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TOGAF: Practical Implementation-2: Requirement Gathering- Business Architecture

Requirements are core to any solution. If you don't have right requirements, then the solution created will be wrong. You won’t be able to address the problem or an opportunity. Requirements show what elements and functions are necessary for the particular project.
Requirements has 4 parts
1)    Business Architecture
2)    Information and systems Architecture
3)    Technology Architecture
4)    Opportunities

In this section we will discuss Business Architecture.
Before, we start, I advise anyone reading this blog to keep an open mind. Here the attempt is to use TOGAF an enterprise level framework as a solution framework which can be used by anyone in his or her projects.
As per TOGAF, development of a business architecture to support an agreed Architecture vision. It includes process and people, Principles and their relationships to each other.
I believe, from solution framework point of view, we need to understand
·         What is the business strategy ?
·         What are the internal and external drivers?
·         What are the business models and processes?
·         Who participates in the business processes?
·         What are the project goals?
·         How will the success of the solution be measured?
·         Why is the project important to you now?
·          What is so compelling that a new solution is needed?

Answer to these questions helps us to create an overall business requirement. It gives us a big picture.
Primary stakeholders are
–  Business managers
–  System acquirer
–  Business analyst

 It further tells us

So lets describe them in detail 

A business driver is a business condition that motivates the customer to seek a solution. They might be an external force or an internal effort to take advantage of an external condition. Business drivers are statements about changes in the marketplace or environment that present problems and/or opportunities.

A business goal is an objective of the solution – what the solution must accomplish in
Business terms.

 A business Metrics
        A clearly measurable test for a business goal
        A numeric value or other testable criterion for assessing the degree to which a business goal has been achieved
         Used as a key component of acceptance criteria
         Generally applies to full scope of architecture
Example business metrics:
         15% of sales will be web-based electronic commerce by the end of the calendar year
         Certify compliance with regulation ABCD at least a month before deadline
         Merge payrolls and expense systems within 8 months

A business principle is an approach or means for achieving a goal.

Let me try to explain each of these in detail.

Business Goal and Business drivers are the driving force for any solution. Below is an example of Goals and drivers

Once we have collected this information, we now know the challenges an organization is facing. We know its goals and drivers. Our Objectives get clarity and now we know what the solution should deliver.

         A fundamental approach or means for achieving
a goal
         Timeless; how the system is meant to work
        Constrain and identify decisions about the solution and its realization
        Provide an agreed reference framework for evaluation
of alternatives and decisions
        Require input from stakeholders to define effective principles
Example business principles:
        Allow customers to transact business directly through web-based access to our information systems without the need for a customer representative intermediary
        Our existing dealers are an integral part of our future business strategy
Tests of a good principle
        Clear, concise, and stated in present tense
         Describes an overall approach for achieving the future state, i.e., a means, not an end
         Not a short-term action
         Helps you make decisions and progress toward future solution
         Specific enough to drive behavior
         You can tell if the principle is being practiced
         Strongly motivated by drivers, goals, and other principles
         Avoids truisms and trivialities (realistic alternatives exist)
         Likely to result in many right decisions if followed
Every Principle has

        The motivation behind the principle, the business benefit of achieving the principle, or the cost/business impact of not achieving it (why this is a good principle)
        An explicit statement of work or condition needed to achieve this principle (what must be done to implement the principle in terms of IT, process, and people)
        Known issues, problems, or constraints that may impede the achievement of a principle (what can get in the way of progress)
        Specific tasks to address an obstacle or carry out an implication of a principle (what, when, who)

An example of Principle

        Extend web shopping to include nearby store information and services
        Unique capability that will attract & retain customers
        Business must support merging of web business information and store business information
        If web business is directly connected to store, online shopping must charge local tax

        Determine greatest level of integration possible while retaining tax independence

  • Does each goal help address one or more drivers?
  • Does each principle help achieve one or more goals?
  • Will achieving the goals address each driver adequately?
  • Will following each principle achieve each of the goals?

  • Does this feel right?
  • Are these the most useful principles for this area?
  • Are there other important principles that need to be added?
  • Are there some of these that are questionable?
  • How close is this view to what’s needed?
  • Is it compelling?
Now we have the Business principles. Any solution that will be made will take in consider these principles which are based on Goals and drivers for a business.


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