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Wholesale Industry Business Reference Architecture

Business capability maps, value streams, and strategy maps for the wholesale industry.

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  • Leadership requires a unified and validated view of retail business capabilities that help CIOs and wholesale leadership accelerate the strategy design process and align initiatives, investments, and strategies.
  • The business and IT often focus on a project, ignoring the holistic impact and value of an overarching value stream and business capability view.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Using an industry-specific reference architecture is central to organizational priorities and has many benefits. It’s critical to understanding, modeling, and communicating the operating environment and the organization’s direction, but more significantly, to enabling measurable top-line organizational outcomes, recent trends in distribution, and unlocking direct value.

Impact and Result

  • Demonstrate the value of IT’s role in supporting your wholesale distribution capabilities while highlighting the importance of proper alignment between organizational and IT strategies.
  • Apply Level 2 business reference architecture techniques such as strategy maps, value streams, and capability maps to design usable and accurate blueprints of your wholesale and distribution operations.
  • Assess your initiatives and priorities to determine if you are investing in the right capabilities. Conduct capability assessments to identify opportunities and prioritize projects.

Wholesale Industry Business Reference Architecture Research & Tools

1. Accelerate the strategy design process

Leverage a validated view of wholesale business capabilities to realize measurable top-line business outcomes and unlock direct value.

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The Wholesale Industry Guide Business Reference Architecture

Business Capability Maps, Value Streams, and Strategy Maps for the Wholesale Distribution Industry

As an IT leader you must arm yourself with industry-specific insight

Info-Tech's Industry Research, Advisory Services, and Executive Roundtables will give you everything you need to stay ahead of the curve.

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Icon of a strategy board.

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Icon of a dashboard.

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IT Strategy & Alignment, Reference Architectures & Value Systems

Understand the capabilities and focus areas required to meet your industry’s needs and enable value creation.

Top Trends Affecting Your Industry

Identify resource, process, and environmental trends impacting your industry. Implement strategies to mitigate specific risks and take advantage of all relevant opportunities.

Industry Benchmarking

Reveal the true state of your IT services, processes, spend, and staffing levels to align your priorities and resources.

Benefit from peer data to get a reference point for how well you stack up.

Software Selection to Meet Industry Needs

Arm yourself with everything you need to provide the right solutions to meet the needs of your business stakeholders.

Contact Eric Cabral at ecabral@infotech.com for more information.

Analyst Perspective

In the age of disruption, IT must end misalignment & enable value realization.

An industry reference architecture helps accelerate your strategy design process and enhances IT’s ability to align people, processes, and technology with key business priorities.

  • A wholesale capability business map is a generic value chain independent of any system.
  • It covers all core level 1 and level 2 wholesale business capability components, from strategy planning to purchasing, distributing, and selling products.
  • The capability map leverages best practices cumulated by working with leading wholesalers.
  • It can be used, for example, in process design, operational analysis, due diligence, channel alignment, and wholesale process performance management; it serves as an IT architectural lens to enable retail entry transformation.

Wholesale strategy requires a unified and validated view of business capabilities that aligns initiatives, investments, and strategies to provide value to clients and stakeholders.

Photo of Rahul Jaiswal, Principle Research Director, Retail & Wholesale, Info-Tech Research Group.

Rahul Jaiswal
Principle Research Director, Retail & Wholesale
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge
  • You are a CIO, head of EA, or chief architect who needs to improve the organization’s understanding of business capabilities and how IT can support them.
  • The organization wants to sharpen its alignment and focus on organizational outcomes and value by using architecture to inform better its IT governance, stakeholder management, and IT strategy capabilities.
  • The organization needs to validate and execute strategic initiatives by using this blueprint to understand how the organization creates value and the underlying capabilities and processes.
Common Obstacles
  • Businesses don’t know where or how to begin or how to engage the right people, model the business, and drive the value of business architecture.
  • Business and IT often speak in their own languages without a holistic and integrated view of missions, strategies, goals, processes, and projects.
  • Business and IT often focus on a project, ignoring the holistic value of an overarching value stream and business capability view.
Info-Tech’s Approach
  • Build your organization’s capability map by defining the organization’s value stream and validating the wholesale industry reference architecture.
  • Leverage business capabilities to define strategic focus by defining the organization’s key capabilities and developing a prioritized strategy map.
  • Assess key capabilities for planning priorities through a review of business processes, information, applications, and technology support of key capabilities.
  • Adopt capability-based strategy planning by the ongoing identification and road mapping of capability gaps.
Info-Tech Insight

Establishing an industry-specific reference architecture is vital and promotes organizational priorities. It’s essential to understanding, modeling, and connecting the operating environment and the organization’s direction, but more significantly, to empowering measurable top-line organizational outcomes and unlocking direct value.

Reference Architecture Framework

Overarching Insight

Using an industry-specific reference architecture is central and has many benefits to organizational priorities. It's critical to understanding, modeling, and communicating the operating environment and the direction of the enterprise, and more significantly, to enabling measurable top-line business outcomes and the unlocking of direct value.

Determine your organizational priority.

Many organizational priorities are dependent on an understanding of how the organization creates value and the organization's capabilities and processes.

Examine organizational opportunities through the lens of business, information/data, applications & technology.

Your understanding of your organization's business capabilities, processes (rules & logic), information/data, and architecture will identify organizational opportunities to create value through reduced costs or increased revenues and services.

Follow Info-Tech's methodology to enable organizational outcomes and unlock direct value.

Your approach indicates the scope of your modernization initiatives.

Build your organization's capability map by defining the organization's value stream and validating the industry reference architecture.

Use business capabilities to define strategic focus by defining the organization's key capabilities and developing a prioritized strategy map.

Assess key capabilities for planning priorities through a review of business processes, information, applications, and technology support of key capabilities.

Sustain capability-based strategy planning through ongoing identification and roadmapping of capability gaps.

Logo for Info-Tech Research Group.Logo for iTRG.

Pinwheel diagram of value in the industry context. At the center is 'Value (Revenue, Margin, Assets)' surrounded by a cycle of '1. Build', '2. Define', '3. Assess & Prioritize' and '4. Sustain'. Surround that are categories 'Business', 'Information/Data', 'Applications', and 'Technology'. On the wings of the pinwheel are 'Governance & Risk', 'Business Context', 'Business Strategy', 'IT Strategy', 'Innovation', 'IT Budget', 'Digital Transformation', 'Core Application Rationalization & Modernization', 'IT Service Mgmt', 'Requirements', 'Data', and 'Org Design/ Operating Model'. The entire pinwheel exists within the 'Industry Context'.

Industry Overview: Wholesale

The wholesale industry sells products of various types directly to business customers and retailers. Some wholesalers provide or ship the purchased goods. In addition, they sometimes deal with partners, creating a complex supply and delivery chain.

Wholesalers range from small shops to large global companies across all verticals, such as AmerisourceBergen (pharmaceuticals) and Associated Grocers (supermarkets).

Consumers can quickly and easily shift what they purchase and where they purchase from. Therefore, enterprises must understand shifting consumer patterns to manage inventory and store location.

Wholesalers purchase products from manufacturers or suppliers. They then sell products to a variety of retailers. Their value is in providing inventory for retailers at higher fulfilment speed and lower overhead than if the retailer bought directly from a supplier and warehoused the product before sale.

In August 2022, total wholesaler sales in the United States amounted to an estimated value of almost 700 billion US dollars. This represents an increase of about 100 billion US dollars year-over-year.

(Source: Statista 2022)
Value Chain for the Wholesale Industry with 'Strategy Planning' at the top, followed by 'Purchase Product', 'Distribute Product', and 'Sell Product'.
Figure above: Value Chain for the Wholesale Industry

Business Value Realization

Business value defines the success criteria of an organization as manifested through organizational goals and outcomes, and it is interpreted from four perspectives:

  • Profit generation: The revenue generated from a business capability with a product that is enabled with modern technologies.
  • Cost reduction: The cost reduction when performing business capabilities with a product that is enabled with modern technologies.
  • Service enablement: The productivity and efficiency gains of internal business operations from products and capabilities enhanced with modern technologies.
  • Customer and market reach: The improved reach and insights of the business in existing or new markets.

Business Value Matrix

Business Value Matrix with four quadrants defined by an x-axis between 'Improved capabilities' and 'Financial benefit' and a y-axis between 'Inward' and 'Outward'. The four quadrants are 'Profit generation (outward, financial benefit)', 'Cost reduction (inward, financial benefit)', 'Service enablement (inward, improved capabilities)', and 'Customer and market reach (outward, improved capabilities)'.

Value, goals, and outcomes cannot be achieved without business capabilities

Break down your business goals into strategic and achievable initiatives focused on specific value streams and business capabilities.

Example strategy map for determining business capabilities. The first column is 'Business Goals & Outcomes' listing four Business Goals, two of which are color-coded similarly. The second column is 'Business Initiatives' with Initiatives 1 through 10, each color-coded to match the business goal they help to achieve. The third and fourth columns are 'Level 1 / Level 2 Business Capabilities' with capabilities grouped by 'Value Stream', each of which are color-coded to business goals and the business initiatives that create or improve them.

Wholesale business capability map

Business capability map defined…

In business architecture, the primary view of an organization is known as a business capability map.

A business capability defines what a business does to enable value creation, rather than how. Business capabilities:

  • Represent stable business functions.
  • Are unique and independent of each other.
  • Typically will have a defined business outcome.

A business capability map provides details that help the business architecture practitioner direct attention to a specific area of the business for further assessment.

Wholesale business capability map with the wholesale industry value chain as column headers, 'Strategic Planning', 'Purchase Product', 'Distribute Product', 'Sell Product', and row headers 'Defining', 'Shared', and 'Enabling'.

Glossary of Key Concepts

A business reference architecture consists of a set of models to provide clarity and actionable insight and value. Typical techniques and terms used in developing these models are:

Term/Concept Definition
Industry Value Chain A high-level analysis of how the industry creates value for the consumer as an overall end-to-end process.
Business Capability Map The primary visual representation of the organization’s key capabilities. This model forms the basis of strategic planning discussions.
Industry Value Streams The specific set of activities an industry player undertakes to create and capture value for and from the end consumer.
Strategic Objectives A set of standard strategic objectives that most industry players will feature in their corporate plans.
Industry Strategy Map A visualization of the alignment between the organization’s strategic direction and its key capabilities.
Capability Assessments Based on people, process, information, and technology, a heat-mapping effort that analyzes the strength of each key capability.
Capability An ability that an organization, person, or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, and technology to achieve.
(Source: The Open Group, 2009)

Tools and templates to compile and communicate your reference architecture work

Sample of the Wholesale Industry Business Reference Architecture Template. The Wholesale Industry Reference Architecture Template is a place to collect all the activity outputs and outcomes you will complete in next steps.

Download the Wholesale Industry Reference Architecture Template

Info-Tech’s methodology for Reference Architecture

1. Build your organization’s capability map 2. Use business capabilities to define strategic focus 3. Assess key capabilities for planning priorities 4. Adopt capability based strategy planning
Phase Steps

1.1 Define the Organization’s Value Stream

1.2 Develop a Business Capability Map

2.1 Define the Organization's Key Capabilities

2.2 Develop a Strategy Map

3.1 Business Process Review

3.2 Information Assessment

3.3 Technology Opportunity Identification

4.1 Consolidate & Prioritize Capability Gaps

Phase Outcomes
  • Defined & validated value streams specific to your organization
  • A validated Level 1 business capability map
  • Decomposed Level 2 capabilities
  • Identification of Level 1 cost advantage creators
  • Identification of Level 1 competitive advantage creators
  • Defined future state capabilities
  • Identification of capability process enablement
  • Identification of capability data support
  • Identification of capability application and technology support
  • Prioritization of key capability gaps

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful." "Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track." "We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place." "Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Guided Implementation

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with an Info-Tech analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

A typical GI is between 6 and 9 calls over the course of 1 to 4 months.

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Call #1: Introduce Info-Tech’s industry reference architecture methodology. Call #2: Define & create value streams.

Call #3: Model Level 1 business capability maps.

Call #4: Map value streams to business capabilities.

Call #5: Model Level 2 business capability maps.

Call #6: Create a strategy map.

Call #7: Introduce Info-Tech's capability assessment framework.

Call #8: Review capability assessment map(s).

Call #9: Discuss and review prioritization of key capability gaps and plan next steps.

Wholesale Industry Reference Architecture

Phase 1

Build your organization’s capability map

Phase 1

1.1 Define the Organization’s Value Stream

1.2 Develop a Business Capability Map

Phase 2

2.1 Define the Organization’s Key Capabilities

2.2 Develop a Strategy Map

Phase 3

3.1 Business Process Review

3.2 Information Assessment

3.3 Technology Opportunity Identification

Phase 4

4.1 Consolidate & Prioritize Capability Gaps

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Identify and assemble key stakeholders
  • Determine how the organization creates value
  • Define and validate value streams
  • Determine which business capabilities support value streams
  • Accelerate the process with an industry reference architecture
  • Validate the business capability map
  • Establish Level 2 capability decomposition priorities
  • Decompose Level 2 capabilities

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Step 1.1

Define the Organization’s Value Stream

Activities
  • 1.1.1 Identify & assemble key stakeholders
  • 1.1.2 Determine how the organization creates value
  • 1.1.3 Define & validate value streams

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Identify & Assemble Key Stakeholders
  • Determine how the organization creates value
  • Define & validate value streams

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
Outcomes of this step
  • Defined & validated value streams specific to your organization
Build your organization’s capability map
Step 1.1 Step 1.2

1.1.1 Identify & Assemble Key Stakeholders

1-3 hours

Input: List of who is accountable for key business areas and decisions, Organizational chart, List of who has decision-making authority

Output: A list of the key stakeholders, Prioritized list of decision-making support needs, Reference Architecture Template

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Build an accurate depiction of the business.

  1. It is important to make sure the right stakeholders participate in this exercise. The exercise of identifying capabilities for an organization is very introspective and requires deep analysis.
  2. Consider:
    • Who are the decision makers and key influencers?
    • Who will impact the business capability work? Who has a vested interest in the success or failure of the outcome?
    • Who has the skills and competencies necessary to help you be successful?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t focus on the organizational structure and hierarchy. Often stakeholder groups don’t fit the traditional structure.
    • Don’t ignore subject matter experts on either the business or IT side. You will need to consider both.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

Define the Organization’s Value Streams

  • Value streams connect business goals to the organization’s value realization activities. They enable an organization to create and capture value in the marketplace by engaging in a set of interconnected activities. Those activities are dependent on the specific industry segment an organization operates in. Value streams can extend beyond the organization into the supporting ecosystem, whereas business processes are contained within and the organization has complete control over them.
  • There are two types of value streams: core value streams and support value streams. Core value streams are mostly externally facing – they deliver value to either an external or internal customer and they tie to the customer perspective of the strategy map. Support value streams are internally facing and provide the foundational support for an organization to operate.
  • An effective method for ensuring all value streams have been considered is to understand that there can be different end-value receivers. Info-Tech recommends identifying and organizing the value streams with customers and partners as end-value receivers.

Outline for determining value streams, starting with 'Industry Value Chain', then 'Value Receivers': 'Customers' and 'Partners', then 'Value Streams' with 'Capabilities'.

Value Stream Descriptions for Wholesale Industry

Value
Streams
Strategic Planning Purchase Product Distribute Product Sell Product
  • Wholesalers need to plan the member value proposition, marketing, and distribution that will ensure successful operations.
  • Strategic planning provides guidelines for wholesale merchandise, pricing, and financial management.
  • Sets the desired amount, type of warehouse, and distribution center presence. Outlines financial targets, ensures funding, and monitors financial performance.
  • Wholesalers must purchase the products they sell from manufacturers or wholesale distributors to fulfill retailers.
  • A wholesaler’s success depends on its ability to source products that retailers and members want and are willing to buy.
  • In addition, they need to purchase the right number of merchandise product assortments based on anticipated demand from the manufacturers.
  • Optimizing distribution activities is an important capability for wholesalers.
  • The right inventory must be at a particular center in large quantities, exactly when needed. This helps to maximize sales and minimize how much cash is held up in inventory.
  • Proper supply chain management can reduce wholesalers’ costs and drive revenues by optimizing inventory management.
  • Wholesalers need to sell the products to retailers/ members. This is done through many channels including warehouses, mail-order, and the marketplace.
  • After the sale, they typically have to deliver the product, manage credit processing, and provide members value-added services.
  • Wholesalers can use loyalty programs, wholesale pricing, and promotions to foster repeat business.

Determine How the Organization Creates Value

Begin the process by identifying and locating the business mission and vision statements.

Ways to identify and locate 'Business Mission' and 'Business Vision' statements: 'Corporate Websites', 'Business Strategy Documents', and 'Business Executives'.

What is Business Context?

“The business context encompasses an understanding of the factors impacting the business from various perspectives, including how decisions are made and what the business is ultimately trying to achieve. The business context is used by IT to identify key implications for the execution of its strategic initiatives.” (Source: Business Wire, 2018)

1.1.2 Determine How the Organization Creates Value

1-3 hours

The first step of delivering value is defining how it will happen.

  1. Use the organization’s industry segment to start a discussion on how value is created for customers. Working back from the moment value is realized by the customer, consider the sequential steps required to deliver value in your industry segment.
  2. Consider:
    • Who are your customers?
    • What tasks are your customers looking to accomplish?
    • How does your organization’s set of products and services help customers accomplish that?
    • What are the benefits the organization delivers to customers?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don't boil the ocean. Focus on your industry segment and how you deliver value to your partners and customers specifically.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

1.1.2 Determine how the organization creates value

Input

  • Business strategy
  • Financial statements
  • Results of SWOT analysis
  • Info-Tech’s industry-specific reference architecture accelerator

Output

  • Reference Architecture Template

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

1.1.3 Define & Validate Value Streams

1-3 hours

Input: Business Strategy, Info-Tech’s industry-specific reference architecture accelerator

Output: List of organization-specific value streams, Detailed value stream definition(s)

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Unify the organization’s perspective on how it creates value.

  1. Write a short description of the value stream that includes a statement about the value provided and a clear start and end for the value stream. Validate the accuracy of the descriptions with your key stakeholders.
  2. Consider:
    • How does the organization deliver benefits?
    • How does the customer receive the benefits?
    • What is the scope of your value stream? What will trigger the stream to start and what will the final value be?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t start with a blank page. Use Info-Tech’s value stream definitions on the previous slide as a starting point and customize from there.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

Step 1.2

Develop a Business Capability Map

Activities
  • 1.2.1 Determine which business capabilities support value streams
  • 1.2.2 Accelerate the process with an industry reference architecture
  • 1.2.3 Validate the business capability map
  • 1.2.4 Establish Level 2 capability decomposition priorities
  • 1.2.5 Decompose Level 2 capabilities

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Determine which business capabilities support value streams
  • Accelerate the process with an industry reference architecture
  • Validate the business capability map
  • Establish Level 2 capability decomposition priorities
  • Decompose Level 2 capabilities

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
Outcomes of this step
  • A validated Level 1 business capability map
  • Decomposed Level 2 capabilities
Build your organization’s capability map
Step 1.1 Step 1.2

Develop a Business Capability Map – Level 1

  • Business architecture consists of a set of techniques to create multiple views of an organization; the primary view is known as a business capability map.
  • A business capability defines what a business does to enable value creation and achieve outcomes, rather than how. Business capabilities are business terms defined using descriptive nouns such as “Marketing” or “Research and Development.” They represent stable business functions, are unique and independent of each other, and typically will have a defined business outcome. Business capabilities should not be defined as organizational units and are typically longer lasting than organizational structures.
  • A business capability mapping process should begin at the highest-level view of an organization, the Level 1, which presents the entire business on a page.
  • An effective method of organizing business capabilities is to split them into logical groupings or categories. At the highest level, capabilities are either “core” (customer-facing functions) or “enabling” (supporting functions). As a best practice, Info-Tech recommends dividing business capabilities into the categories illustrated to the right:

Categories of Business Capabilities, referencing the business capability map. The first line is 'Defining Capabilities' - 'Defining core capabilities are the activities that define how you do business in your industry. These capabilities support specific value streams.' The second line is 'Shared Capabilities' - 'Shared core capabilities are typically customer facing. From an intra-industry perspective, the greatest variance occurs at the level of the differentiating capability. These capabilities demonstrate how you are different from the competition and can support multiple value streams simultaneously.' Both Defining and Shared capabilities are Core capabilities. The third line is 'Enabling Capabilities' - 'Enabling capabilities support the creation of strategic plans and facilitate business decision making as well as the functioning of the business (e.g. IT, Finance, HR).'

Business Capability Map for Wholesalers

Wholesale business capability map with the wholesale industry value chain as column headers, 'Strategic Planning', 'Purchase Product', 'Distribute Product', 'Sell Product', and row headers 'Defining', 'Shared', and 'Enabling'.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Glossary of Capabilities

A Business Capability is an ability that an organization, person or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, and technology to achieve. Level 1 Wholesale industry capabilities that are used in this reference architecture model are:

Capability Definition
Merchandising Strategy Provides guidance for assortment and pricing
Marketing Strategy Develop marketing & communication strategy for the wholesale operations
Market Research Analysis Provide actionable market and consumer insight for management decisions
Assortment Management Define product categories responsive to customer value proposition
Price Management Develop pricing policies enabling the company to achieve set financial goals
Demand Forecasting Create a demand forecast based on historical sales data adjusted to current market conditions

1.2.1 Determine Which Business Capabilities Support Value Streams

1-3 hours

Deconstruct value streams into their component capabilities.

  1. Analyze the value streams to identify and describe the organization’s capabilities that support them. This stage requires a good understanding of the business and will be a critical foundation for the business capability map.
  2. Consider:
    • What is the objective of your value stream? This can highlight which capabilities support which value streams.
    • What are the activities that make up the business?
    • Segmenting your value stream into individual stages will give you a better understanding of the steps involved in creating value.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t do this alone. Make sure the right stakeholders participate. The exercise of identifying capabilities for an organization is very introspective and requires deep analysis. It is challenging to develop a common language that everyone will understand and be able to apply. Don’t waste your efforts building an inaccurate depiction of the business.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

1.2.1 Determine Which Business Capabilities Support Value Streams

Input

  • Value streams from previous activities

Output

  • List of organization-specific capabilities mapped to value streams
  • Reference Architecture Template

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

1.2.2 Accelerate the process with an Industry Reference Architecture

1-3 hours

It’s never a good idea to start with a blank page.

  1. The business capability map on the previous slide can be used as an accelerator. Assemble the relevant stakeholders – business unit leads and product/service owners – and modify the business capability map to suit your organization’s context.
  2. Consider:
    • What are the activities that make up your business?
    • Can these activities be tied to outcomes? If not, they might not apply to your organization.
    • Are there any capabilities on the map that don’t fit the organization? Deselect them if yes.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t repeat capabilities. Capabilities are typically mutually exclusive activities.
    • Don’t include temporary initiatives. Capabilities should be stable over time. The people, processes, and technologies that support capabilities will change continuously.

Customize generic capability maps with the assistance of our industry analysts.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

1.2.2 Accelerate the process with an Industry Reference Architecture

Input

  • Value streams from previous activities
  • Info-Tech’s industry-specific reference architecture accelerator

Output

  • List of organization-specific capabilities mapped to value streams
  • Reference Architecture Template

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

1.2.3 Validate the business capability map

1-3 hours

Input: List of organization-specific capabilities mapped to value streams, Reference Architecture Template

Output: Level-1 business capability map, Reference Architecture Template

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Crowdsource the capability map validation.

  1. Validate the capability map with the executive team (those who were not included) and other key stakeholders. Use validation of your business capability map as an excuse to start a conversation regarding the organization’s overall strategy.
  2. Consider:
    • Are there any sensitive areas of the organization that may take this effort the wrong way? Engage them to get their input as early as possible to ensure they don’t feel left out or alienated.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t delay validating the maps with top-level executives. Without their support, your architecture practice won’t be taken seriously.
    • Don’t leave anyone out on the assumption that they won’t be interested. This process will foster alignment between organizational silos.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

Develop a Business Capability Map – Level 2

Level 2 business capabilities define individual Level 1 capability at a more granular level of detail. Level 2 capabilities typically represent individual stable business functions that, while unique and independent of each other, typically will have a collection of processes with overall contribution and enablement of Level 1 capability. Differentiating Level 1 and Level 2 capabilities. Notes label 'Strategy' as a 'Level 1 Capability', then points to 'Sales Planning', a capability within the Level 1 capability 'Planning', and labels it a 'Level 2 Capability'.

1.2.4 Establish Level 2 Capability Decomposition Priorities

1-3 hours

Deconstruct Level 1 capabilities into their component capabilities.

  1. Analyze the Level 1 business capabilities to identify and describe at a deeper, more granular level the organization’s capabilities that support them. This stage requires a good understanding of the business and will be a critical foundation for the Level 2 business capability map.
  2. Consider:
    • Which Level 1 capabilities enable the most critical stage of my value stream?
    • Which Level 1 capabilities enable the most stages of the value stream?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t try to cut corners. Although it may seem tempting to jump right to this step and avoid doing your Level 1 mapping, you will run the risk of model pollution. Starting with Level 1 helps ensure you have a unified view of your organization’s capabilities and will help you avoid having to re-do the work later.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

1.2.4 Establish Level 2 Capability Decomposition Priorities

Input

  • Level 1 capabilities map and a value stream for areas of interest and focus
  • Reference Architecture Template

Output

  • Prioritized list of Level 1 business capabilities for decomposition

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

1.2.5 Decompose Level 2 Capabilities

1-3 hours

Input: Prioritized list of Level 1 business capabilities for decomposition, Reference Architecture Template

Output: Level 2 capabilities for areas of interest and focus

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Deconstruct Level 1 capabilities into their component Level 2 capabilities.

  1. Using the Level 1 capability map as a baseline, hold working sessions with the line of business represented for each (or selected) Level 1 capability or set of related capabilities and decompose them.
  2. Consider:
    • Will you want to go deeper to level 3? If so, confirm if the same team for Level 2 has knowledge of Level 3+ and decompose to Level 3 concurrently.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t do this alone. Make sure the right stakeholders participate. The exercise of identifying Level 2+ capabilities for an organization is very introspective and requires deep analysis and understanding of business functions and processes. It is challenging to develop a common language that everyone will understand and be able to apply. Don’t waste your efforts building an inaccurate depiction of the business.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

Level 2 Capability Decomposition

Wholesale business capability map with the wholesale industry value chain as column headers, 'Strategic Planning', 'Purchase Product', 'Distribute Product', 'Sell Product', and row headers 'Defining', 'Shared', and 'Enabling'. Level 1 and Level 2 capabilities are color-coded to a Legend. Level 2 capabilities are grouped within Level 1 capabilities.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Build Value Capture Metrics

Define and establish the value creation and capture metrics for each Level 2 business capability across the map. To monitor the wholesale operations across the organization’s value streams, ideally there should be two to three key performance indicators for each capability. Leaders across the business can develop plans to impact key metrics. Two copies of a group of capabilities, one names the Level 2 capabilities, the other names the value capture metrics for each Level 2 capability.

Value formation and capture metrics

Wholesale business capability map with the wholesale industry value chain as column headers, 'Strategic Planning', 'Purchase Product', 'Distribute Product', 'Sell Product', and row headers 'Defining', 'Shared', and 'Enabling'. In each section, value capture metrics are listed for the capabilities at their highest level of decomposition. ie. Most capture metrics are in Level 2 capabilities, but Level 1 capabilities without Level 2 capabilities within them also have value capture metrics listed.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Wholesale Industry Reference Architecture

Phase 2

Use business capabilities to define strategic focus

Phase 1

1.1 Define the Organization’s Value Stream

1.2 Develop a Business Capability Map

Phase 2

2.1 Define the Organization’s Key Capabilities

2.2 Develop a Strategy Map

Phase 3

3.1 Business Process Review

3.2 Information Assessment

3.3 Technology Opportunity Identification

Phase 4

4.1 Consolidate & Prioritize Capability Gaps

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Determine cost advantage creators
  • Determine competitive advantage creators
  • Define key future-state capabilities
  • Identify the strategic objectives for the business
  • Map strategic objectives to IT programs
  • Validate the strategy map and program prioritization

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Step 2.1

Define the Organization’s Key Capabilities

Activities
  • 2.1.1 Determine cost advantage creators
  • 2.1.2 Determine competitive advantage creators
  • 2.1.3 Define key future-state capabilities

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Determine cost advantage creators
  • Determine competitive advantage creators
  • Define key future-state capabilities

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
Outcomes of this step
  • Identification of Levels 1 & 2 cost advantage creators
  • Identification of Levels 1 & 2 competitive advantage creators
  • Defined future-state capabilities
Use business capabilities to define strategic focus
Step 2.1 Step 2.2

Define the Organization’s Key Capabilities

  • A discussion about the key or most critical capabilities is an excellent opportunity for IT leaders to review, refresh, and even reset expectations from the business as to what value IT should be providing to the organization. There is often misalignment as to whether, or to what extent, IT should be making strategic investments to help the business enhance its capabilities through technology. Some IT leaders believe they should be transforming the organization, while their CEO wants them to focus on operational efficiencies.
  • Depending on the mandate from the business, an IT leader may focus on developing a cost advantage for the organization by directing technology efforts to capabilities that deliver efficiency gains. This is often the case for many IT leaders for whom the primary role for IT is to enable the business to deliver its products/services to the end consumer at the lowest cost possible. These capabilities are known as Cost Advantage Creators.
  • Organizations can develop a competitive advantage over their industry counterparts by creating a differentiated experience for the organization’s customers. Increasingly, this is facilitated and made possible through technology. IT can direct investment into capabilities that will improve their organization’s competitive position in its market by delivering unique or enhanced experiences for the organization’s end customers. IT can focus on developing a competitive advantage by directing efforts onto capabilities that are end-customer facing. These are known as the organization’s Competitive Advantage Creators.

On either side of the 'Business Capability Map' are descriptions of 'Cost Advantage Creators: Focusing on these capabilities will help the organization derive operational efficiencies' and 'Competitive Advantage Creators: Focusing on these capabilities will deliver differentiated end-customer experiences'.

Defining key capabilities for Wholesale Industry

Wholesale business capability map with 'Cost Advantage Creators' and 'Competitive Advantage Creators' color-coded to a legend. In the case of leveled capabilities, either the Level 1 capability is color-coded to indicate all Level 2 capabilities within it are the same, or the Level 1 is not coded and the individual Level 2 capabilities within it are coded. ie. Level 1 capability 'Planning' is a Cost Advantage Creator as are all Level 2 capabilities within it, but Level 1 'Supply Chain Management' is not coded while Level 2 capabilities within it 'Industry Management' and 'Warehouse DC Management' are Cost Advantage Creators and 'Drop Shipment & Tracking' is a Competitive Advantage Creator.

2.1.1 Determine Cost Advantage Creators

1-3 hours

Input: Value Stream of Level 1 capabilities from previous activities, Reference Architecture Template

Output: Identified cost advantage creating capabilities

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Focus on capabilities that drive a cost advantage for your organization.

  1. If your organization has a cost advantage over competitors, the capabilities that enable it should be identified and prioritized. Highlight these capabilities and prioritize the programs that support them.
  2. Consider:
    • What is the source of your cost advantage? IT should support the capabilities that drive the cost advantage.
    • Is the industry you operate in sensitive to prices?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t focus on capabilities that create an unsustainable cost advantage. Take a long-term perspective and allocate your resources wisely.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

2.1.2 Determine Competitive Advantage Creators

1-3 hours

Prioritize capabilities that give your organization an edge over rivals.

  1. If your organization does not have a cost advantage over competitors, determine if it can deliver differentiated end-customer experiences. Once you have identified the competitive advantages, understand which capabilities enable them. These capabilities are critical to the success of the organization and should be highly supported.
  2. Consider:
    • Are there any products or services your organization provides that customers consider superior to competitive offerings?
    • Which capabilities enable the competitive advantage?
    • How easy is it for competitors to neutralize your competitive advantage? Focus on the capabilities that are difficult to replicate by competitors to create a more sustainable advantage.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t determine the competitive advantages alone. Incorporate various perspectives from throughout the organization to truly understand how the organization competes in the marketplace.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

2.1.2 Determine Competitive Advantage Creators

Input

  • Value stream, Level 1 and Level 2 capabilities from previous activities
  • Cost advantage creators from previous activity
  • Reference Architecture Template

Output

  • Identified competitive advantage creating capabilities

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

2.1.3 Define Key Future-State Capabilities

1-3 hours

Input: Value stream of Level 1 capabilities from previous activities, Cost advantage creators from previous activity, Competitive advantage creators from previous activity, Reference Architecture Template

Output: Identified enhancements to existing or new organizational capabilities

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Know where you want to go and chart a course to get there.

  1. In addition to the current cost and competitive advantage creators, the organization may have the intention to enhance existing or develop new capabilities. Discuss and select the capabilities that will help drive the attainment of future goals.
  2. Consider:
    • Are your competitors doing anything to give them a competitive advantage? Can your organization easily replicate the capabilities needed to neutralize that advantage?
    • How is the external environment (political, economic, social, or technological) likely going to change in the future? How might these changes impact your current key capabilities?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t blindly copy your competitors’ strategies. It is important to understand that each organization is unique; before focusing on key capabilities that might neutralize your competitors’ advantages, ensure they fit well with your overall strategy.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

Step 2.2

Develop a Strategy Map

Activities
  • 2.2.1 Identify the strategic objectives for the business
  • 2.2.2 Map strategic objectives to IT programs
  • 2.2.3 Validate the strategy map and program prioritization

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Identify the strategic objectives for the business
  • Map strategic objectives to IT programs
  • Validate the strategy map and program prioritization

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
Outcomes of this step
  • Identification of business strategic objectives
  • Defined and validated strategy map/goal cascade
Use business capabilities to define strategic focus
Step 2.1 Step 2.2

2.2 Develop a Strategy Map

  • A strategy map is a tool to help narrow the focus onto what matters most. With ever-changing resources, business strategies, and external environments, the strategy map can ensure IT is consistently providing value through the enhanced prioritization of IT programs.
  • Strategy mapping is a technique that helps the executive suite communicate the business strategy to other levels of the organization by visually representing the organizational strategic objectives and mapping each of them to value streams, business capabilities, and ultimately, to specific IT programs. There are five layers to a strategy map: strategic business goals, business initiatives, value streams, business capabilities, and IT programs.
  • Strategic business goals are the targets and outcomes that the organization is looking to achieve.
  • Value streams enable an organization to create and capture value in the market through interconnected activities that support strategic objectives.
  • Business capabilities define what a business does to enable value creation in value streams, rather than how.
  • IT programs are actionable descriptions of how the IT department will enable one or multiple business capabilities in its target state.

Strategy Map. Example table for determining business capabilities from earlier, but with IT Capabilities, Initiatives, and Goals included on the other side. The first column on either side is 'Business/IT Goals & Outcomes' listing four Business/IT Goals, some of which are color-coded similarly. The second column on either side is 'Business/IT Initiatives' with Initiatives 1 through 10, each color-coded to match the business/IT goal they help to achieve. The third and fourth columns on the left side are 'Level 1 / Level 2 Business Capabilities', and on the right side the third column is 'IT Capabilities', with capabilities grouped by 'Value Stream', each of which are color-coded to business goals and the business initiatives that create or improve them. The capabilities of either side support each other.
Figure above: Strategy Map

2.2.1 Identify the Strategic Goals & Outcomes for the Business

1-3 hours

Knowing the key strategic objectives for the business will drive business-IT alignment.

  1. It is important to make sure the right strategic objectives of the organization have been identified and are well understood. Engage the right stakeholders to help identify and document the key strategic objectives for the business.
  2. Consider:
    • What are your targets for the organization?
    • What are the organization’s strategic investment goals?
    • What are the goals of the organization over the next 12 months?
    • What are your top business initiatives over the next 12 months?
    • Are there external forces that will impact the current strategic objectives?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t simply go with the existing documented strategic objectives for the business. Ensure they are up to date, and interview the decision makers to get the most updated objectives if needed.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

2.2.1 Identify the Strategic Goals & Outcomes for the Business

Input

  • Business strategy
  • Executive stakeholder interviews
  • IT project portfolio

Output

  • Business goals
  • Business context information

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Illustrative example of strategic goals and outcomes

ABC Corp.

A colorful bracket with dots corresponding to the associated line items.

1

Omnichannel
Wholesale
We are committed to maximizing shareholder value by achieving an annual growth in profitability by providing connected Wholesale brand experience, future of distribution, competitive prices, and quality products across channels.

2

PersonalizationWe demonstrate respect for our members and deliver the most-exceptional personalized experiences possible, resulting in brand loyalty and retention.

3

Deliver ValueWe will demonstrate operational efficiency by balancing profitability with expectational service levels and efficiency and automating and streamlining the process of distribution.

4

Member RetentionWe will drive member retention by providing end-to-end value-added deals, services, financial credit management, and rationalizing internal and external collaboration with ecosystem partners.

2.2.2 Map Strategic Objectives to IT Programs

1-3 hours

Input: List of IT projects, Initiatives, and IT Capabilities, Business Goals

Output: IT Initiatives, Goals Cascade

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Capability Maps, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, Portfolio Manager (PMO Director), Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Communicate the business strategy to other levels of the organization visually.

  1. Starting with strategic objectives, map the value streams that will ultimately drive them. Next, link the key capabilities that enable each value stream. Finally, map the IT programs supporting those capabilities. This process will help you prioritize IT programs that deliver the most value to the organization.
  2. Consider:
    • Focus on the value streams that truly drive the strategic objectives.
    • Are there any capabilities that are not tied to outcomes?
    • Are all strategic objectives supported with IT programs?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t be too granular. The audience for a strategy is interested in a higher-level understanding of what IT is doing. As such, keep things at the program level as opposed to the individual projects that programs are composed of.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

Illustrative example of strategy map

Strategy Map from earlier with an illustrative example from the Wholesale Industry. The first column on either side is 'Business/IT Goals & Outcomes' listing four Business/IT Goals, some of which are color-coded similarly (ie 'Omnichannel Wholesale' on the business side and 'Deploy New Capabilities' on the IT side). The second column on either side is 'Business/IT Initiatives' with multiple initiatives, each color-coded to match the business/IT goal they help to achieve (ie initiative 'Channel Alignment' is connected to goal 'Omnichannel Wholesale' on the business side). The third and fourth columns on the left side are 'Level 1 / Level 2 Business Capabilities', and on the right side the third column is 'IT Capabilities', with capabilities on the business side grouped by value stream, each of which are color-coded to business goals and the business initiatives that create or improve them (ie a Level 1 Value Stream containing capabilities 'Strategy', 'Inventory Mgt.' and 'Channel Management' is connected to goal 'Omnichannel Wholesale'). The capabilities of either side support each other.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

2.2.3 Validate the Strategy Map & Program Prioritization

1-3 hours

Crowdsource the strategy map validation.

  1. Validate the strategy map in layers. Start with IT and confirm which IT programs enable particular capabilities. Next, work with the business departments to validate the capabilities that support the value streams. Finally, validate the strategic objectives of the organization with the C-suite and communicate the value streams that support them.
  2. Consider:
    • Are all strategic objectives equally important? If not, get a prioritized list of strategic objectives.
    • Do any of the programs have critical dependencies that influence sequencing?
    • If there are strategic objectives that do not have any IT programs mapped to them, consider adding new programs. Conversely, reconsider upcoming programs that do not have a connection to strategic objectives.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t delay validating the strategic maps with top-level executives. A proactive approach will save you time in terms of rework and maximize alignment.
    • Don’t leave anyone out on the assumption that they won’t be interested. It is easy to miss key stakeholders – be careful and organized.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

2.2.3 Validate the Strategy Map and Program Prioritization

Input

  • IT initiatives
  • Goals cascade

Output

  • Validated strategy map and goals cascade

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Wholesale Industry Reference Architecture

Phase 3

Assess key capabilities for planning priorities

Phase 1

1.1 Define the Organization’s Value Stream

1.2 Develop a Business Capability Map

Phase 2

2.1 Define the Organization’s Key Capabilities

2.2 Develop a Strategy Map

Phase 3

3.1 Business Process Review

3.2 Information Assessment

3.3 Technology Opportunity Identification

Phase 4

4.1 Consolidate and Prioritize Capability Gaps

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Assess process support for capabilities
  • Evaluate user adoption of processes for key capabilities
  • Prioritize key capabilities process refinement
  • Assess how well information supports capabilities
  • Evaluate accessibility to data for key capabilities
  • Prioritize data improvements for key capabilities
  • Assess technology support of capabilities
  • Uncover value opportunities for applications
  • Compare results with industry research to determine plan of action

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Step 3.1

Business Process Review

Activities
  • 3.1.1 Assess process support for capabilities
  • 3.1.2 Evaluate user adoption of processes for key capabilities
  • 3.1.3 Prioritize key capabilities process refinement

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Assess process support for capabilities
  • Evaluate user adoption of processes for key capabilities
  • Prioritize key capabilities process refinement

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
Outcomes of this step
  • Identification of capability process enablement
Assess key capabilities for planning priorities
Step 3.1 Step 3.2 Step 3.3

Business Process Review

Use process analysis and assessment to drive collaboration and integration.

  • Organizations undergoing growth, either organically or through M&A, tend to develop in a piecemeal and short-sighted fashion in an attempt to preserve their view of agility. This can lead to the following pains:
    • Duplicated or conflicting business activities.
    • Processes that create bottlenecks by involving too many business units.
    • Manual rekeying of data into multiple systems.
    • Inefficient process for producing standard reports.
  • These organizations are driven by the desire to effectively manage existing business processes while recognizing the need for a faster ability to share data, information, and insight across multiple systems and business units to support increasing demands for more rapid response.
  • A primary goal of a strategy is to provide a framework that enables the current business environment to function as seamlessly as possible, allowing for flexibility when processes need to evolve.
  • Through effective strategy design, IT can provide integration across business units by performing an analysis of how well the organizational capabilities are supported by processes. Specifically, IT should analyze and assess processes on the basis of adherence, enforcement, overlap and on the presence of effective monitoring measures.
Assess how well processes support capabilities
Color-coding legend item for 'NONE' is red. NONE: No documented process exists.
Color-coding legend item for 'LOW' is yellow. LOW: Processes have been documented but have not been effectively communicated and may be in conflict.
Color-coding legend item for 'MEDIUM' is yellow-green. MEDIUM: LOW + processes are explicitly defined and have been formally communicated. There is minimal overlap between processes.
Color-coding legend item for 'HIGH' is green. HIGH: MEDIUM + processes are enforced and regularly monitored for deviations. Employees typically adhere to the process.

Figure above: Process Assessment Legend

Business process support of key capabilities

The Business Capability Map for Wholesale Industry with process support level for key capabilities color-coded to a legend. ie. Level 1 capability 'Strategy' is not coded but Level 2 capabilities within it 'Merchandise' and 'Financial' are coded as 'MEDIUM' and 'LOW' respectively.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

3.1.1 Assess Process Support for Capabilities

1-3 hours

Input: Reference Architecture Template, Standard Operating Procedures, Capability maps

Output: Heat mapped capability map

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Standardization breeds efficiency.

  1. Begin by assessing whether each key capability has documented processes supporting it. Then evaluate whether the documented processes have been communicated and the extent to which there is process overlap.
  2. Consider:
    • What processes are documented?
    • Have the documented processes been communicated to the business users?
    • Are some of the processes redundant? Has that been done on purpose, or can you optimize them?
    • Are there key capabilities that lack processes all together?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t waste time. Only evaluate processes that are documented and communicated, and then evaluate them for exclusivity.
    • Don’t do this in a vacuum. Validate that you have captured all existing processes by speaking to other employees.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

3.1.2 Evaluate User Adoption of Processes for Key Capabilities

1-3 hours

Having processes is one thing, but are they being adhered to?

  1. The next level of analysis involves assessing whether defined processes are being adhered to. Confirm if the organization enforces adherence and that regular monitoring for deviations is occurring.
  2. Consider:
    • Is there regular monitoring for deviations from the defined process? Is this recorded and acted upon?
    • Are there certain groups of users that are not following the processes in place? Why?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t think the lack of process adherence is simply the employees’ fault. In some cases, the processes might not be well designed or are outdated, thus warranting the need for refinement.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

3.1.2 Evaluate User Adoption of Processes for Key Capabilities

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

3.1.3 Prioritize Key Capabilities Process Refinement

1-3 hours

Use process to drive collaboration and integration.

  1. Key capabilities should be well supported by processes. If there are any capabilities that scored medium or below, prioritize delivering effective process support, improving user adoption, and establishing effective process governance.
  2. Consider:
    • Is business process management in your mandated area of influence, responsibility, or accountability? If not, consider who you may need to recruit for support from the business side to drive refinements.
    • Communicate any new processes or changes to existing ones through a variety of mediums. Make it easy for the users/employees to reference them if needed.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t create redundant processes. Ensure there is minimal overlap with existing processes if you are creating a new process.
    • Don’t forget to think about user adoption and governance when creating new processes. This might be more challenging, but it will ultimately ensure long-term success.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

3.1.3 Prioritize Key Capabilities Process Refinement

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Step 3.2

Information Assessment

Activities
  • 3.2.1 Assess how well information supports capabilities
  • 3.2.2 Evaluate accessibility to data for key capabilities
  • 3.2.3 Prioritize data improvements for key capabilities

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Assess how well information supports capabilities
  • Evaluate accessibility to data for key capabilities
  • Prioritize data improvements for key capabilities

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning & Analysis Staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Outcomes of this step

  • Identification of capability data support
Assess key capabilities for planning priorities
Step 3.1 Step 3.2 Step 3.3

The Data, Reporting & Analytics Diagnostic helps identify information gaps

Assessing how well information supports capabilities is nearly impossible to perform without an honest and thorough understanding of end-user sentiment towards Data, Reporting & Analytics.

Develop data-driven insights to help you decide which business capabilities require new or improved reporting and analytics and which opportunities will improve business processes, and by extension, enable the capabilities of the business.

The Data, Reporting & Analytics programs will help you:

  • Assess data quality and reporting satisfaction at a glance
  • Evaluate data quality across 9 dimensions of quality
  • Evaluate reporting across 10 dimensions of satisfaction
  • Determine which areas are the most critical
  • Determine effectiveness of analytics tools
Samples of the 'Data Quality Scorecard' and 'Report Scorecard' from the Data, Reporting & Analytics Diagnostic.

Here are some critical insights to extract from the Data, Reporting & Analytics Diagnostic report

Begin with understanding the perception of the information in use in your organization to assess the effectiveness of supporting key business.

Critical insights from the Data, Reporting & Analytics Diagnostic are 'Clarity', 'Accuracy', 'Currency', and 'Completeness'.

Data and reports that are deemed to be low accuracy, currency, or completeness could hamper strategic business capabilities and should be investigated further regarding the effectiveness of supporting key business capabilities.

Information Assessment

Assess the availability and quality of data in providing information as a business asset.

  • Information is central to every organization’s success and ability to realize its goals. Too often organizations experience the following pains:
    • Duplicated or conflicting data residing in disparate databases.
    • Inadequate controls or edits on data.
    • Manual rekeying of data into multiple systems.
    • Inability to provide executives with reliable and easily accessible information for decision making.
    • Inability of business units to assume “ownership” of data.
  • These organizations are driven by the desire to effectively manage existing business processes while recognizing the need for a faster ability to share data, information, and insight across multiple systems and business units to support increasing demands for more rapid response.
  • A primary goal of a strategy is to provide a framework that enables information to be viewed as a critical business asset, across organizational boundaries, and accessed as seamlessly as possible.
  • Through effective strategy design, IT can provide integration of data across business units by performing an analysis of how well the organizational capabilities are supported by information. Specifically, IT should analyze and assess data on the basis of quality, integrity, and ownership and on the presence of an effective data governance framework.
Assess how well existing information supports capabilities
Color-coding legend item for 'NONE' is red. NONE: Data is unavailable, unreliable, duplicated, or not of sufficient detail
Color-coding legend item for 'LOW' is yellow. LOW: Data is available but not subject to adequate integrity or quality controls. Data ownership is undefined.
Color-coding legend item for 'MEDIUM' is yellow-green. MEDIUM: LOW + Data is available but not fully automated. Data ownership is mostly defined.
Color-coding legend item for 'HIGH' is green. HIGH: MEDIUM + Data is available, of high quality, fully automated, and has clear ownership.

Figure above: Information Assessment Legend

Information support of key capabilities

The Business Capability Map for Wholesale Industry with information support level for key capabilities color-coded to a legend. ie. Level 1 capability 'Procurement Management' has 'HIGH' information support, but Level 2 capability within it 'Contract Negotiation' has 'LOW' support.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

3.2.1 Assess How Well Information Supports Capabilities

1-3 hours

Information is a key business asset.

  1. Begin by assessing whether each key capability has data available to support it. Then evaluate the quality and integrity of the data and the extent to which there is clear business unit ownership of the data.
  2. Consider:
    • What data exists to support the capability?
    • Does the same data exist in various databases?
    • What controls exist to ensure quality and integrity?
    • Are there key capabilities that lack automated information all together?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t waste time. Only evaluate information holdings that are central to the capability.
    • Don’t do this in a vacuum. Validate that you have captured all existing data by collaborating with other IT and business unit employees.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

3.2.1 Assess How Well Information Supports Capabilities

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Data dictionary
  • Key reports
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning & Analysis Staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

3.2.2 Evaluate Accessibility to Data for Key Capabilities

1-3 hours

Having data is one thing, but is it easily accessible and available in a format suitable for decision making?

  1. The next level of analysis involves assessing whether data is easily accessible to the main users of the information.
  2. Consider:
    • Is data well integrated so executives do not have to access more than one source for the information they need? Is there a data warehouse capability to bring together data from disparate databases?
    • Is there an end-user business intelligence (BI) capability? Are users sufficiently trained in its use?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t think that the lack of information is the fault of any one IT unit or application. In most cases, there is a lack of a comprehensive approach to enterprise and data architecture at the core of the problem.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

3.2.2 Evaluate Accessibility to Data for Key Capabilities

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Data dictionary
  • Key reports
  • Key system of records/transactional data source system inventory
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning & Analysis Staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

3.2.3 Prioritize Data Improvements for Key Capabilities

1-3 hours

Use data to institute information as an asset.

  1. Key capabilities should be well supported by data. If there are any capabilities that scored Level 2 or below, prioritize establishing an effective data governance framework.
  2. Consider:
    • Is data management fully in your mandated area of influence, responsibility, or accountability? If not, consider who you may need to recruit for support from the business side to drive refinements.
    • Effective data governance will require close collaboration between IT and the data owners on the business side.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t create redundant data. Ensure there is minimal overlap with existing data elements if you are creating a new application or database process.
    • Don’t forget to think about end-user access and reporting tools when creating new data holdings. This might be more challenging, but it will ultimately ensure long-term success.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

3.2.3 Prioritize Data Improvements for Key Capabilities

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning & Analysis Staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Step 3.3

Technology Opportunity Assessment

Activities
  • 3.3.1 Assess technology support of capabilities
  • 3.3.2 Uncover value opportunities for applications

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Assess technology support of capabilities
  • Uncover value opportunities for applications
  • Compare results with industry research to determine plan of action

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
Outcomes of this step
  • Identification of capability application and technology support
Assess key capabilities for planning priorities
Step 3.1 Step 3.2 Step 3.3

Develop a Category Solutions Lens

Outline the category solutions across the business capabilities map to serve as an IT architecture lens for solutions assessment and rationalization. Leaders across the business can develop strategies to have an impact on operations analysis, due diligence, and alignment. Two copies of a group of capabilities, both name the Level 1 and 2 capabilities, but the lower one has a lens revealing the category solutions for each Level 1 capability.

Category Solution Assessment

Wholesale business capability map with the wholesale industry value chain as column headers, 'Strategic Planning', 'Purchase Product', 'Distribute Product', 'Sell Product', and row headers 'Defining', 'Shared', and 'Enabling'. In each section, category solutions are listed for each grouping of capabilities.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Key Category Solutions (1/3)

Core technologies that can be/are used for driving wholesale enterprise effectiveness.

Description

Impacts

MDM

Master Data Management Consists of the tools and practices an organization uses to set up one source of truth for all its essential data.

ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning Incorporates, aligns, and links the business practices as well as processes necessary for wholesale operations.

CRM

Customer Relationship Management Manages all the organization's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.

Merchandise Planning (MP)

Merchandise Financial Planning Maps a wholesaler's financial targets.

EDM

Enterprise Data Management Aims to create accurate, reliable, and transparent content.

SRM

Supplier Relation Management Streamlines procurement processes from improving vendor communication to simplifying reverse auctions to managing contracts.

POS, MPOS

Point of Sale, Mobile Point of Sale Systems handle sales, returns, exchanges, layaways, gift cards, gift registries, loyalty programs, promotions, and discounts.

Key Category Solutions (2/3)

Core technologies that can be/are used for driving wholesale enterprise effectiveness.

Description

Impacts

CMS

Credit Management SystemManages credit balances, including evaluating risk and verifying how much credit to offer to send out bills to collecting payments.

OMS

Order Management SystemPrograms the complete order management activity for the organization and manages all the functions involved in delivering a member order.

DAM

Digital Asset ManagementManages businesses to organize, distribute, work together on, and safely collect digital records that make up a digital asset reference library.

PIM

Product Information ManagementEnables users to store, enrich, and manage complex product information. Centralizes product data and collects accurate information throughout channels.

ITSM

IT Service ManagementOversees the end-to-end distribution of IT services to customers. Controls all the processes and actions to design, make, deliver, and assist IT services.

PAM

Privileged Access ManagementAn information security mechanism that safeguards identities with special access or capabilities beyond regular users.

IAM

Identity Access ManagementSafeguards that the right clients (part of the ecosystem connected to or within an organization) have the correct access to technology resources.

Key Category Solutions (3/3)

Core technologies that can be/are used for driving wholesale enterprise effectiveness.

Description

Impacts

WMS

Warehouse Management SystemManages supply chain fulfilment operations directly from the distribution center to the store shelf or the customers.

TMS

Transport Management SystemEnsures planning, executing, and optimizing the shipment of goods.

DOM

Distributed Order ManagementOrchestrates and improves the supply chain by automating several functions, including order routing, order splitting, shipping, and inventory management.

DRM

Document and Records ManagementEnsures accountability for the process of document creation and records management.

CEM

Customer Engagement ManagementCreates and maintains important relationships with potential and existing customers of the enterprise.

CIAM

Customer Identity AccessEmpowers organizations to securely acquire and manage client identity and profile data and control client access to applications and services.

HRM

Human Resource ManagementHandles human resources and associated processes throughout the employee lifecycle.

The Application Portfolio Assessment Diagnostic helps identify application gaps

Application portfolio management is nearly impossible to perform without an honest and thorough understanding of end-user sentiment toward IT software.

Develop data-driven insights to help you decide which applications to retire, upgrade, re-train on or maintain to meet demands and, by extension, enable the capabilities of the business.

The Application Portfolio Assessment program will help you:

  • Assess the health of the application portfolio
  • Understand the business’ perception of the application in use throughout your business
  • Identify and build core IT processes that automate IT-business alignment
  • Create a plan to address alignment gaps impeding business growth
  • Deliver your plan to demonstrate IT value and progress
Title card for the 'End-User Satisfaction Diagnostic Program'.

Here are some critical insights to extract from the Application Portfolio Assessment report

Begin with understanding the perception of the applications in use in your organization to assess the effectiveness of supporting key business capabilities.

Differentiating performance levels of applications in the Application Portfolio Assessment. 'High Performing Appplications': 'End Users love these apps. Pat yourself on the back and find ways to get more out of unleveraged apps that are unused or nice to have.' On the Importance/Effectiveness map they are on the far right 'Extremely Effective' and are categorized as 'Effective' or 'Unleveraged'. 'At Risk Applications': 'While crucial to the business, these apps are underperforming and should be addressed for root cause immediately.' On the Importance/Effectiveness map they are on top in the left two spots 'Important'/'Mission Critical' and are categorized as 'Hazardous' or 'Contentious'. 'Nonessential Applications': 'These apps bring questionable value proposition to the table. Consider retiring, upgrading or retraining end users on these apps.' On the Importance/Effectiveness map they are on bottom in the left two spots 'Unused'/'Nice to Have' and are categorized as 'Unwanted' or 'Questionable'.

Applications that are deemed as unleveraged, questionable, or contentious should be investigated further regarding the effectiveness of supporting key business capabilities.

Technology opportunity assessment

New technologies can create opportunities for business agility and help develop resilience to changing market conditions.

  • Business agility is essential to stay competitive. However, the application portfolio of many organizations cannot sufficiently support the flexibility and efficiency the business needs because of legacy challenges.
  • Organizations experience application sprawl over time, caused by many factors, that can end up costing more for licenses, operational resources, and maintenance.
  • Organizations are looking for ways to modernize their applications, but they want to develop options without introducing additional risks. Adopting a capability-based approach to assessing applications will enable the IT department to identify opportunities to:
    • Automate tasks through the strategic selection and implementation of applications.
    • Integrate applications that have cross-capability implications.
    • Rationalize the application portfolio.
    • Eliminate redundant or legacy applications that don’t deliver enough value.
  • The market availability for software applications dedicated to supporting a specific capability (or set of capabilities) can serve as an indicator of the presence of legacy challenges. Where there is a lack of application availability, it may be a signal of either custom developed, ad-hoc and makeshift solutions or shadow IT.
Availability of software applications that support each capability
Color-coding legend item for 'NONE' is red. NONE: Capability is typically unsupported by applications. The likelihood of legacy applications supporting these capabilities is high.
Color-coding legend item for 'LOW' is yellow. LOW: Capability is somewhat supported by applications. There is typically a mix of legacy and purchased applications supporting these capabilities.
Color-coding legend item for 'MEDIUM' is yellow-green. MEDIUM: Capability is moderately supported by applications. Organizations do not have to build their own applications; however, there aren’t many solutions to choose from.
Color-coding legend item for 'HIGH' is green. HIGH: Capability is well supported by applications. Organizations can choose from a variety of solutions that will meet or exceed their needs.

Figure above: Technology Opportunity Assessment Legend

3.3.1 Assess Technology Support of Capabilities

1-3 hours

Input: Reference Architecture Template, Key system of records/transactional system inventory, Capability maps

Output: Heat mapped capability map

Materials: Whiteboard/Flip Charts, Reference Architecture Template

Participants: Enterprise/Business Architect, Business Analysts, Business Unit Leads, CIO, CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure, Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Determine how well key capabilities are supported by applications.

  1. Perform an application rationalization exercise on the key capabilities to determine how well they are being supported by applications. Applications should be assessed on the basis of flexibility, ease of use, and integration.
  2. Consider:
    • How flexible are the applications?
    • How well do the applications integrate?
    • How easy are the applications to learn and use?
    • Are there overlap, unplanned redundancy, or data quality issues?
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t perform a complete overhaul. Consider continuity in delivering business services before you rip and replace everything.
    • Don’t forget about shadow IT. Ask around to get an accurate understanding of what applications are being used to support business capabilities.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

Application support of key capabilities

The Business Capability Map for Wholesale Industry with application support level for key capabilities color-coded to a legend. ie. Level 1 capability 'Marketing Management' is not coded, but Level 2 capabilities within it 'Content Management' and 'Digital Asset Management' are coded as 'MEDIUM', and Level 1 capability 'Supply Chain Management' along with most Level 2 capabilities within it have 'HIGH' application support except for 'Warehouse DC Management' which has 'NONE'.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

3.3.2 Uncover Value Opportunities for Applications

1-3 hours

Make sure the business is leveraging applications wherever it should.

  1. Unsupported key capabilities are areas in which IT can deliver high value for the business. The key capabilities that score None or Low in the technology assessment are the ones that require the most attention.
  2. Consider:
    • Prioritize which unsupported key capabilities to focus on based on their importance.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t focus on unsupported key capabilities that will require too much investment.
    • Don’t build an application just because you can. Research existing solutions before deciding to build in-house.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

3.3.2 Uncover Value Opportunities for Applications

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Key system of records/transactional system inventory
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers

Wholesale Industry Reference Architecture

Phase 4

Adopt capability-based strategy planning

Phase 1

1.1 Define the Organization’s Value Stream

1.2 Develop a Business Capability Map

Phase 2

2.1 Define the Organization’s Key Capabilities

2.2 Develop a Strategy Map

Phase 3

3.1 Business Process Review

3.2 Information Assessment

3.3 Technology Opportunity Identification

Phase 4

4.1 Consolidate and Prioritize Capability Gaps

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Assess capability gaps via a MoSCoW Analysis

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)

Step 4.1

Consolidate & Prioritize Capability Gaps

Activities
  • 4.1.1 Assess Capability Gaps via a MoSCoW Analysis

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Assess capability gaps via a MoSCoW analysis

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, and VP Infrastructure
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
Outcomes of this step
  • Prioritization of key capability gaps
Adopt capability-based strategy planning
Step 4.1

Consolidate and prioritize capability gaps

  • Direct strategic IT investments based on the collective output of the capability assessments.
  • When combined with a solid understanding of business priorities and IT’s mandate, a capability assessment can be the driving force that informs a unified perspective on the sequencing of an organization’s strategic IT initiatives.
  • Assessments based on how well a capability is supported by people (via organizational analysis), process (via process review), data (via information assessment), and technology (via application, infrastructure, data, and security improvements) will inform the overall health of a capability, or in other words, the size of a capability gap. This information, when contrasted with the concept of a MoSCoW-based effort to value, forms an enhanced decision-making framework that can be used to determine initiative sequencing on a strategic roadmap.
  • If a capability has a large gap (is poorly supported by people, process, data, or technology), it should be considered as high effort, or difficulty, to address. When the capability is well aligned with business priorities and the IT mandate, the capability gap should be considered as high value to address.
  • See the figure on the right: IT leaders should focus their efforts on the lower-right quadrant (high value, low effort). In the top-right quadrant (high value, high effort), IT should seek business support to drive the initiative. Capability gaps on the right side of the quadrant overall are good candidates for capability outsourcing.
MoSCoW Analysis for Business Capabilities with axes 'EFFORT' and 'VALUE', and the 'Must Address: Low Effort / High Value' quadrant highlighted.
Figure above: MoSCoW Analysis for Business Capabilities

MoSCoW capability gap analysis

MoSCoW Analysis for Business Capabilities with axes 'EFFORT' and 'VALUE', and the 'Must Address: Low Effort / High Value' quadrant highlighted.

Value to Effort Impact Ratio

  • HE = High Effort
  • LE = Low Effort
  • HV = High Value
  • LV = Low Value
‹— We are looking to act on low effort, high value

4.1.1 Assess Capability Gaps via a MoSCoW Analysis

1-3 hours

Elevate your focus from the IT level to the organization level.

  1. Gather and synthesize the priorities from the information, people, process, and technology assessments to develop a consolidated view of IT’s planning responsibilities.
  2. Consider:
    • How big is the difference between current needs and the assessment of the factors that support each capability?
    • Are there any groups of capabilities that have low scores from the assessments? Consider a root-cause analysis to determine what could be impacting multiple capabilities.
  3. Avoid:
    • Don’t forget about healthy capabilities. Enhance the green (low-gap) capabilities once you have resolved the issues with the red and yellow (large-gap) key capabilities.

Download the Reference Architecture Template

4.1.1 Assess Capability Gaps via a MoSCoW Analysis

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Shortlisted assessment of capability gaps via 2x2 matrix

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip Charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Departmental Executive & Senior Managers
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)

MoSCoW analysis for business capabilities

MoSCoW Analysis for Business Capabilities with example capabilities mapped onto it and 'Must Address: Low Effort / High Value' highlighted. In 'Won't Address: HE/LV' are 'Contract Negotiations' and 'Facilities Management'. In 'Should Address: HE/HV' are 'Loyalty Management' and 'Assortment Management'. In 'Could Address: LE/LV' is 'Drop-Shipment Tracking'. In 'Must Address: LE/HV' are 'Value-Added Services', 'Credit Management' and 'Pro-Services'.
Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Ranked list of IT implications template

Template for the ranked list of IT implications using MoSCoW. Column headers are 'MoSCoW Rank', 'IT Implication', 'Value Stream Impacted', and 'Comments/Actions'.

Address key capability gaps

As part of your next-steps checklist, leverage the reference architecture for priorities that drive measurable top-line organizational outcomes and the unlocking of direct value.

Reference Architecture

Enterprise Architecture Document Your Business Architecture EA Strategy Data Models EA Governance
Business Context & IT Strategy Document Business Goals and Capabilities for Your IT Strategy IT Strategy Digital Strategy IT Budget
Applications Strategy Review Your Application Strategy Data Quality App Dev Throughput ERP Selection
Infrastructure & Operations Strategy Build the Business by Building an Infrastructure Roadmap Change Mgmt. Asset Mgmt. Cloud Strategy

Summary of Accomplishment

Problem Solved

  • Accelerated the building of your organization’s capability map by defining the organization’s value stream and validating the industry reference architecture.
  • Used business capabilities to define strategic focus by defining the organization’s key capabilities and developing a prioritized strategy map.
  • Assessed key capabilities for planning priorities through a review of business processes, information, and application and technology support of key capabilities.
  • Consolidated and prioritized capability gaps for incorporation into priorities.

If you would like additional support, have our analysts guide you through other phases as part of an Info-Tech workshop.

Contact your account representative for more information.

workshops@infotech.com 1-888-670-8889

Additional Support

If you would like additional support, have our analysts guide you through other phases as part of an Info-Tech workshop.

Photo of Rahul Jaiswal, Principle Research Director, Retail & Wholesale, Info-Tech Research Group.

Contact your account representative for more information.

workshops@infotech.com 1-888-670-8889

To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.

Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

Sample of a business capability map with level 1 and 2 capabilities.
Value Chain Prioritization
Determine the cost and competitive advantage of creators. Focus on key future-state capabilities to realize end-to-end integrated planning and execution efficiencies.
Sample of a strategy map with examples.
Develop a Strategy Map
A strategy map is a tool that helps narrow the focus onto what matters most. The wholesale strategy map can ensure IT consistently provides value through the enhanced prioritization of IT programs.

Bibliography

“TOGAF Version 9.1.” The Open Group, 2 February 2009. Web.

BIZBOK® Guide. The Business Architecture Guild, 2021.

Statista Statistics & Facts. Web.

“Wholesalers’ Monthly Sales in the United States from January 2017 to August 2022.” Statista. Web.

“Define the Business Context Needed to Complete Strategic IT Initiatives.” Business Wire, February 01, 2018. Web.

Business capability maps, value streams, and strategy maps for the wholesale industry.

About Info-Tech

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We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 2-phase advisory process. You'll receive 9 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Model
  • Call 1: Introduce Info-Tech’s Industry business reference architecture methodology.
  • Call 2: Define and create value streams.
  • Call 3: Model Level 1 business capability maps.
  • Call 4: Map value streams to business capabilities.
  • Call 5: Model Level 2 business capability maps.
  • Call 6: Create a strategy map.

Guided Implementation 2: Drive
  • Call 1: Introduce Info-Tech's capability assessment framework.
  • Call 2: Review capability assessment map(s).
  • Call 3: Discuss and review the prioritization of key capability gaps and plan the next steps.

Author

Rahul Jaiswal

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