ArticlePDF Available

Enterprise Business Motivation Model (EBMM)TRIADS™– The Chemistry of Business Architecture Alignment

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

This article presents an approach that tackles the number one issue faced by most organizations: the Alignment of Business and IT. We do so by presenting a Business Architecture meta-model called the EBMM TRIADS™ and its application to aligning an organization's Business Motivation, Business Strategy, Business Responsibilities, and Business Operation. Each one of the four EBMM TRIADS shares three sets of Relationships with the other TRIADs. The Relationships contained in each one of those sets impose Alignment Constraints on the types of Business Architecture elements hosted by the TRIADs. We posit that each set of Constraints represents a dimension of Alignment between two TRIADs. The number of Relationships contained in each set indicates the Strength of Alignment between the two TRIADs that share the set. Therefore, the EBMM TRIADS can provide a solid reference for a qualitative and quantitative characterization of the Alignment achieved by an organization through its existing and targeted Business Architectures.
Content may be subject to copyright.
28 © Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1
Peer-Reviewed Article
Enterprise Business Motivation Model (EBMM) TRIADS
The Chemistry of Business Architecture Alignment
Atiogbe Didier Koffi
Abstract
This article presents an approach that tackles the number one issue faced by most organizations: the Alignment of
Business and IT. We do so by presenting a Business Architecture meta-model called the EBMM TRIADS™ and its
application to aligning an organization's Business Motivation, Business Strategy, Business Responsibilities, and Business
Operation. Each one of the four EBMM TRIADS shares three sets of Relationships with the other TRIADs. The
Relationships contained in each one of those sets impose Alignment Constraints on the types of Business Architecture
elements hosted by the TRIADs. We posit that each set of Constraints represents a dimension of Alignment between two
TRIADs. The number of Relationships contained in each set indicates the Strength of Alignment between the two TRIADs
that share the set. Therefore, the EBMM TRIADS can provide a solid reference for a qualitative and quantitative
characterization of the Alignment achieved by an organization through its existing and targeted Business Architectures.
Keywords
Business Architecture, Alignment of Business and IT, architecture meta-model, business model reliability, quantitative
architecture model, strategic program management, risk management, dynamic business model
INTRODUCTION
Business Architecture (Reynolds 2009) has gained a lot
of attention in the Enterprise Architecture (EA)
community as a result of a recent shift in the view of EA
that strives to expand beyond its IT roots towards more
strategic concerns such as business models and
organizational change (FEAPO 2013; OMG 2008). In
addition, recent research keeps reaffirming the critical
role of clearly articulated vision, goals, and objectives
from business leaders to increase Business Initiatives
and Programs chances of success (Patanakul et al.
2013; Kurstedt & Thayne 2013).
This article presents theoretical research about a
Business Architecture meta-model called the
EBMM TRIADS and its application to aligning the
following four common views of an organization’s
Business Architecture: Business Strategy, Business
Operation, Business Motivation, and Business
Responsibilities. We also demonstrate that the
EBMM TRIADS can provide a solid reference for a
qualitative and quantitative characterization of the
degree of Alignment achieved by an organization
through its existing and targeted Business Architectures
(Gammoh et al. 2010; Kearns & Lederer 2000; Luftman
et al. 1993).
While primarily theoretical, the article also presents a
practical application of the EBMM TRIADS as a
facilitation instrument for the adoption of the Microsoft®
Connected Health Business Framework (CHF)
(Microsoft 2013) by a fictional healthcare organization.
EXAMPLE OF BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE
ELEMENTS
In this section we introduce some fundamental Business
Architecture elements such as Business Strategies,
Business Capabilities, Products and Services, and the
Relationships that they entertain with each other.
An organization’s success is tied to its customers’
satisfaction and loyalty. To ensure that an organization is
properly aligned with its customers’expectations,itmust
have a reliable and comprehensive enough
understanding of its Market Segments (Barnes 2014)
and Micro-Segments (Galbraith 2012). Clarifying the
specific demands or expectations of each Market
Segment allows the organization to justify its
engagement towards each targeted customer group.
Customers’ trust and hopefully their long-term loyalty
can be effectively secured and nurtured by the
organization through its profound understanding and
indisputable fulfillment of customers’ expectations
(Porter et al. 2014; Galbraith 2014).
Influencing Organizations are sources of Influence.
Influencing Organizations could be Partners,
Competitors, or Regulatory Bodies. In some sense,
Partners and Regulatory Bodies are also customers of
the organization since they bring specific Constraints or
expectations often key to the organization’s success.
© Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1 29
Competitors’Influence is undeniable as they often cater
to the same pool of customers as the ones targeted by
an organization. With a clear understanding of Customer
Demands and Relationships and the proper
consideration of Influences generated by Partners,
Competitors, and Regulatory Bodies, Organization
Stakeholders are empowered to formulate effective
Business Strategies and Objectives that have a high
probability of securing a desired Market Position
(Howard et al. 2014; Prentice 2013; Kaplan & Norton
2004).
It is important to hold Stakeholders accountable for
Business Strategies and Objectives. Stakeholders when
held accountable for a given set of Business Strategies
and Objectives become advocates for their effective
implementation (Kurstedt & Thayne 2013). Some
Stakeholders will carry this responsibility further than
others by actually driving the Business Strategies and
Objectives toward their fulfillment and by being actively
involved in, or accountable for, all activities required for
their realization (Olding & Fitzgerald 2011). Some
Stakeholders play the role of Governance Body by
creating and enforcing Business Policies applicable to
the entire organization and/or specific Business Units.
These Business Policies are meant to support and
articulate agreed Directives that contribute to the
achievement of the established Business Strategies and
Objectives (Cloo et al. 2008).
A Capability Roadmap (Burton 2013) is a well-articulated
set of successive changes to the organization’s
Business Capabilities (Ulrich & Rosen 2011) aimed at
progressively transforming the organization from its
current state to its desired future states. Capability
Roadmaps can be prioritized according to selected
Assessment Metrics that highlight the most valuable
opportunities for Capability improvements. Therefore,
Capability Roadmaps provide a solid foundation upon
which Business Initiatives and Programs can be
chartered.
The organization’s desired future Business Capabilities
are the outcome of fulfilling its Business Strategies and
achieving its Business Objectives. Business Initiatives
and Programs chartered from Capability Roadmaps can
drive changes to Business Capabilities in a coordinated
and effective manner.
Properly assessed and understood Customer Demands
and Relationships along with Influences created by
Partners, Competitors, and Regulatory Bodies all come
into consideration for the formulation of desired Products
and Services offerings that effectively package Business
Capabilities specified by Capability Roadmaps (Ulrich &
Rosen 2011).
The organization’s Value Proposition can be formulated
by describing the rationale behind its featured Products
and Services (Barnes et al. 2009). Securing the targeted
Market Position mandates Required Competencies
through exceptional Business Capabilities included in or
contributingtothe organization’sProducts and Services
offerings (Porter & Heppelmann 2014; Handler &
Maizlish 2005).
Once an organization has defined its Value Proposition
and Required Competencies, it can elicit its Assets.
Assets are resources employed, possessed, or
controlled by the organization in order to deliver its
Products and Services. The organization’s Governance
Body formulates Directives that govern the use of Assets
in a way that contributes to the achievement of the
established Business Strategies and Objectives (Bittler
2009).
The organization can consolidate its structure by forming
or allocating Business Units responsible for each
Business Capability. Required Competencies can guide
this allocation process (Galbraith 2014; Galbraith 2012;
Keinz et al. 2012).
From the elicitation of Assets and their respective
Directives, the organization can further refine its
structure by designating Business Units responsible for
each Asset.
Since Products and Services package Capabilities and
since Business Units are mapped to the Capabilities that
they are responsible for, it is possible to determine which
Business Units provide which Products and Services
based on the Capabilities packaged within the Products
and Services. Business Units can also consume
Products and Services in order to perform their
responsibilities.
Typical resulting organizational structures reflect the
overall Business Strategy and are listed below (Galbraith
2012):
Administrative Office structure for a Volume
Expansion strategy
Departmental Headquarters structure for a
Geographic Dispersion strategy
Division Central Office structure for a Vertical
Integration strategy
Multi-divisional General Office structure for a
Diversification strategy
Three-dimensional structure for an International
Growth strategy
Front/Back and Four-dimensional structures for a
Customer Focus strategy
Next, we present how a Business Architecture meta-
model can be used to effectively capture the essence of
a Business Architecture.
30 © Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1
THE EBMM-TRIADS
The EBMM TRIADS are a conceptual meta-model
(Grigoriu 2006) of a Business Architecture and as such
they model the types of elements and their associated
Relationships involved in the definition of an actual
Business Architecture. The four EBMM TRIADS
elegantly break down the complexity found in Nick
Malik's initial EBMM (Malik 2001) by showing how its
Business Architecture elements participate in four very
common inter-dependent and complementary views of
any Business Architecture: Strategy, Operations,
Motivation, and Responsibilities. Each TRIAD combines
three Fundamental Interrogatives taken from the
following set: WHY, WHAT, WHO, and HOW. Each
Fundamental Interrogative group contains several types
of Business Model elements that entertain Relationships
with each other (e.g., Success Metrics and Measures
[WHY] set Performance Criteria for Business Strategies
and Objectives [WHY]). The EBMM TRIADS are an
attempt at integrating Fundamental Interrogatives similar
to the purpose of the Zachman Framework (ZF)
Integration Relationships between any two cells of the
same perspective (ZF Row) (Doucet et al. 2009;
Zachman 2009; Anaya & Ortiz 2005; Sowa & Zachman
1992). Each TRIAD lists relevant types of Business
Model elements and their respective Relationships.
Those Relationships are between elements that belong
to different Fundamental Interrogative groups (e.g.,
Business Strategies and Objectives [WHY] drive
changes to Business Capabilities [WHAT]).
Our model groups the majority of Nick Malik’s EBMM
Business Model elements into four groups each
answering a fundamental question about the business:
WHY, WHO, WHAT, and HOW. There are four total
possible combinations of three distinct Fundamental
Interrogatives. Each one of these four combinations
constitutes an EBMM-TRIAD that relates well to a
particular view of a Business Architecture, as depicted in
Figure 1.
The first TRIAD is Business Strategy. It answers the
question: HOW does WHAT fulfill WHY?
The second TRIAD is Business Operation. It answers
the question: HOW does WHO do WHAT?
The third TRIAD is Business Motivation. It answers the
question: HOW does WHO influence WHY?
The forth TRIAD is Business Responsibilities. It answers
the question: WHY does WHO do WHAT?
Figure 1: The Four EBMM TRIADS
Rationale Behind the Business Strategy TRIAD
Business Strategy is defined by Wikipedia under the
surrogate term “StrategicManagement”as:
“StrategicManagement analyzesthemajorinitiativestakenby
a company's top management on behalf of owners, involving
resources and performance in internal and external
environments […]. Strategic Management provides overall
direction to the enterprise and is closely related to the field of
Organization Studies. In short, it entails specifying the
organization’s objectives, developing policies and plans
designed to achieve these objectives, and then allocating
resources to implementtheplans.”
The EBMM TRIADS capture the essence of Business
Strategy by answering the question: “HOW does WHAT
fulfill WHY?” and by identifying relevant Relationships
among Business Architecture elements classified within
the three Fundamental Interrogatives WHY (e.g.,
Business Strategies and Objectives), WHAT (e.g.,
Capabilities, Products and Services), and HOW (e.g.,
Processes, Activities, Applications, and Assessment
Metrics).
Rationale Behind the Business Operation TRIAD
Business Operation can be understood through
Wikipedia’sdefinitionofOperationsManagementas:
“Operations Management is an area of management
concerned with overseeing, designing, and controlling the
process of production and redesigning business operations in
the production of goods or services. It involves the
responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient
in terms of using as few resources as needed, and effective in
© Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1 31
terms of meeting customer requirements. It is concerned with
managing the process that converts inputs (in the form of
materials, labor, and energy) into outputs (in the form of goods
and/orservices).”
The EBMM TRIADS capture the essence of Business
Operation by answering the question: “HOWdoesWHO
do WHAT?” and by identifying relevant Relationships
among Business Architecture elements classified within
the three Fundamental Interrogatives WHAT (e.g.,
Capabilities, Products and Services), HOW (e.g.,
Applications, Processes, and Assessment Metrics), and
WHO (e.g., Business Units).
Rationale Behind the Business Motivation TRIAD
The OMG in their definition of the Business Motivation
Model (OMG 2008) states that:
“Specifically, the Business Motivation Model does all of the
following:
Identifies factors that motivate the establishing of
business plans
Identifies and defines the elements of business plans
Indicates how all these factors and elements inter-relate
Among these elements are those that provide governance for
and guidance to the business Business Policies and
BusinessRules.”
The EBMM TRIADS capture the essence of Business
Motivation by answering the question: “HOWdoesWHO
influence WHY?” and by identifying relevant
Relationships among Business Architecture elements
classified within the three Fundamental Interrogatives
WHY (e.g., Business Policies, Business Strategies and
Objectives), HOW (e.g., Key Performance Indicators and
Assessment Metrics), and WHO (e.g., Governance
Body, Stakeholders, and Market Segment).
Rationale Behind the Business Responsibilities TRIAD
Business Responsibilities are often captured in an
organizational chart. Wikipedia provides the following
definition:
“An organizational chart (often called organization chart, org
chart, organigram(me), or organogram(me)) is a diagram that
shows the structure of an organization and the relationships
andrelativeranksofitspartsandpositions/jobs.”
The EBMM TRIADS capture the essence of Business
Responsibilities by answering the question: “W HYdo es
WHO do WHAT?” and by identifying relevant
Relationships among Business Architecture elements
classified within the three Fundamental Interrogatives
WHY (e.g., Business Policies and Rules, Business
Strategies and Objectives), WHO (e.g., Business Units
and Stakeholders), and WHAT (e.g., Capabilities,
Products and Services).
BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE ALIGNMENT AND THE
EBMM TRIADS
A practical definition of Alignment is given by Henderson
and Venkatraman (Henderson & Venkatraman 1992) as:
“Alignment between business and IT is the degree of fit and
integration between business strategy, IT strategy, business
infrastructure,andITinfrastructure”.
We advocate that Alignment of Business and IT can be
greatly facilitated for an organization that has a clear and
comprehensive Business Architecture that provides
unambiguous directions regarding the Business
Motivation, its Strategy, its Roles and Responsibilities,
and its Operations.
The EBMM TRIADS can effectively guide an
organization through the steps required to achieve a
strong Alignment between Business Strategy, Business
Operation, Business Motivation, and Business
Responsibilities.
The EBMM TRIADS are a conceptual meta-model. The
meta-model can be understood as a set of Rules that
govern the structure and content of a Business
Architecture.
The following statement helps understand why this
article uses a meta-model as the basis for the definition
of six dimensions of Alignment for a Business
Architecture:
It does not matter so much how many times you follow a given
rule in the Law, it matters more that you follow all the rules in
the Law to be compliant with it.
Our approach to Business Architecture Alignment
follows this principle. The EBMM TRIADS are a
comprehensive set of Rules that govern the structure
and content of an actual Business Architecture. They do
so by identifying six sets of Relationship types that
integrate four fundamental views of any Business
Architecture: Strategy, Operation, Motivation, and
Responsibilities. Each one of these views is represented
by a TRIAD in our model.
Each TRIAD is defined by a set of Relationships that
connect Business Model element types found in distinct
Fundamental Interrogative groups. We define a
Relationship Rule as being composed of three parts:
A Source Business Model element
A Destination Business Model element
The Name and Direction of the link between
Source and Destination elements
Relationship Rules that are common to any two TRIADs
represent Rules that are applicable to both TRIADs.
Therefore, our definition of Alignment can be stated as
Following a common set of Rules”.
32 © Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1
Two TRIADs are in Alignment with each other if they
both follow the same set of Relationship Rules. This also
justifies the existence of six dimensions of Alignment or
six sets of Relationships among four EBMM TRIADS, as
depicted in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Six Sets of Relationships Among Four
EBMM TRIADS
Next, we present the sets of Relationships shared
between TRIADs:
HOW to WHAT Business Strategy and Business
Operation shared Relationships:
Business Processes and Activities properly
manage Assets.
Business Processes and Activities produce and
consume proper Data Objects.
Assessment Metrics evaluate Business
Capabilities.
System Interaction Points are described in Use-
Cases or User Stories.
Applications properly impact Business Capabilities.
Applications are involved in providing useful
Products and Services.
WHAT to HOW Business Strategy and Business
Operation shared Relationships:
Business Capabilities are implemented through
Business Processes/Activities.
Data Objects are created or used in Applications.
Business Requirements describe Application
Features.
WHY to HOW Business Strategy and Business
Motivation shared Relationships:
Directives govern Business Processes and
Activities.
Success Metrics and Measures track success of
Business Processes and Activities.
Value Propositions are inputs to Finance and
Revenue Models.
HOW to WHY Business Strategy and Business
Motivation shared Relationships
Assessment Metrics prioritize Capability
Roadmaps.
Key Performance Indicators track Success Metrics
and Measures.
WHY to WHAT Business Strategy and Business
Responsibilities shared Relationships:
Business Initiatives and Programs drive changes
to Business Capabilities.
Business Strategies and Objectives drive changes
to Business Capabilities.
Customer Demands and Relationships drive
Products and Services.
Value Propositions drive Required Competencies.
Directives govern use of Assets.
Capability Roadmaps describe changes to
Business Capabilities.
WHO to WHAT Business Responsibilities and
Business Operation shared Relationships:
Business Units are responsible for Assets.
Business Units are responsible for Business
Capabilities.
Business Units consume Products and Services.
Business Units provide Products and Services.
WHO to WHY Business Responsibilities and Business
Motivation shared Relationships:
Governance Body enforces all Business Policies.
Stakeholders are accountable for Business
Strategies and Objectives.
Stakeholders can be a type of Driver.
Market Segments generate Customer Demands
and Relationships.
Influencing Organizations are sources of
Influence.
WHO to HOW Business Motivation and Business
Operation shared Relationships:
Business Units perform Business Processes and
Activities.
At this point, it is worth explaining why this article defines
Alignment as being between TRIADs and not between
Fundamental Interrogatives.
When Alignment is defined between two TRIADs:
each Relationship Rule is fully owned by both
TRIADs; therefore, each TRIAD has equal stake in
the Rule.
© Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1 33
When Alignment is defined between two
Fundamental Interrogative groups: the Source part
of the Rule is owned by one Interrogative, the
Destination part of the Rule is owned by the other,
the name of the link is shared by both parties, but
the source part of the Rule, by being the subject,
gives its Interrogative a higher stake in the Rule
than the Interrogative of the destination part which
is the object. Passive and Active sentence Rules
further complicate this state of affairs.
Each EBMM-TRIAD shares three sets of Relationships
with the other TRIADs. The Relationships contained in
each one of those sets impose Constraints on Business
Architecture elements hosted by the TRIAD. So each set
of Constraints represents a dimension of Alignment
between two TRIADs. The number of Relationship types
contained in each set indicates the Strength of
Alignment between the two TRIADs that share the set
(Gammoh et al. 2010; Kearns & Lederer 2000; Luftman
et al. 1993).
The number of Relationship types contained in each set
indicates the Strength of Alignment between two TRIADs
that share the set. This is a direct implication of our
definition of Alignment as: “Following a common set of
Rules”. The more Relationship Rules two TRIADs have
in common, the more aligned they become.
This also means that an organization’s Business
Architecture that has 100 actual instances of the
Relationship type shared between Business Operation
and Business Motivation, and ten actual instances for
each one of the five Relationship types shared between
Business Motivation and Business Responsibilities is
more strongly aligned in its Responsibilities-Motivation
dimension than its Operation-Motivation dimension.
BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE ALIGNMENT CYCLE
A Business Architecture Alignment effort can be
conducted by going through consecutive Alignment
cycles. An Alignment cycle is initiated by one of the four
TRIADs. For the TRIAD that triggers the Alignment
cycle, all the Relationship Rules that it contains are
scrutinized to:
Identify the types of Business Architecture
elements that must be addressed; they are the
elements at the source and destination of the
Relationships
Identify the types of Constraints that each source
Business Architecture element imposes on its
destination element; they are the names of the
Relationships
The following steps occur during the first cycle:
First, identify all actual Business Architecture
instance elements that belong to the various types
listed; e.g., all Business Processes and Activities
taking place in the business under study.
Then ensure that all actual Business Architecture
instance elements are properly linked to each other
by means of the appropriate Relationship
instances; e.g., a specific Business Process (such
as“Generate Customer Invoices”)islinkedtoall
the Data Objects that it produces and all the Data
Objects that it consumes. Another example will link
a specific Data Object(suchas“CustomerBilling
Address”)toallBusiness Processes that produce
and consume it.
The subsequent Business Architecture Alignment cycles
will repeat the above steps for each one of the remaining
three TRIADs in a recursive manner to ensure that all
actual Business Architecture instance elements are
identified and properly linked to each other according to
the applicable Relationships of their respective element
types.
Lets illustrate two Business Architecture Alignment
cycles initiated by the Business Responsibilities TRIAD.
The first Alignment cycle is represented by the red
numbers in Figure 3. The Relationships being
scrutinized are:
Five Rules shared between Business
Responsibilities and Motivation TRIADs (1)
Six Rules shared between Business
Responsibilities and Strategy TRIADs (2)
Four Rules shared between Business
Responsibilities and Operation TRIADs (3)
The second Alignment cycle is represented by the green
numbers in Figure 3. The Relationships being
scrutinized are:
Five Rules shared between Business Strategy and
Motivation TRIADs (4)
Nine Rules shared between Business Strategy and
Operation TRIADs (5)
Six Rules shared between Business Strategy and
Responsibilities TRIADs (6)
One Rule shared between Business Motivation and
Operation TRIADs (7)
Five Rules shared between Business Motivation
and Strategy TRIADs (8)
Five Rules shared between Business Motivation
and Responsibilities TRIADs (9)
Four Rules shared between Business Operation
and Responsibilities TRIADs (10)
Nine Rules shared between Business Operation
and Strategy TRIADs (11)
One Rule shared between Business Operation and
Motivation TRIADs (12)
34 © Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1
Figure 3: Alignment Cycles Initiated by the Business
Responsibilities TRIAD
At the end of an Alignment cycle, each TRIAD has
shared with the other TRIADs a number of Relationship
Rules to be compliant with. Those Rules are Constraints
that are placed on the TRIADs. The relative strength of
the Constraints received by a TRIAD reflects the
Alignment Strength achieved by that TRIAD.
These strengths are totally dependent upon the number
of Relationship Rules found in each shared set
regardless of the actual definition of each Relationship
Rule. The previous statement highlights a system-level
property of the EBMM TRIADS (Adams et al. 2014).
Alignment Strengths are only dependent upon the
structure of the EBMM TRIADS; i.e., the number of
TRIADs (four of them) and the number of Relationship
Rules linking the TRIADs (shared Relationship sets
between any two TRIADs).
Table 1 summarizes the Alignment Strengths between
any two TRIADs regardless of which one initiates an
Alignment cycle. Table 1 shows that each TRIAD has a
relative Alignment Strength that reflects the total number
of Relationship Rules that it shares with other TRIADs.
These relative Alignment Strengths are:
33% for the Business Strategy TRIAD
25% for the Business Responsibilities TRIAD
24% for the Business Operation TRIAD
18% for the Business Motivation TRIAD
These relative Alignment Strengths are called Steady
State Alignment Strengths. They are obtained when all
EBMM TRIADS shared Relationship sets are taken into
account simultaneously. We also refer to them as
Equilibrium Alignment Strength Distributions.
Table 1: Alignment Strengths Between Any Two TRIADs
Table 2 shows a normalized Alignment Strength Matrix
derived from Table 1 by dividing the Alignment Strengths
found in a TRIAD row by the total of the row strengths.
Table 2: Normalized Alignment Strengths Matrix
It is often not practical to simultaneously consider all
shared Relationship sets included in the EBMM TRIADS
when conducting a Business Architecture Alignment
effort. The more tractable approach is to select subsets
of Relationship Rules through consecutive Alignment
cycles. Because the first Alignment cycle only includes a
subset of Relationship Rules, it introduces Gaps
between the EBMM TRIADS Alignment Strength
Distributions and their Equilibrium values. These Gaps
vary from one Alignment cycle to the next until they
finally reach zero when the TRIADs have reached their
Equilibrium Alignment Strength Distributions.
The following section uses Markov Chains (Winston &
Goldberg 2004) to analyze how the Business
Architecture Steady State Alignment Strength
distribution is reached based on the TRIAD that triggers
the Alignment cycles (Koffi 2010).
The recursive nature of the Alignment cycles carries a
computational complexity cost. We will address it by
comparing the relative efficiency (performance) of the
four possible approaches to conducting Business
Architecture Alignment efforts based on the TRIAD that
initiates the Alignment cycles.
COMPARING BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE
ALIGNMENT CYCLES EFFICIENCY PER INITIAL
TRIAD
When analyzing the four types of Business Architecture
Alignment cycles, it can be noticed that:
The average number of cycles needed to reach
equilibrium ranks varies.
© Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1 35
The average number of cycles during which a
TRIAD Alignment Strength ratio is not at its
equilibrium rank also varies.
We consider these two variables to be good indicators of
the efficiency with which Business Architecture
Alignment cycles take place. Figure 3 summarizes our
findings.
Figure 3: Business Architecture Alignment Cycles
Efficiency per Initial TRIAD
In Figure 3, better efficiency is achieved when both the
average number of cycles needed to reach equilibrium
ranks and the average number of cycles not at
equilibrium ranks are lower.
The best performance is achieved when the Business
Architecture Alignment cycles are initiated with the
Business Responsibilities TRIAD. The second best
performance goes to the Business Motivation TRIAD,
the third best to the Business Strategy TRIAD, and the
worst performance is for the Business Operation TRIAD.
Table 3 compares the EBMM TRIADS Business
Architecture Alignment cycles efficiency performances.
Table 3: Business Alignment Cycles Efficiency
Performances
COMPARING BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE VIEWS
ALIGNMENT GAPS PER INITIAL TRIAD
Table 4 shows how the Alignment Gap of each TRIAD
varies throughout Alignment cycles in terms of the
distance to the value of its Equilibrium Alignment
Strength Distribution. When a TRIAD Alignment Gap
reaches zero, its Alignment Strength distribution equals
its equilibrium value. Each TRIAD Alignment Gap follows
a different curve based on the TRIAD that initiates the
Alignment cycles. Alignment Gap values are between 0
and 1 and are reported for the first five Alignment cycles.
The color coding gradient in Table 4 varies from green to
red where green represents lower Alignment Gaps and
red higher ones. As predicted in the previous section,
the four EBMM TRIADS Alignment Gaps collectively
reach zero much faster when the Business
Responsibilities TRIAD initiates the Alignment cycles.
This suggests that aligning an organization’s Business
Architecture can be attained faster when the Business
Responsibilities TRIAD is used as the trigger of the
Business Architecture Alignment effort. When the
Business Responsibilities TRIAD triggers the Business
Architecture Alignment, the EBMM TRIADS Alignment
Strength Distribution Gaps become small enough at the
end of the second Alignment cycle when compared to
their equilibrium values:
The Responsibilities TRIAD (WHY does WHO do
WHAT) Alignment reaches 60% of its equilibrium
value.
The Motivation TRIAD (HOW does WHO Influence
WHY) Alignment reaches 66% of its equilibrium
value.
The Operation TRIAD (HOW does WHO do WHAT)
Alignment reaches 92% of its equilibrium value.
The Strategy TRIAD (HOW does WHAT fulfill
WHY) Alignment reaches 97% of its equilibrium
value.
Table 4: EBMM TRIADS Alignment Gaps per Initial TRIAD
36 © Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1
BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE ALIGNMENT
RELIABILITY
Another interesting property of the EBMM TRIADS
addresses the overall Reliability with which a TRIAD
influences another one. For example, while there are
nine Relationship Rules between the Business
Responsibilities and Business Operation TRIADs, it does
not guarantee that the actual Relationship Rule
instances are 100% accurate. One of these nine
Relationship Rules is “Business Requirements describe
Application Features”. It is possible that the accuracy
with which actual Business Requirements describe
actual Application Features is less than 100%. The same
observation can be made for the other eight Relationship
Rules found in that particular set.
Therefore, each instance of a TRIAD shared
Relationship Rules set identified for a given
organization’s Business Architecture can have an
accuracy level R with a value between 0% and 100%.
Figure 4 illustrates that observation and it uses the
following abbreviations to represent each TRIAD:
STR for Business Strategy
OPS for Business Operation
MOT for Business Motivation
RSP for Business Responsibilities
Figure 4: EBMM TRIADS Mutual Influence Reliability
Since each shared Relationship Rules set is a dimension
of Alignment between any two TRIADs, the accuracy
levels previously defined can be seen as the Reliability
with which two TRIADs influence each other:
R(OPS,MOT) is the Reliability of Business
Operation and Business Motivation mutual
influence.
R(OPS, STR) is the Reliability of Business
Operation and Business Strategy mutual influence.
R(OPS,RSP) is the Reliability of Business
Operation and Business Responsibilities mutual
influence.
R(MOT,STR) is the Reliability of Business
Motivation and Business Strategy mutual influence.
R(MOT, RSP) is the Reliability of Business
Motivation and Business Responsibilities mutual
influence.
R(RSP,STR) is the Reliability of Business
Responsibilities and Business Strategy mutual
influence.
Let’ssaythatweareinterestedinfindingouttheoverall
Reliability with which the Business Strategy TRIAD
influences the Business Operation TRIAD. The TRIAD
influences paths could be:
Straight from Strategy to Operation
Or from (Strategy to Motivation) and from
(Motivation to Operation)
Or from (Strategy to Responsibilities) and from
(Responsibilities to Operation)
Or from (Strategy to Motivation) and from
(Motivation to Responsibilities) and from
(Responsibilities to Operation)
Or from (Strategy to Responsibilities) and from
(Responsibilities to Motivation) and from
(Motivation to Operation)
Figure 5 illustrates these possible Influence paths.
Figure 5: EBMM TRIADS Influence Paths
It is possible to compute the overall Reliability RT with
which the Business Strategy TRIAD influences the
Business Operation TRIAD (Blanchard & Fabrycky
1998).
Let’s assume, for example, that all shared Relationship
Rules sets have the same accuracy or Reliability R.
Figures 6 and 7 show the graphs of RT as a function of
R and the graph of (RT-R) as a function of R when R
varies between 0 and 1.
Figure 7 shows that the overall Reliability RT with which
the Business Strategy TRIAD influences the Business
Operation TRIAD is higher than the Reliability of
Business Operation and Business Strategy mutual
influence when R is strictly greater than 0 and strictly
© Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1 37
less than 1, with 25% more Reliability achieved when R
= 0.6.
Figure 6: Overall Reliability of a TRIAD Influence as a
Function of R
Figure 7: RT-R as a Function of R
APPLYING THE EBMM TRIADS: EXAMPLE OF THE
MICROSOFT® CONNECTED HEALTH FRAMEWORK
(CHF) BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE
This section illustrates a Responsibilities-driven
Business Architecture Alignment effort conducted by a
fictional healthcare organization that would like to adopt
the Microsoft® Connected Health Framework (CHF)
Business Architecture (Microsoft 2013).
Microsoft Corporation defines the CHF as follows:
“The Connected Health Framework (CHF) Architecture and
Design Blueprint highlights a series of best practices for
service-oriented health information and collaboration
architecture. It also enables the development of an ecosystem
of solutions based on the guidelines.
The Microsoft Connected Health Framework (CHF) is designed
to enable the creation of Health and Social Care systems that
are seamless and joined up. It provides the seamless
experience through flexible user interfaces, driving dynamic,
orchestrated business processes. It provides the “joined-up”
environment by linking applications using open standards for
communication,datarepresentation,andprocesscontrol.”
Part 2 of the CHF Architecture and Design Blueprint
addresses its Business Framework. The EBMM TRIADS
can be used to assess the Alignment Strength of the
CHF Business Architecture and guide an organization to
adopt it in an effective manner.
This section shows how the EBMM TRIADS
Responsibilities-driven Business Architecture Alignment
can facilitate the adoption of the CHF Business
Architecture by a fictional healthcare organization. The
CHF Business Framework document is used as the
primary source of information to conduct the Alignment
effort. The document can be used in conjunction with
common information gathering techniques between the
information gatherers (Analyst) and Subject Matter
Experts (Expert) (Gavrilova & Andreeva 2012).
Table 5 shows examples of such techniques. In this
context, the EBMM TRIADS facilitate the classification of
CHF Business Architecture element instances relevant
to the healthcare organization under Fundamental
Interrogatives. The EBMM TRIADS Relationship sets
help validate that all expected CHF Business
Architecture element instances are in Alignment with
each other by being properly classified, defined, and
connected via relevant Relationship instances. Typically,
Business Architects, Enterprise Architects, and other key
Stakeholders representing both strategic (i.e., CMO
office) and operational (i.e., COO and CTO offices,
Program Management Office) Business Units in the
organization are involved in the Alignment cycles
described earlier in this article. Next, for simplicity’s
sake, we only describe the two steps conducted during
the first Alignment iteration cycle.
Table 5: Examples of Information Gathering Techniques
The first step is to identify and classify the various CHF
Business Architecture elements according to the three
EBMM TRIADS Fundamental Interrogative groups
involved with the Responsibilities TRIAD: WHY, WHO,
and WHAT. For example, the following CHF Business
Policies element instances are categorized under the
WHY Interrogative: Using Cloud Computing, Using
38 © Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1
Portals, Using SOA. Another example of a WHY-like
CHF Business Architecture element instance is the CHF
Maturity Model for e-Health and the e-Care Business
Capability Roadmap. 17 CHF Customer Demands and
Relationships instances are classified under the WHY
Interrogative; they are expressed as business needs
among the following six WHO-like CHF Market
Segments: Persons (i.e., patients, clients, customers),
Care Professionals (i.e., physicians, nurses, allied care
professionals), Care Providers (i.e., hospitals, clinics,
medical practices, laboratories), Funding Organizations
(i.e., national and local health departments, insurance
companies), Policy Makers and Legislators (i.e.,
government departments, professional bodies),
Researchers and Analysts (i.e., scientific institutes,
medical institutes, statistical institutes).
In the second step, the fictional healthcare organization
identifies CHF Business Architecture instances of the 15
Relationship Rules found in the three Relationship sets
shared by the Business Responsibilities TRIAD with the
other three TRIADs. These Relationship Rules are listed
below:
WHO to WHY Business Responsibilities and Business
Motivation shared Relationships:
Governance Body enforces all Business Policies.
Stakeholders are accountable for Business
Strategies and Objectives.
Stakeholders can be a type of Driver.
Market Segments generate Customer Demands
and Relationships.
Influencing Organizations are sources of
Influence.
WHY to WHAT Business Strategy and Business
Responsibilities shared Relationships:
Business Initiatives and Programs drive changes
to Business Capabilities.
Business Strategies and Objectives drive changes
to Business Capabilities.
Customer Demands and Relationships drive
Products and Services.
Value Propositions drive Required Competencies.
Directives govern use of Assets.
Capability Roadmaps describe changes to
Business Capabilities.
WHO to WHAT Business Responsibilities and
Business Operation shared Relationships:
Business Units are responsible for Assets.
Business Units are responsible for Business
Capabilities.
Business Units consume Products and Services.
Business Units provide Products and Services.
For example in the WHO to WHY set, the Relationship
“Market Segments generate Customer Demands and
Relationships” has many actual instances such as but
not limited to:
Persons generate needs for Appointments with
Care Providers.
Persons generate needs for Admissions with Care
Providers.
Persons generate needs for Discharges with Care
Providers.
Persons generate needs for Episodes of Care with
Care Professionals.
Persons generate needs for Patient Relationships
with Care Providers.
Policy Makers generate needs for Standards of
Care applicable to Care Professionals.
Policy Makers generate needs for Audit Standards
applicable to Care Providers.
Policy Makers generate needs for Performance
Standards applicable to Care Providers.
Policy Makes generate needs for Awareness
Programs applicable to Persons.
Policy Makers generate needs for Screening
Programs applicable to Persons.
Further details can be added to the Relationship
instances previously listed in order to refine their
definitions. Similar Relationship instances identification
efforts can be conducted for each one of the 15
Relationships found in the three Relationship sets
shared by the Business Responsibilities TRIAD with the
Strategy, Operation, and Motivation TRIADs. Reporting
the full results of these efforts is beyond the scope of this
article.
Table 4 shows that relatively good degrees of Business
Architecture Alignment can be achieved at the
conclusion of the second Responsibilities-driven
Alignment cycle. CHF Business Architecture element
instances mapped to the EBMM TRIADS also inherit
these Alignment degrees when all instances of their
Relationship Rules have been properly identified and
documented. Quantitative measures of the overall
Alignment Reliability achieved between any two TRIADs
can also be computed using the methods presented in
this article. Reporting these results is beyond the scope
of this article.
CONCLUSION
This article has presented the EBMM TRIADS, a
Business Architecture meta-model. The EBMM TRIADS
have practical applications to the Alignment of an
enterprise Business Architecture. Each TRIAD
© Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1 39
represents one of four complementary and mutually-
dependent views of a Business Architecture.
We have listed the EBMM TRIADS 30 Relationship
Rules between Business Architecture elements that
belong to different interrogative groups. Each one of the
four EBMM TRIADS shares three sets of Relationships
with the other TRIADs. The Relationships contained in
each one of those sets impose Alignment Constraints on
the types of Business Architecture elements hosted by
the TRIADs. Each set of Constraints represents a
dimension of Alignment between two TRIADs. We have
proposed using the number of Relationships contained
in each set to compute the relative Alignment Strength
between any two TRIADs.
A Business Architecture Alignment effort can be
conducted by going through consecutive Alignment
cycles. An Alignment cycle is initiated by one of the four
TRIADs. Our model reveals that initiating an Alignment
cycle with the Business Responsibilities TRIAD reaches
in lesser cycles the Equilibrium Alignment Strength
Distributions.
We also proposed a measure of the overall Alignment
Reliability achieved between any two TRIADs based on
the Reliability with which TRIADs influence each other.
We illustrated a possible application of the
EBMM TRIADS as a facilitation instrument for the
adoption of the Microsoft® Connected Health Framework
(CHF) Business Architecture by a fictional healthcare
organization.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The author thanks Gary Walker for his valuable
feedback about this article.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Mr. Atiogbe Didier Koffi is a Business Architect with 19
years of professional experience in the IT Industry. He is
the founder of Pragmatic Cohesion Consulting LLC. He
lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his family. His
consulting career has covered government and private
sectors with services to the US Department of Defense,
the Department of Labor, leading biomedical research
and development organizations, leading pay-media
companies, and Fortune 500 healthcare organizations.
His published work is listed in the ACM Enterprise
Architecture Tech Pack. Mr. Koffi holds a Master of
Science degree in Systems Engineering from Virginia
Tech. He is an active member of the Association of
Enterprise Architects (AEA), the Association for
Computing Machinery (ACM), and the International
Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).
REFERENCES
Adams K., Hester P., Bradley J., Meyers T., Keating C.:
Systems Theory as the Foundation for Understanding
Systems, Systems Engineering Journal, Volume 17, Number 1,
pp.112-123 (2014).
Anaya V., Ortiz A.: How Enterprise Architectures can Support
Integration, Proceedings of the First International Workshop on
Interoperability of Heterogeneous Information Systems, pp.25-
30 (2005).
Barnes C., Blake H., Pinder D.: Creating and Delivering Your
Value Proposition: Managing Customer Experience for Profit,
Korgan Page (2009).
Barnes H.: Tech Go-to-Market: A Practical Guide to Market
Segmentation, Gartner Research (2014).
Bittler R.S.: Six Best Practices for Enterprise Architecture
Governance, Gartner Research (2009).
Blanchard B., Fabrycky W.: Systems Engineering and
Analysis, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (1998).
Burton B.: Business Capability Modeling Helps Mercy Execute
on Business Transformation, Gartner Research (2013).
Cloo J., Land M., Proper E., Waage M.: Enterprise
Architecture: Creating Value by Informed Governance,
Springer (2008).
Doucet G., Gotze J., Saha P., Bernard S.: Coherency
Management: Architecting the Enterprise for Alignment, Agility,
and Assurance, AuthorHouse (2009).
FEAPO: A Common Perspective on Enterprise Architecture
Developed and Endorsed by the Federation of Enterprise
Architecture Professional Organizations (2013); refer to:
http://feapo.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Common-
Perspectives-on-Enterprise-Architecture-v15.pdf.
Galbraith J.R.: Organizational Design Challenges Resulting
From Big Data, Journal Of Organization Design, Volume 3, No.
1, pp.2-12 (2014).
Galbraith J.R.: The Evolution of Enterprise Organization
Designs, Journal Of Organization Design, Volume 1, No. 2,
pp.1-13 (2012).
Gammoh D.T., Nazzal D., Elshennawy A., Furterer S.: A Novel
Methodology to Enhance Business Alignment using
Quantitative QFD and Business Modeling Tools, Department of
Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, University of
Central Florida (2010).
Gravilova T., Andreeva T.: Knowledge Elicitation Techniques in
a Knowledge Management Context, Journal of Knowledge
Management, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp.523-527 (2012).
Grigoriu A.: An Enterprise Architecture Development
Framework, Trafford Publishing (2006).
Handler R., Maizlish B.: IT Portfolio Management Step by Step,
Wiley (2005).
40 © Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015 No. 1
Henderson, J.C., Venkatraman, N.: Strategic Alignment A
Model for Organizational Transformation Through Information
Technology, Oxford University Press, pp.97117 (1992).
Howard C., Natis Y.V., Harris-Ferrante K., Proctor P.E., Cain
M.W., Rollings M., Thomas A., Gotta M., Anderson E.:
Transform Your Business With the Nexus of Forces, Gartner
Research (2014).
Kaplan R.S., Norton D.P.: Strategy Maps, Harvard Business
School Press (2004).
Kearns, G.S., Lederer, A.L.: The Effect of Strategic Alignment
on the Use of IS-based Resources for Competitive Advantage,
J. Strategic Inform. Syst. 9, 4, pp.265293 (2000).
Keinz P., Hienerth C., Lettl C.: Designing the Organization for
User Innovation, Journal Of Organization Design, Volume 1.
No. 3, pp.20-36 (2012).
Koffi A.D.: A Model for Characterizing the Influence of the
Zachman Framework’sEnterprise Architecture Perspectives,
Journal of Enterprise Architecture, Volume 6, Number 2, pp.30-
47 (2010).
Kurstedt H.A., Thayne T.: Taking the Reins: Leadership,
Supervision, and Management Lessons from a Horse,
Advantage (2013).
Luftman, J.N., Lewis, P.R., Oldach, S.H.: Transforming the
Enterprise: The Alignment of Business and Information
Technology Strategies, IBM Systems Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1,
pp.198-221 (1993).
Malik N.: The Enterprise Business Motivation Model (EBMM)
(2001); refer to: http://motivationmodel.com/wp/.
Microsoft® Connected Health Framework (CHF) Business
Framework, Version 2.2 (2013); refer to:
www.microsoft.com/health/ww/ict/Pages/Connected-Health-
Framework.aspx.
Olding E., Fitzgerald D.: 10 Best Practices in Organizational
Change for Project Managers, Gartner Research (2011).
OMG: Business Motivation Model (2008); refer to:
www.omg.org/oceb/BMM_Overview-
Core_Concepts_[081208].pdf.
Patanakul P., Aronson Z.H., Shenhar A.J.: Managing the
Intangible Aspects of a Project: The Affect of Vision, Artifacts,
and Leader Values on Project Spirit and Success in
Technology-Driven Projects, Project Management Journal, Vol.
44, No. 1, pp.35-58 (2013).
Porter M.E., Heppelmann J.E.: How Smart, Connected
Products are Transforming Competition, Harvard Business
Review (November 2014).
Prentice S.: Gartner Fellows Interview with Bob Johansen of
the Institute for the Future: Navigating to the Next Decade's
Volatile World, Gartner Research (2013).
Reynolds C.: Introduction to Business Architecture, Course
Technology PTR (2009).
Sowa J.F., Zachman J.A.: Extending and Formalizing the
Framework for Information Systems Architecture, IBM Systems
Journal, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp.590-616 (1992).
Ulrich W., Rosen M.: The Business Capability Map: The
Rosetta Stone of Business/IT Alignment, Cutter Consortium
Enterprise Architecture, Vol. 14, No. 2 (2011).
Winston W.L., Goldberg J.B.: Operations Research:
Applications and Algorithms, 4th Edition. Brooks/Cole
Thomson Learning, Belmont, CA, pp.924-934 (2004).
Zachman J.: The Zachman Framework: The Official Concise
Definition (2009); refer to:
www.zachmaninternational.com/index.php/the-zachman-
framework.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
Enterprise Architecture is a complex and daunting discipline that touches multiple aspects of an enterprise as well as people participating in various roles throughout the life cycle of the enterprise. The Zachman FrameworkTM for Enterprise Architecture offers a formal and highly structured representation of an enterprise. The Framework's “Perspectives” correspond to specific stakeholder groups that play different roles in the implementation of an Enterprise Architecture. This article demonstrates that the influence that the Zachman Framework’s Perspectives (rows) have on each other can be used to derive a rational allocation of stakeholders' skills and time that promotes specifications cohesion throughout the implementation of an Enterprise Architecture. We do so by prescribing upper bounds to stakeholders' relative degree of involvement based on the level of influence that they exert at any given point in time on Enterprise Architecture artifacts mapped to the Zachman Framework.
Article
This article extends Alfred Chandler's seminal ideas about strategy and organizational structure, and it predicts the next stage of organizational evolution. Chandler described the evolution of vertical integration and diversification strategies for which the functional and multidivisional structures are appropriate. He also explained how the dominant structure at any point in time is a concatenation or accumulation of all previous strategies and structures. I extend Chandler's ideas by describing how early "structures" became "organizations" (people, rewards, management processes, etc.) and by discussing the more recent strategies of international expansion and customer focus. International expansion leads to organizations of three dimensions: functions, business units, and countries. Customer-focused strategies lead to four-dimensional organizations currently found in global firms such as IBM, Nike, and Procter & Gamble. I argue that the next major dimension along which organizations will evolve is emerging in firms which are experimenting with the use of "Big Data."
Article
There is increasing consensus among practitioners and academics alike that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift from producer-centered and internal innovation processes toward user-centered and open innovation processes. This paradigm shift induces significant changes to the design of organizations. Even though the research field of user innovation has been developing over a period of more than four decades, there have been only occasional intersections with the research field of organizational design. In this paper we aim to provide an integrated perspective of the two fields. We first identify major user innovation strategies. We then derive the implications of each user innovation strategy on key dimensions of organizational design. We conclude with an outlook on symbiotic producer-user ecosystems and the corresponding implications for organizational design.
Article
Business firms and other types of organizations are feverishly exploring ways of taking advantage of the big data phenomenon. This article discusses firms that are at the leading edge of developing a big data analytics capability. Firms that are currently enjoying the most success in this area are able to use big data not only to improve their existing businesses but to create new businesses as well. Putting a strategic emphasis on big data requires adding an analytics capability to the existing organization. This transformation process results in power shifting to analytics experts and in decisions being made in real time.
Article
As currently used, systems theory is lacking a universally agreed upon definition. The purpose of this paper is to offer a resolution by articulating a formal definition of systems theory. This definition is presented as a unified group of specific propositions which are brought together by way of an axiom set to form a system construct: systems theory. This construct affords systems practitioners and theoreticians with a prescriptive set of axioms by which a system must operate; conversely, any set of entities identified as a system may be characterized by this set of axioms. Given its multidisciplinary theoretical foundation and discipline-agnostic framework, systems theory, as it is presented here, is posited as a general approach to understanding system behavior. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Syst Eng 17:
Article
There is increasing consensus among practitioners and academics alike that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift from producer-centered and internal innovation processes toward user-centered and open innovation processes. This paradigm shift induces significant changes to the design of organizations. Even though the research field of user innovation has been developing over a period of more than four decades, there have been only occasional intersections with the research field of organizational design. In this article, we aim to provide an integrated perspective of the two fields. We first identify major user innovation strategies. We then derive the implications for each user innovation strategy on key dimensions of organizational design.
Article
This article extends Alfred Chandler's seminal ideas about strategy and organizational structure, and it predicts the next stage of organizational evolution. Chandler described the evolution of vertical integration and diversification strategies for which the functional and multidivisional structures are appropriate. He also explained how the dominant structure at any point in time is a concatenation or accumulation of all previous strategies and structures. I extend Chandler's ideas by describing how early 'structures' became 'organizations' (people, rewards, management processes, etc.) and by discussing the more recent strategies of international expansion and customer focus. International expansion leads to organizations of three dimensions: functions, business units, and countries. Customer-focused strategies lead to four-dimensional organizations currently found in global firms such as IBM, Nike, and Procter & Gamble. I argue that the next major dimension along which organizations will evolve is emerging in firms which are experimenting with the use of 'Big Data.'