Where, Who, When and Why of Business Architecture

Where, Who, When and Why of Business Architecture

Where – Locations in Which the Business Operates

 This is something that is overlooked these days, because networks make it easy to do business anywhere; that is an amazing accomplishment given to us by Network Engineers, whose work the rest us of don’t really understand.

 On the other hand, business process and rules may vary from country to country, due to different laws, and these should be captured by jurisdiction/location.

Who –Organizations of Importance to the Business

 All people belong to one organization or another, either formal (marketing department) or informal (attendees at a baseball game), for long or short periods of time; from an IT perspective, we are looking at groups and individuals who will use or be impacted by an information system.

 When – Events/Cycle of Significance to the Business

 Time waits for no Enterprise, and no Enterprise is independent of time. Here you want to list the external events (at least) that initiate activity in the enterprise, like “Customer places Order”; internal events may also be of significance at this level, like “Stock inventory has dropped below required level.”

 Cycles are those aspects of your business where things of importance begin in one state and ‘flow’ though intermediate states to a final state, like Order Received, Order Approved, Ordered Packaged, Order Shipped, and so on. There are also calendar based cycles that can also spawn events, like “It is Time to produce Quarterly Financial Statements”.

Why – Business Goals/Strategies

 This aspect of an enterprise has only recently started to play a specific role in information systems. Zachman’s Motivation columns left many scratching their heads for a long time, mine included. Besides, we had enough to keep us busy in the rest of the columns.

 However, we know now that it is this column that provides the guidance to everything that we know or do in the other columns. Every company is trying to be profitable, but each must have its own way to differentiate itself from its competition, so Goals and Strategies must be set.; the problem has been how to apply those in every day activities and the systems that support them. The answer today is Business Rules, drawn from policies and procedures created to meet those goals.


Excerpted from “Cascade: Better practices for effective delivery of information systems in a multi-project environment”, see more at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007YLUL7K#

…and more about me at www.about.me/dwwright99

David Wright

[email protected]

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