Problems Prior the Use of IRIS Business Architect

This United States of America’s Federal Agency, located in the Washington DC area and with about 10,000 employees, has a team of 6 business architects (one to be hired soon) divided into 2 main business units. This Agency leverages business architecture within its organization for planning, roadmap analysis and to enable business / IT alignment. Prior to using IRIS Business Architect, this Agency was modeling its Business Architecture using Excel files and some Visio. They were and still are running their enterprise architecture using a leading Enterprise Architecture software always rated in the right-upper quadrant of Gartner's Magic Quadrant.

With more and more urgent and pressing initiatives to be completed, this Agency’s upper management could not easily view and understand the Agency’s Business Architecture model. Business Architect Team could not modify rapidly enough and explain properly their Business Architecture model to the upper management key stakeholders using Excel spreadsheets or Visio. The use of spreadsheets also made the business architecture model not very consistent by generating too many identical elements named differently within the model. As for Visio, it required good graphical technical skills that business architects lacked. Furthermore, although the leading Enterprise Architecture software always rated in the right-upper quadrant of Gartner's Magic Quadrant has a Business Architecture module, it could not be used easily and rapidly to make modifications at frequent intervals to a business architecture model that reflects an always evolving and transformed organization that needs to adapt to its clientele and changes in the law, rules and regulations that the Agency needs to comply to.

Why Did IRIS Business Architect Get Selected?

After examining software vendors that provided Business Architecture/Business Analyst/Enterprise Architecture software solutions, the Agency decided to purchase and use IRIS Business Architect for all its Business Architecture activities. As for the Business Architecture module from the leading Enterprise Architecture software, it was discarded since it could not be used easily and rapidly by business architect users, key stakeholders and other viewers interested in consulting the Agency’s business architecture always updated model.

The Agency chose the IRIS Business Architect software because of the following reasons:

  • IRIS Business Architect can rapidly and easily be used by business architects, key stakeholders and other viewers interested in the content of the Agency’s Business Architecture;
  • IRIS Business Architect clears all discrepancies and misinterpretations between business architects and key stakeholders;
  • IRIS Business Architect is affordable;
  • IRIS Business Architect is a perfect tool to brief senior leaders because it displays business architecture in an easily consumable manner; and finally
  • The company’s customer service is reliable and prompt to solve users’ issues with the software.
  • How is IRIS Business Architect Used Today?

    After its implementation over 2 years ago, the IRIS Business Architect software is used more than ever by the Agency’s 6 business architects. The over 1000-page web and Word Business Architecture Model published by IRIS Business Architect is also viewed frequently by executives from the Agency’s headquarter and business units. It should also be noted that IRIS Business Architect is by many other employees mostly from the IT department. In total, well over 100 employees view at regular intervals the Business Architecture model published by IRIS Business Architect. Here is how Business Architects, top executives and IT managers use IRIS Business Architect:

    • Business Architects use IRIS Business Architect to modify and adjust the Business Architecture model reflecting the implementation and execution of new strategies and to communicate and fine tune the model with key stakeholders within all the Agency’s business units. All 6 business architects use IRIS Business Architect at least 2 or 3 times a week. Furthermore, once a week the Agency’s Business Architect team extracts the data from IRIS Business Architect and imports it into the Business Architecture module of the leading Enterprise Architecture software application.
    • Top executives view the model generated by IRIS Business Architect to plan, make roadmap analysis and track the status of various transformation initiatives within the entire organization. Top executives of the Agency’s business units view the status of their various initiatives affecting their business unit to insure that their efforts are in line with the organization’s strategies fixed at headquarters.
    • Finally, IT managers and employees use IRIS Business Architect daily to handle IT requirements. They consult the model on the Web to have the most accurate content relating to their activities and make sure that their IT projects are in line within the organization’s business strategies and to map their IT requirements to capacities in conjunction with a project management tool called Rally Software.
    • With the second release of IRIS Business Architect, the Agency intends to include in its Business Architecture model requirement, strategic and organization mappings on top of capability and value stream mappings. IRIS Business Architect will also be used to measure Key Performance Indicators that will be imported at regular intervals into IT dashboards used by the White House.