IM Transformation Solution Offering
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The “IT Transformation” of an organisation from its legacy environment to the next generation of technology is one of the most complex and expensive changes an organisation can undergo. Building momentum to begin the programme is extremely difficult, as organisations typically undergo months (maybe years) of planning and false starts. When implementation finally begins the team often focuses on the perceived pressure point – configuring the new off-the-shelf applications to meet the functional capabilities desired by the business. The realisation that eventually comes (often too late) is that the problem isn’t whether the new applications can provide the required functionality.
These programmes are starting in the wrong place; they aren’t dealing with the Real Problems:
Of all these factors, how information is managed is the must crucial factor to the success of the programme. Unlike other areas (application functionality, integration, process, presentation) there is no choice with data but to fix the issues of the past – there is no opportunity to "start over". For a complex, federated organisation, this problem becomes even more complex due to the high degree of de-centralization of systems and processes.
Therefore, the MIKE2.0 Leadership Team believes meaningful, cost-effective Business and Technology change processes can achieved much more effectively by taking an Information Development approach and that the MIKE2.0 methodology can be an integral part in a successful Transformation. When we couple this when the architecturally driven approach in the SAFE Architecture, we call this doing “IT Transformation the SAFE way”.
The Executive Overview on Data Driven IT Transformation provides an introductory presentation on this approach.
3 Key Choices that will impact your Transformation Programme
3 strategic choices will affect the manner in which you define your Transformation strategy:
Will your development streams be application-driven or business-driven?
A business-driven development approach means that not only applications are important; equal focus must be given to information management and integration. Taking this approach will impact not only the technology solution, but also how the organisation is run, and how programmes are typically funded. Moving to a business-driven approach means that application implementation at the project level no longer solely drives the architecture and the Technology Backplane; the integration layer as well as the data layer is funded and implemented at the enterprise level. Some organisations are better suited towards an application-driven approach as taking a business-driven approach also means more inherit complexity across a federated environment. It is a consideration that is fundamental to an organisation’s resulting technology requirements and must therefore be considered very carefully.
Will your approach to integration use a common, standards-based approach or will it be driven by applications?
Integration is an inherently complex activity - not only in terms of technology but also in terms of organisational behaviour and processes (it requires a lot of people to work together). Integration teams are typically assigned the most difficult tasks on the project, addressing limitations in legacy applications through the perceived newest and most flexible technology solutions. As a rapidly evolving set of technologies, it is therefore not surprising that much of the legacy integration environment is a mess - a “spider web” of integration touch-points between systems.
Contemporary integration technologies such as EAI were supposed to fix this mess - and help break you out of the spider web. Certainly, off-the-shelf integration technologies provide a capability to do new development more quickly, but many of the environments are perhaps more complex (and less reusable) than before.
The lack of standards is what makes integration difficult. Without proper standards, new technologies just make the spider web bigger (and more expensive) – automating the spider web through application-driven integration.
Implementing a Services-Oriented Architecture through open and common standards is the key to breaking out of the spider web. Just as the advent of standards in other areas of IT has greatly simplified database design, network communications, and inter-office collaboration, standards are the key to simplifying integration.
The SAFE Architecture implements a set of capabilities called the Technology Backplane. The SAFE Architecture uses a standards-based approach to simplify integration, reduce complexity, and improve reusability.
Will you make the management of information be a critical focus of your organisation
We believe that the Information Development approach is an Evolutionary Path that will be delivered over time and will be complemented by emerging standards in business and technology.
The MIKE2.0 Leadership Team believes this is the “path to the future” for many organisations. The changing landscape in business will require companies to adapt their current approach to meet the challenging and complex environment ahead. The real winners will be those that can manage information to serve their customers better, and use information and improved processes to take cost out of their business.
Solution Offering Purpose
This is a Core Solution Offering. Core Solution Offerings bring together all assets in MIKE2.0 relevant to solving a specific business and technology problem. Many of these assets may already exist and as the suite is built out over time, assets can be progressively added to an Offering.
A Core Solution Offering contains all the elements required to define and deliver a go-to-market offering. It can use a combination of open, shared and private assets.
Solution Offering Relationship Overview
MIKE2.0 Solutions provide a detailed and holistic way of addressing specific problems. MIKE2.0 Solutions can be mapped directly to the Phase and Activities of the MIKE2.0 Overall Implementation Guide, providing additional content to help understand the overall approach.
The MIKE2.0 Overall Implementation Guide explains the relationships between the Phases, Activities and Tasks of the overall methodology as well as how the Supporting Assets tie to the overall Methodology and MIKE2.0 Solutions. Users of the MIKE2.0 Methodology should always start with the Overall Implementation Guide and the MIKE2.0 Usage Model as a starting point for projects.
Solution Offering Definition
The MIKE2.0 Solution for IT Transformation provides an approach for an organisation that wants to take a business and data-driven approach to IT Transformation and provides a set of standards for how they can get there. The MIKE2.0 Leadership team refers to this approach as doing “IT Transformation the SAFE Way”. It uses an approach called Extreme Blueprinting and Roadmapping in the strategy phases and uses the MIKE2.0 Methodology to solve the very complex issues around Information Development.
The Traditional Approach
The model below is commonly shown to represent IT Transformation Strategies in the early phases and the linkage IT must provide to Business Strategy.
In many ways this model makes sense. IT should deliver based on what the business wants. IT should use the Business Vision to drive the Technology Vision. The High-level Solution Architecture should be constructed before execution of the programme. On the other hand, this may be seen as an oversimplification of the problem and not necessarily a realistic approach. You could also say the approach lends itself to getting stuck - the business doesn't always know what it wants. It reflects a serial approach that is dependent on “alignment” – sometimes this can take quite a long time and it is not usual to not come to an agreement
Perhaps most importantly, this model lends itself to missing part of what the Business Vision should be. The reality is, in most organisations, IT often has some of the best knowledge about the business and how it should function.
The XBR Approach using MIKE2.0
XBR recommends an approach to Transformation where the Business and IT Vision are established more closely together. This approach is iterative and makes sure to stay at the “vision” level during the Blueprint phase.
Defining an IT Transformation strategy in this fashion will often require convincing a number of stakeholders of its benefits. Techniques include:
The MIKE2.0 Methodology provides all the capabilities for taking this data-driven approach. It can be complemented by other methods, architecture frameworks and technology solutions that are used for other aspects of the Transformation.
Relationship to Solution Capabilities
Relationship to Enterprise Views
Mapping to the Information Governance Framework
Mapping to the SAFE Architecture FrameworkSAFE – Strategic Architecture for the Federated Enterprise. The SAFE Framework is designed for dealing with the complexities of a contemporary, federated technology environment; SAFE provides a technology framework for IT Transformation, constructed using the Enterprise Views model of Application Development, Infrastructure Development, and Information Development.
Often a comprehensive Transformation programme will require the eventual delivery of all capabilities that are defined as part of the framework. For a successful transformation it is critical to get the Foundation Capabilities of the SAFE Architecture is place first and to continue to get Technology Backplane capabilities out “in front” to provide better flexibility and speed of delivery for the Application Development workstream.
Mapping to the Overall Implementation Guide
IT Transformation by definition involves a very comprehensive scope. Delivering a successful transformation programme will involve use of all activities of the MIKE2.0 methodology as part of the Information Development stream, with the continuous implementation phases delivering a number of increments over a multi-year period. Each of the phases of MIKE2.0 is described below, focusing on the most important activities for IT Transformation. Due to the comprehensive nature of a Transformation programme, all activities from MIKE2.0 are required for definition of the Information Development strategy and its implementation.
Business Assessment and Strategy Definition Blueprint (Phase 1)
A comprehensive transformation programme will involve 3 worksteams in the first phase, focused across application development, infrastructure development and information development. These workstreams are conducted in parallel and tied together through the overall business vision. MIKE2.0 provides the set of activities for the information development stream of work.
In the Business Blueprint phase, the focus is on developing an initial information development strategy that is aligned to the specific set of business requirements, many of which are driven from the application development stream. The SAFE Architecture is used as a starting point to define the strategic conceptual architecture at the component level and a set of high level solution architecture options.
Transformation will typically involve a large degree of organisational change and it is starting in Phase 1 that we want to begin to “re-balance” the Enterprise to take more of a focus on the development of information. The Data Governance activities that are first initiated through the use of IM QuickScan are important to start early in the Transformation programme. As part of the MIKE2.0 methodology, the Information Development organisation is established to complement more traditional organisational models around application development and infrastructure.
Technology Assessment and Selection Blueprint (Phase 2)
During an IT Transformation programme, technology selection is a especially complex undertaking, often taking several months. Following the proper diligence of linking strategic business requirements to a conceptual and logical architecture is therefore particularly important.
In phase 2 of MIKE2.0, a diligent approach is applied to establish the technology requirements at the level required to make strategic product decisions. This general approach to strategic requirements gathering, architectural definition and translation into a corresponding set of required technologies can be utilised across any of the 3 worksteams although the Supporting Assets of MIKE2.0 are particularly focused in the area of information development.
Once inline with the overall business case, technology selection can then take place during this phase. The establishment of functional and non-functional requirements not only leads to the selection of technologies, but also to how it will be implemented. In this phase, the overall SDLC strategy (standards, testing and development environments) that will support development are put in place. This is explained in the MIKE2.0 Overall Implementation Guide and there are a number of Supporting Assets in this area.
Also in phase 2, the Data Governance activities move from establishing the initial organisation to determining how it will function. The strategic set of standards, policies and procedures for the overall Information Development organisation are first established during this phase. This Information Development Organisation has established reporting lines into the other aspects of the organisation from a management, architecture and delivery perspective. The XBR Process Manager acts as the overall Transformation Manager to lead implementation of the strategic vision across multiple increments.
Roadmap and Foundation Activities (Phase 3)
For the implementation of each project within the Continuous Implementation approach to MIKE2.0, a Roadmap is established to guide the scope of how that specific project will be implemented within the overall programme. For a large-scale transformation programme, there will be several of these Roadmaps that are defined for each increment at the first step the process. Every Roadmap frames the corresponding Solution Architecture and set of detailed business requirements.
Key activities required as part of Phase 3 of the MIKE2.0 Methodology include Foundation Activities: information modelling, data profiling, data re-engineering and metadata management. Proper implementation of Foundation Activities for Information Development is a key feature of the MIKE2.0 Methodology and a mechanism for reducing delivery risk at the initiation of a new delivery increment. Foundation Activities around data profiling and re-engineering have been designed to minimise the risks often caused by data quality issues that result in major risks for large systems de-commissioning and consolidation. Moving to a metadata-driven approach is a fundamental recommendation of moving to more advanced capabilities within the SAFE Architecture.
Phase 3 also involves prototyping. For a large, complex transformation a prototype can be an effective mechanism for testing risk areas such as use of new technologies or implementation of new techniques.
Design Increment (Phase 4)
The Design Increment phase for a Transformation programme will involve a number of activities across information, infrastructure and application development. These activities will build off the initial conceptual design from the Solution Architecture, the prototype, and set of Foundation Activities. Due to the complexity of the Transformation, it is crucial that the outcomes of Phase 3 explicitly feed into the Design Increment phase of work.
There will be many parallel activities taking place during this phase. It is likely that each of the activities be performed by multiple individuals on a team (or multiple teams) engaged in the implementation programme. It is at this stage that alignment with the Blueprint becomes particularly complex and it becomes easy to deviate from the architectural approach, strategic requirements and delivery model. Whereas the team that defines the strategic Blueprint for Information Development may be 6 – 8 people, the ETL team alone for a large Data Warehouse may be larger in size. The key to staying on track in working closely to each of the activities in the Overall Implementation Guide and following the standards that have been put in place around Data Governance, metadata management, the SDLC process and development of common services.
During the Design Increment Phase, it will be particularly valuable to reference other MIKE2.0 Solutions and Supporting Assets. These more detailed assets can help accelerate design activities as well as provide alignment with Information Development best practices.
Develop, Test & Deploy Increment (Phase 5)
There are a very large number of activities in phase 5 that are required as part of the Transformation programme. Once again, it is likely that multiple projects and multiple teams may be conducting the same set of activities as part of the transformation programme. Following the standards and guidelines set in the initial phases is the only way for the programme to stay on target to meet its overall vision.
Due to its complexity, significant testing will be required to measure capabilities and quality related to the developed infrastructure, information and the desired set of overall business capabilities. Automating testing when possible is strongly encouraged as part of MIKE2.0, particularly for large, complex initiatives.
Deployment of the solution will involve a number of Change Management activities. Like other solution areas, these are driven from the initial Blueprint and are defined as part of a strategic approach. Moving to an Information Development organisation is a significant task and by the time the software is ready to be released in Phase 5 the team must be adequately prepared.
The criticality of Data Migration should not be underestimated, nor should the level of co-ordination required to minimize the impact of each software release to regular business activities. The Transformation programme needs to chose whether it will suspend operations whilst functionality - and therefore data - is completely transitioned to the new state of play. If not, operations must be supported in all active software environments as data is migrated in increments, and the organisation must maintain the integrity of its information assets across both the legacy and strategic platforms.
The Continuous Improvement Activities of Phase 5 of MIKE2.0 are particularly important as part of the transformation. They are the key to ensuring that the capabilities that are developed improve over time and that the focus on new implementation functionality is complemented by explicitly design improvement activities.
Mapping to Supporting Assets
Logical Architecture, Design and Development Best Practices
As part of their Transformation, most organisations will need to move to a target architecture that provides sophisticated capabilities for integration, infrastructure and information management.
The SAFE Architecture of MIKE2.0 provides a reference framework of capabilities across this Technology Backplane. In addition to the strategic component views of the architecture, some of the high level solution architecture options can provide helpful starting points when defining the Blueprint for the Transformation programme. Assets to refer to include:
The strategic component view of the SAFE Architecture provides an initial place to start in defining the architecture framework for IT Transformation and removes the need to “start from scratch”. It is focused along the Technology Backplane and provides capabilities to address those areas that provide some of the greatest issues in a successful Transformation
Relationships to other Solution Offerings
Extending the Open Methodology through Solution Offerings
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