Walk into a leadership meeting and ask the following question: \u201cWho here has experience working with business architectures?\u201d You\u2019ll get about the same response as you would by asking, \u201cWho could use a coffee right about now?\u201d Everyone knows, but no one can explain.\nBusiness architecture is an enterprise blueprint. It defines the organizational structure of governance, business process, and business information. Business architectures offer a holistic view of strategy, operations, and technology. A typical business architecture includes three parts:\n\nStrategy: external vision, strategic intent, strategic priorities, and competency map.\nStructure: capability map or capability hierarchy, value chain, and competencies\nOperational: operational context, business service, and means of enabling\n\nHow does business architecture fit into the organization? Where does it live? Who owns it? Many businesses design and redesign themselves to find the optimal organizational structure.\nBusiness architecture deals with business issues. Other architectures address different enterprise concerns:\n\nBusiness architecture: business processes, organization, and people\nApplication architecture: services, products, and interactions\nInformation architecture: data, information, and knowledge\nTechnology architecture: hardware, software, network, etc.\n\nWhen framing the business architecture content, determine to which level you\u2019ll apply the business architecture: macro (target state), strategic (current state), segment or program (delivery-focused), or project (oversee alignment of IT). Additionally, ensure that the right players are present. Typically, you\u2019ll need three core members\u2019 roles: business architects, business analysts, and technology architects (solution, information, technology).\nCurious parallels\nCIOs engage business relationship managers to be catalysts for change. The success of their role is determined by demand shaping, exploring, servicing, and value harvesting. Discussions are more conducive to progress if there\u2019s a governing document to initiate these dialogues. That document is the business architecture.\nBusiness starts discussions around innovation and digital transformation with its business architecture in hand. Customer experiences, science, and technology are reshaping the expectations of \u201cgood.\u201d Identifying new business insights isn\u2019t a matter of knowing the existing business technology but rather how the business is architected. It\u2019s this architecture that\u2019s undergoing a reevaluation of its business scaffolding, and this is accelerated by the urgency to stay relevant and to make business delivery amidst environmental drivers, which constantly threaten existing organizational structures.\nBusiness architecture has four goals:\n\nBusiness and technology transformation\nBusiness and technology effectiveness\nBusiness and technology efficiency\nBusiness and technology alignment\n\nDoesn\u2019t this sound remarkably similar to the objectives of a relationship manager? When kicking off your next change initiative, ask about the business architecture. It\u2019s your blueprint for enabling change.\nSelecting the right stone\nAt first, it may seem that the many architecture frameworks options all look alike. But as you do the more comprehensive analysis, you\u2019ll observe that each has subtle strengths and weaknesses. All architectures\u2014and business architectures are no exception\u2014have three key elements: (1) a taxonomy of the deliverables, (2) a description of the methods, and (3) a definition of skills. These three elements are the best factors to evaluate frameworks under consideration.\nBusiness architecture connects the business model with the organizational strategy. These are the most common approaches and frameworks for business architecture:\n\nZachman Framework (Zachman): an ontology for enterprise architecture\nThe Object Management Group (OMG): architecture-driven modernization\nThe Business Architecture Guild: business architecture body of knowledge (BIZBOK)\nThe Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF): enterprise architecture for designing, planning, implementing, and governing\n\nOf course, there are dozens more including: Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF), Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), CIM Open System Architecture (CIMOSA), ArchiMate, Integrated Architecture Framework (CG IAF), British Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework (MODAF), and Extended Enterprise Architecture Framework (E2AF).\nTOGAF, FEA, and Zachman are the most widely adopted.\nGet started\nThe Object Management Group summarized well the key functions provided by a complete business architecture:\n\nBusiness strategy: art and science of implementing long-term objectives\nBusiness capabilities: how service, products, and interactions are provided\nValue streams: the series of events that takes a product, service, or interaction from beginning to end; how value is delivered\nBusiness knowledge: insights and business practices created by industry, organizational, or solution experience\nOrganizational view: delineation of relationships by roles\n\nChange is hard. It requires an insightful awareness of the belief systems, values, and behaviors you\u2019re attempting to influence. Knowledge of the business, application, information, and technology architectures is useful.\nIf you want to change beliefs, begin with the blueprint of your enterprise\u2014the business architecture.