Debasish Mishra, a colleague of mine, posted recently that we should let Business Architects out of the “Business Process Optimization Prison.” (link) He raises some good points. Chief among them is whether process optimization should be the sole focus of the business architect. Quote:
… a business architect who is narrowly focused on business process, organizations, and roles may have something interesting to tell the business sponsor but risks not being able to tell a complete story.
I completely agree, but I urge care when reading his post. Debasish is not suggesting that business architects don’t care about business process. He is simply saying that business architects have to care about many other things as well.
Using your business architect for business process optimization is a bit like buying a Maserati race car to drive to the grocery store. It can be done, but it’s not really practical, and certainly not cost effective.
Sure, many business architects are quite good at process optimization. By way of comparison, I’m good at coding, but I don’t code anymore.
Similarly, a good business architect may have, in his or her past, been responsible for process modeling, measurement, and optimization. But it’s no longer a focus of the work. I’d go so far as to say that process optimization is not a necessary prerequisite skill for being an effective business architect.
So use your business architect to do the work of a business architect: to model the business, and the business drivers, and to develop feasible well-aligned roadmaps for achieving goals. That is where the real value of business architecture lies.