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Process Architecture – “From three domains to one organization”

Why Process Architecture

Organizations do not have an integral overview of how they work. At most, they will have a Process Model to list all the processes they do in the organization. This models merely tells what an organization is composed of, and not how it works. (See Wikipedia )

Process Architecture

As Enterprise Architects, Zenit helps organizations to map out the ‘Top Level Process Architecture’ of the organization. We do this with the purpose of identifying how an organization really works, internally, but also with the major Stakeholders outside of the organization. 

The approach is that we first do a Stakeholder workshop with our client, with a team of people who together have a 360-degree view outside of the organization. We list stakeholders and their major interactions with the organization ‘black box’. As a next step, we open te black box and start connecting processes, since all Stakeholder interactions should start from or end-up in an organization process. Then we validate the model in 2 to 3 more iterations. 

So, the result is a process model with all major interactions between processes and Stakeholders shown. Once that has been identified, this has become a ‘Golden Mode’, with multiple purposes:

  • It gives an integral view on one page about the complete set of activities the organization is deploying, as well as the interaction between each of the processes.
  • All process designs/drawings found in the organization can be mapped to this single view, providing a repository of related/connected processes.
  • Because of names on the interactions (what goes in/what comes out of a process) the scope of processes (process start/process end) are clearly and unambiguously communicated; hence a perfect tool for implementing Process Ownership into the organization.
  • One can relay back what organization processes are key to what major stakeholders.
  • It helps prioritizing processes for improvement, because of a heatmap of what processes do not perform sufficiently.
  • The IT Landscape can be plotted, and redundant or missing Applications can be identified
  • One can identify root/causes for certain processes not performing well.
  • It is excellent for scoping projects since key dependencies between other processes are available.
  • The Project Portfolio can be plotted, identifying mismatches between process gap/importance, and identified projects in the organization; are there redundant/conflicting projects? Or are there projects missing on vital processes?

Client Case

In one specific Customer Case, Zenit was asked support in integrating three organization Domains into ONE efficient, multipurpose organization. The Process Architecture is a perfect tool for that: first we made a Process Architecture of each of the Domains, then we integrated the three Process Architectures into one Organization-wide model, showing perfectly what processes are Domain-specific and what processes are generic/reusable across the entire organization. This view helped management of the organization with reorganizing into an efficient organization with services towards the three Domains.

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