Case Study

BT Business
Architecture
Accelerator

How can IT inform business direction and investment decisions rather than trying to make the best out of decisions already made?

Project Details

Client:

BT

Konvergent Team:

5 Consultants

Goal:

Introduce Business Capability Planning at BT

Project Dates:

Mar 17 – Dec 17

The Ask...

BT’s IT Leaders needed to act fast. With the 2017 Strategy Update requiring rapid convergence between discrete lines of business and the need to transform costs, the demands on the Technology Services Organisation to execute the Group’s strategic goals became crystal clear. Recognising the need to invest in the Technology Organisation at all levels, BT’s IT Leadership called in Konvergent to help them formulate a strategy for managing this need in the Architecture organisation. After an initial Architecture Maturity Assessment, we produced a targeted deployment of Business Architecture to start engaging with the business as partners in investment planning. This was seen as the best way to help the business find the issues that will challenge them in their efforts to align service and product offerings, as well as highlighting the common capabilities and technologies that can offer opportunities for cost reductions.

The Outcome...

“The project allowed us to accelerate building out capability models for two critical areas of business that were about to undergo significant transformations. Having artefacts in business language helped enormously with building trust with our stakeholders that we understood their business domain and provided a transparent level of objectivity in the evaluation of alternative options. The project also upskilled our internal team so that they can now go forward ad build out these critical models on their own."

Rachel Higham, Managing Director of IT - BT Group

Results Sample

Programmes Unblocked:

5

Programme ROI*:

5%

BT Centre of Excellence for
Business Architecture Enabled

*One of the programmes we unblocked estimated immediate savings of 5% of multi-million pound total development costs.

The Konvergent Approach

We identified these skills as critical phases to spearhead Business Capability Planning in the organisation.

Messaging (April 2017)

Business Capability Models make great communications tools. Our approach for using them at BT was simple:

  • We would construct quick prototypes (re-using material if possible) of a capability model and outputs (see packaging for ideas about what to include)

  • We created a buzz about Capability Modelling by meeting key stakeholders and showing them the prototype

  • We found our golden opportunities to create and use capability models to solve problems at BT during our stakeholder meetings (See ‘Targeting’ below)
Messaging

Packaging (April 2017)

Because the understanding of architecture at BT was mainly technical, and because we had to move quickly to catch opportunities, we needed to limit the amount of analysis we performed to a few key models/techniques:

  • Business Architecture Models: Business Motivation Models, Business Models and Value Streams (others as required)

  • Gap analysis, demand analysis, target state assessments

  • Enterprise Architecture Outputs: Target Architecture and Technology Roadmaps
Packaging

Targeting (May 2017)

We were introduced to our biggest opportunities by asking the stakeholders we met whether they could identify any of the following scenarios:

  • Programmes or projects that couldn’t get off the ground (Supply Chaim, Competition Finance, 5G)

  • Friendly business areas that would welcome new methods (Phone Book)

  • Business Units that were facing large investments and needed help setting requirements (Risk, HR, Employee Services)
Targeting

Deployment and Mentoring (June 2017 - March 2018)

We partnered with architects at BT to co-create deliverabes and coach them on the techniques and models we introduced. This method has several advantages:

  • BT architects learned how to package the work and sell it to the business

  • We introduced the standard approach to Business Capability Planning and the BT architects helped us tailor our approach to the intricacies of their environment

  • We didn’t just leave our models and guides behind – BT’s architects gained the skills and experience to take the practices forward – in fact, they are now in the process of setting up a Centre of Excellence to apply their knowledge across the organisation
Mentoring

"I feel like I've stepped up a level. I have a lot of experience, but I've always been delivery focused. The mentoring I received from Konvergent has allowed me to start considering the business side of things and how it all connects."

Andy Black, Enterprise Architect - BT Group

Lessons Learned

Resistant Stakeholders

How to overcome: We met a few stakeholders at BT who were reticent to try yet another approach, or simply  had no room in their calendars. Our advice is to bring them something of value that you’ve worked up in the background. Something of value could be:

  • A RAG status of the applications that support their core business capabilities

  • Analysis showing how lagging sales revenues could be overcome by introducing their products/services in new markets

  • A summary of duplicated capabilities and technologies

A lack of RACI for engagement

How to overcome: 

Some of BT’s Business IT Directors and Programme Directors were feeling threatened with the idea of our teams (our architects and the BT partner architect) engaging with the business directly. When this happened, we placed these individuals in the upper-right quadrant of our stakeholder heatmap to reflect their ability to derail our efforts. We recommend keeping these stakeholders very involved in your activities and, above all, make sure they look good.

No clear mandate for change

How to overcome: 

We had to recommend that BT free up 25-30% of the working week for the architects who were actively mentored. To be blunt, if you can’t carve out this time, you won’t be successful on this journey. We found the tendency to slip back into BAU was very strong at BT because of the pressures on the architecture community.

 

We also needed to continue to remind people of executive sponsorship to ensure the mandate for change was not forgotten. Our work on developing at Target Operating Model for BT ensured that key competencies were identified for each architectural role.

Results

Programmes Unblocked:

5

Business Strategies Validated:

4

New Business Functions Created:

Employee Services

BT Architects Mentored:

10

Programme ROI*:

5%

BT Centre of Excellence for Business Architecture Enabled

*One of the programmes we unblocked estimated immediate savings of 5% of multi-million pound total development costs.

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