erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

Change Management: Enterprise Architecture for Managing Change

As organization’s technologies and digital strategies mature, enterprise architecture for change management is becoming increasingly relevant. 

Enterprise architecture’s holistic view of the organization is perfect for understanding how an organization’s assets are interconnected. 

This understanding is crucial when an organization is looking to change from within. But it is perhaps even more crucial still, when external factors and disruption force an organization into change.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes …

Organizations in every industry are navigating digital transformation, so change management is an important element to consider as part of those efforts.

And organizations that embrace change often achieve greater success.

Whether in the early stages of implementing a digital strategy or in the midst of a new technology deployment, change management plays a crucial role.

What Is Change Management?

Change management describes the process(es) an organization will undertake to ensure changes to business operations, systems and other assets cause as little disruption as possible.

For example, a change in systems might require employees to be retrained, taking them away from more immediate, value-creating tasks.

A systems change also could disrupt business operations more directly – if it turns out a new system is incompatible with the current technology infrastructure.

Why Is Change Management Important?

Organizations are faced with constant change. Even industries historically resistant to it, such as financial services and healthcare, are now transforming proactively and at a rapid rate.

Successfully implementing and managing any change, but especially those involving technology, requires an understanding of how it will impact the business – particularly when there are impacts outside the intended goal.

While good ideas help a business grow, sometimes their implementations cause stumbles. Most often that’s because there’s a disconnect between an innovative idea and how it becomes reality.

Such disconnects result in redundant technology and processes, inefficient use of resources, and/or missed opportunities.

With effective change management, organizations usually realize faster implementations and lower costs. An organization with a better understanding of a proposed change is less likely to run into the problems that can derail new initiatives.

Smart change management also can help organizations future-proof their operations, anticipating issues such as systems becoming redundant or outdated earlier than expected.

Change Management and Enterprise Architecture

In large organizations, enterprise architecture (EA) has long been recognized as an effective mechanism for change management. It facilitates an organization’s efforts in assessing the impact of change and making recommendations for target states that support business objectives.

New solution architectures also are being used to successfully assess solution alternatives to support these target states.

EA often delivers the business use cases that justify the incorporation of ideas into operations. However, organizations may find its success limited if the EA function continues to operate in an ivory tower.

Historically, the EA group often has been disconnected from business stakeholders as well as the IT project teams assigned to deliver the solution. This disconnect can lead to the EA team suffering from a lack of commitment from the wider organization and thus their recommendations are ignored.

As a result, ideas are adopted without rigorous scrutiny, including the impacts of their execution and potential ripple effects on other projects.

What’s needed is an integrated approach that marries the EA team’s knowledge with a process for managing ideas and innovation.

change management enterprise architecture

Using Enterprise Architecture to Manage Ideation Through Implementation

A strategic planning approach – from assessment and impact and investment analysis through delivery – ensures ideas are captured, analyzed and shared in a structured process.

Feedback is provided to the originator, and the right stakeholders are involved in making the right decisions about IT projects based on sound business cases. Then both communities feel empowered to make changes.

An integrated, strategic planning environment brings a federated view of information from across the organization so that it can be shared. It helps organizations analyze and prioritize ideas, feed them into EA for analysis, and compile a business case.

With all stakeholders reviewing information and providing feedback on proposed projects, everyone can understand how the new ideas fit into the corporate strategy and have a voice in systematically managing the changes.

Plus they can be executed in near real time, allowing the organization to react quickly to seize market advantage.

Organizations looking to adopt such an approach to change management would benefit from an enterprise architecture tool.

erwin Evolve is one such enterprise architecture tool and a solution addressing both enterprise architecture and business process modeling and analysis use cases.

Users employ erwin Evolve to effectively tame complexity, manage change and increase operational efficiency. Its many benefits include:

  • Creation & Visualization of Complex Models: Harmonize EA/BP modeling capabilities for greater visibility, control and intelligence in managing any use case.
  • Powerful Analysis: Quickly and easily explore model elements, links and dependencies, plus identify and understand the impact of changes through intuitive impact analysis.
  • Documentation & Knowledge Retention: Capture, document and publish information for key business functions to increase employee education and awareness and maintain institutional knowledge, including standard operating procedures.
  • Democratization & Decision-Making: Break down organizational silos and facilitate enterprise collaboration among those both in IT and business roles for more informed decisions that drive successful outcomes.
  • Agility & Efficiency: Achieve faster time to actionable insights and value with integrated views across initiatives to understand and focus on business outcomes.
  • Lower Risks & Costs: Improve performance and profitability with harmonized, optimized and visible processes to enhance training and lower IT costs.

Recent enhancements include web-based diagramming for non-IT users, stronger document generation and analytics, TOGAF support, improved modeling and navigation through inferred relationships, new API extensions, and modular packaging so customers can choose the components that best meet their needs.

Try erwin Evolve now with a free, cloud-based trial – your work will be saved and carried over when you buy.

enterprise architecture business process

erwin Expert Blog

The Connection Between Business Process Modeling and Standard Operating Procedures

We began a new blog series last week on business process (BP) modeling and its role within the enterprise. This week’s focus is on the connection between business process modeling and standard operating procedures. Specifically, using BP tools to help organizations streamline how they manage their standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Standard Operating Procedures: A New Approach to Organizing SOP Information

Manually maintaining the standard operating procedures that inform business processes can be a monster of a task. In most industries, SOPs typically are documented in multiple Word or Excel files.

In a process-centric world, heavy lifting is involved when an organization requires a change to an end-to-end process: Each SOP affected by the change may be associated with dozens or even hundreds of steps that exist between the start and conclusion of the process – and the alteration must be made to all of them wherever they occur.

You can imagine the significant man hours that go into wading through a sea of documents to discover and amend relevant SOPs and communicate these business process-related changes across the organization. And you can guess at the toll on productivity and efficiency that the business experiences as a result.

Companies that are eager to embrace business process optimization are keen to have a better approach to organizing SOP information to improve transparency and insight for speedier and more effective change management.

There’s another benefit to be realized from taking a new approach to SOP knowledge management, as well. With better organization comes an increased ability to convey information about current and changed standard operating procedures; companies can offer on-the-fly access to standard practices to teams across the enterprise.

That consistent and easily obtained business process information can help employees innovate, sharing ideas about additional improvements and innovations that could be made to standard operating procedures. It could also save them the time they might otherwise spend on “reinventing the wheel” for SOPs that already exist but that they don’t know about.

Balfour Beatty Construction, the fourth largest general builder in the U.S., saw big results when it standardized and transformed its process documentation, giving workers access to corporate SOPs from any location on almost any device.

As a construction company, keeping field workers out of danger is a major issue, and providing these employees with immediate information about how to accomplish a multi-step business process – such as clearing a site – can promote their safety. Among benefits it saw were a 5% gain in productivity and a reduction in training time for new employees who were now able to tap directly into SOP data.

Business Process Modeling & Standard Operating Procedures

Using Business Process Modeling to Transform SOP Management

How does a company transform manual SOP documentation to more effectively support change management as part of business process optimization? It’s key to adopt business process (BP) modeling and management software to create and store SOP documentation in a single repository, tying them to the processes they interact with for faster discovery and easier maintenance.

Organizations that move to this methodology, for example, will have the advantage of only needing to change an affected SOP in that one repository; the change automatically will propagate to all related processes and procedures.

In effect, the right BP tool automatically generates new SOPs with the necessary updated information.

Such a tool is also suitable for use in conjunction with controlled document repositories that are typically required in heavily regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals, financial services and healthcare, as part of satisfying compliance mandates. All SOP documentation already is stored in the same repository, rather than scattered across files.

But a business process diagramming and modeling solution comes in handy in these cases by providing a web-based front-end that exposes high-end processes and how they map to related SOPs. This helps users better navigate them to institute and maintain changes and to access job-related procedure information.

To find out about how erwin can streamline SOP document management to positively impact costs, workloads and user benefits, please click here.

In our next blog, we’ll look at how business process modeling strengthens digital transformation initiatives.

Data-Driven Business Transformation whitepaper

erwin Expert Blog

Five Steps to Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is ramping up in all industries. Facing regular market disruptions, and landscape-changing technological breakthroughs, modern businesses must be both malleable and willing to change.

To stay competitive, you must be agile.

Digital Transformation is Inevitable

Increasing numbers of organizations are undergoing a digital transformation. The tried-and-tested yet rigid methods of doing business are being replaced by newer, data-orientated approaches that require thorough but fast analysis.

Some businesses – like Amazon, Netflix and Uber – are leading this evolution. They all provide very different services, but at their core, they are technology focused.

And they’re reaping rewards for it too. Amazon is one of the most valuable businesses in the world, perhaps one of the first companies to reach a $1-trillion valuation.

It’s not too late to adopt digital transformation, but it is  too late to keep fighting against it. The tide of change has quickened, and stubborn businesses could be washed away.

But what’s the best way to get started?

Step One: Determine Your End Goal

Any form of change must start with the end in mind, as it’s impossible to make a transformation without understanding why and how.

Before you make a change, big or small, you need to ask yourself why are we doing this? What are the positives and negatives? And if there are negatives, what can we do to mitigate them?

To ensure a successful digital transformation, it’s important to plot your journey from the beginning through your end goal, understanding how one change or a whole series of changes will alter your business.

Business process modeling tools can help map your digital transformation journey.

Step Two: Get Some Strategic Support

For businesses of any size, transformational change can disrupt day-to-day operations. In most organizations, the expertise to manage a sizeable transformation program doesn’t exist, and from the outset, it can appear quite daunting.

If your goal is to increase profits, it can seem contradictory to pay for support to drive your business forward. However, a slow or incorrect transformational process can be costly in many ways. Therefore, investing in support can be one of the best decisions you make.

Effective strategic planning, rooted in enterprise architecture, can help identify gaps and potential oversights in your strategy. It can indicate where investment is needed and ensure transformative endeavors aren’t undermined by false-starts and U-turns.

Many businesses would benefit further by employing strategic consultants. As experts in their fields, strategic consultants know the right questions to ask to uncover the information you need to influence change.

Their experience can support your efforts by identifying and cataloging underlying components, providing input to the project plan and building the right systems to capture important data needed to meet the business’s transformation goals.

Step Three: Understand What You Have

Once you know where you want to go, it’s important to understand what you currently do. That might seem clear, but even the smallest organizations are underpinned by thousands of business processes.

Before you decide to change something, you need to understand everything about what you currently do, or else a change could have an unanticipated and negative impact.

Enterprise architecture will also benefit a business here, uncovering strategic improvement opportunities – valuable changes you might not have seen.

As third-parties, consultants can provide an impartial view, rather than letting historic or legacy decisions cloud future judgment.

Businesses will also benefit from data modeling. This is due to the exponential increase in the volume of data businesses have to manage – as well as the variety of disparate sources.

Data modeling will ensure data is accessible, understood and better prepared for analysis and the decision-making process.

Step Four: Collect Knowledge from Within

Your employees are a wealth of knowledge and ideas, so it’s important to involve them in the enterprise architecture process.

Consultants can facilitate a series of staff workshops to enable employee insights to be shared and then developed into real, actionable changes.

Step Five: Get Buy-in Across the Business

Once you’ve engaged with your staff to collect the knowledge they hold, make sure you don’t cut them off there. Business change is only successful if everyone understands what is happening and why, with continuous updates.

Ensure that you take your employees through the change process, making them  part of the digital transformation journey.

Evidence suggests that 70 percent of all organizational change efforts fail, with a primary reason being that executives don’t get enough buy-in for new initiatives and ideas.

By involving relevant stakeholders in the strategic planning process, you can mitigate this risk. Strategic planning tools that enable collaboration can achieve this. Thanks to technological advancements in the cloud, collaboration can even be effectively facilitated online.

Take your employees through your digital transformation journey, and you’ll find them celebrating with you when you arrive at your goal.

If you think now is the right time for your business to change, get in touch with us today.

Data-Driven Business Transformation