The Anonymous Architect Part 2 - My Strategic Initiatives Are Not Strategic

Image 2021 06 17 T07 30 03

Picture this.

You're responsible for helping business line partners in their strategic initiatives. You’ve read the latest strategy deck and board papers to understand the organisation’s priorities over the next few years. One of your business line partners has just shared with you their division’s top 5 strategic initiatives. They’d like your help to get them funded. You know the other business lines will soon come with their requests. How would you satisfactorily turn these requests around? And, how would you recommend the ‘right’ strategic initiatives for the reinvestment pool?

Business architects could help.

Business Architects would distil your strategy deck into business outcome, customer value propositions to achieve that business outcome and activities that deliver the value propositions and capabilities required. Activities that deliver value propositions are strategic and the capabilities to perform them are therefore worthy investment targets. They can qualitatively sieve out ‘top priority initiatives that are questionable with these insights, and direct their effort developing conceptual details into the short-listed initiatives.

Business architects are systems thinkers. They consider these short-listed strategic initiatives alongside in-flight and on-the-runway initiatives for similarities, patterns and interdependencies that indicate synergies, constraints and conflicts. Very helpful insights for executives as they manage their change portfolio, especially when concerning decisions to add, de-scope, delay and stop where required. Initiatives are no longer assessed in isolation, paving the way to apply the investment portfolio approach, to generate returns in keeping with enterprise-wide objectives of the strategy.

With their collaboration, Business Architects achieve coherent business solutions that truly enhance strategy execution, by design.

Let me caution you against assuming Business Architects can accomplish everything by themselves though, you will be bitterly disappointed! Although they are highly skilled and are the quintessential T-shape individuals with the aptitude to grasp a broad range of concepts, they need experts like IT, Finance, Legal, Risk, Operations and others in your business to draw upon too. They ask uncomfortable questions that challenge assumptions and the validity of entrenched positions.

Be prepared to be stretched, Business Architects will change your approach to strategic initiatives.

- The Anonymous Architect