I recently led a workshop with 35 clients from a variety of industries to uncover the challenges they face in their business architecture efforts. Through brainstorming and breakout discussions, the group created more than 160 individual challenge statements. In subsequent analysis I was able to identify 14 unique challenges in three major categories: EA skill/capability, organization/culture, and support/resources.
Here are the challenges I identified:
- Lack of business skills in the EA team
- No proven BA methodology to follow
- Low EA visibility/credibility in the business community
- Poor business-IT goal alignment
- Gatekeepers protect their business relationships
- Business units plan and work in silos
- A culture of change resistance
- Tactical business focus
- Lack of clearly articulated business strategy
- Lack of executive sponsorship
- BA’s value proposition hasn’t been established
- Lack of funding for BA initiatives
- Concern over impact to other initiatives
- Management puts a low priority on BA
Fourteen challenges seem like a lot to deal with (and I am sure there are more). But as I looked at the list I realized that these are not unrelated issues that can be solved independently but in fact are clearly structurally related. For example: A lack of funding can only be solved when you have a compelling value proposition, which can only be created when you have demonstrated value in some way, which can only be done when you have the right skills and capabilities. A general model of the relationship is below. I know most of us would like to start with funding and executive sponsorship, but it just doesn’t work that way.
Although most architects aren’t facing all 14 challenges, I am pretty sure most are dealing with at least half of these.
What challenges do you face?