdown in the wake of blind rule based automated short
selling in e.g., financial markets)
The ecosystem includes policies, rules and laws governing
Business providers and Business Consumers, and Business Brokers.
environment, market, legislation and ecosystem within which the business is
operating and evolving, forcing to change and vary based on forces within the
Business Context. The Business Context is a Business State
within the Business Eco-system.
are many changes that are constantly occurring within the business context.
Only some are business significant or should be “bubbled up” or surfaced at an
executive and business level, especially when Business Sensors detect a certain
threshold above which apparently ordinary events become important enough and
achieve a tipping point beyond which the business sensors should indicate that
a potentially impactful variation has occurred.
Business State is the result of Business
(significant) Change that causes the parameters and qualifiers of efficiency,
effectiveness, agility and performance to change. A change of state implies
that Business Outcomes may indeed differ as we transition from one Business State to another. The Business State
is a snapshot in time of the key metrics and information related to the
Business Entities model and reflect the key business domain elements of the Business Eco-system that under Business State changes.
EA (Enterprise Architecture) practitioners are …exploring the links between desired business outcomes and
A tipping point is
reached when IT begins to understand that business executives are not primarily
looking for products and services but
rather looking for business outcomes including increased output, higher
quality, lower costs, increased revenue and increased market share.
To effect the transition to become more business-driven and engaged
with business leaders, we should focus EA efforts on business outcomes.
and mechanisms to monitor, track, help modulate and govern business change as
key performance indicators track the events and occurrences within the Business
Typically, the board and top executives of a company state
the vision and strategy for the company. It is critical for implementation of
business performance solution in the company that the senior business
leadership translates and decomposes the high level vision and strategy
statements of the executive leadership to operational and actionable goals
associating KPIs to the actionable sub-goals on the way.
To achieve such end-to-end monitoring, metrics and sensors
must be injected in both planning processes and delivery processes .
Essential to this process is the Business Sensors that
detect Business significant Events and pass them on to the Business Policies
and Rules that would respond to them.
From a planning perspective, enterprise governance needs to
ensure that the right changes are initiated for the right reasons at the right
time. The underlying premise driving towards business agility is that such
agility delivers superior business value. But what if haste to achieve agility
results in low quality? Or what if speed of change is unsustainable from a
business operational perspective, thereby leading to deteriorating efficiency?
These are just two examples of the fundamental challenge that doing the wrong
things in the wrong way very fast simply means ruining your own business very
fast. There are two fundamental premises for agile change to be valuable over time:
the right changes; delivering better business outcomes with the least
amount of resources and disruption.
business performance and integrity while executing change.
For agile change to be sustainable the enterprise needs to
carefully plan and maintain an appropriate balance between effectiveness and
efficiency. Change in the large is based on continuous business re-engineering
towards strategic objectives (effectiveness). Yet while on that strategic
journey an enterprise needs to apply change in the small to continuously adjust
and optimize the current state and ultimately maintain business integrity and
There are two levels of monitoring – there is the monitoring
of the acting on plans and there is the monitoring of operations.
From a delivery perspective, the set of solutions designed
and implemented to achieve the business goals should be designed for
monitoring. Monitoring of business results is a key to business performance. Monitoring
of business results enables sensing of business significant events. Ability to
act upon to respond to the business significant events resulting from the
business activity monitors is essential to improve the business performance in
order to meet the business goals.
Therefore, business goals, solutions adequately instrumented
for monitoring and alerts, monitoring of business results, sensing of business
significant events, responding to these business events to take corrective or
predictive actions are key for a business to be in a path of success and growth
that can be adjusted and tuned based on actual results of the business.