Case Study

Enterprise Architecture Maturity at BT

How do you shape a new enterprise architecture practice and ensure it can raise its head above the urgent demands of solution and technology architecture?

Project Details

Client:

BT

Konvergent Team:

4 Consultants

Goal:

Help build a world-class Enterprise Architecture practice at BT

Project Dates:

Jan 17 – Nov 17

The Ask...

When BT’s IT Leadership team decided to transform the organisation, they called Konvergent to set the standard for Enterprise Architecture (EA). Like many mature organisations, BT’s Technology Services Organisation (TSO) has been through a number of boom and bust cycles. With the lion’s share of investment concentrated in the delivery towers aligned to the business, a pool of talented, intelligent architects have traditionally moved between roles in delivery to deliver technology to their siloed business units. The current EA team has been sourced primarily from within, with an average length of service in the 10-15 year range. As a result, the collected experience in successful EA modernisation programmes at other companies is low and attempts to embed new practices have always been deemed too theoretical by the delivery architects and promptly dropped. BT needed Konvergent to baseline their architecture practice and lead them on a transformation and maturation journey, mentoring their team and shaping their techniques as they went.

The Outcome

“The Konvergent team hit the ground running, brought the methodology, practice and artefact templates with them to accelerate the start and built strong relationships with our growing internal architecture team and most importantly built trust with the customer.”

Rachel Higham, Managing Director of IT - BT Group

Results Sample

Foundational architectures delivered:

12

Business Strategies Supported:

3

Architecture Governance Boards underway

The Konvergent Approach

Initial Assessment (November 2016)
  • Established the baseline EA Maturity

  • Provided the basis for engaging stakeholders

  • Opened up the conversation with other functions about the larger remit for enterprise architecture
InitialAssessment
Roadmap of Works (April 2017)
  • We worked with the Chief Architect for Group Functions to fully develop a roadmap and resource plan for the programme of work

  • We targeted an appropriate stage of maturity and specified the actions and artefacts required in order to get there

  • We identified the need for a TOM (Target Operating Model) and the acceleration of Business Architecture skills as two key activities, both of which we supported BT to deliver (see separate Case Studies).
RoadmapofWorks

Deployment and Mentoring (May-October 2017)

  • We worked with the newly-assigned Chief Enterprise Architect to provide mentoring by an experienced Chief Architect

  • In launching the Business Capability Planning workstream, we mentored several key members of the architecture function (see our separate case study describe this aspect of the engagement)

  • We undertook a series of projects to help unblock programmes, identify business priorities and agree business strategies. These programmes resulted in foundational deliverables including Business Motivation Models, Business Capability Models and Strategic Roadmaps
Mentoring (1)

Second Assessment (November 2017)

We undertook a second maturity assessment to check how far the enterprise architecture function had matured in the previous six months. This assessment showed solid progress in some areas. We look forward to seeing how far BT get with the detailed roadmap we developed for them.

SecondAssessment

New engagement (July 2017 – Present)

Due to the success of the EA Maturity Engagement, Konvergent are currently supporting more heads of function to uplift capability in specific lines of business. Konvergent were engaged to shape the new service-based TOM for architecture. EA is now poised to deliver value and fulfil the wider TSO strategy.

 

Significant wins are already being delivered in Innovation and Internet of Things whilst also supporting programmes to simplify cross-selling in wholesale data and enable the merger of four lines of business. 

The Outcome

After our initial maturity assessment, Konvergent worked with BT to define a robust architecture operating model that redefined Enterprise Architecture at BT as a service-based organisation.

The new operating model defined a number of new capabilities for EA, including Business Architecture, which have been rolled out and have delivered a big win for the architecture community against the background of major reorganisation, uncertainty and disruption.

Lessons Learned

Great idea, but who's funding it?

Funding for EA Maturity will only take the chief architect so far – you need quick wins, targeted effort and a constant focus on ROI to keep your executive sponsors happy. We found the following tactics effective:

  • Find programmes where lack of clarity about strategy or deliverables expose the business to high levels of risk and sell EA services to the programme director

  • Mentor and transfer skills while delivering value to the business

  • Make sure you deliver good news stories and regular progress breifings to your sponsors and most important stakeholders

Get out of the Ivory Tower

Rightly or wrongly, any move to improve your practice screams ‘theoretical exercise’ to other functions in IT. Our approach was to get out into the business to show that the maturity programme is focused on the customer. Once you start compiling your case studies and positive outcomes, you will have the evidence you need to start changing this negative stereotype.

Overcoming resistance from within

An Enterprise Architecture Maturity Programme can be an invigorating and exciting idea for some members of your team, but for others may sound like just another passing trend. We used the following techniques to help us gain traction at BT:

  • Using Kotter’s change management principles to inform our activities

  • Inviting the change resistors to provide feedback on the current practice. As Konvergent were an objective third party, we were able to elicit unguarded feedback that a manager would simply not hear

  • Asking the change resistors to help deliver some of your quick wins – this sets up their buy-in at the start

  • Communicating and consolidating success stories

Results

Foundational architectures delivered:

12

Maturity Assessments show good progress

Business Strategies Supported:

3

Mentoring for newly-appointed Chief Architect

Strategic EA support on major programmes:

5

Architecture Governance Boards underway

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